Michigan Conference youth gearing up to spread love in their community on Global Youth Day
Last Sabbath, March 16, millions of Adventist Youth from around the world united to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and among that number were several hundred youth from the Lake Union who mobilized to minister to their local communities.
One of the projects, sharing God’s love with the local fire and police departments, was led out by Lake Region FEHJA, the Hispanic Ministries Youth Federation. They began the day at Lake Shore Hispanic Church, where over 100 young people gathered to assemble and give care packages to the public safety personnel serving in the Chicago area. The idea was to show local entities that their service is not overlooked but is greatly appreciated and respected.
“These officers and firemen were very appreciative especially during a time when community/law enforcement relations are very volatile in Chicago,” said Global Youth Day (GYD) coordinator for the Lake Union, Jason North.
In Benton Harbor, Michigan, the Young Adults of the Highland Avenue Church adopted Blossom Acres apartment community and produced an afternoon ministry program for its children. This project, which began in February and has continued monthly, fits neatly with the GYD theme. The church has a desire to know those who live in close proximity, as well as share the good news of Jesus with the children in the community. The children aren’t the only ones who benefit from the Christ-centered activities. “Parents are thrilled that these young people would come spend time with their children,” said North, who also serves as the Highland Church pastor. “It also gives them a break for a few hours.”
In fulfilling the theme of “Adopt” the Lake Region youth selected ministry projects that would continue beyond Global Youth Day.
Another project was overseen by Michigan Conference's Youth Director, Chad Bernard who took a group of young people to downtown Detroit area where they fed the homeless at eight different locations. Bernard planned for a group of 140 registrants but 250 traveled from different parts of Michigan to join in the activity. The Michigan youth passed out granola bars, fruit, soup, sandwiches, personal hygiene kits, blankets, coats, hats, scarves and more. "It was a wonderful day," he said. After the youth returned in the evening, they worshiped together and played dodge ball in the gymnasium.
Global Youth Day was also celebrated with enthusiasm among Hispanic youth of Wisconsin Conference. The leaders of the youth federation (Jahwi), planned in advance for all of them to meet at the Rodeway Inn hotel in Milwaukee and depart from there, on Saturday morning to visit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, supermarkets, pick up trash in parks and visit door to door praying in homes and offering spiritual help to residents.
Participants expressed their happiness to have the opportunity to thank hospital nurses and give them a flower as a token of appreciation for their work, as well as praying and singing in nursing homes and centers of rehabilitation.
Global Youth Day was first launched March 13, 2013, with support of General Conference Administration, the 13 Division youth directors, Middle East and North Africa Union Mission, and the Israel field. According to the Global Youth Day website, the aim is to “recapture the reality of Adventist youth as a global movement mobilized for service, contributing to the proclamation of the everlasting gospel and ushering in the second coming of Jesus Christ.”