HISTORY AND BACKGROUND
In the 1980's, Teens For Christ branched off of Youth for Christ, developing its own culture, its own Mission, and Vision in the Lima area. A decade later, Buck Sutton was hired on as the Executive Director of Teens for Christ in the Lima area; because that was the only city we were in. At that time, we were running 3 chapters, 30 students, and 8 volunteers. Our numbers were small, but our dreams were definitely much bigger. We had no idea that God would take our man-sized dreams and grow them to be God-sized dreams. We dedicated ourselves to prayer, trusting God to expand our ministry to fulfill our vision statement: To develop an army to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
We thought we might be able to get into every school in Lima, and maybe in the surrounding areas, or other cities in the United States. We thought Teens for Christ could average a few thousand teens per week here in the U.S., but God's plans were MUCH bigger. We got our first call from a businessman in town who had a contact for us in Nairobi, Kenya in 2005. From that point on, the ministry started to expand overseas much more than in the U.S. Now, after adding on 7 countries, and two states in America, God is using Teens for Christ to minister to over 344,000 teenagers per week!
Teens for Christ Africa was registered in 2005 as a non-profit making religious organization registered under the Societies Act of the government of Kenya with a specific focus on reaching teenagers with the Gospel and training them on holy living as Teens for Christ Kenya. TFC Kenya started with just 10 schools/chapters and with time, we have seen the great hand of God expand the work in Kenya, then to Rwanda and Uganda. This is what informed the change of name to Teens for Christ Africa even as we look forward to getting into more Countries in Africa as the Lord leads us.
Why Reach the Young?
Over 50% of the population in Kenya consists of youth aged between 13 years and 24 years old. This age group is greatly influenced by new movements and the secular world, which has been swamped by all sought of media paraphernalia that is readily available to them. Kenya loses a great deal of teenagers to social vices such as HIV/AIDS, abortion, robbery, drug abuse and alcoholism, devil worship and occultism. This is destruction as most of the youth die from these vices without hope for eternal life in Jesus Christ. By the time the average Kenyan child graduates from High School, he/she would have watched 19,000 hours of TV including secular and sinful thought provoking shows and acts of violence especially in urban areas. This has given rise to increased incidences of rape and pornography. 48% of school children are sexually active and need guidance though most of them deny the absolute truth. Each year, several youth attempt suicide. 38% have been involved in objectionable content on the Websites and 33% have experimented with self-injury. This generation is clearly a generation in crisis and a lot of work needs to be done to save them from eternal doom.
Teens for Christ Africa comes in as a ministry that is focused on teenagers with the gospel of the Kingdom of God. Our strategy is three pronged and entails Evangelism, Discipleship and Empowerment. To save a generation from self-destruction the tool in our hands is the gospel, we use this tool by preaching in various schools all over the Country on a weekly basis so that we are able to show the teenagers the light that comes from the Word of God. Those who surrender the lives to Christ are immediately enrolled into discipleship classes so that they are helped to become committed followers of Jesus Christ therefore Soldiers in the army of Jesus Christ.
As we preach the gospel of the kingdom of God, there arises the immediate need of teenagers that we reach like girls that cannot afford sanitary towels, orphans that cannot afford basic things like soap, personal effects and even school fees. The ministry takes these issues seriously and is involved in making reusable sanitary towels that we then distribute to those that cannot afford these things under what we have called whispers of love to the girls, we have been involved in helping needy students whenever we have the resources so that the gospel is complete.
At a higher level of empowerment we are also involved on training leaders from among the teenagers so that they can have the knowledge they need to survive in this challenging world. The ministry believes that leadership is the key thing if we are to overcome poverty that grips most of the third world Countries of Africa.