Doug and Debi Tunney started the Joshua Generation program in the summer of 1995, while living in New Hampshire. The program continued as a part of YWAM Pittsburgh’s ministry when the Tunneys began this operating base in 2001. These dedicated pioneers went on to start a base in Boston, MA in the fall of 2006. Currently, JG runs here in Pittsburgh as well as Boston each summer.
Our heart has been to see the JG program expand not only in the U.S. but in other nations of the world. During a JG Pittsburgh outreach to Lima, Peru in the summer of 2005, the Lord spoke to Doug Tunney to begin running JG annually for Peruvian young people. The following year in January, during South America’s summertime, the first training began in Lima with outreaches into the city and up to the mountain regions of Huaraz. Until 2009, we invested in the youth of Peru to rise up and lead their country into the revival we believe it’s headed for. In those four years, they led 18,953 Peruvians into a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
Here, Debi describes her heart’s vision for creating JG:
“My heart was for youth. 77% of people who ever get saved do so before they are 21. The statistics are that 75% of youth that are raised in evangelical churches fall away when they are out of high school. So they need something more than what was being offered to them in most cases. Young people need to have a proven knowledge of God. They need an intimate friendship with God. They need to see the Lord work in and through their lives. In Daniel it says that the people who KNOW their God will be strong and do exploits. There is a competition between the world view of a real and living God and the world view where man is at the center.
As young people grow up, that competition is very intense with peer pressure drawing them away from their roots of belief. Pizza parties and games and social events do not keep youth. A real adventure in God where they can see Him working in them makes the difference. And real friends that will provide a social setting where they can have fellowship and work out their personal lives. Learning to work through relational challenges with parents and friends was also something that needed to be addressed. Young people needed a safe place to face the hurts of their lives and to find their identity in the Lord. JG provided an atmosphere where they could know God in a personal way, grow deep in Him, work out their heart issues, and then share that with others. They saw God come through for them, heal them, and touch others through their lives.
It was no longer a story or religion, but a relationship and it was real.”
Since that first trip in ’95 to New York and Pittsburgh, this dynamic program has been a gateway for over 1,200 participants to “know God and make Him known” and lead more than 50,000 people into a relationship with God.
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