Africa has a youthful population, with the median age in Africa at 19 years. Through the children and youth mentorship program, PA equips pastors and church leaders for effective ministry amongst the young generation.
The church leadership from Minimini in Mulanje District of Southern Malawi recently testified about the past challenges that they had experienced with youth in their churches and villages as a whole. There had been a huge relational gap between them and the youth and this was posing a threat to the continuity of the church. The young people did not take part in activities of the church because they feel left out in consultations and that their needs were not being met. This also translated in the family level, where the church leaders were not taking the time to equip the parents to raise their children in a godly manner. The consequences were evident, where many indulged in immoral behavior and lost a sense of direction. The leaders even testified that some youths ended up in early marriages and others dropped out of school because they could not get the right counsel even though their parents were well respected church members.
Pastor Khauka, who has partnered with PA for five years and lives in the neighboring village, was saddened by the state of affairs in Minimini. From the training that he has received from PA over the years, he took the challenge of training the pastors and church leaders from Minimini on effective youth mentorship and the practical ways of going about it given the resources and opportunities at their disposal. A group of 18 young people was formed recently and the numbers are growing by the day. The pastors have taken up the responsibility of discipling them and they have regular meetings where they study the Word of God together, discuss issues affecting them and pray.
As a way of being responsible in their community, they have so far planted 2000 cedar tree seedlings in Mulanje mountain which has undergone heavy deforestation over the years. They have sought partnership from the Forestry Department in the area. As a result of lessons that they are learning in economic empowerment, the youth discovered the forest in the mountain is a potential source of income generation through beekeeping. Currently, they have 33 beehives and they have begun selling raw honey in the local market. The income they are getting is helping them to set up a savings pool which they plan to grow and be able to access capital for personal projects. This kind of eco-friendly business is challenging the community members to explore ways of taking advantage of forest resources without degrading it for future generations.
The youth group of Minimini is excited at what the future holds and they are looking forward to recruiting more young people from the churches and surrounding villages. They are grateful to Pastor Khauka and their church leaders for taking up the challenge of mentoring them.