Gem Castor leads the New Year's midnight prayer vigil. | Photos by Samuel Girven
After breakfast, we ventured into the main event hall for the morning devotional. Callie Buruchara continued her series that she started yesterday with an enthusiastic audience. Her focus is, "How can we have meaningful devotions for the rest of our life?". She explained during this morning's message, "I believe that having that meaningful time with God, that communion with him, is a cornerstone of having that 'abundant life' Jesus was talking about in John 10:10. He said, 'I came to give them life…more abundantly.'" She continued, "I believe having that time with God enables us to have that."
Today's study supplemented studies from the previous day. Since we're focusing on the church of Laodicea found in Revelation 3, we picked up right where we left off. Today, Elder Chester Clark was at the helm of the pulpit. "There's something about the Laodicean message that should make us uncomfortable," he exclaimed at the beginning of the study session. "Today, I believe that we're living too late in Earth's history for smooth messages."
Breaking off into small groups, we continued to discern Elder Clark's message. What is justification? What is sanctification? How do these relate to each other? The "white raiment", also known as the "white garments" mentioned in Revelation 3:18, was another primary focus of today's study. According to the study guide, this illustration is God trying to make a Biblical principle relatable through a word picture. Again, the discussions were wide-ranging and fruitful.
Lunch was an assortment of salads, green beans, "veggie" meatballs, and albedo pasta. Not only was it delicious, but it was also healthy. We couldn't stay for too long, though, because the testimony's second part was going to begin soon. Indonesian missionary couple Ramon and Shandy Tengkano, introduced to us yesterday, have an amazing story. They rediscovered the meaning of following Christ after living the life of wealth and excessive materialism—and later, became frontline missionaries. "We don't want to lower our standards; when God says go, we take it as only…you know, a theory." Ramon explained. If you haven't already heard them, I highly suggest watching the recorded version.
The evening plenary was very engaging. Music is one of the essential elements of GYC's programs, and there is no shortage of it. Corporately, we sang songs of praise and joy. In addition, many special songs and instrumentals are played by an assortment of musicians and vocalists. The plenary is rounded off with another charge given by Sebastian Braxton titled, "Nothing You Can Do."
But the evening doesn't stop there. Traditionally, a midnight prayer vigil has been held at GYC on New Year's Eve. What better way to finish the year than being in prayer? So from 10:30 pm to shortly after midnight, many of us prayed, sang in beautiful harmonies, and recommitted ourselves once again to the Lord's will for the new year. Gem Castor from ASAP Ministries led this initiative, and he closed out the consecrated time with this statement: "Let us not move alone. We are not designed to go alone; God desires to go with us."
Samuel Girven, assistant Communications secretary for Cadillac Seventh-day Adventist Church