Dr. Yaw Perbi is a medical doctor by training and has practiced medicine in both his home country, Ghana, and with the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire.
He is a renowned author-publisher, a sought-after preacher, award-winning Toastmaster, inspirational teacher and life coach for scores of emerging leaders around the world (see www.yawperbi.com). Although a man of many parts his foremost passion is holistic emerging leadership development.
Yaw is the prolific and paradigm-shifting writer of numerous articles, training manuals and about 15 published books including highly recommended Financial Whizzdom, A++, Youth Power! and X-Sense. He is acknowledged by many as the “grandfather” of Investment Clubs in Ghana, having founded the premier investment club in the country, Medics Investment Club, while still a medical student. Yaw is also a co-founder of a collective investment fund for (para)medics known as Mutual Medics (M2). He holds certificates from the Ghana Stock Exchange and Investment Funds Institute of Canada. For two years he consulted for Investors Group, Canada.
As an international speaker his audiences have ranged from Pre-teens through Professionals to Presidents in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, USA, Guatemala, Hungary, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Taiwan , Japan, India, Philippines and Turkey.
Dr. Perbi has been the toast of media groups worldwide, including CNN, the National Press Club (Washington DC), VOA, CBC and BBC. He is the founder and Global CEO of an international human development NGO called The HuD Group, “engaging Hearts, enlightening Heads and empowering Hands of Emerging Leaders for global impact and God’s glory.”
A few years back Yaw was nationally recognized and honoured as the Newmont Ghana Highest Achievement Award winner by the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana. He is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
After miraculously escaping a tragic road traffic accident in 2008, he strongly sensed the LORD had saved him for a purpose beyond Medicine. In 2009 he hang up his stethoscope to fully commit himself to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and raising emerging leaders worldwide—he hasn’t turned back since.
Dr. Yaw Perbi currently resides in Montreal, Canada with his graceful wife, Anyele, and four energetic children, where he dexterously combines pastoring the Montreal Chinese Alliance Grace Church, leadership and financial consultancy, and serving as Global CEO of The HuD Group with operations in over a dozen countries. Having been inaugurated as the President of the International Student Ministries of Canada in 2013, he now has oversight of some 110 staff and 500 volunters in 34 cities across Canada. He owes all these to Christ Jesus.
Three of my ISMC co-leaders demonstrate the 'balancing act' of leadership
The idea of ‘leadership ellipse’ is perhaps the most striking leadership concept I’ve come across most recently. How in the world is one supposed to ‘balance’ the inner spiritual life and the outer demands of leadership and tame tensions like being in the world but not of it, faithfulness and fruitfulness, impact and profit, being and doing… and remain sane?!
Read more here.
With the newly-wed couple and their local pastors in Tlaxcala, Mexico
"One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts." (Psalm 145:4)
Two weeks ago (18-21 May) I was in Tlaxcala and Puebla in Mexico. Why? Manuel, one of our international students who already knew the LORD but was further discipled and developed as a leader while doing part of his Master’s in Engineering programme at McGill University was getting married!
Just to give you an idea how much our relationship means to each other, his wedding was originally scheduled for the weekend of INTERGEN (28-30 May), a conference in California (USA) of Christian foreign student advisors and international student ministry (ISM) workers from across the country which sought to emphasize the intergenerational nature of the family of God and His mission. Manuel had called to give me his wedding date barely 2-3 days after I had confirmed to Paula Parker (President of International Friends Meet and organizer of INTERGEN) that I was going to be in California to speak at INTERGEN! Not wanting to renege on my promise to Paula I expressed my deep regret to Manuel and now he had the difficult task of convincing his bride that they shift the wedding by a week—and they did!
If you read my book, Thinking Outside the Window, you will recall (pages 162-163) a young Mexican returnee who phoned me one day and said, “HELP DOCTOR, I need more leadership training. I AM LEADING MY BOSS!” This was in 2013. Well, it turns out that not only did Manuel lead this boss (a woman who was the daughter of the owner of this textile manufacturing plant) in terms of work in the marketplace, but actually led this gifted-but-messed-up boss (child out of wedlock, and in our her words, “trapped in a vortex of pain going from abuses, eating disorders, destructive relationships and violence”) to FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST!
Well, as we speak this boss has relocated to France, from where she contacted me and requested further mentoring (including finding her God-given purpose and putting together a personal mission statement etc.). We meet monthly via technology.
Now guess what? She is influencing her French fiancé (you see wide and international impact from Canada to Mexico to France) but also discipling her seven-year old son in the ways of the Lord! That’s deep. That’s the four generations deep, like 2 Timothy 2:2. Yaw -> Manuel -> Fernanda -> Leo. That’s INTERGENERATIONAL, in terms of passing on the Gospel metaphorically but even literally in terms of age.
Oh wait! It gets even better! While in Mexico, Manuel and I spent the entire Friday afternoon (the day before his wedding) with Fernanda’s family in Tlaxcala! Fernanda’s brother who was not just an atheist but used to blaspheme against God was in our conversations using a phrase like “Thank God…” because he has seen with his own eyes not just his sister transformed but his eight-times-suicide-attempted mother receive Jesus Christ and being transformed right before his eyes! Mari was an atheist too before Fernanda led her to the Lord!
You should meet Mari! She still battles with depression but she devours the word of God and loves The Purpose-Driven Life book (read it cover to cover about five times or so). Because the teaching materials (from The HuD Group) I handed to Manuel and with which she discipled Fernanda were based on Rick Warren’s work Mari follows the church services at Saddleback (Orange County, California) from Mexico. Her dream is that in about a year she will be able to come all the way to California to be baptized by Rick Warren himself!
Isn’t this exciting, my friends? This is what we get to do partner with God to do: the transformation of not just nations but generations! Family trees are changing! God is not just the God of the NATIONS; He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (GENERATIONS). He is our God and we get to serve with Him on His mission.
The “I” in ISM, is not just International; it is also Intergenerational! O God help us to be faithful in this international, intergenerational call! Amen!
Manuel and his wife-in-waiting, Eve
We get so used to words like “mentor” and carelessly throw both concept and practice about until another perspective from another culture makes us reexamine our thinking and praxis. …That we might be toying with the holy!
Read more here.
A cross-section of one of the cross-cultural teams I get to work with at ISMC
I learnt this the hard way. There is a huge intersection between leadership principles in the corporate world and the church, true. But the former has its limits. It stops at the junction of the cross, if it isn’t willing to go that route of ‘cross leadership.’ Here's how.
Ghana’s new vice-president and family (photo credit: classfmonline.com)
Life seems simpler when we can stereotype and put people and things in a box. But when your mental caricature is challenged by hitherto unknown facts or up close and personal encounters you had better shift your paradigm. Ghana’s new vice-president and his wife are making many re-think what being Muslim could look like.
The Perbi Family celebrating with the new Quach Family
It was the last-but-one day in November. What a delight to see the whole family waiting for me at the Pierre Trudeau international airport in Montreal—it was a surprise! Considering that I had flown over 130,000 miles on 63 flights that year alone, it would be the exception that my family would be at the airport to pick me. I had no idea Anyele and the cubs were planning to be there. My heart was deeply touched. That was upon my last overseas trip for the year 2016. The excitement was palpable.
Then I heard from my dear wife that our older daughter had said in her excitement that I was coming home that day, “I’m so happy Daddy is coming to visit. I hope he stays for Christmas.” Visit? Ouch!
With Emma Brewster (SIM South Africa) and workshop participants in Ghana
A global phenomenon~from and to Africa also!
There are now over 5 million international students in the world—and Africa has her share of those it sends and receives. In Canada, 7% of our international students hail from Africa, with Nigeria now being the seventh largest sender of students to Canada after China, India, France, South Korea, USA and Saudi Arabia. That the current president of International Student Ministries Canada and Lausanne co-catalyst for ISM is from Ghana isn't why the much-anticipated Ghana training of trainers for International Student Ministries (ISM) took place at Hephzibah Christian Centre in Peduase, in the Eastern Region of Ghana per se. Ghana is the receiving hub of international student activity in West Africa (with some 15,000+ international students), as Kenya and South Africa are in East and Southern Africa respectively. Emma Brewster (Yaw's British Lausanne co-catalyst who works with SIM in South Africa) joined Yaw to train a dozen-and-a-half leaders from local churches (mainly Legon Interdenominational Church, Accra and University Interdenominational Church, Cape Coast) as well as mission agencies (GHAFES/Intervarsity, Navigators, Campus Crusade, Teens Aloud, The HuD Group, Challenge Enterprises) during two days of fun and learning (November 18-19). These were not only strategic attendees because they covered the major international student campuses in the country but they also represented the three major regions of Ghana with the highest concentration of international students: University of Ghana in Greater Accra, University of Cape Coast in the Central Region and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in the Ashanti Region. It was humbling to see many of the participants transform from cautious optimists (at the onset) into ardent believers in ISM and eager practitioners over the two days as topics ranging from the strategic nature of ISM, through theology of hospitality, to cross-cultural evangelism, discipleship and leadership development were explored. Please pray that the action plans each of the participants put together will become a reality sooner than later. A Whatsapp group that has since been created has been key in keeping up interest and keeping one another abreast with current developments in our ministries (for example the Legon Interdenominational Church made announcements for host families for Christmas day lunch on Sunday Dec 4). Also, a Google Drive loaded with the PowerPoint presentations and other resources has been made available to participants for their further study and mobilization of the Body of Christ in Ghana to reach the nations that have come to their doorstep too!
No 'third world' in the KingdomIf we include proceeds from the Thinking Outside the Window book launch in Accra, we would say that in 2016 alone Ghana has contributed over $50,000 to the mission of reaching the world for Jesus Christ through international students! Hallelujah! As Yaw preached at three of our ISMC partner churches (Akuapem Ridge Interdenominational Church~Nov 20, World Evangelism Ministries~Nov 22 and International Central Gospel Church Gbawe~Nov 27), in addition to addressing a special Partners appreciation programme (Nov 26) he not only expressed profound gratitude to them but reiterated the biblical reality that" in the Kingdom of God, there is no 'third world'! You're either in the Kingdom or you're not." No wonder Africa today is a major player, even financially-speaking, in global mission. This is the bigger picture not many get to see or truly acknowledge.
O come let us adore Him this Christmastide that the nations may come to know Him!May the Christ-child be born afresh in your heart this December!
International students in Indonesia from Myanmar and Hungary
Of Building Towers and Making a Name
“Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4, NIV)
Over the summer Anyele and I had the rare opportunity to travel together to serve as mentors at the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG) in Jakarta, Indonesia. Steve Scott (our Vancouver City Director) was there too, as a participant, with a thousand other younger leaders from 140 countries.Helping us settle into our dorm at the Christian University in Jakarta (UPH) where the mentors stayed were these two amazing volunteers (in the picture above). In our interaction with them guess what we found out? They both are international students in Indonesia from Myanmar and Hungary! The international student movement is now such a global phenomenon, almost every country is both a sender and a host. There are five million international students in our world today!On our way back to Canada, Anyele and I stopped by Paris for a week to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. And you would agree with me that a tourist trip to Paris without visiting the Eiffel Tower is no trip!
Standing at an impressive 324 metres, although it is no longer the tallest man-made structure in the world as it was a 100 years ago (even the CN tower stands at 553m), the Eiffel Tower certainly still is a very impressive edifice with a breathtaking view from the top.
Having just come from Jakarta, the tower so much reminded me of another tower we had looked at YLG, the Tower of Babel. God halted that project because the people wanted to make a name for themselves instead of making God's name famous (bring God glory). Plus, they had wanted this to be a rallying point such that they will not "be scattered over the face of the whole earth;" the very purpose and mandate of God right from creation!In the end, not only did they scatter (God accomplished His purpose and theirs was thwarted) but they also 'achieved' the very opposite of their motive of making a name for themselves--they rather became known as 'the People of Confused Noise' (Babel). Not a very pretty reputation! For a fuller meal from Anne Zaki's plenary session talk at YLG on this issue of building towers and making a name, click here."Come, let us..." is one of the most powerful phrases you will ever hear or could ever say, my dear friends. The people of Babel mobilized with those words. Those were Elohim's very words to the Trinity preceding the making of man. Nehemiah used the same to mobilize for the rebuilding of Jerusalem's walls. But the motive and end goal makes all the difference, for God used those very words too, as a precursor to halt the building project and scatter the people: "Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."As a new academic year (and semester) begins, may I humbly invite you to "Come, let us..." together build a ministry that will make God's name great among the nations that have come to our land. God has scattered them abroad and brought them to Canada because He can trust you and me not to make a name for ourselves but to rather make His name glorious among them."Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18, KJV) Come let us then repent of building our own impressive towers (sometime silos) and making a name for ourselves, our cities, our race, our denominations... or even for ISMC!"Come, let us..." fast and pray every first Tuesday of the month to the God of Heaven who will prosper us to build His local, national and global ISM for His purposes and to His glory alone. "Come, let us..." give generously of our time and talents as volunteers and staff; and of our substance as partners and donors."Come, let us..."In Christ's love,Yaw
Timothee with Chazz, from the Journey Corps programme he coordinates
The long phone waves between Montreal and Bouake a couple of days ago were laden with uncontainable excitement! In a few days, Timothee Zana Outtara would be board an airplane for the first time in his life and become a six-week international student at Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA. He gets to study civic leadership there, meet President Obama in person as a Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI)/Mandela Washington Fellow (June 17~August 3) and thereafter join 1,000 younger leaders from over 160 countries at the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering (YLG) in Jakarta (August 3-10).
Who would've thought that out of the ashes of a bloody civil war, such beauty and brilliance would emerge?
When I met Timothee and his comrades in the rebel stronghold of Bouake as a United Nations peacekeeping officer, there was no comeliness about them. The once promising "Ivory Coast" had been reduced to rubble in many parts; and the state of looted louvres, doorless wooden posts and deserted buildings at the Universite de Bouake was a poignant snapshot of the state of the nation.
Way beyond my call of duty as a doctor to the UN, every week I would visit the decimated campus and carry out personal and leadership development sessions for a handful of faithful, available (what else was there to do anyway!), teachable and hungry young Ivorians; many of them, Muslim. A handful would even show up on Sunday afternoons for Bible study as well.
Together we created a library full of inspirational titles, raised money for them to take computer lessons (imagine being in your twenties and not knowing how to switch on a PC!), even organized a trip for a dozen of them to visit Ghana (the first time most of them were ever leaving Cote d'Ivoire) etc.
But Timo was a primus inter pares. He was not only my translator, he soon became my personal assistant, disciple, brother and friend. It was very clear I could confidently hand over the group to him when I was leaving Cote d'Ivoire in June 2009, after a year. And he has since more than proved me right in many ways, many times over. Not only has the group thrived in Bouake, they have multiplied to other parts of the country under his able leadership.
A number of the 'original' mentees have completed their Master's degrees now that normality has returned to Cote d'Ivoire and some, like Timo, are enroled in PhD programmes. Today, a handful of them are married (Timo is married to beautiful Leah), after resolving to live chaste lives following our encounter. Many of them are prominent leaders in their local churches.
Some have found their entrepreneurial streak, buying lands and running all kinds of businesses, including raising poultry and bulk food distribution. Timo and Djibril have even had the opportunity to work with the United Nations Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI) in various capacities.
Over the past year I strongly nominated Timo for both YLG'16 and the Mandela Washington fellowship. I recall stating to the latter, among other things:
Timothee boards his first flight in his thirties but he gets to meet a sitting president of the United States of America, something his mentor is yet to accomplish :) He's heard his American visitors to Cote d'Ivoire talk so much about their memorable meetings in their favourite cafe and longs to discover what at all there is about that franchise that he intimated over the phone this week: "When you come to visit me in New Jersey, I would like us to meet over coffee at a Starbucks!"
You see why I aboslutely believe in the development of emerging leaders, whether local or international students? The repercussions and returns are infinite!
First flight, first Starbucks, first Presidential encounter... this is only the begining of mutliplied impact of nations and generations, creation and cultures till Jesus returns. Only God can bring such beauty and brilliance out of the cinders of war!
Be part of the never-ending God Story. GIVE today!
Mama Chang and I in Prague last year (after nearly 20 years!)
I wasn’t planning on writing today but I simply had to highlight one of you generous supporters because she and her husband were among the first to invest in me 20 years ago; and at age 90, she still hasn’t quit!
Way before anyone thought I had anything to offer as President of ISMC, even 10 clear years before Lausanne would invite me to Malaysia as a ‘younger leader,’ Dr. Jerry and Mrs. Ruth Chang saw ahead and heavily invested in me as a World Vision Youth Ambassador (WVYA) in 1996. Today, the Lausanne Movement describes their investment as a “strategic global leader.”
What an absolutely fabulous programme of 50 young people from 50 different countries learning and living together to pursue “life’s common grounds” and travelling the world as a choir performing in civic centres, churches, presidential palaces and even at the New York Yankee stadium!
Papa Chang, as we affectionately called him, was CEO of World Vision Taiwan at the time. He did the hard work of raising over half a million dollars each year to run WVYA from 1995 to 2000. In my year, his investment took this young 18-year old Ghanaian young man and his 49 compatriots to Taiwan (we studied ‘Conflict Prevention and Reconciliation’ for six weeks there while we rehearsed our music), USA (New York, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Seattle), Mexico and Canada (my first time in Canada).
Did they know that 16 years later I would be pastoring a Chinese church in Canada full of Taiwanese or that 17 years on I would be leading a significant Canadian charity reaching a kaleidoscope of internationals?
You know what? The next year, after the programme was done, Papa and Mama Chang, along with the management team of WVYA, invited me back to be part of the 1997 programme as a staff intern. Only two of us were invited back for his honour—myself and Claudia from Columbia. I got to exercise leadership (successes and failure alike) and meet another 50 amazing emerging leaders from 50 different countries; not to mention being in Taiwan and the USA again, but this time Japan and Guatemala also.
That was the beginning of God opening my eyes and heart to His big wide world; little did I know (and I dare say did they even know) that I would be called to become a career ambassador for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20), a global missionary for Him representing the Kingdom of Heaven.
Beyond the time, monetary and material investments, the Changs taught me many life lessons. One of the greatest, that has enabled me to literally raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for ministry/missions to God's glory, I learnt from my late mentor Papa Chang. He taught me that, “No one is too poor to give; no one is too rich to receive.” (see chapter 13 of my Amazon bestseller, Thinking Outside the Window)
Sadly, Papa Chang, a successful engineer by training, passed away a few years ago but Mama Chang is still alive and well…kicking! It was such a delight to see her again in person last year at a WVYA Reunion in Prague (picture above) after nearly two decades! She was her same cheerful, loving and vibrant self—it was hard for even me to keep up with her on a hike to one of the Czech towns!
At 90 years old, yesterday she read my email appeal towards Lausanne, donated online and replied my ‘Thank You’ email saying,
I almost feel it’s ‘unfair’ that Mama Chang would still be investing in me at 90 years old and 20 years later but she’s caused me to make myself a promise: when I’m 90 years old, (God-willing and if Christ tarries), I will still be investing in emerging leaders too!
Over the last 24 hours I’ve learnt that we never stop giving for as long as we’re living; they day we stop giving we start dying.
So if you’re living, GIVE TODAY; especially if you’re less than 90 years old!
Take action by clicking here TODAY! [Tomorrow's the last day!]
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