Teen boot camps in Africa are preparing future missionaries

By December 13, 2005

Africa (MNN) — 10 boot camps in sub-Saharan Africa are taking place right now, training young people for ministry. These boot camps could have an incredible impact on evangelism.

Teen Missions International’s Bob Bland says this program may not be what you think. “They are national teens from their countries. We’re in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique, Uganda and Tanzania. These are young people who are trained and then they go out and do projects in their own country.”

The projects include building, orphanage work, agriculture, evangelism and other types of outreach. Bland says there are currently about 2,000 young people out sharing their faith in that region of the world right now.

According to Bland, this kind of training is important for the future of evangelism. He says many go into full time missionary service. “We have on the staff of Teen Missions International ourselves, 175 of them, as full time missionaries. The good part about it is they already know the language. They already know the culture. They’re able to live in the area where the people are.”

It costs about $240 to sponsor a boot camp teen. The situation is a bit desperate. “The American dollar was devalued 20-percent and whether that was legitimate or not that’s what the government has done. And so, suddenly the staff that (are) running the boot camps there now (have) 20-percent less money than they had before, just the day before.”

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