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Youth in South Philippines Urge More than 20,00 to Model Lives After Jesus

The congress allowed participants to network with community organizations, allowing these entities to learn more about Adventist youth and how they may be a blessing in their own areas.

In an overwhelming display of unity and enthusiasm, more than 20,000 delegates from all across South Philippines attended the highly anticipated Youth Congress Evangelism Camp of the Adventist Youth Department of South Philippines, rooted in the theme "It's Time: Inspire, Teach, Serve - Imitate the Master’s Example.”

The Adventist Youth Congress was officially opened by Pastor Jemsly Lantaya, director of Youth Ministries for the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC). He reminded everyone of the rules and regulations, introduced the key people who would be providing services during the week, and urged everyone to become involved. Finally, he expressed his hope that the delegates will take delight in watching, listening to, and taking part in the ongoing youth congress. The fervent crowd of mostly young individuals representing local churches and academies within the SPUC convened at Mountain View College, the main site of this congress.

As the opening ceremony began, the church filled up with people eager to see distinguished visitors and missionaries, as well as SPUC and SSD (Southern Asia-Pacific Division) delegates who had come to show their support for the young people. Pastor Roxie Joy V. Pido, director of Communications for SPUC, welcomed everyone and presented the speakers and, most significantly, the eight mission field youth directors and delegates who fall under SPUC's jurisdiction.

One of the highlights of the opening ceremony was the participation of thousands of delegates forming the words "It's Time" in the open area in front of the MVC grandstand. The event was followed by a flag-raising competition and a lengthy parade from the grandstand to the Alumni Church, headed by the Color Guards and Master Guides.

The congress allowed participants to network with community organizations, allowing these entities to learn more about Adventist youth and how they may be a blessing in their own areas.

Valencia City's Honorable Mayor Azucena Huervaz witnessed the opening ceremony and imparted words of encouragement to the young people in attendance: "Equip yourselves to become compassionate leaders," she urged the youth, "by nurturing your minds and empowering your hearts.… May our time together help us learn from the past, face the challenges of the present, and imagine a better future."

Mayor Huervaz added, “I encourage you to embrace the opportunity to learn from one another, expand your horizons, and cultivate wisdom and understanding.”

Leaders from the Adventist Church expressed their confidence upon witnessing how the Lord has led the young people to be future leaders of the church.

Pastor Roger Caderma, president of the SSD, reminded the youth, "Anywhere you go, you are representing the church and the family of God" by virtue of their identity as Seventh-day Adventists.

Dr. Remwil R. Tornalejo, president of MVC, reminded the Youth Congress delegates that the school is not just a place where they "can give us something, but also it is an institution where we can give something for the glory of God."

After the inspiring orations and messages, participants shared visual presentations called "Glimpses of Mindanao" from their various missions and conferences. The presentations focused on cultural identity or well-known features of their own territories. A plaque was presented to LJ P. Lantaya, the composer and performer of the theme song, as recognition for her efforts.

The Youth Congress organizers promised to provide a week of spiritual growth, physical progress, and mental development. Worship services, thought-provoking workshops, and 19 honor and livelihood stations all throughout the convention awaited all delegates. Inspiring the students on their spiritual journeys were special guests from the Adventist World Church and the regional offices who offered their knowledge and insights on living a life according to the example of Jesus.

In addition to the spiritual component, the congress provided avenues for personal growth through a variety of physical and spiritual activities, enabling all attendees to become well-rounded people committed to preparing for the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

This opened unlimited opportunities for young people to meet one another, share ideas, and develop as a community. This exhibits the passion and dedication of the Adventist youth living and leading by example in their faith.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.


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