A group from West Venezuela Union sings during the online Adventist Youth Society program held on May 16, 2020. [Photo: Inter-American Division]
The Youth Ministries department in Inter-America launched its first online Adventist Youth Society program in three languages as part of an ongoing initiative to encourage the youth across the territory to engage in youth leadership and community service.
The online program included spiritual reflections from world youth leaders, visits to cities and countries in Inter-America, and initiatives and activities in which young people can involve themselves.
Pastor Elie Henry, president for the church in Inter-America, talked about the challenges he faced as a pastor’s kid growing up in Haiti. He encouraged young people to cling to the Word of God and look at the life of Jeremiah and the purpose God had in his life.
“You may be wondering in the midst of this uncertainty what your purpose is,” Henry said. “God has a vision that is bigger than any of us. His vision is redemptive and you are here to help people and to make a difference globally.”
Henry urged young people to study the Bible, pray daily, and seek out God’s will in their life.
“Catch the vision like Jeremiah and help others understand Who God is,” he urged.
Pastor Al Powell, youth ministries director for the church in Inter-America, and main organizer of the event, added, “It is important for young people to see how God has called people to be great people of faith.”
Powell interviewed several former Adventist youth leaders–Dick Barron, Baraka Muganda, and Gilbert Cangy–during the online program to encourage young people to lean on God and not be discouraged during difficult times. They shared their experiences growing up in the church, and had some advice for young people.
“If God has called you and you recognized the call, know that you can do it,” said Barron. “He sees your future.”
Muganda said, “God is calling you; there is joy when you serve the Lord.” Muganda encouraged church leaders to continue challenging the youth to go for God. “Sometimes young people don’t see those talents in themselves so they need someone to push them.”
Cangy added, “Don’t be afraid of disorientation because in those moments God gives us guidance.” Cangy challenged young people to find out what God has placed in their hearts for them to do.
The online program showcased what young people are doing to serve their communities throughout the territory, and how to get more involved in the mission of the church through the I Will Go Inter-America initiative.
Inter-America’s youth ministries department will continue to transmit online Adventist Youth Society programs every second Sabbath of each quarter. The next AYS programs are scheduled for July 11 and October 10, 2020.
“We want young people to identify and embrace their call, to take the baton, and be a light for Jesus to the world that needs hope in these challenging times,” Powell said.
To view the online Adventist Youth Society Heroes of Faith program of May 16, 2020,
May 25, 2020| Miami, Florida, United States |Libna Stevens, Inter-Ameican Division