WHEATON, IL – A group of American youth pastors were serving on our military bases in Europe when the Berlin Wall was torn down in 1989. They witnessed first-hand the hunger for truth and the hope for a better future among Eastern Europeans who had been kept under the bondage of Communism for 40 years.
That hunger for truth included an unusual openness to the Gospel.
Out of those youth pastors, three couples joined together, committing themselves to spend the next 10 years equipping and empowering local churches to construct strategic “highways” to attract young people and introduce them to Jesus Christ.
Working initially in collaboration with Sonlife Ministries and International Teams, the six were able to build the foundation and framework for what became Josiah Venture in 2001.
Their mission was to equip young disciples to evangelize the throngs of people who were still enjoying the fresh fragrance of freedom. They reckoned that if the teenage king of Israel, Josiah, could bring revival to his nation, these young people could be used of God to transform their countries.
“This is the vision of Josiah Venture, a vision for a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe that finds its home in the local church and transforms society. Our mission and calling is to equip young leaders to fulfill Christ’s commission by reaching and making disciples. More than just conversion, we want to see passionate followers of Jesus Christ, with a vision to reach and disciple their generation for Him.”
They realized that a change in government “doesn’t change the hearts of people . . . Europe’s young people have already proven they can change the course of history. Now they must change the course of eternity.”
More than 320 Bible-believers serve with Josiah Ventures in 16 different European countries. The majority of those serving are European nationals.
Josiah Ventures shares the Gospel with nearly 30,000 young people every year. Each team works in close cooperation with local churches to reach the lost and bring them to spiritual maturity. They do this through a pathway of
- Exposing young people to the Gospel.
- Evangelizing the exposed.
- Building their understanding.
- Equipping them for discipleship.
- Sending them out to lead others along the same path.
Much of the discipleship and training takes place at one of their training centers in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland. In 2019 at the center in Slovakia alone,
- 680 young people attended the annual youth conference.
- 21 students from 17 church made nine weekend mission trips into Serbia and Ukraine.
- Nearly 3,000 students from 13 schools attended the Josiah Venture high school-oriented program.
- Five choirs composed of 90 young people presented the Gospel via music at 10 concerts, four camps, and a festival.
- More than 500 students attended summer camps.
According to Josiah Ventures, “thousands of young people are putting their faith in Jesus Christ and following God with bold faith and selfless commitment. They are changing the spiritual trajectory of an entire region.”
What you have read here is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Visit the Josiah Ventures website to learn more about this amazing ministry.