(FALLS CHURCH, VIRGINIA – February 4, 2021)
In response to the substantial regional growth of the Horizons Children and Youth Ministry Training Initiative, the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is pleased to announce the addition of three team members. Koffi Soké Kpomgbe will serve as Area Director for BWA Horizons Africa, and Baptist John Jaya Prakash will serve as Area Director for India (Telangana Region). Aruna Priya will assist on a global scale in the role of BWA Horizons Registrar and Administration Support.
Through the financial partnership of generous supporters, Horizons is offered at no cost and guides participants through 24 modules that address both practical and theological facets of children and youth ministry leadership. A new multilingual, mobile-optimized website was launched in 2020, enabling participants to receive training on their mobile device and in numerous languages. This greatly enhanced accessibility and resulted in significant numerical growth and expanded global reach. Recognizing that demand was rising, BMS World Mission entered into a five-year partnership with the BWA to invest in establishing regional leaders in two of the fastest-growing areas.
“It has been so exciting to see how God is growing this ministry and raising up leaders to help us respond at this crucial time,” said Jeff Carter, Director of BWA Horizons. “Through our online platform and the addition of these incredible team members, we are positioned to keep the work moving forward and adjust to the rapidly changing needs of this digital age and evolving culture. Our BWA team is especially grateful to BMS World Mission for their intentional partnership to help make this acceleration a reality.”
Kpomgbe’s long history of involvement in Baptist ministries at the local, national, regional, and global level make him a natural fit for his new role. He is the immediate past President of the All Africa Baptist Youth Fellowship (2012-2017) and served as Youth National Director for the Togo Baptist Convention from 2006-2010. Recognized as a member of the BWA’s Emerging Leaders Network (2007-2010), Koffi is an accredited translator and interpreter (French, English, and German) and has been serving the global Baptist family for nearly two decades with his linguistic skills. His passion for the Gospel has led to preaching and teaching opportunities on four continents.
“Horizons is well-designed, easy to access, and is overall a great life-transforming tool. This is exactly what our generation needs,” said Kpomgbe. “There is no doubt that this training is God’s answered prayer for youth and children’s ministers in our churches and beyond.”
With Horizons enrollment rising steadily in the Telangana region of India, Prakash will provide direction for ministry in this key location. He brings a wealth of experience to his new role with a background serving both in multinational companies and within the local church as a worship leader and youth minister. Drawing from his skills in graphic design and content development, he will also help develop Horizon’s social media presence and build awareness about the ministry. Having utilized the training within his own youth ministry, he is passionate about sharing the resource with others and coordinating the translation of content into Telugu.
“Horizons has taken my youth leadership understanding to a whole new level. I have learned the importance of being an understanding and effective mentor to the youth in my church and community,” said Prakash. “The whole program is perfectly designed to teach youth leaders the various facets of youth ministry and how to rightly influence youth for Jesus Christ. Through Horizons, I pray that more and more young people will be mentored to better understand themselves, the Gospel, and how they can commit their lives to Jesus Christ.”
Through her work as Registrar, Priya will be instrumental to Horizon’s global expansion. Having completed the program herself, she has seen the benefit of the training and its impact on her spiritual journey.
“It’s been a blessing and a privilege to be a part of the Horizons training program,’ said Priya. “It has been self-interrogative, which helped me prune myself in many ways. I learned about different facets of a young person’s life, the challenges they face, and how to handle them. At the outset, I also learned that I have to make a difference in the life of people one person at a time as Christ did.”
To learn more about Horizons, visit BWAHorizons.org.