Icthus International is a ministry that helps churches reach children and young people - the largest, most receptive, and yet the most needy segment of of population of the World We carry out this ministry because we believe what the Bible says: "Bring up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
We help churches and organizations of all denominations in 15 countries in Latin America increase their ministry to children and youth. We provide materials, training, encouragement and organize camps so churches can be more effective in their most important mission - reaching and training of young people.
OUR HISTORY - THE EARLY YEARS
See pictures and learn about some of our history:
Young people, 18 years and younger make up almost ˝ the population of Latin America. This presents a huge need, challenge, and opportunities to communities, schools, churches, and parents because there are so many social, economic, spiritual problems and decisions young people must face.
Young people are the largest and most significant mission field. To find this mission field it is not necessary to go to a distant country they are all around every church wanting something to do, waiting to be reached.
Churches need more ways of reaching young people. They need tools and assistance to increase their efforts and make a more meaningful impact in this age group.
Parents face challenges in raising their children. It is much more difficult being a parent today. Many are seeking help but don't know where to look.
Icthus is striving to help churches meet these needs in Latin America as well as Hispanic churches in the U.S by providing ministry tools that churches can use to help children and youth grow. Find out how to Become a Partner and Make a donation online.
Icthus provides training and encouragement to pastors, youth leaders, and parents. Also, it has four programs for young people:
1. Icthus Little Fish for 4 to 6 year olds. This program is in development in El Salvador.
2. Icthus Benjamin is for the 6 to 9 year olds. This program has a curriculum divided into 12 parts. Each part has been named after a tribe of Israel.
3. Icthus Legions is for the intermediate age - 10 to 13. The Legion program is based on the Armor of God explained in Ephesians 6:10-17.
4. Icthus Youth is for those who want to continue on in Icthus from ages 14 to 17. This program is built around the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22 & 23: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.
5. Icthus Parents is a program to help parents learn how to provide a better home environment for the nurturing of children. The program is based around small group discussions and mutual support. The program includes modules such as “Discipline with Love and Limits” and “The Growing Marriage” included.
THE MEANING OF THE WORD 'ICTHUS'
ICTHUS takes its name from the Greek word for "fish".
This word was used as an acronym by early Christians and a secret identification:
All together, this acronym spells out the core of the Gospel: Jesus Christ is God's Son and our Savior. This is one of the first "secrets" that young people learn when they join an Icthus group. John Shackelford, a former missionary in Guatemala was the person who not only gave the inspiration for the starting of this program, but also suggested that we use the name "Icthus" in 1964. John felt that children and youth would be attracted to the word because it was originally a secret. More importantly though, he liked how it stated the essence of the Gospel in a way that was easy to remember.
ICTHUS INTERNATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS
CHARITABLE STATUS AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Icthus was incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization and is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).Icthus adheres to the rigorous standards of of the ECFA.