6,000 Adventist Youth Commit to Continued “Revolution” at Seattle GYC Event
Annual event touched city with witness, ministry to homeless (Posted February 14, 2013)

BY CALLIE WILLIAMS AND MICHEL LEE, GYC, reporting from Seattle, Washington

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: John Bradshaw, an Adventist pastor and It Is Written speaker/director, addresses congregation at the GYC 2013 event.
he eleventh edition of the annual Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) conference drew 6,000 Seventh-day Adventist youth from 49 countries to Seattle in December 2012. Under the theme “Acts: The Revolution Continues,” participants heard challenging and inspiring sermons and reached out to one of the least-churched cities in North America.

The theme of revolution was infused in this year’s programming: from Seventh-day Adventist pastors Adam Ramdin, Wes Peppers, David Shin, and John Bradshaw to seminars on a variety of topics relevant to young people today to small group discussions led by everyday revolutionaries in their workplaces.

Outreach Day, a perpetual highlight of GYC conferences, took place on Sunday and consisted of outreach to local neighborhoods and homeless ministry. More than 2,500 Adventists illuminated Seattle with GLOW tracts and flyers personally inviting thousands to evangelistic series hosted by local Adventist churches. Four hundred forty-one residents preregistered for these series, some even excitedly promising to bring their families. One presenter was forced to move his prophecy seminar to a larger auditorium after attendees brought back an unexpectedly large number of preregistrants.

OUT TO WITNESS: One of many busloads of GYC participants who went throughout Seattle, Washington, to witness and help others.
Two more buses took attendees to find and feed those who were homeless, a new Outreach Day activity that seeks to exemplify GYC’s desire to serve as Jesus did. As Jeff Marshall, vice president of evangelism for GYC, had predicted the day before: Seattle was a different place than how GYC had found it.

Prayer is at the very center of divine revolutions, as noted by Ellen G. White, a pioneering cofounder of the Seventh-day Adventist movement: “From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation” (The Great Controversy, p. 210). On the evening of December 31, 2012, attendees gathered for a powerful prayer session with the desire to see a revolution in their lives and those of others in the new year.

“This conference helped me see my own need for revolution,” said Michael Luchak, one GYC attendee, “and I want to be willing, at any cost, [to] reach another soul.” Luchak speaks for countless young people who made commitments to seek God and His mission, and his words resound with speaker David Shin’s reminder that Christ Himself would save humanity at any cost to Himself.

CONCENTRATION: Young adults listen intently to a GYC presentation. [PHOTOS: GYC]
Before the disciples were ready to continue the revolution their Master started, their hearts had to be ready. In the closing message on the morning of January 1, It Is Written speaker/director John Bradshaw emphasized that revolution begins with a yielded and willing heart. Acts is an unfinished book: there was no farewell or end of action. Attendees can continue the Acts experience today.

The movement of GYC pushes for service close to home. “Our job as leaders is to connect [young people] to the local church, because that’s where the rubber meets the road,” said Justin McNeilus, president of GYC.

Attendees went home not only to impact their local churches but also to initiate regional GYC conferences, mission trips, and public campus ministries. In response to one appeal, attendees came forward to offer between three and seven years of their lives to overseas missions.

Although a common response from young people is that they are unqualified, many in leadership positions overlook them. Israel Ramos, a GYC cofounder, urged young people to focus on the talents God has given them in order to further the revolution described in the book of Acts: “The church [of Acts] is focusing on what it has instead of what it has not . . . what’s powerful about that is everyone can have Jesus, and He’s the only resource you need.”

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