Ukraine Hosts Adventists’
First Euro-Asia Youth Congress
More than 2,000 attendees converge on Kiev.
BY ANGELA BURDICK
, Euro-Asia Division
n enthusiastic crowd of more than 2,000 Seventh-day Adventist young people found—and shared—inspiration during the recent Euro-Asia Division youth congress held from August 21 to 25 in Kiev, Ukraine. It was the first time the country hosted the event.
The congress showcased Adventist youth from the division living out their faith in new and meaningful ways. Such expressions can be difficult, since many of the attendees came from countries that still face challenges to religious freedom.
The young people “inspired us with their vibrancy, joy, and freedom in repackaging their faith in the most relevant and meaningful way for their generation,” said Gilbert Cangy, Youth Ministries Department director for the Adventist world church.
The Euro-Asia Division youth congress, held every five years, convened on the campus of the Ukrainian Adventist Center of Higher Education.
“We wanted to inspire young people in their spiritual growth. Hundreds experienced spiritual renewal at the congress,” said Genadiy Kasap, the division’s youth ministries director.
General Conference president Ted N. C. Wilson greeted the group in Russian. Wilson, who served four years as Euro-Asia Division president, later said: “It thrills my heart to see so many young people on fire for Jesus who are anxious for God to give them the power to serve Him.”
Attendees participated in educational workshops on campus and
community service throughout Kiev and nearby cities. Twenty busloads of youth and young adults helped clean parks, streets, and railways.
Winners of a Bible trivia competition were awarded trips to upcoming denominational spiritual gatherings: the third-place winner received a trip to the European youth congress in Serbia; the second-place winner won a trip to the 2013 world youth congress in South Africa; and the first-place winner won the opportunity to attend the 2015 General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, United States.
The Euro-Asia Division is comprised of 13 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
The division reports a membership of approximately 138,000.