Young Life Nashville is going to Siliguri, India March 1-10 to get to know, encourage, and train Indian YL leaders!
I have always had a heart for international missions. Over the past few years, I have had the incredible opportunity of serving overseas and this time the Lord has called me to go to India. At the beginning of the year I met Megan who joined the Nashville YoungLife staff. She had previously lived in India for 3 years and was eager to take a group of leaders back with her to encourage and train the Indian leaders. At first, I thought the odds of being able to go and raise the money was impossible but then I remembered that I serve the God of the universe....... So, here we go! I cannot wait to see how the Lord works over there and hope that you will help support our team!
(northeast India...just north of Calcutta)
Young Life India began around the year 2000 in Bangalore, India. "Young Life Sila" (Siliguri, West Bengal, India) is the 3rd city in India where YL was started.
Megan Stephens lived in India for 3 years and eventually helped to start Young Life in Siliguri with about 15 Indian Christians, most being college students and one well-known pastor, Enos Simick.
God truly used unlikely people to start Young Life there. India is a male-dominated culture and yet God gave Megan favor in the eyes of these Indians, who caught the vision of sharing Jesus with kids by building friendships with them. God has also raised up an Indian lady, Javeen Rai, who is now leading the charge in Siliguri in 2 parts of the city - one rural and the other more urban. Javeen went to the Philippines in September for the 1st All-Asia YL Conference, where she learned more about Young Life and how to teach others about it.
Young Life is Jesus. What did Jesus do? He left heaven to come down to us. So, as YL leaders, we leave our rightful places to GO where kids are. Coffee shops, lunch rooms, basketball games, soccer practice. But in India, this looks a little different. Indian schools in Siliguri do not allow outsiders to be on campus, even for sporting events. So the Indian leaders had to get creative. One way they build friendships with kids is through spoken English classes every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. They also play cricket and football (soccer) with kids.
This trip is important because the leaders in Siliguri are ready and willing to reach out to high schools kids but are interested in receiving more training in Young Life principles to more effectively reach teenagers. Our team of 15 YL leaders will be organizing a leader retreat for these 15-20 Indian leaders in India to get to know, encourage, and train them by teaching and modeling for them what YL is all about.