Harm Jonker, Youth for Christ the Netherlands, Deventer

I have been working for Youth for Christ Deventer for more than eighteen years – time to go to an international conference, I thought: a nice trip which perhaps would give me new inspiration for my work.

My work for Youth for Christ Deventer harmjonkerall started with a dream: a dream to have a large youth centre where I could be there for teenagers. To really mean something to them and make a difference in their lives. To show them who Jesus is. I believed in my dreams and I believed that God was calling me to do this. But after more than eighteen years I wondered if that dream had not already been achieved. How long would I go on? What will be next?

With these thoughts I went to Youth for Christ’s General Assembly in Thailand.

And than there was this speaker who started talking about the prophet Haggai. Back in my room I started reading the book of Haggai again more carefully. There were a few passages that really touched me:

The reason why these passages touched me was because it was on the 24th of the 9th month when I left for Thailand. It made me think about my own attitude, and why I had gone to Thailand. But it also made me think about my attitude in the work that I am doing for Youth for Christ in Deventer.

Soon GA became like a big family to me. In our team from the Netherlands, we asked ourselves the question how we could share the goal of “ONE YFC” with our colleagues in the Netherlands. But also: How can we share our wealth and knowledge with our Youth for Christ family abroad.

Along with other colleagues we started questioning people at GA about their thoughts of ONE YFC and we made a few short movies. We showed these movies to all the other colleagues at one of our staff days in the Netherlands. One of them was about YFC in Italy. That is when I knew: This is going to be my ‘try-out’ project. In May 2015 we went to Italy with nine of our YFC staff members to deliver a soccer cage. We stayed there for a week to visit schools and parks to get connected with teenagers through the sport events that we had organised.

GA helped me to take this next step in my life. Therefore I will change my role as a director of YFC in Deventer and I will start working as a Regional Director in the Netherlands for four days a week. Starting from January 2016 I will also be working on starting up projects with several other YFC countries in Europe for one day a week.