Youth Discipleship / Mentorship Program
Psalm 128 Missions is beyond excited to announce that our Youth Discipleship/Mentorship program in La Leona, Nicaragua is now operational! In partnership with our friends at SuNica, the youth who have graduated from our milk/feeding program now have the opportunity to take the next step.
The teen years are some of the most vulnerable and crucial in life. Choices and character formation that happens in these years set the stage for everything that follows for the rest of life. These youth can repeat the cycle of worthlessness, walking alone without the Lord or they can break the cycle by knowing that they are made in God’s image and that He has great plans for them.
A Tale of Two Cycles
So many of the troubles we humans struggle with can be traced to vicious cycles that repeat generation after generation. You know of examples of people in your own life who seem doomed to repeat the sins of the past and never break free to be who God wants them to be.
1. No God.
Humans, by nature, are rebels from God. The youth of Nicaragua are no different.
2. No worth.
These youth, like all humans, have intrinsic worth because they are made in God’s image. But if they don’t know him, they can’t know their own worth.
3. No hope.
If these young people don’t know how much they are worth to God, they will find it very difficult to have hope for a better future.
4. Bad choices.
Without hope, a young person will find it much easier to make bad life choices that will set the course of his or her life for years to come. Choices like turning to addictive substances and pursuing sexual fulfillment outside of God’s design and before the time is right, resulting many times in children giving birth to children.
5. Settling for less than what God wants.
With their choices made, many youth will naturally fall into a life devoid of joy, being forced to settle for much less than God truly wanted for them. This is a life of defeat, knowing that better lives exist but feeling completely unable to attain such a life.
6. Modeling this brokenness for the next generation.
Children by nature do what they see their parents do. If this cycle is not broken, it will repeat, and repeat, and repeat, as children fall into exactly the same patterns as their parents did.
THE CYCLE MUST BE BROKEN!
To break a cycle, you only have to break one part of it. Our youth discipleship program in Nicaragua aims to break this cycle at the most important part: knowing God. Once a young person truly knows Jesus, not in a religious way but in a loving relationship, things have no choice but to change.
1. Know God.
The most fundamental thing our discipleship program does is teach the young people that God, through Jesus Christ, wants to have an intimate friendship with them. In a country where many people follow a legalistic religion not so different from the religion of the Pharisees that Jesus railed against 2000 years ago, the idea that Jesus wants a relationship with them might be new. But, once they grasp it, it will change everything.
2. Know your worth.
When young people begin to know God the way he desires to be known, they will realize that they are worth so much more than society says they are. Humans are intrinsically valuable because we are made in God’s image. We are his image-bearers! When young people realize this, and that they are worth so much that Jesus gave his life for them, they will begin to look at themselves in a much different light!
3. Hope for the future.
Knowing their worth naturally gives these kids a hope for the future. They have something to look forward to, knowing that they are worth so much to God and that he created them with a plan, just waiting to be found by them.
4. Good life choices.
When people look forward to the future, they are much less likely to make bad choices that will throw that future into the garbage can. They are much more likely to reject harmful substances. They are much more likely to reject romantic relationships that will not honor God and that are too early in their lives. They are more likely to want to get an education. The list goes on!
5. Joyful, fulfilled life.
Good choices lead to a good life. A life filled with joy and filled with a sense of fulfillment that God’s purposes have not been wasted.
6. Discipling the next generation.
As these people have children, the children are much more likely to start down a good path. They will naturally copy their parents’ love of God and they will tend to turn out like them rather than like those around them who have no good role models in their homes.
BY HELPING A NICARAGUAN YOUTH NOW, YOU CAN HAVE A LIFE-CHANGING EFFECT FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!
We have partnered with our long-time friends at SuNica to reach these young people. SuNica has a well established and finely honed program of youth discipleship and mentorship which they have used in several communities of Nicaragua. We have witnessed firsthand the results, and they are stunning. There is a marked difference between the normal youth in these communities and the ones who are part of SuNica’s program. These young people are godly, respectful, and hopeful for the future. The change in them is evident. Because of these results, we decided to partner with SuNica so that they could bring their program to the communities we serve: Tololo and La Leona.
The youth of Tololo and La Leona meet for two hours each Wednesday afternoon in the shelter that Psalm 128 Missions constructed a few years ago in La Leona. This activity is led by a young man and lady, Luis and Darliana, who were hired by SuNica specifically to run this program for our young people. Here they learn about the Lord and his love for each of them. They learn that they are made in his image and that He has a plan for each of them. They can share their struggles and successes. Periodically, local field trips are scheduled. Those could be a trip to the beach, or to play a soccer match, for example. Two or three times a year, there are spiritual retreats to The Sacred Forest. This is SuNica’s beautiful, rustic retreat center far from the hot, dusty place the youth live. In the cool quietness of the mountains near Matagalpa, the youth set aside several days to listen for the voice of God and to know his direction for their lives. It is powerful.
Want to Partner with Us?
Your $30 per month funds all the activities just described for a young person. We use none of it for fundraising, administration or any other purpose. It would be hard to imagine a better, more eternal, investment. We have witnessed the program firsthand and can assure you that this is fertile soil and that your donations are well spent.