Equipping Young People for Christian Service and Leadership
Equipping Young People for Christian Service and Leadership


Geannina, with her children after the Icthus ceremony in Costa Rica.



When Geannina Briancesco was a little girl she joined an Icthus group in San Jose, Costa Rica – that was 24 years ago.  She enjoyed the weekly meetings, camps and service projects, and loved her Icthus guides.  In a letter, she wrote, “I have so many wonderful memories. 


Years later she got married and joined a church in another part of San Jose.   Earlier this year her church decided to start Icthus.  “When I heard that Icthus was going to start, my husband and I were very excited.”  Immediately, she enrolled her children - Allan in the Hero group and Brenda in the Legion. 


Imagine her joy when she recently witnessed her children receiving their diplomas at the first Icthus ceremony.  She said, “In the same way that I learned and enjoyed Icthus, I know my children will too.”  


She concluded her letter saying, “To all parents I say, if you don’t have Icthus in your church get in contact.  See the difference it will make.”


I hope it delights you to know about Geannina and her children.  When Geannina was a little girl she probably never imagined that one day the Lord would give her children who would be in Icthus, too. 


You are part of a ministry that helped make her story possible.   Let’s help more parents and children have Icthus. 

The first Icthus guides in El Progreso, Guatemala. Don Weisbrod, center top row. On the left in the bottom row is Gilo Mendez, first head guide.
Don helping Icthus guides prepare for a meeting in El Progreso, Guatemala in 1664



Previously, in the months before:  With the initial plans completed and the support of his church, San Diego First Presbyterian, Don Weisbrod moved from Guatemala City to a rural town called El Progreso to start the first group.  He lived with missionaries Tom and Grace Gyori. 


October 1964 – First Icthus Group:  Tom recruited 6 volunteers and Don trained them to be the first guides.  Gilo Mendez was selected as the head guide.  Announcements were made at church and more than 30 kids signed up.  Each week Don, Tom and the guides gathered at the Gyori’s home to evaluate progress and prepare for the next meeting.  The best time of each week was when the kids arrived at church for the meetings.  Seeing their eagerness and enthusiasm for the program and activities 



By Don Weisbrod

50 years ago, a big concern for me was that the parents would allow their children to come to the Icthus activities.  I was worried because this program was different from anything they had experienced parents would not permit it.  


I never imagined how enthusiastic the parents would become nor the multitude of life-changing ways the Lord would help parents and entire families through Icthus:

  • Single mothers who were having difficulties with disobedient children see positive changes.
  • Nonbelieving mothers and fathers are motivated by their children to go to church and life-changing encounters with God.
  • Parents learn leadership skills when they become guides for their children’s Icthus group.
  • The Icthus program for Parents, called Shalom, helps parents provide a better home environment and learn how to guide their children.


Because of friends like you thousands of parents have a wholesome program to help their kids grow and many of the parents are being helped, too.   Let’s help more children and parents have this ministry.  

Liliana, (center in white) with Icthus guides near Mexico City.

By Andy Lay


I was an Icthus donor for a long time before I became a staff member.  As a donor, I wondered how much long-term impact Icthus has on the kids.   Are there deep down, life changing events taking place in their lives?   Read about Liliana in Mexico and see. 


Liliana, a 27 year old woman not only helps in her church as an Icthus guide, but she is a full-time YWAM missionary working with prostitutes and street kids in Mexico City.  She gives them food and shares the Gospel of Jesus.  Though she has taken YWAM training in both Mexico City and Hawaii, it was in Icthus that she was introduced to Christ and it was there she began developing leadership skills.  And it was her guides who helped her understand that God has a plan for her life.  She is serving the Lord today because of the vision she first got in Icthus.  



• Pray for the team preparing for the Los Angeles 50th Anniversary Celebration.

• We praise the Lord that the 6thof the 7 heroes, Debora, will be done in a
few days. Pray for Rebeca Arriaza in Guatemala and the team as they develop
David, the 7th hero. They are trying to finish it by December. Hundreds of
children in six countries, including Alan (on the first page), are benefiting from
this new program.


• Pray for Icthus leaders in all the countries, that the Lord will give them an
extra measure of strength and motivation for their work this month.

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EMAIL: Don@IcthusKids.org



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Lake Forest, CA 92609

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