Dear Friends and Partners,
The ministry of YouthReach International is as effective as it’s ever been. That is a good thing because the opportunities before us are greater than they have ever been. Along those same lines the challenges are also real and at an all time high.
It is with these thoughts in mind that I write you to let you know of a necessary but painful reorganization decision our Board of Directors has recently come to. In order to place the ministry of YouthReach International in a more healthy financial position and ensure our much needed services continue long term, it has been decided that David Hennessey will be released from the staff of this ministry at year’s end. With only 3 U.S. staff members, this was no easy call. The decision was made to move forward with those most directly involved with mentor development and orphan mentoring activities.
David has served this ministry with passion and focus since joining it in 2005 and his impact cannot be understated. Along with his wife Lisa and their now 5 daughters, he has modeled a love for orphans that we all would do well to emulate. It’s with great appreciation and no small amount of sadness that we bless David and his family to continue to serve the Lord in whatever way He leads them. In so many ways YouthReach International has been blessed by his service and his leadership and in so many ways we wish only God’s best for him and his family as they move forward.
As the newly appointed Executive Director, I stand humbly on the foundation that both Greg Perry and David Hennessey built before me. I am still committed to seeing our work deepen and develop in Russia. My visionary and strategic leadership will continue there as it has the last 6 years though I do it now with a strong team of Russian men and women who are capable and committed to lasting impact in their country. I look forward to assisting Tony Morrow and Arthur Kazaryan in our Ukrainian field in ways that assure ongoing, long term effectiveness. Of course, there is much to do here in the US as well to build a partner base that will continue to grow through these challenging times. I am confident that our volunteer team leaders from all over the United States will continue their sacrificial service to their teams, the in country mentors and of course their Lord as they recruit, train and take their teams to the mission field this winter, spring and summer.
Please join with me in thanking the Hennessey family for their service and also praying for their family as they discern this next phase of life. They are gifted, passionate people and we know God’s desires for them are only good. David’s letter is below.
With continued thanks to you for your friendship, partnership and support, I am,
9 years ago my family was lead by the Lord on a journey of faith to a land far away to share Jesus’ love with kids in Siberia. Since that time, He has given us guidance and provision, called me to leave my secular career and enter the world of ministry, allowed us to serve in various capacities in missions, increased our influence to include other countries, introduced us to dear friends around the world, blessed us with a Russian daughter, and called us to fulfill James 1:27 and serve orphans. These years have been a huge blessing to me and my family, and we’ve watched our girls grow up witnessing firsthand what it means to sacrifice, love, bless, comfort, and serve. It has warmed my heart to know that some have already chosen, and others are considering, to live their lives dedicated to missions serving orphans.
Unfortunately, the current economic crisis has taken a toll on individuals, churches, and nonprofit ministries. YouthReach International has experienced challenges in finding sufficient resources to continue unscathed. In order to ensure continued ministry to the orphans we love so dear, YouthReach is restructuring, eliminating some management and administrative costs, and I am no longer on staff.
My heart continues to love this ministry, the staff we’ve lead, the mentors we’ve developed, the orphans we’ve served, and the volunteers we’ve coordinated. We will forever be joined with each of these in His Spirit, and in our hearts for making a difference in the lives of the fatherless.
Your friendships are so very dear to us. I want to personally thank each of you for your dedication and hard work in making this ministry what it is today. My prayers will be with each of you as you develop it into what the Lord has for it in the future. While I will not be working alongside you, I will cheer you on as you go forward.
Please pray for me and my family, as we seek the Lord’s will for us, find a new place to serve in the Kingdom, and move on to the next season of life. I’ll be honest – it’s a little scary right now to be looking for a job, but I’m sure He has something in mind for us. My initial goal would be to continue in full-time service to orphans, but we’ll see what He provides. We know from our experience over the last 9 years that He will provide, lead, guide, call, introduce, and allow us to serve Him.
We love all of you, and invite you to stay in touch. You can reach me at my new email – email@example.com, or call me at 678-304-7618.
Yours in Christ,
David, Lisa, Kristen, Sasha, Erin, Lauren, and Meghan