GYC President Andrew Park concludes GYC. | Photos by Samuel Girven
We started the day with something of the utmost importance: prayer. The Prayer Room is always a highlight for many people. Beginning at 6 a.m., several hundred people gather for united prayer and singing. People from all walks of life come together for one thoughtful hour, led by Gem Castor. "It's absolutely an amazing experience," replied someone I asked. For many, it's their favorite thing about GYC.
It's also Sabbath, which means we had some slightly different activities. After breakfast and the morning devotional with Callie Buruchara, we went immediately into our breakout room discussions. We've studied the "problem" of the church of Laodicea and part of the "solution." Now, the conversation turns to the rest of the "solution:" eyesalve. Laodiceans are told they are blind, but they don't know. The small groups pondered how we "apply the eyesalve" to our lives and how the "eyesalve" can change our relationship with God.
Church at GYC has got to be a unique experience, right? Music is one of the most important aspects of worship at GYC, and the divine service on Sabbath shows this. A full orchestra filled the stage and accompanied those singing. Soon afterward, Youth Director for the North England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in the U.K., Adam Ramdin arrived. He delivered a compelling message with his strong British accent and a Bible in hand. He posed the question to the audience, "Would you rather lose your sight or your hearing?" The rhetorical question made his point: we cannot lose sight of the truth.
Lunch was incredibly delicious, with southwestern classics being served, such as rice, tamales, and potatoes. Later, we heard the conclusion of Ramon and Shandy Tengkano's riches-to-rags testimony. Finally, we learned how to help their ministry and make changes within our own lives. "You go to church only to show off your full production. Only to look good! The parking lot is full of new cars, while the world is dying!" Ramon exclaimed.
After the exhibits opened, another period of fellowship and networking began. Ministries connected with people, and those new to GYC had the opportunity to meet many new people. Some ministries were even giving away expenses paid mission trips in a drawing!
After dinner, we recapped our studies on the church of Laodicea and turned our attention to the evening plenary. Music abounded through the large hall as we sang the theme song "Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me" for the last time. Later, GYC President Andrew Park and Treasurer Joshua Ahn unveiled GYC 2022's theme— "Break Forth", which is scheduled to be held in Phoenix, Arizona.
Sebastian Braxton made a final appeal. "Brothers and sisters, my appeal is straightforward. We need to go home, and we need to preach this message. We need to preach this Laodicean message. But we need to preach it in a way that lets people know…that you have nothing. I already know that you're failing. I already know that you're wounded. Jesus says I've got nothing but love for you."
"All of you can choose to read the Bible," GYC President Andrew Park said during his closing statement. "All of you can choose to ask God to ground you in reality and not feelings… So, I really want to encourage you to try it out. Even if it'd for five or ten minutes, just try it out. Don't give up."
GYC President Andrew Park concludes GYC.
Samuel Girven, assistant Communications secretary for Cadillac Seventh-day Adventist Church