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  • Writer's picturetimothy martiny

Youth Bible Study

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

In May of this year we had Luke Dove come to work with us as our Youth Pastor in Cadaniño. It was a true answer to prayer as we have desperately needed someone to go deeper with our students as they have grown from children into teenagers.

His heart for the youth, Bible knowledge, and ability to teach the Word of God in ways that the students can understand is having an incredible impact in their spiritual life and walk with God.

Over the past six months, he has done a study on the book of Mark, patiently going through it one chapter per week and challenging them to dig into the truths found in this telling of the life of Jesus.

The impact has been incredibly powerful.

Here is an accounting of what it has been like for him to teach the students, followed by comments from the staff at Cadaniño and the perspective of some students.

By Luke Dove, Cadaniño Youth Pastor

Going through this series of Mark with our students has been such a blessing. While many may have a general cultural awareness of God and Christianity, very few have spent real time in the Bible, and many don’t go to church.

Walking with them, verse by verse and chapter by chapter, was a really cool experience. The hope was that through individual reading, and our united class time, they would get to know who the person of Jesus is as they walk alongside Him.

All of them read the book more than once, some up to five or six times through. I think that’s powerful, and I am glad that our youth engage with the Word daily.

During the first class of every week, I would teach, walking through the chapter and pulling out two or three key stories or themes to expand upon, diving deeper, making connections, and having discussions.

I know that class time is important, but I have seen a great impact from the students as they dive into the Word and wrestle with it on their own.

I hope that by doing the reading every day at home, combined with what we learn in class, they will form habits of spending time with God and reading every day.

The students responded very well to the series. I challenged them to step out of their comfort zones, answer hard questions, and wrestle with difficult things. Every week we would have a time of response and reflection. I would write out questions and encourage them to answer and apply the themes of the chapter to their personal lives.

We gave them notebooks to which only the Bible teachers had access and promised that what they wrote there would stay between God and us. In the beginning, it was a challenge; many struggled to open up or think about how the things they were reading were directly applicable to them, but by the end of seventeen weeks, I could see that they had come to truly appreciate and enjoy those times of thinking and responding.

They came to see that the journals gave them a chance to talk about things they didn’t have other opportunities to talk about. They gave thoughtful, deep, personal, heartbreaking, but honest answers.

We had students open up about their struggles with self-harm, sexual abuse, feelings of anger or depression, rough family lives, doubts, and sins. Through this study, I think we have begun the long, difficult process of taking those things in our lives that we prefer to stay hidden, bringing them before God, laying them at his feet, and starting a journey of healing.

Some of the stories and questions prompted students to speak with us, and we were able to counsel and pray with them. That is what I want our youth class to be, a place where kids can find God, meet Him, spend time with Him in the Scriptures, and bring their own hurts and doubts to a community where they know they will be heard and loved.

Every few weeks, we would have one big question. They would take time to think about their response, write that answer on a small piece of cloth, and we would pray for it.

Then they would paint the writing with a specific color so that nobody could see what they wrote. It was a cool activity as it allowed them to be even more open, knowing that it would remain between them and God. We did that six times, each color correlating to the six big stories in the book of Mark.

We then sewed the cloth together and attached it to the frame of a cross we mounted on the wall.

It will serve as a visual reminder of what we learned from the book of Mark and a reference for how they poured out their heart to God through their words. It is a reminder of all they learned, how far they have come, and what it’s like to be real before God.

It was a pleasure to watch our students grow throughout the series as they left their comfort zones and ventured into what was new territory for many of them. They began to ask hard questions, learn to enjoy time in Scripture, think critically about what they were learning, and meet Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. They learned hopefully that the stories of the Bible are for them and that they have a God who loves them as His sons and daughters.

By Lilian Garcia, Coordinator, Cadaniño San Jose Pinula

Since Lucas came to work with us as the youth pastor, it has been amazing. It is the first time many of them have done such a comprehensive study of the Bible.

He challenged them to bring their fears, insecurities, and needs to Jesus. I saw that as they engaged, participated, and progressed through the class, they learned to share God’s Word better.

Having him here has also been a blessing to us teachers. We came to a better understanding of God’s Word and are learning how to teach the Gospel in a more authentic manner, which is important as we share with people in our community. It leads to lives being transformed, families strengthened, and enables the Church of God to advance.

Eduardo Lux, Coordinator, Cadaniño Santa Fe

Our youth Bible class has been a blessing to so many of the students. Not only are they learning bible verses, but it is amazing to see them taking it seriously, writing notes, sharing what they learn, and putting it into practice. It impacts their lives as they learn to pray, talk about difficult life issues from a Biblical perspective, walk in faith and not in fear, and know what it means to live for Christ and serve others.

The teachings are reflected in their attitudes. They now know that their lives belong to Christ, which helps them take a stand against the negative things surrounding them.

Many students have been victims of violence and crime, family disintegration, domestic abuse, and lost parents. I see that our youth group is helping the students learn how to avoid falling into the enemy’s temptations. Not only are the classes interesting, but having Luke Dove as our youth pastor transmitting the Word of God into the lives of our students is incredible.

Jania "I have had a beautiful experience in the Bible class. I am learning to put the teachings of Jesus into practice for my life. I learned things in the Bible that I never knew. I imagine myself in the lives of many characters in the Bible, which brings me closer to God. I love the Bible class. It helps me learn more about God and what kind of person He wants me to be."

Ronald "It is a fun environment. The way that Luke teaches the classes is always engaging. In class, I can express myself and share my thoughts. It has been a wonderful and special experience to receive the Bible classes in Cadaniño. I love praise and worship times. I learn new things from the Word of God."

Jonatan "I like the Bible classes, it helps me learn to be a better person every day, to better understand the Word of God so I can put it into practice in my daily life. I like being able to write my thoughts and learn about who God is. I find it amazing how understanding the Bible helps me to understand God. Every day in class brings me closer to Him, and it teaches me to be grateful for all that He has done for me."

John "In Bible class, I learn many things that I find applicable in my life. We talk about interesting topics like the life of Jesus and his disciples. I find that what I am taught can be applied to my life. One of the important things that I have learned is that hope in life comes only from God. That Jesus came to give His life and showed His love for all of us, no matter who we are."

Rosa "I am so thankful to God for the opportunity to be at Cadanino and participate in the Bible study on the book of Mark. I understand better how the book shares the story of Jesus. It helps me be happier and more grateful as I have a fuller understanding of what Jesus did for us, for our sins, that they were forgiven and erased and that the love of Jesus is nothing compared to anything or anyone. I have learned better what it means to love ourselves and love our neighbor. I learned that I do not have to be perfect to seek God. Even though I am young and need to learn many things, He accepts me as I am. I know that I can go forward and share the Gospel with more people, letting them know that even if we are unique or perfect, we are valuable to Jesus. I learned that Jesus really loves me, and I can trust Him."

Sheily "I am so grateful for the study on the book of Mark, it has changed my life, and I feel as if I have a new life. I understand that I am a sinner, but that He accepts me as I am. It made me want to get baptized and leave my old life behind. It motivated me to participate more in the youth project. I better understand how and why Jesus gave his life for me, that His words are magnificent, and I am not ashamed to share them.

Now I know that His word changes lives as I have experienced it with my own life. It changed my opinion about so many things. It’s amazing how God works miracles, and now I know that He gave everything for me and that He will never leave me.

I now know that He is the beginning of my life and the end. Before my moments were empty, but now I have new hope in life, and that makes me happy."

As you can see, the effects of taking time to faithfully study the Bible has had a powerful impact on the lives of our students.

The Apostle Paul said in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” The power of the Word of God to radically change hearts and minds is the reason we dedicate our lives to serve as missionaries knowing that the impact we have in the lives of those we serve will echo for eternity.


Partner with Cadaniño today and impact lives for eternity!

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