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Catholic East Texas, May 1, 2009

Kerygma Teams offer youth

additional avenue of service

By JO ANNE FLORES EMBLETON
   TYLER – Involved with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) since the early 1980s, Catholic converts Alan and Lori Harris of Lindale now hope to promote the Catholic arm of the movement through Kerygma Teams.
   “We want to visit the different deaneries to present the program and see what churches want to do something  se how they want to get involved,” Lori said. “We want to target Catholic youth in particular, because they are hungry for more of Jesus.”
   According to the Harrises’ website (http://alanandloriharris.com) Kerygma Teams “supports Catholic parishes, renewal movements, and groups active in evangelization, mercy ministries, and training in the Catholic Church” by offering “opportunities … to become involved in short and long-term cross-cultural missions projects.”
   YWAM began in  1960, when Assemblies of God preacher Loren Cunningham envisioned teenagers and young adults actively involved in global evangelization. Today the movement is comprised of approximately 17,000 fulltime Christian missionaries from different ages, nationalities and walks of life, according to the organization’s website, http://ywam.org.   When teams began ministering in countries with predominantly Catholic worshipers, they lcked the proper training to deal sensitively with them. In 1992, a group of 35 Catholic and Protestant YWAM leaders from different countries met in Dublin to address the issue. As a result, the website http://kteams.org states, the “Dublin Consultation on Evangelization in the Catholic World” laid the groundwork for what eventually became Kerygma Teams.
   Throughout the years, Alan and Lori have ministered in the United States. To train for Kerygma Teams, the couple took their three yongest children – James, Susan and John – to Pune, India for a five-week discipleship training class so they could better help implement Kerygma into the Diocese of Tyler through programs such as weekly Finding Jesus courses in parishes; promoting discipleship training schools (DTS) with short-term mission outreach; and short-term outreach and retreat opportunities for youths and youg adults.
   Prior to their visit to India, the Harrises coordinated a retreat at Pine Cove Camp in Smith County, drawing approximately 20 teens from Catholic parishes in Flint and Lindale. Recently they helped coordinate the April 24-26 Life in the Spirit conference with keynote speaker Deacon Alex Jones, a former Pentecostal minister who converted to Catholicism.