News & Media

October 2012 Bello Connection via Facebook

Exciting Report from BE THE DIFFERENCE Youth Conference in October 2012
We hosted a Regional Youth Conference, “Be the Difference” (Se La Diferencia), in the South Region of the Dominican Republic on October 5-7. Our “BIG” goal pre-event was that we would have 300 in attendance, but we were more sure about a 225 or so attendance. What actually happened was that we had 386 students and leaders attend from 31 different churches!!! It was amazing! Before, during and after conference the enemy fought hard -- with a roll over car accident, but our staff walked away without a scratch; with extreme power outages, but God provided and we generator powered up the entire university facility with a GLOW over the city and then God brought the power back ON when He said enough was enough! God was VICTORIOUS throughout!! The first night we gave out 48 Bibles and new believer follow-up guides to students who made a first time commitment to Christ, or who rededicated their lives to him and did not have a Bible of their own. One gal posted a message to us on Facebook about how God made the difference in her by forgiving her and now she lives happy and at peace! Another gal posted about two friends who attended: a non-Christian friend who came home to share that she had never felt so much joy and had so much fun and the other friend said that one of the workshops' material dealt with the exact kind of situation she is in the midst of and helped to reinforce the choice she knew she should make (I’m sure it had to do with making a decision to live in purity!) Several other students and leaders posted about loving it, and how they will Be the Difference in their communities and families.

Many of these 31 churches do not have formal teen ministry established in their local church, nor do they have trained leaders dedicated to be in charge of the local church teen ministry. We held a mini leadership summit on last day (while the students were involved in arts and talents clinics – options from jewelry making, soccer, advanced piano, video editing, guitar, balloon animals, sign language, etc.) All of the leaders who attended youth conference with students attended the leadership summit, but additional leaders from those churches also came just for that day. There were 64 leaders at the summit, and 46 of these leaders signed up to be part of the mentoring groups that we will be starting in January. These mentoring groups will last 1 year, in which we will come alongside these leaders and help them form an official teen ministry in the church and make and implement a plan to win, build and send students effectively. We were planning on starting two mentoring groups (1 each in two different cities), but from the response we’ve had, we may need to start 4 groups (1 each in 4 different cities!)

All in all – youth conference and leader summit were a huge success. And we are excited about the ministry to come this next year in training leaders to work effectively with their students and communities. THANKS for partnering with us to make this possible! And THANKS to all the teams from the NWMN and beyond who came this summer and helped us "plant the seeds" for the conference and involvement of these churches by serving their communities in outreaches and service projects! YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE! THANKS Faith Family Church in Milton who helped us host the actual conference. Pastor Greg was a dynamic preacher and encouraged everyone there!

Jamie Bello

Missionary to Youth in the Dominican Republic