STATEMENT
10/31/03

Twenty years ago, a young man with a huge vision approached us about publishing books and resources for youth ministers. He knew little about publishing, but Mike Yaconelli's passion for the church impressed us so much that we began a partnership that has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Along the way, Mike became more than a business partner and a best-selling author. He became a friend. A member of the family.

Like so many of you who have been touched by Mike's generous heart for ministry, we are deeply saddened at his death. Yet in the midst of tears, there has been laughter as we recount the lively and colorful way Mike prodded us all to keep our priorities straight and follow our Saviour wherever He leads.

Mike's legacy will live on through the pages of his books, through the fond memories of his provocative messages, but more important through the thousands of lives he influenced. For despite the countless challenges of leading a dynamic ministry, Mike was never too busy to come alongside a discouraged youth pastor, a troubled teenager, or a seasoned veteran in publishing and offer encouragement. He loved to remind us his life was a mess, but it was a beautiful mess that he offered to God to use as he saw fit.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Karla and the family as well as to our friends at Youth Specialties.

Thank you, Mike. We miss you.

Bruce Ryskamp
President and CEO
Zondervan