Hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist youth in the North Caribbean Conference (NCC) engaged in spreading kindness and hope in their communities during the Global Youth Day initiative held on March 17, 2018.
Sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist World Church’s Youth Ministries Department, the annual Global Youth Day (GYD) event motivates young people around the world to be the sermon as they show the love of Jesus in their communities. The 2018 event also featured a 24-hour broadcast on the Hope Church Channel which shared the real-time activities around the world.
Reports from the 10-island field of the reflected total membership involvement for GYD 2018. Senior members of the church happily collaborated with and supported the youth as they took on the challenge of being the sermon. Enthusiasm for , service to my and creativity were the hallmarks of the #GYD18 projects around the NCC.
Young people from the Philipsburg SDA Church offered free health checks and dental screening to scores of citizens, along with healthy nutritional tips. Tallies of tests performed revealed 116 for glucose, 35 for dental, and 15 for HIV. Just about 200 containers of breakfast and 50 bowls of soup were distributed. As friends from the community continued to stream in, Youth Leader, Brother Raphael Dowe shared, “We chose to focus on health ministry and, so far, books are gone, fruits are gone and spirits are high.”
Young people from the New Bethany and Maranatha SDA congregations visited hurting communities and shared the love of Jesus – they distributed packaged food items and water. The youth also prayed and with families. “This is what being the sermon means, being practical Christians reaching out to those less fortunate, spending time with them and showing that we care,” remarked Sister Lila Jones, another Youth Leader on St. Maarten.
Youth from the St. Peter’s SDA Church visited with children, who have special needs, at the Sister Basilia Center and provided breakfast along with encouragement and prayers for the residents. The Youth also delivered water and food baskets to families.
The youth of the Cole Bay SDA Church split forces, and some visited the islands lone medical centre to share the love of Jesus. Other youth visited homes to sing, share literature, present gift bags, distribute packages of edibles and engage in conversation with passers-by.
The Central SDA Church connected with several surrounding communities to offer therapy through music, provide recovery information from the health and human services agencies and to share lovingly prepared bags filled with household items, food, and school supplies. Musicians from the community and the local university were invited to offer inspirational items. The appreciation of residents was evident and Brother Giddel Beresford, the congregation’s Adventist Youth (AY) Leader summarized, “It’s about community care this year.”
On St. Eustatius young people distributed sack breakfast to the workers of the oil refinery as they changed shifts. They also visited the fire station, the islands senior citizen home and hospital to spread the love of Jesus.
In the British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Youth Leader, Brother Jacob Adolphus, recounted that youth were more enthused this year, than before. Tortola received the brunt of one hurricane in 2017 and the community has been picking up the pieces of their lives. The youth prepared and distributed free meals to community members. This year the constituency decided that each Adventist Youth (AY) society would lead GYD18 in adjoining communities which are still hurting communities.
Brother Adolphus reported: “Youth went out in full force to be the sermon on #GYD18. About 95% of our Youth Ministries (Young Adults, Youth, Pathfinders, Adventurers and Eager Beavers) took to the streets of the Virgin Islands serving the communities with water, food, fruits, prayer, health screening, dental checks, visits to the elderly homes, and ministering both to members of the church and community.”
The youth of delivered bowls of soup, bottled water and Bible tracts to telecommunications workers and nursing homes. These workers are helping to restore the islands telecommunication network after the 2017 hurricane season.
On St. Thomas, the youth connected with the residents at the Sugar Estate Independent Living Facility to be the sermon. On social media, Janilee King tagged the ministry of the youth to the community: “Wow!! So excited that you guys were able to bring smiles and cheers to the hearts of the seniors. May God continue to bless your ministry. Much love and prayers”
In 2017, the North Caribbean Conference’s 10-island territory was devastated by two Category 5 hurricanes that scarred scores of members in different ways (death of a family member or friend, damaged properties, loss of employment, and illness). Still, the SDA Church stretched its humanitarian arm and organized relief efforts which included scores of youth volunteers. Thousands in the community received hot meals, clothing, toiletries and counselling services. Youth were also involved in homes, clearing roads and removing beach debris.
“This is just another way to reach out to be more relevant in our communities and provide them with basic needs wherever they are,” said the NCC President, Pastor Desmond James. “I celebrate all our youth as they minister for God. We thank all our pastors, youth leaders and church members for their commitment to ministry and the community.”
Youth leaders around the NCC may continue to share their ministry moments this year by connecting with us on social media, tagging and sharing all your activities to the North Caribbean Conference, through our Facebook page.