Janary Suyat de Godoy, Asia-Pacific Regional Youth Coordinator
What motivates you to work with youth?
I love working with the youth because at their young age, they are capable of something great! Their enthusiasm and passion is invigorating to the soul, and their lives inspire hope! The thought of the younger generation sharing our message of hope while living it out is inspiring!
How many years have you been in youth ministry?
I started when I was 15 years old ... doing the math, I've been in youth ministry for 15 years. ;)
What is the best book you have read relating to youth ministry?
Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry, by Doug Fields.
What’s the best advice you can give a youth leader?
Please don't give up on a young person that is troubled, struggling, or hardheaded. Many times I have seen youth leaders kick out, ignore, humiliate, talk behind the backs of young people who are just hard to deal with. We are all on a spiritual journey, and the young people we are discipling are not "things" like those in a factory that when they don't pass a certain quality check, we just throw them away or set-aside. I believe we should show grace, love, and patience with them, just as how the Lord has been working with us each day. It will not be easy, but you could be the only reflection of love and grace that they will ever have, and that inspires change.
What’s the best advice you can give to parents of youth?
When I was young, I hated my mom with a passion (sorry, mom), because she always wanted me to make wise choices; choices I didn't want to make, and she always wanted me to learn and do things that I did not want, because I just wanted to play and hang out with my friends. Now that I have grown up, I thank my mom so much for raising me up and making sure she taught me what I needed to be ready in life. I didn't see the worth of her hard work before, but I believe her training and guidance in the way of the Lord, as well as the prayers and support of my dad, have helped me to become the person I am now. So to the parents, I know it is hard now, but don't give up! Training and discipline are the keys while they are young even though it gets hard, and like the Scripture says, when they are old they will not depart from it.
What would you like the church to know about today’s youth?
Today's youth is full of exciting opportunities! They are not just young! It is already boring when people from the church keep saying they are still young. I have seen youth ages 8-12 participate in missions, I have seen young people ages 13-15 evangelize, I have seen young people ages 16-20 take part in planting churches. I have seen young people ages 21-25 become administrative pastors. The list goes on. So when you look at a young person, and think they are young, don't forget that the Jesus has poured out his Holy Spirit to these young people who believe in Him, and with His help, they are an important part of the Kingdom!