Courtesy Naveli Nix
As Nayeli Nix examined her commitments, she wondered how she could help revive the Federation Jovenes Adventist Hispanos (FeJAH) in Indiana. My family and I already have too much on our plate, she surmised.
At the time, Nayeli was the Glendale Church Pathfinder director, VBS director, a youth pastor’s wife, a mother of three children, a fulltime student working towards her Bachelor’s in Psychology, head teacher of the Earliteen Sabbath School, a teacher’s aide at Indianapolis Junior Academy and a member of the school’s Board of Education.
But she had built her entire life around youth — from her time in Mexico, Tennessee and now Indiana — and knew that FeJAH would help build community amongst the Hispanic youth. She was conflicted because she knew it would be no small task helping with an organization that had been in Seventh-day Adventist Hispanic churches for many years. In Central Indiana FeJAH is comprised of 18 churches; they change their location often so everyone within driving distance has an opportunity to attend the events.
“So, I prayed and said, ‘Lord if I do this, you can take care of my education, I will do everything for You and Your youth. Please close the wrong doors and open the right ones.’”
Feeling impressed that God was leading her to say, “yes,” she called Indiana Hispanic coordinator Victor Jaeger and volunteered to help restart FeJAH.
Nayeli’s first task was planning a statewide event. With her youthful zeal and non-traditional thinking, the weekend was a success and a blessing, with over 200 people from 13 churches attending. Some of the ways Nayeli injected her creativity were on display. “On Friday we gathered together the directors and described to them a point system; your group will get a point every time your group is on time and attends an event. At the end of the weekend the group with the most points will get a trophy,” she explained. It worked well because, “As youth, we like to be challenged, we like to be a part of a group, but we also like to stand out. This was a fun and easy way to get the youth involved with participating and attending the activities.”
On Sabbath, there was music worship, and the staff produced a skit about David. Also, every church group came up with their own theme and Bible verse and drew spiritual life lessons about what they were facing.
She said, “It’s important to show life with Christ as exciting and joyful — not a boring experience. I want to show that with God you can do anything.”
Laura Fierce is Communication major at Andrews University.