Even At Home
Feb 22,2018 | 3.3 min read | Amy Nickerson
If you know us here at Josiah Venture, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ve heard the statistic that less than 1% of the young people in Central and Eastern Europe know Jesus. In Ukraine, we’ve found that many of these teens are quick to say they don’t have any problems, keeping serious issues like broken families and uncertain futures to themselves. The next European generation is no longer confined by the threats of communism, so in places like Slovakia, new freedom drives teens to spend enormous amounts of time online, crafting their identities in a positive light, while longing for authentic connections with people who will love them for them. As is true in the entire region we work in, our team in Poland sees that there is an urgency not only for more of these teens to become young leaders like King Josiah, but also for more godly mentors to walk alongside them as they mature.
It is clear when we look at the homes, schools, and churches of this region that the spiritual need is great. Young people who have so much potential to develop a faith that can transform their communities and countries, don’t yet know Christ’s love for them. We have been invited by God to help change that and are so glad to be working in these harvest fields.
Like Jesus said in Luke 10, the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. We realize though, that as much as we talk about the need among the youth in this part of the world, the need for the hope of the gospel is great no matter where you are—including the place you call home.
In the States, for example, a study just published by Barna Group is saying young people born between 1999 and 2015 are twice as likely to identify as atheist or LGBT than American adults. In the UK, Youth for Christ has found that 67% of young people say social media is a negative influence, even while 94% of them use it on a daily basis. And in Canada, only a third of the young people who attended church weekly as children, continue to do so now.*
While these stats can feel depressing, we believe that the fields around the world are ripe for harvest; the next generation, with access to the globe at their fingertips, are longing for hope that is not of this world. If they can be shown the true love of Christ, we know that they’ll experience the transformation they ultimately desire, and will be poised to have massive influence on those around them.
So, we are praying for more workers like Jesus told the apostles to do. Praying for people to recognize the need that today’s youth have for truth and genuine examples of what a disciple who makes disciples looks like. Praying that you work faithfully in the fields where God has you, whether that’s cross-culturally, or in the very neighborhood you grew up in.
Watch this video for encouragement from some of our young nationals who are serving God and sharing the gospel in their own countries.
* Info from this paragraph taken from the following sources: