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Global Youth Day: The passion for the mission

Global Youth Day: The passion for the mission

Alsbach, Germany [C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews]. March 26, 2015. The day started off very early Sabbath morning in Stimme der Hoffnung (SdH), the Inter-European Region (EUD) Media Center of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The third annual Global Youth Day (G

March 26, 2015 | C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews.

Alsbach, Germany [C. Cozzi, CD-EUDNews]. March 26, 2015.

The day started off very early Sabbath morning in Stimme der Hoffnung (SdH), the Inter-European Region (EUD) Media Center of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The third annual Global Youth Day (GYD) started the 24-hour marathon broadcasting covering the first day of Spring. This is also the first day of the worldwide Youth Week of Prayer, where they are called to put on programs locally to improve spiritual life. “Be the sermon” is the motto of this exciting youth in action campaign.

Fiji Youth Leader Litiana Turner began the program with her staff. It was 4 a. m. in the SdH studio. The last one would be at 4 a. m. in the Studio of Hope Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. The youth showed a long list of activities focused mainly on charity, humanitarian activities, promotion of values, blood donations, hospital visits, retirement homes, cleaning houses, streets, parks, etc.

“It is touching to see the passion of these youth sharing the love of Jesus to people that are not used to receiving help for free” said Corrado Cozzi, EUD Communication director. “What they are doing is priceless. On the map you can easily see the rays of action representing youth activities. This is impressive! In 24 hours more than 9 million youth instigated about 16,000 sessions in some 132 countries around the world. Social networks were “stormed” by young people exchanging their comments, photos, creating a volume of about 25 million messages on Twitter, and many other on Facebook, Google+, etc. For one day the whole world spoke Adventist Youth in Action.”

All programs were broadcasted from studios in Fiji, Sydney, Melbourne, Seoul, Indonesia, Honk Kong, India, Tanzania, Moscow/Ukraine, Cape Town, Frankfurt, Oslo, Holland, London, Sao Paolo, NAD Campus, Mexico-Montemorelos and Silver Spring (GC).

This year youth where invited to collaborate with ADRA for a special campaign: “Global Youth Day fundraiser for ADRA”.

A few days before, the Cyclone, Pam, had devastated the archipelago of Vanuatu, and the youth took this opportunity to organize aspecial worldwide fundraiser. “Global Youth Day 4 Vanuatu” is the web page where all donations can be directed to help thousands of homeless in search of shelter, food, protection and comfort.

Unfortunately, for unknown reasons, donations were not as expected. It is still possible to donate, please go to http://www.razoo.com/story/Global-Youth-Day-4-Vanuatu-1

Behind the Scenes

Global Youth Day - backstage

It wasn't enough to have a TV studio, directors, technicians, cable or everything essential to broadcast the third Youth Day. More was needed for the 24-hour broadcasting of the longest video program.

The hub of the whole progam was in Germany at “Stimme der Hoffnung” Media Centre. Entering the studio, you immediately notice the joyful atmosphere and respect among the workers and tasks accomplished by the team. Pushing buttons, adjusting the volume, registering the images, etc. it is apparently simple, but there is more to give vitality to this extraordinary marathon of images. Here is an example: “Houston we have a problem”, this is the famous warning that everyone knows and uses in case of emergency. Effectively, when the program started, there was a warning from Indonesia: “Stimme, we have a problem”. There was no connection … it was impossible to send signals and start broadcasting.

A serious problem indeed. And here the difference is evident: the whole team worked together to find solutions, without complaining or blaming anybody.

To find enough programs to cover 2 hours of broadcasting in only 30 minutes, was very stressful but not impossible. What made the difference was the expertise and passion by all members of the team, like Wolfgang, Sascha, Tobias, Daryl, Gilbert, etc.

Another example: 15 minutes before their slot time, the studio in India had a problem, they had no signal. Guidance from the team, and prayers of other supporters made the connection possible. It went very well and we had one of the best programs.

Hours gently followed their natural course of time, the new day came and went, until it reached the 24 hours. We started with a small team at night, we concluded with the same team the following night. We sat around the table and spent some time evaluating, and we all agreed that we were tired but very happy for this third edition of GYD. “See you next year” we said, “please don't miss it!”.

“The journey has started” said Gilbert Cangy, worldwide Adventist youth leader, “but we do not know where we are going... surely God knows.”

Some experiences

The Milan youth group had different projects. Among these was the distribution of food to the homeless. A project that brought the youth in contact with many people with extremely sad stories and who needed to meet someone who would listen to them and give them a hug.

Young people went around offering to exchange cigarettes for apples. One of the boys could not get close to anyone, then he stopped to pray and asked: God what can I do? And it occurred to him to use his gift of making people laugh. He started using this new approach and managed to exchange 23 cigarettes for apples.

A group of young people went to a seniors citizens' center and had quite an experience. First they spent time meeting the guests and then put on a program for them. The youth identified with their difficulties and were moved, and realized that a sermon also means listening to others and really be able to get close to people.

Some of the youth were at the banquet for the homeless. They approached someone to given him a Bible. Before leaving, the man said he had found other young people from church, and they had given him some apples. At that point he was told that he would also receive some bread. The man looked at them and said, “Don't worry, for today God has given me enough to eat, I was without food this morning and now I have a backpack full of apples and God willing, He will make sure I'll have them for supper and He will also give me a sandwich... I am sure God will not abandon me.” “At that moment I realized that he was one of the richest men in the world, and there he was right in front of me," said Gianluca Benini.

To make a point

“The GLOBAL YOUTH DAY was again a great success – lots of love, creativity and energy as well as commitment, enthusiasm and service by the global youth. That’s encouraging” said Klaus Popa, SdH Director. “At STIMME team we regard it a privilege to be part of this initiative. Looking forward to next year.”

“Yes indeed, it was above and beyond our expectations despite technical difficulties; it goes to show that "content" is more important than the technical quality of the “studio production” declared Daryl Gungadoo, AWR technical producer of the GYD.

“It was truly a pleasure and an honour to be a part of such a great project and working with such a dedicated global team. I believe that God's mission was truly advanced because of GYD 2015,” Philip Riley, Hope Channel Producer

“Let us stop saying that young people are disengaged; let us take a positive view and continue to involve youth in mission; it is a new day to the glory of God. Thanks to all again and may mission be our way of life and we will regroup for GYD 2016.” concluded Cangy.

Yes, Global Youth Day is more than a one-day activity, it is a lifestyle. Everybody knows it well.

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