Name: Joshua Rivers
Occupation: Indigenous Liaison Officer, Youth Leader
Place of Residence: Tamworth, NSW
Tribe/Language: Goonniyandy people
Josh Rivers, 38, has a heart for the youth of Australia. He works as an Indigenous liaison officer at a government-run centre for disadvantaged youth in Tamworth, New South Wales, and serves as a youth leader at his local church. He is married with 3 sons.
The youth centre where Josh works offers a variety of social, recreational, cultural and music-based activities and events for youth. It is not a church-based setting and very few of the youth who attend are from Christian backgrounds. Many of these young people have been exposed to domestic violence, neglect and substance abuse.
Before the youth centre was established, Josh and a group of other Christians prayed over the vacant land. “We declared that this was the land of the Lord Jesus Christ and that there would be a harvest of Christian youth coming out of here, and that’s what we’re starting to see now,” said Josh.
“It’s amazing what God has been doing here. We built the foundation on prayer and many youth are coming to the Lord now. He’s been softening hearts. The Lord is starting to move in this place in such an amazing way.
“I believe that there’s a movement. It’s starting now amongst youth in Australia, especially through Indigenous youth. I’m starting to see it at various churches around the place. Young people are coming to the Lord in big numbers. We’ve seen whole classrooms come to the Lord at local high schools. God wants to establish His Kingdom and He’s doing it through the young people.
“ I just want to work with youth, speak into their lives, disciple them, show them that there’s a better way to live than what they’re living. There are hidden gifts and talents deep down inside that a lot of young people never discover in their life, unfortunately. But when they come to the Lord, those things that are dormant come alive. He draws it out of them.”
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