Adventist youth around the South Pacific Division accepted a challenge from the General Conference to “be the sermon” on March 17.
Global Youth Day (GYD) was first launched five years ago with the support of the General Conference. The objective of the day is to encourage Adventist youth to be the hands and feet of Jesus by purposefully serving their local community.
“There is a lot more to religious faith than simply going to church and listening to sermons,” says a statement on the official GYD website. “The true practice of religion involves the revelation of God’s love in living out Jesus’ gospel commission . . . through all manners of selfless acts that point a desperately needy world to the ultimate hope of the better world He has made possible for us. Grounded in the concluding words of Jesus in the parable of the Good Samaritan, ‘Go and do likewise’ (Luke 10:25-37), the theme of Global Youth Day is ‘Be the sermon’.”
From 21 countries participating in 52 projects during its first year to 124 countries involved in more than 16,600 projects during 2017, the GYD movement is continuing to grow and inspire Adventist youth around the world.
Each year is allocated a specific theme to follow and this year’s theme was “Food and Drink”. Events were uploaded to social media using the hashtag #GYD2018 and Hope Channel also followed the projects via livestream.
Adventist News Online editor Jarrod Stackelroth joined young people in Adelaide (SA) for a youth rally and on Friday night they handed out hot dogs and bottled water to locals at Henley Beach.
Youth from Victoria provided food for homeless people in their city.
“There is a lot more to religious faith than simply going to church and listening to sermons.”
In New Zealand, Dunedin young Adventists visited police stations, fire stations and St John Ambulance services, giving out appreciation packs to emergency services workers. Sodium Youth from Invercargill church travelled to Queenstown where they led out in the worship song service for the church.
Youth from Westport, Nelson and Christchurch spent Global Youth Day serving the community of Westport. About 30 young people assembled on stage in the town centre. As they sang praises, people from the community gathered and joined them for lunch. In Christchurch, more than 370 cans of food were collected for those in need.
The Kokopo community in Papua New Guinea also carried out a food and water drive and churches around PNG participated in a nationwide clean-up campaign on March 18.
Youth in Efate (Vanuatu) served food and water to people in their communities, and Pathfinders in Fiji handed out bottles of Fiji Water and Bible verses at a shopping centre.
Still suffering the aftermath of Cyclone Gita, local people were appreciative of a food drive organised by the Adventist youth in Tonga.
The youth from Kiribati picked, husked and cleaned coconuts and then presented them to hospital patients.