By Debbonnaire Kovacs, April 1, 2015 It was Big. It was Very Big. Sometimes, it’s much too easy to let our heads get buried in our own small corner and think nothing’s happening. Speaking for myself, I have been unable to build any interest in the first two years of the project called Global Youth Day in my neck of the woods. (This third year I’ve been down for the count and have no idea what, if anything has happened locally.) So imagine my surprise and joy to discover that, well…this was BIG!
This article will make no attempt to be exhaustive, but will include lots of links where you can see more if you wish.
According to the GC’s official youth newsletter, Youth Connect, “Our online analytics show that during the 24 hours of March 21…
- 151 countries were engaged in Global Youth Day
- 21, 426, 780 Tweets with #GlobalYouthDay
- 7, 942, 906 Tweets with #GYD15 hashtag
- 5,000+ Instagram pictures with #GlobalYouthDay
- globalyouthday.org opened more than 20,000 times.”
With slightly different statistics, possibly taken earlier, or possibly because of different parameters, Gilbert Canga, GC World Youth Director, reported in Adventist Review: “Activities were held in 132 of the world’s 92 countries, as recognized by the United Nations, and 73 percent of participants were young people between the ages of 13 and 34.” The Review goes on to say, “He noted that this represents a critical age group that has disengaged from the church in large numbers in recent years. ‘Global Youth Day goes against this trend,’ he said. ‘It shows our youth are willing to engage in the mission of the church if we are willing to give them leadership. I am very proud of our young people.’”
I believe that another factor is that young people (and not only young people, either!) are less willing to sit and listen to sermons than to be actively engaged in ministering to people as Jesus did. Here is just a taste of the activities that went on this year:
- Health fairs
- Literature Evangelism (sometimes on skateboards and inline skates!)
- Visiting sick and elderly
- Giving food, clothing, and other necessities to homeless people
- Helping on building sites
- Working on clean-up projects
- Caring for, even bathing, people in need
- Singing, clapping, and dancing with all ages, to share the love and joy of Christ
- Sharing everything from smiles to balloons on street corners
You can see more, and perhaps catch a spark of the enthusiasm, by visiting any of the following sites (as well as the ones within the article, above.) Do it when you have a little time, because there’s a lot. Do it when you need to be cheered up on the topic of What’s Up with Today’s Young People? And don’t just look. Go and do. Here’s hoping this love, joy, and service spills over into the other 364 days this year and every year until Jesus comes again!
First of all, check out the astonishing interactive map at www.globalyouthday.org. This does not actually describe the projects; it just contains hundreds, perhaps thousands, of photos from various regions. Keep clicking on numbers—it will zoom in eventually to individual projects in all the regions of the world.
www.facebook.com/AdventistGlobalYouthDay This page contains a roundup that pretty much goes on forever!
Youtube channel: https://bit.ly/1CDhl6d
ANN video recap: https://vimeo.com/123641329