Hello, I’m Lyonel Gabriel. I was born in Gonaives— the second largest city in the country of Haiti. Haiti is a beautiful nation with a rich history. It was the first black republic in the world and the first country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery entirely. However, Haiti has gone through some very default times the past few decades. Once known as the Pearl of the Antilles, it is now an extremely poor island nation. Because of the economic instabilities, my parent's, brother, and I moved to New York City when I was three. I grew up in the Bronx where beauty and hatred seem to be best friends. In a moment, you can see a happy father walking his daughter to the park, and in the next moment, you are witnessing a gang fight.
I’m a student at Summit International School of Ministry. Summit has a partnership with YFC where every year summit students come to YFC three times a week to minister to the kids in their programs. This past year, God gave me the opportunity to be one of the lucky few who went to minister at YFC. Throughout this year I really fell in love with the youth, and the thought of leaving them for the summer started to burden my heart. I didn't want to put the relationships that were forged on a four-month break. So, I began to pray to the Father. Within a few hours of my prayer, the Lord answered me when Ajay, asked if I would be interested in being a YFC intern for the summer. I saw the Lord’s hand moving, and I quickly said yes.
This internship is an opportunity of a lifetime. I get to minister to youth that I absolutely love. They come from the same inner city background that I do; they understand me, as I understand them. I get to see the Lord move in their lives. It is the most amazing thing to see a life change right before your eyes. There was this one young man at YFC who frequently misbehaved, and it seemed like no one could ever get through to him. But one day, the Lord surprised me, and he broke down in our small group, and told us how he witnessed the murder of someone whom he loved as a small child. God started to do a work in that young man's life, and he has never been the same since. Words cannot explain what goes in my heart when I experience stories like this.
Being an intern at YFC also allows me to learn the ins and outs of youth ministry. I get to sit in on some very important meetings. I get to see how things work from behind the scenes. Jerry, is not just interested in us working for YFC, he also wants us to learn, grow and take all that we can from the experience. We are not treated as interns; we are staff and more importantly YFC family.
To learn more about our interns our volunteer opportunities at YFC® email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-272-5106 x304.