Our Mission: To bring hope and a future through Christ to youth and their families in the inner city.


How it all Began:

Inner City Youth Alive (ICYA) was founded in 1986 with the vision of Mark Friesen and Kent Dueck. Their vision was to make a difference in the lives of our inner city youth by sharing the love of Christ with them. They committed themselves to the youth and gave their time as volunteers through wilderness camping trips and by teaching them woodworking skills.

ICYA had a humble beginning but God faithfully provided so that it has grown to become what it is today. With dozens of volunteers, a large support constituency, great programs and a strong staff team, ICYA continues to make a difference in the lives of youth. The original vision still burns, and genuine caring continues to drive the ministry as they grow into the years ahead…


Our Core Values:

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Scripture & Prayer

Believing that God’s Word has the power to change and direct lives and that prayer is our way of communicating with God, we strive to bathe the ministry in prayer and nurture growth through the teaching of the Bible.


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Our Staff & Leaders

Acknowledging the unique challenges in the work, our leaders come first. Their personal, spiritual and family lives must be nurtured in order for them to thrive and sincerely touch the lives of our youth. We strive to be a place for personal and professional growth.




  • Leadership – Believing that youth hold the future of our community, we are passionately committed to the development of local youth leadership.

  • Life – Our staff and volunteers impact youth through vital relationships, seeking to address their total life needs.

  • Love – Our goal is to demonstrate a love that never fails and is unconditional. Every youth is loved by God and is loved by us, no matter who they are or what they may do.


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Our Local Church Community

ICYA is an extension of the Church, receiving our mandate to be a part of the Church’s presence in our community. We seek to be its voice in our community and reflect the voice of the poor in the broader church (i.e. remind the broader church of God’s heart for the poor). We believe that faith community is important and seek to help every youth find a faith community where they can grow and belong.


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Evangelism & Discipleship - Living out the Good News

As followers of Christ, our highest priority is to walk along with others into ongoing personal relationships with Jesus, joining in His mission of love and reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-20


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We strive toward excellence in all areas of our ministry. Excellence honors God and inspires people. This is reflected in our staff, our programs, financial accountability and any undertaking that we commit to.