May 10, 2020 | Manilla, Philippines |
As they look for ways to provide young people of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) with a worthwhile lockdown activity in addition to the 100 Days of Prayer, the SSD regional Adventist Youth Ministry (AYM) launched its “Memorize A Bible Verse Challenge” on April 25, 2020. The challenge aims to encourage young people to fix the Word of God in their minds and to challenge others to do the same.
The challenge began with the SSD youth director, Ron Genebago, who passed the challenge on to union youth directors, then to the mission and conference youth directors and young people. As of May 1, almost 300 people have enrolled, including young people, parents, and some children. They are memorizing, reciting, and sharing the Word of God in English, Tamil, Bahasa, Filipino, Laotian, Kadazan, Iban, Chinese, and other languages across the territory.
The challenge has seven steps:
1. When you record a video, say #MemoriseABibleVerseChallenge.
2. Recite your memory verse.
3. Challenge your youth directors and some of your youth leaders.
4. Post the challenge on your Facebook page.
5. Use the hashtag #MemoriseABibleVerseChallenge.
6. Tag the one who challenged you.
7. The video will then be shared on the SSD youth Facebook page.
SSD president Samuel Saw says he values the challenge of promoting Bible verse memorization to young people and children. “I appreciate what some of our department directors are promoting, encouraging children and youth to memorize Scripture texts.… This is not, however, just for children and youth but for all of us, to fight against evil.”
Adventist Church youth director Gary Blanchard took the challenge by memorizing and recording Psalm 91:2, which reads, “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.’” He then challenged Trans-European Division youth director Zlatko Musija, who, in turn, challenged South Pacific Division director Nick Kross.
On his Facebook page, participant Joseph Tean shared, “I don’t always participate in social media challenges. So I guess this will be my first time. I have been tagged by Gabriel Diong, and challenged by Serdang Adventist Hope Centre.” Tean then recited John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Alisha Amaldas, from Penang English Adventist church, shared on Facebook, “I was going through difficult moments in life…Through this challenge, however, I believe God brought me back to Him. After I memorized the whole chapter, the next day, it urged me to memorize another chapter, and it made me connect with God more. I’m truly blessed for participating in this challenge.”
Regional leaders said the SSD AYM department has been actively promoting both the 100 Days of Prayer initiative and verse memorization as part of their youth theme for the year: Vision 2020.
Vision 2020 “includes having healthy young people who enjoy a saving relationship with Christ, love Scripture as their standard of living, and serve the church and their communities by using their God-given spiritual gifts, fulfilling the gospel commission in the power of the Holy Spirit,” they said.