We at World Vision are shocked and deeply saddened at the sudden death of Mike Yaconelli, the author of several books and owner of Youth Specialties, a Christian ministry that trains and provides resources to youth workers worldwide.
Mike was a prophetic voice who, in his own unconventional way, challenged individual Christians and the church in America to examine their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ in an honest and open manner. World Vision's relationship with Mike was brief, but very powerful. His passion for helping orphans and vulnerable children, affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, sparked our collaboration on One Life Revolution, a partnership I am confident will continue despite this tragedy. He played a significant role in making AIDS a cause for thousands of young people. He once said:
One Life Revolution says to the student, "Lookyou are the church now. Not the church when you become an adult, but you are a church now. And you can take your one life and you can actually make a difference in somebody's life in Zambia or in another place in the world, and you can actually do something about this. Not just talk about it. Not just watch a video about it. Not get teary about it and cry about it. You can actually do something.
We all cannot do everything to help the poor, but each of can do something, and Mike personified that uncompromising commitment to "do something." On behalf of World Vision's 20,000 staff around the world, I want to offer our condolences to his wife Karla, their children and grandchildren, and the Youth Specialties staff.Richard Stearns