Global Training Team

Training at General Assembly 2023What is the Global Training Team’s Directive?

To facilitate training collaboration, produce training materials and develop leaders across the Youth for Christ family

What is the Global Training Team’s Strategic Focus?

  1. Facilitate Training Collaboration between Areas and within Areas by connecting with Area Leadership Teams and national trainers to increase collaboration and the sharing of quality training materials. Cooperate with YFCI specialized teams including Young Leaders, Digital Media, Growing Generosity, Member Care, Leadership Academy and Prayer Teams to develop training when needed. Encourage inter-nation ministry model discovery and cooperation through tools such as the YFCI Training Portal.
  2. Produce Training Materials for the YFCI world; such as the Leadership Training Pathways series for National Directors and Key Staff; Coaching training, Board training, Volunteer Training and other areas of need. Create resources for the nations including online courses through Pathwright and enhance the YFCI Knowledge Base. Create Facilitated Interactive Workshops for General Assemblies and other YFCI world events. Develop future training modules including Train-the-Trainers and Middle Management modules. Translate key training materials into the 5 YFCI official languages for global use.
  3. Develop Leaders by equipping Regional Directors (RD), National Directors (ND) and key staff through training and coaching events within our Areas. Promote the activities of the GTT so nations can reach out to their Area Training Coordinator for resources and assistance.

Who are the members of the Global Training Team?

Dr. Mike Manna, Global Training Director; [email protected]

Mike lives in Columbus, Indiana, USA. Mike and his wife Judy have been serving in youth ministry for over 35 years. Mike oversees the Global Training Team and is a practicing certified coach mentor. From 2002 to 2012, Mike and Judy lived in Kyiv, Ukraine. Mike was the founder/director of the National Center for Youth Ministry at Kyiv Theological Seminary. He has taught Masters level youth ministry courses at several seminaries in Europe and Asia. Mike has his PhD in Intercultural Studies from Biola University specializing in cross-cultural contextualization. Mike and Judy have 4 grown children, including one child adopted from Ukraine, and 8 grandchildren. Mike speaks Russian and is a coffee tourist. The Manna’s have been serving with Youth for Christ since 2013.

E.J. van As, Global Training Deputy Director; [email protected]

lives with his wife of 32 years, Koekoes, in Kamieskroon, South Africa. After finishing studies in Theology, E.J. worked for a mission organisation called Sowers International. During that time, he started as a youth worker for five churches in Cape Town. In 1997 they started with YFC in Angola, then moved to Namibia and 2002 begin to re-pioneer YFC Botswana. In 2008 he became the Regional Director for Southern Africa. In 2014 he became the training Director for YFC Africa and in 2016 he also took on the position of Deputy Area Director for Africa. His passion is to see that young people in Africa are discipled into the Kingdom of God and that the staff and volunteers of YFC Africa is equipped to effectively reach the young people of Africa!

Allan Grier, EMENA Area Training Representative; [email protected]

lives in Northern Ireland. He worked in industry for 8 years before joining Youth for Christ, working first in the European Area Office (as it was then) and then YFC Northern Ireland. He left in 2007 and worked for a time with a charity for adults with learning difficulties, but in 2011 he returned to YFCI/EMENA as Regional Director for Southern Europe. In 2018 he became Regional Director for Central Europe. He also has responsibility for coordinating Coaching in the Area and is a member of the Global Training Team. His wife Wendy is a primary school teacher, and they have 2 adult daughters, Emma and Sophie.

Esther, Asia-Pacific Area Training Manager; [email protected]

Esther lives near Brisbane, Australia with her husband and 2 kids. She began her working life in the school sector working as a Language and Christian Living Teacher. She spent 5 years teaching in high schools and then in 2011 joined the YFC team in her state as the Intern Coordinator.  After this she and her family relocated to East Asia to support a Pioneering Team in that area. In 2018 the family returned to Australia and Esther took on the role as Training Manager for the Asia Pacific Area. Within this role she oversees coaching, training and some English prayer initiatives.  She is also currently the Interim Prayer Coordinator for the AP area. She feels blessed to be able to work closely with her husband, Jasen, who is also on the AP area training team and focuses on young leader development.  Esther is passionate about helping others discover who God wants them to be and support them through training, coaching and prayer.

Eliane Cohen, AmericasArea Training Representative, [email protected]g

Eliane Cohen Costa lives in Brasilia, Brazil. She is the mother of Matheus and Christian, a psychologist with a master degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and Coach certified by CoachNet Global Ministries. She is the leader of the Human Resources sectorat Youth for Christ Brazil, a member of the Global Training Team at YFCI, and the Regional Director for Portuguese-speaking countries in theAmericas Area – YFCI.

Chris Kozacek, Director of Field Ministry; [email protected]

Chris lives in Parker, Colorado, USA. He is currently the Director or Field Ministry and International Care Pastor for YFCI. He has been with YFCI for 15 years. He was a Pastor before coming to Youth for Christ. He holds a Master’s in Christian Counseling and an MDiv in Pastoral Ministry. He has been married to his wife Corrie for 18 years, and they have two children, Brennan (14) and Bailey (12). His wife Corrie was a missionary in Ghana, Africa with YFC in the late 90’s, and now works at school teaching technology, Bible and discipleship.

Josue Akowanou, Africa Area Training Coordinator, [email protected]

is based in Benin west Africa, He was Saved by Grace in 1989 in Togo and  joined YFC Ministry in 1990 in Benin as a club member. The faith journey within YFC took Him through all the stages to become National Director of Benin YFC in 2000, Regional Director for the West AFrica Francophone  in 2010 and Training Coordinator for Africa in 2023. In addition to his responsibility as Francophone Regional Director where he oversees the Ministry of 7 nations, he also ministers to Gideon (12) Isaac (17) and Glory (16) as father and to Prisca since  20 years ago as Husband. In addition to his Vet degree he holds 2 masters in Divinity and Leadership. His passion for training is to see all our volunteers, staff and Board members get the appropriate knowledge and skills that will help them to be on top of the ministry’s demand and to deliver accurate ministry content which will help to strengthen the existent and to reach the unreached young people of Africa by disciplining every young people of the continent.

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