by AT News Team

One of the most successful Adventist outreach initiatives for young adults is the God Encounters events. It has survived more than a decade and touched the lives of thousands of young adults. The 2012 gathering is schedule for August 30 through September 1 in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas. Organizers announced yesterday that Pastor Sam Leonor, chaplain at La Sierra University, the Seventh-day Adventist institution in Riverside, California, will be the primary speaker this year.

Leonor "is passionate about spiritual awakening among young adults, especially college students," a news release states. "He loves to see them bloom into faith that is missional, growing and full of love. He devotes much of his ministry to exploring contemporary Biblical spirituality in the context of community." He "loves his work" and calls young adults to "radical faith that engages culture deeply and emphasizes justice."

Raised in Latin America to parents involved in Seventh-day Adventist health care programs, he graduated from Southwestern Adventist University and the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary at Andrews University. He is currently a doctoral candidate at George Fox University, an interdenominational Evangelical institution. Leonor enjoys creating music, reading history, travel and good food.

The event has no fees or registration costs and is open to all who are interested. It begins with an evening session at 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 30; continues all day the next two days and ends with a free concert on Saturday night, September 1. More specific information can be found at or from the Arlington, Texas, Seventh-day Adventist Church at 4409 Pleasantview Drive.

God Encounters is a young adult movement began over a decade ago that is focused on pursuing a 24/7 experience with Jesus Christ. The next print issue of Adventist Today magazine includes an in-depth interview with one of the founding organizers.