August 14, 2015:   “I arrived to San Antonio unmotivated and debating if I should continue in the Adventist Church,” said Fernanda Duran, an 18-year-old young woman from the state of Washington in the United States. She was one of the volunteers who participated in community service and outreach projects across the Texas city as the General Conference delegates debated and voted. The experience changed her life.

Duran went home and started Impact Tri-Cities where she lives, using what she learned in San Antonio as a community action worker. She used Facebook and asked her friends to get involved with the goal, “Young adults bringing hope to the Tri Cities community.”

The first project was August 1 at Creation Festival Northwest where Impact Tri-Cities volunteers helped with the booth for Compassion International, a Christian relief and community development organization. The next project is August 22 when the Adventist young adults will join other Christians in a “Convoy of Hope,” distributing free groceries, providing medical and dental screenings, haircuts, family portraits, hot meals and job opportunities to low-income families.

What happened in San Antonio? “What happened was, I was born again,” said Duran. “Jesus reminded me that being Adventist is more than the Sabbath, doctrines, Church Manual, women’s ordination and being vegetarian. Being Adventist is waiting for the second coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” (See Matthew 25.)

“God sparked this huge flame in me, a passion so big that I couldn’t come home and do nothing. I had to impact my community and preach about His love, not just with words, but with actions.”

Pastor Gilbert Cangy, the denomination’s youth ministries director, told Adventist Today that this is just one of many examples of the young adults who participated in Impact San Antonio and caught a vision for service in their own cities. “Something good happened in San Antonio,” observed a veteran youth worker after hearing several of these stories. “There is nothing like hands-on, practical compassion to get you back to the real basics of following Jesus.”

If you would like to encourage Duran and her organization, you can reach them by Email at impacttricities@hotmail.com and she can tell you where to send contributions and/or sign up to help.