By Young Seon Kim
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to God’s purpose.
– Romans 8:28 (NRSV)
Merry Christmas to you!
God’s love and plan to give us Christmas always amazes me. I love Christmas so much. But Joseph and Mary must have been disappointed when God messed up their wedding plans.
God had the different plan for them – to save lost sheep in the world. Did they like that plan? Did they even understand it? Yet, amazingly, they didn’t focus on their feelings and situation, but on God. In faith they chose to trust God and go with God’s plan. Their decision brought Christmas to the world, and we’re still celebrating today!
Not so long ago, the United Methodist Church of Tanzania had no churchwide spiritual training for youth and young adults. I was charged with developing Next Generation Ministries across the country, but I did not know where to start. It is a big country. It took much prayer and careful listening. Then, by God’s grace, I was inspired to write a book for discipleship training, called “Nifuate” (Swahili for “follow me”).
In March 2016, I started the first Nifuate Discipleship Training with 20 young adult leaders. Today, I praise God for 40 committed Nifuate teachers who train others in their districts and make a difference in many lives. Give glory to God!
To reach all young people in every district, I set up the Nifuate program, which has been a great success. Young people gathered together once a month in 10 districts from July 2018 to May 2019. District superintendents and local pastors preached God’s word. Those who were trained by me became Nifuate Bible teachers. They taught younger youth about basic Christian life. Then they submitted their monthly reports to me and the Nifuate coordinator, Emmanuel Pius.
Total attendance was 2,014 young people!