New Frontiers — Young Life Africa/Middle East 2022 Impact Report

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Hello & Welcome

Dear friends,

What a difference a year makes! As the world has learned to manage Covid-19, countries have opened back up, in-person meetings are happening, and camping is back! From the very beginning, the Young Life ministry in Africa and the Middle East has been dreaming. We dreamed of bringing Jesus to teens in Africa, we dreamed of Africa being led by Africans (and as we got to include the Middle East in our group, having people from the Middle East lead there). We have since dreamed of adding more women to our leadership teams and of expanding ministry into more countries.

The four geographies of Young Life Africa and the Middle East are dreaming of new frontiers, of moving from where we are now to places like Chad and Sudan in the East, Angola, Namibia, and Lesotho in the South; Guinea, Togo, Niger, and Benin in the West, and Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt in North Africa and the Middle East. We have a dream of serving and being served by 60,000 volunteer leaders in the next seven years, which would mean that we would know five million individual kids by their names.

The numbers you see in this report are impressive. Even so, they mean little without the stories behind those statistics. These numbers speak loudly of thousands of teens in Africa and the Middle East discovering the love of Jesus through relationships with dedicated volunteers who don’t give up. Ministry has taken root in places like Burkina Faso and Congo Brazzaville. Women have taken positions of senior leadership and are calling other women to higher positions, a countercultural phenomenon. We have an ever-growing number of volunteer leaders making a difference in the lives of teens in their own communities. And we are raising money in local areas, spreading the Good News of Jesus by inviting others to participate with us through their generosity.

To say that we are grateful to you is an understatement. You have continued to pray, to give, and to love us and our staff as we have gone forward through such a hard time. And together, together, or as we say, “pamoja, pamoja,” teens and families in Africa and the Middle East will continue to encounter the God who loves them through Jesus Christ, and their lives will change for eternity. Thank you.

With joy and thanksgiving,

James Mungai Kamau

Vice President - Africa West

Martin Wamalwa

Vice President - Africa East

Alexis Kwamy

Vice President - Africa South

May the God of hope fill you withRomans 15:13

joy. 5
OUR MISSION is to introduce young people to Jesus Christ and help them grow in their faith.
OUR VISION is simple: to make disciples, one kid at a time.
As the Lord continues to uphold us, we will not stop until every kid across Africa and the Middle East has heard the gospel!



Our model of raising up disciple-making volunteer leaders allows us to multiply our impact. The exponential impact of this model that starts with one staff member is eternal.


We go nowhere unless our leaders go first. They meet kids where they are, as they are, and care for them with the love of Jesus Christ, changing the trajectory of their lives forever.

we are reaching every type of kid in every city, village and neighborhood imaginable.







Horn of Africa

Uganda Ethiopia
Moges Berassa Vice President Africa East Fresalem Assefa Hirut Berassa Wondemenh Baye Monika Demissie Tizita Nigussie Matilda Kiumba Faith Kalekye Julia Wambui Richard Odongo Samuel Karago Belindah Oyugi Mwamuye Cathy Athieno Catherine Odongo Nancy Chebet Keter Stephen Oduor Augustine Okudel Lawrence Erotu Mustafa Eunice Nalunkuma Stella Ajuki Yacin Kenya Jamila Wangui Leadership Team
Simon Okiria

EAST Frontiers


Shaheen, a student from Khartoum, Sudan, is one of the first teenagers to be involved with Young Life here and to have her life change as a result. Shaheen was not initially interested in God at all. Church was boring and it seemed like no one really paid attention to what was being said. Shaheen always asked to stay home rather than joining her family for a service.

When Shaheen met Young Life leader James Shabak, he invited her to club. It was so different from what she expected! She felt recognized and appreciated. As leaders shared the love of Jesus, a desire to attend Church began to grow in Shaheen. She realized that she belongs in God’s family, and is now helping to lead during club and also loves being at her Church! Her parents are thrilled and have become advocates of Young Life. The love of Jesus has touched an entire community as it changed Shaheen.



Mozambique RwandaMalawi

Democratic Republic of the Congo Tanzania


Zambia Pascal Mweze Jerome Byamungu Eugenio Balance George Bataringaya Constantino Mtweve Banji Simasiku Sharon Intauno Alexis Kwamy Limukani “Lims” Sibande Bhekhimpilo Ncube Diana Nkhoma Zein Tembo Chimwemwe Siyabu Vice President Africa South Vianney Ndayishimiye
Lisa James Nagu
Joseph Liyandza Mnisi South Africa Leadership Team
Pierre De Jager

Congo Brazzaville SOUTH Frontiers

The two closest capital cities in the world are Brazzaville, which is the capital of Congo Brazzaville, and Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Just a short ferry ride separates the two cities. Young Life ministry there has just begun.

A Young Life leader named Romane met a kid named Glody on the street and invited him to club. It seemed like Glody was having a great time. He asked to borrow Romane’s phone. That’s when he left. It turns out, Glody was living on the street and had no income, so he stole his new friend’s phone in order to eat. Romane’s response was to pray for his young friend. God answered that prayer a week later - Glody returned the phone and asked for forgiveness. A thief wasn’t who he wanted to be. Now their relationship has grown into one of discipleship and shared lives. Glody is involved in Campaigners, where he studies the Bible with Romane by his side.





Sierra Leone Ghana Pascal Boidy James Kamau Vice President Africa West Mali Stephen Dushie Ethel D. Andrews Yvonne P. Morlu Zinnah M. Yallah Paul Kangar Rancy Barsaye Yancy Dixon Jokebed Coulibaly Josias Thera Assiata Samake (Deborah) Stephen John Patrick Lavahun Antoine Gomis Côte d’Ivoire Liberia Nigeria Senegal Morris D. Bowreh Zubah Morlu Tiowa Diara Elsie Karlie Agnes Koroma Matilda Kamara Prince J. Musa
Leadership Team

Burkina Faso WEST Frontiers

Eva started a relationship with Jesus through her friendship with her Young Life leader. She began attending church along with her friends who had also met Christ. The father of one of those friends became so angry that he threatened to kill his daughter for becoming a Christian. In order to defuse the situation, Eva and her friends started meeting together outside of Church to study the Bible. They have been growing and are now grounded in the Word of God.

When Papa Poules began his work with Young Life, he had a vision to show people that they are valuable. When he first started training leaders in Burkina Faso, the women in the area assumed the men were the ones to be trained, and worked hard to free them up to join that training. Instead, Papa Poules asked to train the women. Jokebed, a staff woman in Mali, was one of these women. “I couldn’t understand his motivation. And it was when I got back home, I realized that what he was willing to show women that they are more than what the population says they are.” This act of choosing to train women first was surprising and countercultural, and reflects the heart of God for all His children.


Middle East

North Africa

North Africa JordanMiddle EastFrontiers

The first Young Life camp ever to be held in the country of Jordan came at an awkward time for Omar. Camp fell only a few weeks after Omar’s father passed away, and in the days leading up to camp, he felt lost and lonely and hopeless.

In Middle Eastern culture there is typically a 40-day mourning period after the loss of a loved one. It is often seen as unacceptable to do anything fun or life-giving during that time. Even though Young Life camp is all of those things, Omar’s Young Life leaders felt like they needed to encourage him and the rest of his family, because camp was exactly what he needed. He went and his life was changed forever.

Not only did Omar hear about God as a loving Father for the first time, but he saw the caring, attentive nature of God as father in the male leaders that welcomed and embraced him.

He heard it in the words and life of Yousef, who traveled from the Palestinian Territory to be the camp speaker. As Yousef spoke about the love of Christ, Omar’s broken heart began to mend. By the time he left camp, his hopelessness had been replaced by hope expressed in his desire to walk in relationship with God the Father.

Now Omar is back in the capital city of Amman, where Young Life is gaining a foothold and developing quickly into a regular, rhythmic ministry. Omar remarked that even though he desperately misses his father, he feels a big brother/fatherly presence in the male Young Life leaders around him. He can’t wait for the next club and is already dreaming about going back to camp in 2023!

Yousef Khalil Dan Barnett MIDDLE
Team 20


Young Life leaders and staff in Africa and the Middle East know over one million kids by name whom they have prayed for and cared for with the love of Jesus Christ.

There are 245 regional team members.

We raised $300,000 of our one million dollar goal indigenously from Africa and the Middle East.

There are 14,879 volunteer leaders.

Local ministry support in Africa and the Middle East comes in many shapes and forms. Communities cook meals for leaders and work together to gather supplies for camp. Churches and businesses provide places to meet. Although not always measurable in traditional ways, these gifts are the very heart of ministry, the widow’s mite that pleases Jesus in its extravagant generosity.



132Women are now on staff for Young Life Africa and Middle East.

Over the last 10 years, the number of women on staff has grown from 4 to 132! Each of these women are trained and discipled by women who have gone before them. They are fully equipped to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a lost world and to be a leader of leaders while they do so. Women serving in a position of leadership in Africa and the Middle East is countercultural, so training and growing our base of women on staff and in leadership positions is vital to our success.

Women’s Leadership Accelerator

is a program where women on staff can learn, grow, and dream of a hope-filled future for the neighborhoods and villages in which they minister.

The cohort beginning in 2022 includes women from 14 different countries in Africa, the Middle East, and India. For 18 months, a team of 4 experienced trainers leads and shapes them. These women will develop their calling to leadership within their career, growing personally and professionally along the way. Because of this work, the number of kids who will have the opportunity to know Jesus and grow in their faith will continue to increase.

Ashley Ruckman Cameron Wedekind Emilie Schreiber Erik Hofmann Harrison Steedman Hunter Lambeth Kathy Conner Kendall Myette Kent Reinhardt Lauren Edens Lauri Lambeth Matt Craig Matt Ward Morgan Dermott Nick Bruner Tina Atkinson
Candace Grisdale Director of Development Beth Toy Communications Coordinator
Stephanie Barnett

STEPS TOWARDS African Leadership

Three-Legged Stool

The three-legged stool is an operations model that includes field staff, a bookkeeper, and a logistics coordinator. The name is derived from the three-legged stool found in many African societies. The legs of the stool represent power, stability, and harmony. We have set the structure up at every level and the positions are filled by local people. We have also created the position of operational coordinator, which serves in each geography to help achieve the vice presidents’ goals. Finally, we have three in-country communications specialists who find and report the stories of what God is doing in the lives of teens in Africa. The stories of Africa and the Middle East are being told by those who are closest to the work. This represents a monumental and important change in how we operate.

Chimwemwe and Faith are two parts of the three-legged stool in Malawi.


Three-legged stool collaborating in Mali.

Nkosi Steve Dyan
Larmey Director of Women’s Leadership Initiative and YoungLives
Gideon Khamala Director of Accounting and Finance

Thank you!

Because of you, kids know the love of Christ. They are growing in their faith and becoming leaders who are impacting their communties for generations to come. Through your partnership, the gospel continues to spread across borders and throughout countries, reaching kids of every tribe, tongue, and nation. Thank you for being a tangible reminder of God’s endless provision as we bring the Kingdom of God to Africa and the Middle East. In Christ, Young Life Africa and the Middle East Team

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