Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Year End Giving


Let's be up-front:

There are a  lot of voices crying out for your generosity at this time of year.  You can't respond to them all.  We want you to know we understand.  And we are deeply grateful for the ways you have supported us.  Because of you, we have seen the Lord impact the lives of youth and families around the world.  



By God's grace, we just received a$10,000 CHALLENGE GRANT to launch our ministry into 2011. Our prayer is that you and others like you will respond by helping us raise an additional $10,000 to meet this challenge.  



Will you consider a year end gift to help us meet our goal?  

Think of it this way: any gift you give is in essence DOUBLED!  Giving $25 is like giving $50, giving $100 is like $200, giving $1000 becomes $2000.  Your year end gift is tax deductible and will help us launch new ministries, respond to needs, and create opportunities to touch the lives of young people around the world with the love of Jesus.  


Happy New Year!



In His Grip,

Eric & Rebecca

How can I give?

The easiest way to give is by going to our website and clicking "donate", then click on the Larsen's at

http://www.gyfm.org
Or you can send your check (with "Larsen support account #29256" on the memo line) to:


Mission to the World

PO Box 116284
Atlanta, GA 30368-6284

ph. 1-866-8373-6133



May God richly bless you in the New Year!

How can I keep in touch?


cell: 314.397.1197


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mary's Prayer


from generation to generation
Mary sings in response to the news that she will bear the Messiah: "the mighty
one has done great things for me--holy is his name. His mercy extends to those
who fear him, from generation to generation." Luke 1:49-50

He is mighty!  He has done great things!  His mercy extends to the next
generation!  Thank you for partnering with us in reaching the nations and the
next generation with the good news of our Savior's birth, life, death and
resurrection.  Together we've seen him do great things this year...

great things he has done in 2010

     * he has touched the lives of more than 100 MKs & mission families:
       providing counseling, small group discussion, spiritual renewal and
       practical training through our programs and relational ministry

     * he has equipped more than 100 national leaders around the world:
       providing training for next generation ministry through our GYF
       Institute sites in Asia, Europe, and the USA

     * he has raised-up new missionaries: bringing Drew & Lindsey Wilkins to
       join our team

     * he has given many a heart for the work: raising-up brothers and sisters
       to join us in prayer, participation, and financial partnership

   We rejoice with you this Christmas: "the mighty one has done great
   things--holy is his name"!

   Thank you for faithfully partnering with us this year.  Your prayers and
   encouragement, love and support have fortified and sustained us as a family
   in mission.  We are humbled and blessed to be sent by you.

   May you find assurance and fresh hope this Christmas in Mary's song: "His
   mercy extends to those who fear him--from generation to generation."  His
   mercy extends.  His love cannot be thwarted.  He will fulfill his promise:
   to you, to me, and to all his people--our people--in every nation and each
   generation.

  Merry Christmas!
   
   Eric, Rebecca, Abby, Meghan, Natalie and Emma

Would you consider a year-end gift to the Larsen's work in Global Youth and Family Ministry?
OR
  • send checks to:
Mission to the World
P.O. Box 116284 
Atlanta, GA, 30368-6284
Attention: Larsen support #29256

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Latin America Area Retreat NEWS!



We just got back from Mexico where we had the joy of leading a team of 26 youth pastors, ministering to 400 mission kids and their families from across Latin America.

There are too many stories to share and much to praise God for:

We saw kids connect with each other in the safety of small groups as fellow TCK's--sharing each other's burdens and celebrating joys... We saw redemptive relationships formed between youth leaders and MKs... We experienced sweet seasons of prayer and worship as believers connected across continents and countries... We saw kids grow through effective teaching and application of God's Word... We shared in the sorrows and struggles of those wounded in the line of fire... We saw God deliver his people from vehicle accidents, rip tides, and hurricanes... We counseled and encouraged many parents wrestling to love and lead their MKs through adolescence and the TCK experience... We saw new ministry avenues open up to speak into the lives of college and 20-something Mks and see them catch a kingdom vision...

Thanks for praying for us and partnering with us in this ministry! 

Click here for more: www.gyfm.org

With much love,

The Larsen family

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Crazy Summer!


It’s been a full Summer, to say the least!

At the tail end of May, Eric travelled to London where he spent time developing a partnership with a local church there. The church is seeking to reach out to the European youth and growing population of immigrant young people in London. He also spent time working with MTW missionaries on a strategy to better minister to our MKs across Europe.



After London, Eric traveled to Hungary to participate in the European Leadership Forum. The ELF is a grass-roots gathering of 500 conservative evangelical leaders from 50 countries across eastern and western Europe. The GYFM seeks to partner with the ELF in providing our Institute training to European leaders struggling to engage the emerging generation in their countries. Many participants expressed leaving encouraged and better equipped through what we had to offer.


In June, we travelled as a family to Harvey Cedars Bible Conference in NJ. Eric was invited to speak at Victory Jam summer camp, sharing the gospel with over 400 students from all walks of life. God also provided many opportunities for us to encourage youth pastors and their wives, and to share the vision of the GYFM. We saw the spirit work in many lives during the week and came away encouraged as a family in ministry.

In July, we travelled to Ridgehaven in NC to serve during MTW’s Re-entry conference, followed by MTW’s Summer Conference. During Re-entry, Eric and Rebecca lead the mission kids in a time of debriefing and processing through their time on the field—helping them to wrestle through cultural, emotional, and spiritual issues of transition and adjustment. Then, together with the Ridghaven staff, the GYFM lead a weeklong summer camp experience for TCK’s –involving hiking, rafting, ropes course, and swimming, as we spent time in Bible Study, singing, one-on-one counseling with the youth, and offering seminars and consulting with mission parents.

Later in July, Eric travelled to New York to serve during MTW’s Cross Cultural Mission Internship program. This time is focused on preparing new missionary families to serve cross culturally. Eric spent his time training, leading an event for new MKs, counseling mission parents, and building relationships with new missionary families in an effort to set them up for success as they go to the field.

Then in August, our Global Youth and Family Institute offered it’s third foundations training module in STL in partnership with Covenant Seminary. Through this course, leaders receive training in a variety of models and methods for engaging the emerging generation with the gospel. In fact, our GYFI is about to graduate it’s first class of 8 candidates in our certificate program. Some are headed to Africa and Europe, while others are serving in culturally diverse and unique ethnic groups within the US.

Support update: 81% Praise the Lord!

We still need $1,600 per month. It is our prayer that God would raise up…

  • 25 people to partner with us at $25/month
  • 10 people to partner with us at $50/ month
  • 5 people to partner with us at $100/ month

Would you consider increasing your giving by one of these amounts and letting us know by email?

If you have not been able to give or give regularly, would you be willing to join us at one of these amounts?

How? Go to www.gyfm.org OR

Send checks to: Mission to the World, PO Box 116284, Atlanta, GA 30368 (MEMO: Larsen Support Account 29256)

Above all, your prayers are what we need most! There is no way we could sustain without the love and prayers of God’s people surrounding us and going with us. Thank you for sending us and partnering with us as together we work toward Reaching the Nations and the Next Generation!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Check-out my interview in InVision e-magazine

Why Next Generation Ministry Matters
by Melissa Kelley

“Reaching the nations and the next generation.” That’s the mission of Global Youth and Family Ministry (GYFM), led by MTW missionaries Eric and Rebecca Larsen. GYFM provides support and care for MTW missionaries and their children—often referred to as Third Culture Kids—and ongoing training for those seeking to influence global youth culture. Following is an interview with GYFM director Eric Larsen.

Your path to youth ministry is personal. Can you talk about your own experience as a Third Culture Kid (TCK)?

I was a military brat, missionary kid, and PCA pastor’s kid. And by eighth grade, I was on my 12th move, eighth school, and third continent.

I had a really difficult transition from Australia to the U.S. after graduating from high school and moving to Covenant College. I remember sealing up my Australian belongings in a box and shoving it in the back of my closet; I stopped reading letters from my Australian friends; I changed my accent. I remember thinking, “I can’t continue to straddle multiple worlds when others can’t do that with me.”

Many years later I finally learned to make peace with that part of who I was. God helped me unpack the box again, helped me become integrated in who I am. My father always said, “You minister out of who you are.” I think that getting in touch with our own stories, as well as spiritual gifts and temperament and giftedness ... all of those things are woven together, and God’s uses those to uniquely express Himself and reveal His gospel through us.

Why are you compelled to work with Third Culture Kids? Why is it a priority for MTW?

TCKs are uniquely equipped to impact a globalizing world. We hope that as the church invests in TCK ministry, we will see an emerging generation of missional leaders raised up. Also, we want to help them learn how God has hardwired them for crossing cultures—it may be that God is weaving this into His calling on their life.

But beyond that, we think it’s important to undergird mission families by surrounding them with a web of support. Adolescence is tough enough to navigate without the compounding effects of mission service: isolation, spiritual warfare, the intensity of frontline ministry, and the challenges of growing up cross-culturally.

You’ve said that ministry to youth is more critical now than at any other time in history. Why is that so?

Reaching the next generation is a must for the church—and the church should always have that orientation. We see in the Bible that God is always reconciling generations to one another, and that the burden is on the older to reach out to the younger—not the other way around.

But several things are unique at this point in history. More and more, the church is emptying of young people. There is an exploding global youth population (by the end of this year, 50 percent of the world’s population will be under the age of 25—that’s three billion people). Also, there’s the phenomenon of the extension of adolescence around the world. Kids are thrust into adolescence earlier and earlier and are extending it later and later. Now, it’s common for that period to stretch from 10 to 30 years old.

We’re also seeing a global youth culture where kids have more in common with one another than with the adults around them. Some of the key factors causing that include media, technology, and the common experience of abandonment.

How would you like to see the church engage with youth?

One big problem is the systemic adult abandonment of kids. Adults are not engaging young people. We have to raise up an army of folks who will engage young people together, as a church. We need a community of faith to rally around kids and care for them. It’s a great opportunity for the gospel, for a church to say, “We’re going to go after these kids.” We want to equip leaders to mobilize the adult community of faith to do that, to be catalysts, to become champions of the cause, to become a resource for their local area. And we want to ground them biblically and theologically to do that work.

How does your partnership with Covenant Seminary help accomplish your goal of training others to do youth ministry?

It’s important to see youth ministry movements as integral to our church-planting efforts around the world. So we’re involved in training cross-cultural youth ministers sent as missionaries with MTW, as well as equipping and encouraging field leadership, national leaders, and indigenous churches in engaging the emerging generations in their context.

Our Global Youth and Family Institute (GYFI) is based out of Covenant Theological Seminary, which has adopted GYFI’s training modules as its curriculum for a master of arts or master of divinity concentration in global youth ministry. So, training is a key piece of our vision. We also provide training all over the world—in Nagoya, Japan, several times a year, for example, and also at an annual European leadership forum.

It’s good to see Covenant Seminary and MTW—two PCA agencies—partnering together in this effort. It results in a theologically robust program where training is grounded in practice and kingdom mission.


To learn more about Global Youth and Family Ministry, visit www.gyfm.org

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Go Global! New website for engaging the emerging generation in world mission


Missionaries know that in order to reach people with the gospel, we must be willing and able to speak their language.

The upcoming generation in our culture speaks a different “language” too, a language shaped by media sound bites, dynamic video, action-oriented extreme sports, and fast-moving technology like social networking, mobile web surfing, or texting.

We believe it is our responsibility to speak to this generation, to help them catch a vision for the world around them and begin to focus outside themselves.

In an effort to connect with them by speaking their language, MTW has created a new micro website, “Go Global,” showcasing young people who are engaging in missions. Read their comments about what God has taught them. Hear and see their stories in videos about missions and missionaries. You’ll even find a little humor if you look for it.

But, we need your help to spread the word: share it with leaders in your church’s youth ministry, post a link on Facebook, and mention it to your friends. Feel free to use your imagination.
Here's the link:http://GoGlobal.MTW.org

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Voices from Hungary

videoEric just recently returned from training a group of leaders at the European Leadership Forum in Hungary. Please take a minute to watch this short video of testimonies from participants.

The ELF brings together conservative evangelical leaders from 50 countries across Eastern and Western Europe who come together to pray and strategize in reaching their continent for Christ. Our Global Youth and Family Institute partners with the ELF by providing training, mentoring, and consulting as we seek to equip and encourage European leaders in reaching the youth in their communities. Thank you for partnering with us in reaching the nations and the next generation.

Monday, May 17, 2010

To Europe or bust!

Please pray for us over the next two weeks: I'll be in London this week working to establish a flagship GYFM work in partnership with the International Presbyterian Church of West Ealing (Francis Schaeffer's former church!) and our new GYFM Missionary, Marta Douglass! Marta will be partnering with the local church to reach and disciple local London youth (one of the most diverse cities in the world!) as well as training leaders in youth ministry and working to care for Third Culture Kids across Europe.

After a week in London, I head on to Budapest, Hungary to serve at the European Leadership Forum. The ELF is a gathering of over 500 conservative-evangelical leaders from 50 countries across Eastern and Western Europe. They come together annually to encourage one another, pray together, and strategize and train to reach their continent for Christ. While there has been training offered at the ELF in things like church planting, arts & culture, apologetics and science & culture, there has been a gaping hole re next gen ministry. We have been invited to bring our GYF Institute training, and are building towards a strategic partnership to equip and encourage many european leaders in engaging the emerging generation. Pray God uses the seminars, small groups and one-on-one mentoring/ consulting to make a Kingdom impact!

Thank you for partnering and praying with us toward the vision of reaching the nations and the next generation with the love of Jesus!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Launch! Global Youth and Family Institute: U.S. site



The Global Youth and Family Institute is the primary way we are equipping and encouraging ministers around the world to lead the church in engaging the emerging generation.

The goal is to equip missionaries, church planters, youth ministers, and lay leaders through strategic sites around the globe.

We have launched sites in Japan and Hungary, and are working on launching sites in India and Colombia. We have more invitations than we can accept!

This past month we launched our U.S. site in partnership with Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis, MO).

By God's grace, nearly 40 leaders participated in a 4 day intensive training module titled: 'Theology of Global Youth and Family Ministry'. This is the first of three "Foundations" training modules we offer through the Institute.

Students from Covenant Seminary were able to take this course through the GYFI and receive 3 credit hours toward a concentration in Global Youth and Family Ministry in the MA or MDiv degree programs. In turn, those who complete our three Foundations courses will earn a certificate from the Global Youth and Family Institute.

The three GYFI Foundations courses are:
1. Theology of Global Youth and Family Ministry
2. Global Youth Culture, Development, and Discipleship
3. Global Youth and Family Ministry Models and Methods

I was blessed and encouraged by the insights, questions and passion of those who participated. It was obvious that God was at work through the week, fueling a heart for Christ and kids.

Please pray for our second foundations training course which will be offered later this month. Ask God to use the work of the Global Youth and Family Institute to train and deploy an army of men and women who will lead the global church in reaching the nations and the next generation!