I had intended to spend part of October in Ghana with our coaches, but concerns about the Ebola outbreak and air travel lead me to postpone the trip. Although disappointing, the necessary change in plans afforded me the opportunity to go on a walk with YLI Coach Vincent Asamoah, who was in Atlanta to raise support for his basketball ministry, Shoot-4-Life. As we walked through the woods in Peachtree City, Vincent shared some stories of new young Ghanaian leaders in the YLI community who are growing the Kingdom in amazing ways. When I expressed amazement that YLI’s impact is spreading so spontaneously, Vincent said, “Ash, no one encounters YLI and walks away unchanged”.
It is God’s power that fuels mission, and without Him YLI would be ineffective. Over the last ten years we have watched the Holy Spirit form in YLI a quality that is both intangible and unquantifiable, but leads to a vibrant spread of the gospel. I believe it is our culture and community, the way that we live out our values of Intimacy with God, Love Evangelism and Going Deep with a Few ‘together’. We are in intimate fellowship with God, and sacred community with each other. YLI is about relationship and love. And lots of fun.
This year has been unique because for the first time the coaches have encountered new leaders with reach outside of West Africa. Specifically, two new leaders to our community have begun to live out YLI’s culture and values in mission fields outside of Ghana.
Emmanuel Dass is an Indian pastor and missions leader who spent a number of days with the coaches and me at mission conference in Ghana. This man developed friendships with the coaches and has begun to do ‘YLI-style ministry’ in India.
Over the last several years my goal has been to go deep in Ghana. Now, as the impact of YLI’s culture and values has naturally moved beyond Ghana, I believe God is leading me to invest in these new relationships. I am excited to report that next year I plan to travel to Emmanuel in India and to Zambia with Nate in addition to visits to Ghana.
The YLI board and I are deeply grateful for you and hope that you continue to lift us up with your financial support and prayer. You, too, are part of the YLI community.