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Global Youth Day 2018

Global Youth Day 2018

Young Adventists in action for a whole day animating programs to distribute water and food. With the motto "Be the Sermon"

March 20, 2018 | CD-EUDNews, C.Cozzi

Alsbach, Germany. Saturday March 17, 2018. [CD-EUDNews. Corrado Cozzi]. “Simply fantastic!” This is the reaction of many that assisted with Global Youth Day, a special day where about 8 million youth around the world participated in the 5th edition under the motto “Be the sermon”. And they were.

This year, the main theme was “Food & Water Drive”. From Fiji to Washington, youth animated a long series of programs, distributing water and food along the way, in schools, nursing homes, and everywhere they went.

The food that they provided was either cooked or dry, helping mainly the poor population of their local communities who have limited access to water and food.

From the faces of the people that received a parcel it was easy to see their wonder at such generosity. For our young people, distributing the food and water was much more than a generous gesture. It was a gesture in response to Jesus' call when he said that he was hungry and thirsty, and we gave him food and drink.
And these youths were proud to preach this message!

Watching all the livestreams during that day, we realised that the youth were very original in their ideas of different ways to distribute food and water, especially water.

Some of the projects provided a bottle of water to the people that they encountered.
Some projects focused on the necessity to provide fresh water in homes and supported the construction of a pipe system, to the joy of those in need. Some projects provided water for agriculture in dry climate countries.
Some chose to use the water to clean the homes of poor people.
The most original project was in Hong Kong, where young people organised a dog cleaning service.

Some projects replicated last year’s topic, donating blood. Others focused on a health assessment (blood pressure, blood sugar levels) for many of the communities’ elderly folks.

Of course, there was also the program where youth sang for homeless people at a shelter where they could come together and get a warm meal.

We found youth groups in various locations: feeding the homeless, sharing with the fire department, helping to prepare the way for a new homeless shelter, giving gifts in nursing homes, and much more.

Finally, this GYD2018 allowed young people to come together to pack meals that will feed over hundreds of thousands of people with tons of food. How many tons? We can only guess, but many many tons all around the world.

“One in four children goes to bed hungry every night,” (in some parts of the world) explained one of the youth leaders working with his youth in community service. “We packed 10,000 meals today. Each package feeds a family of 6. That’s 60,000 people to be fed.” A good number of children went to bed well-fed that night.

It was not easy to animate such projects everywhere. In countries like the Middle East, “God's love surpasses boundaries of language, culture and upbringing,” declared Sam Neves, Communication Associate at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC). “There's no place like the Middle East to be the sermon!” It was the same scenario for the Euro-Asia Region. Whatever their circumstances, young Adventists in Ukraine and Russia want to be the sermon! And they demonstrated it proudly.

It is worthwhile to also identify a group of Deaf youth in Spain that animated a simple but effective programme: “hugs for free”.

Finally, we received an exciting report of God's work around the world touching countries like Fiji, Australia, Philippines, South Korea, Hong Kong, India, Tanzania, Ukraine, Middle East, Germany, South Africa, Ghana, Belgrade, Iceland, Bahamas, Brazil, and the United States.
24 hours of broadcasting, provided by the European Media Center, Stimme der Hoffnung, located in Germany. The eagerness of the crew at this Media Center is priceless!

Looking back on this Global Youth Day, we can agree with Neves that “these young Adventists are fully determined to be the sermon as they reach out to their friends. They gave themselves to their community. It could be something that impacts an entire community or something as small as a smile. There are many ways to be the sermon.”

Like the previous editions, the hosts of GYD2018 where the awesome Kerhyss and Sam. They accompanied the youth along the journey with their with their invaluable sympathy.

The new GC youth leader, Gary Blanchard, and his associates led the crew of this special ‘Air company’ (the file rouge of the whole broadcasting connecting one country to another was a use of a virtual GYD airways). He was excited to participate for the first time in this special marathon. "Just remember guys,” he concluded, “the Young Adventist's Day is not just one day, but rather every day. Continue to Be the sermon.”

Jonathan Tejel, Inter-European Region youth leader, echoed Blanchard’s sentiment, saying, “I would like to see, in our local churches, young people being the feet and hands of Jesus Christ. I hope that we can accomplish something even greater, than just doing it for one day.”

For a better overview of the GYD projects, see the web page  and Facebook.

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