20th March 2019
The Adventist Development Relief Agency (ADRA) in the United Kingdom completed its second phase of the ‘I AM URBAN’ initiative for Global Youth Day held on Sabbath 16 March at the Holloway and Willesden district of churches in London.
I AM URBAN is a joint venue between ADRA in the United Kingdom (Lead Partner) and the Adventist Community Services (ACS) of the British Union Conference (BUC) and includes partnerships with several other entities of the Church in the United Kingdom, including the Trans-European Division. The initiative was established in order for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the UK to utilize the 17 sustainable development goals outlined recently by the United Nations.
The young people from the Holloway church ‘adopted’ a local care home and performed ‘random acts of kindness’ on streets and at a local shopping centre. Knife deaths in the capital city was the focus for the #ENDITNOW Knife Crime march in the afternoon led by the Holloway Pathfinders with the Pathfinder Drum Corp.
Reports from the care home revealed that many residents were in tears to see both young and older adults visit them on Saturday. One resident expressed how lonely they were and asked for the young people to visit again. While showing kindness on the street, a lady expressed her grief regarding the recent loss of her father and cheered her up by giving her a small plant to take home.
“Going out on the streets in the afternoon was an eye-opener,” says Max McKenzie-Cook, urban lead champion. “Two young men in a fancy car, stopped us on the way to ask what we were doing and applauded us for our efforts. It’s amazing how surprised people were that there are other people in the world who were engaged in social outreach and who care.”