General Youth Conference Inspires
Young People’s Confidence in Bible
The fifth annual General Youth Conference (GYC) drew thousands of young adult Adventists to Baltimore, Maryland, from December 27-31, 2006. It attracted young professionals, students, youth leaders, chaplains, high school students, and others from all over the United States and several other international countries. Around 2,600 registered for the conference, and 4,000 attended the Sabbath morning events.
|Attendees reading Scripture in one of the plenary sessions [Daniel Mendez]
The theme for this five-day event was “By Every Word,” based on Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from the mouth of God.” Plenary sessions and seminars were planned around this theme. Speakers included Ted Wilson, vice president of the General Conference; David Asscherick, director of ARISE, Troy, Michigan; Michael Hasel, religion professor from Southern Adventist University; and C.D. Brooks, speaker emeritus of Breath of Life television.
“GYC is needed in our church at this time because it reminds people that God is real. The Bible is real. The messages of the prophecies are true. We need to move and take action to share God’s love with the world,” said Kari Lund, a 6th grade teacher at Village Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School in Berrien Springs, Mich.
Sam Leonor, chaplain at La Sierra University, said, “GYC is giving our young people clear doctrine and clear interpretation of Scripture so that they may be inspired to finish the work!”
On Sabbath afternoon, GYC attendees participated in door-to-door outreach in Baltimore. They knocked on 8,950 doors, prayed with 894 people, distributed 7,538 Bible study cards, and signed up 719 people for Bible studies. The Bible studies will be followed up by an evangelistic series sponsored by GYC and led by young people.
FLORIDA: Tailgating for Jesus
Orlando, Florida. Each Sabbath afternoon, he rejoices at the sight of parked cars with raised tailgates knowing that a group of members from several Central Florida Adventist churches have come with a hot meal.
Soon, casseroles, salads, vegetables, fruit, fresh bread, desserts, and bottled water are ready for the more than 100 homeless who consider this nothing less than a curbside banquet. Asked why, with health problems, he walks so far to this place each week, Dennis responded, “You only have to come once and you will know why.”
The group of tailgate volunteers are led into service each week by Ron and Pam Adams from the Apopka church and Diane Kelly from Umatilla. “The homeless come for the ‘loaves and fishes,’” says Pam. “However, our desire is to give them the ‘bread of life’ and a drink of the ‘living water.’”
For Dennis and his street mates, the two hours with the tailgaters each week are filled with smiles and hugs, a listening ear, and prayers. “I couldn’t believe that you hugged me when I was so dirty,” responded one young man.
|Meal line: Raised tailgates signal that supper is being served to the homeless in Orlando, Fla., by Tailgaters for Jesus. [Pam Adams]
Practical first aid is offered to the homeless on a regular basis, clothing is made available, and new socks are given out twice a month. A small Bible and reading material are included in the dozens of new backpacks given away that are treasured by recipients who carry their every earthly possession in them.
Those who serve rely on the grace of Jesus to teach them how to be more than just another feeding line to those who are down and out. This small missionary band provides hot, home-made meals prepared at their own expense, while they reach out with hands of love to bring comfort and relief to those living on the streets — Martin Butler
$1.3 Million Grant Benefits Burkina Faso’s Disadvantaged
A reduction in poverty and improvement in the lives of some of the poorest people in the West African nation of Burkina Faso is the goal of a nearly $1.3 million project to be undertaken by the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) office in the United Kingdom. The charitable arm of the world church recently signed a contract with the European Commission (EuropeAid) to undertake the project, believed to be the largest single development grant so far made to ADRA UK.
EuropeAid’s grant will fund 75 percent of the project, while ADRA is funding the remaining 25 percent. It will begin operations in June 2007, and will concentrate on helping residents of twelve villages in Bazèga province. Effective management and enhancement of natural and water resources are a key goal, with improved availability and access to water a top priority. ADRA Burkina Faso will work on implementing the project.
Click here for more information about ADRA. –ADRA UK Media Relations/AR
Ad Gimmicks and Insidious Sins News Commentary
BY ELIZABETH LECHLEITNER, editorial assistant for Adventist News Network in Silver Spring, Maryland
In what Ed Markey, a Boston-area congressman, called a case of “chasing down trinkets instead of terrorists,”1 Boston officials spent some $500,000 recovering dozens of suspicious-looking light boards from area tunnels, bridges, and roadsides January 31. But aside from the outrage levels of local authorities and adrenaline rates of unnerved Boston residents, nothing proved explosive.
What Bostonians thought were bombs were nothing more than an unconventional ad campaign gone horrendously awry. The blinking, battery-powered light boards depicted Moonilite, a galactic baddie from the Adult-Swim cartoon “Aqua Teen Hunger Force,” and were meant to stir the late-night show’s snoozing ratings.
By the next morning, authorities had apprehended the two young men who planted the devices. Both pleaded not guilty to charges of inciting panic with a hoax. Turner Broadcasting System (TBS), Inc., the umbrella company of Adult Swim and the Cartoon Network, apologized for the marketing gig’s fallout and agreed to pay a $2 million settlement. In its defense, TBS claimed similar light boards had been planted in a string of other U.S. cities, but only triggered terror in Boston.
While the Boston authorities’ reaction is arguably justifiable in today’s post-9-11 political climate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s estimation of one of the devices seemed to smack at misdirected paranoia. “It had a very sinister appearance,” she told CNN. “It had a battery behind it, and wires.”
In other words, it looked like a bomb.
As Christians, we often stereotype sin in a similar way. Murder, adultery, and lying regularly top the roster of no-no’s, while we often overlook far more insidious but just as ultimately destructive wrongs such as complacency, hypocrisy, or self-indulgence. Let’s be sure these insidious sins aren’t sneaking into our lives as deftly as nerve gas might slip under the nose of a bomb squad leader.