Adolescents usually referred to as teenagers, are defined by the United Nations as people within the ages of 10-19, their numbers currently reaching 1.2 billion as of October 2019, making 16 percent of the world’s population. Out of those 1.2 billion, 226 million teens are found in Africa, approximately 20 percent of all teens found in the world. Those 226 million teens then go on and make up one-fifth of the African population.
As the target group of Olivet Teen Mission (OTM), teens play an important role in the Kingdom of God, with their youth, their energy, their pureness, and their potential, they are essentially an unharvested mine waiting to be tapped into. Because of this, Africa holds much promise for being a strong participant in the Kingdom of God, if much teens are able to be evangelized and brought to the truth.
Some common physical issues that are faced by African teens are the lack of living resources, lack of health awareness/facility, and instabilities in environment. In addition to these, there are also moral issues such as inaccessibility to education, early marriages, child labor, harmful primitive traditions, and more. All these problems stand in the way of the Church evangelizing the teens, as the reality and need to survive may be greatly valued over the spiritual life, which can be easily seen as unrealistic, and at certain times, a fraud. Through offering practical aids it is more likely that the people would accept spiritual aid offered.
There is much potential in African teens, only if they are able to receive the proper care and attention they need. May OTM be used by God to evangelize and raise the African youth with the Gospel.
Written by Amy Li