We’re getting older, but YLI is still a ministry of young leaders!
When I arrived in Ghana in 2002, Jim Moye told me how much he wanted to introduce me to Vincent Asamoah. Jim was obviously very excited about this Vincent guy. He was the director for the Ghana Baptist Convention with a busy travel schedule, so we had to catch him one night when he was at home. After it had gotten dark, Jim drove me to visit Vincent’s family and we spent a short time together. That was the only time I got to spend with Vincent in 2002, but I knew it was important to Jim that we meet. None of us knew just how important that introduction would be years later after Jim had passed away, when Vincent became my co-laborer in YLI and one of my closest friends. Vincent is also one of the most effective developers of leaders I have ever known.
Twenty years later, Vincent and I show the predictable signs of aging! This past June, we held the memorial service for Naomi Awuni, our dear friend and Coach. Afterward the service, Vincent, Jonah Manyan (who Jim also introduced me to in 2002), and I were lounging like in my room. We were the old guys. On the floor below, the younger Interns and Coaches were making noise and goofing off the way we used to do. We used to be the young leaders. Those days are gone, but I was reminded that YLI is still young.
Discipleship is the only investment that will never perish. Discipleship just keeps reproducing life.
YLI is 20 years old, but showing no signs of age because it’s not about YLI the organization. Anything we buy, build or grow eventually fades, even from memory. There will probably even come a time when no one alive on earth will know that an Ash Zook, Vincent Asamoah, Jim Moye, or Young Leaders International ever existed, yet the work that any of us put into intentionally investing in discipling young people will never fade away.