Barry St. Clair - Founder/ CEO Reach Out Youth Solutions
I served as a youth pastor for fifteen years in California during which I was an Imperial County and then Orange County leader of the National Network of Youth Ministries. I founded an organization in Ukraine that has been coaching churches in youth ministry for the last twenty years during which I have had a role in coaching over one hundred churches. My wife has been the youth pastor at Church of the Living God in Uzhgorod, Ukraine, for the last ten years and I have been her mentor.
As a youth pastor I led several short term mission trips with teenagers and families to Mexico over ten years during which time we founded a church near Mexicali.
My minor in seminary was missions.
As founder of International Teams, which I served a year as President, we have mobilized over 100 Ukrainian missionaries to 11 countries. Currently I teach at our missionary training school.
I was raised in a Christian family. My parents started a church in Chicago with three other families (I would briefly serve there as youth director while attending Moody Bible Institute). I always felt the call to be a missionary and loved my work as a youth pastor. God brought both of those desires together in 1997 when I went to Ukraine with Reach Out Youth Solutions (ROYS) to launch their youth ministry work there. Within a year ROYS had partnered with International Teams US which has been my employer since. I founded Ruka Dopomogy (Helping Hands) in Ukraine for the purpose of coaching Ukrainian churches in youth ministry and turned it over to Ukrainian leadership in 2005 (although I continue to coach churches under their leadership).
In 2006 I co-founded International Teams Ukraine. I served as President for a few years, served on the board of directors, and continue to teach at our missionary training school in Ternopil. During that time we trained and mobilized over a hundred missionaries to eleven countries - India, Israel, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Portugal, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
In 2012 I became a Community Transformation Director with International Teams US whose task is to develop a community ministry where no one is invisible and everyone has access to food, freedom and forgiveness. I have brought together 34 local churches and Christian organizations and serve as the leader of the Transform Uzhgorod Alliance. In addition, I lead four ministry teams - Orphan, Roma, University Students, and Victims of War.
The orphan team is made up of over 65 volunteers from several local churches that hold abandoned babies everyday at the Children's Hospital, minister to the toddlers as they are transferred to Svalyava and then as children to Chynadievo orphanages. We have also started a Life Skill training program for the older orphans in Chaslivtsi in partnership with Ukraine Without Orphans.
The Roma Outreach team ministers to the 5000 Roma that live in the five camps within Uzhgorod. We have provided clean drinking water, removed the piles of trash in the camps, repaired the roads to allow ambulance access, provided water to the local polyclinic, and installed storm windows in the school. All of these projects were done through the three Roma churches we have partnered with. They have seen their churches double in size since we started these community transformation projects. We do not separate compassion from mission, because Jesus never did.
Uzhgorod is a university town with nearly 20% of the population being students. We opened a university cafe to build relationships and share Christ with university students. Over 1200 Indian medical students study in Uzhgorod who are mostly Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim. We have built a team of Christian Indian students and lead an English-language fellowship.
Our newest ministry is to Victims of War as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have helped refugee families find housing and employment. We serve several refugee families that attend our lead church. We also collect and distribute humanitarian aid to families of wounded soldiers. We hold summer and winter camps for refugee children and children of wounded soldiers.