By Tyson Jacob, 10 December 2019 | Presenters from the youth and health departments of the Adventist denomination’s General Conference conducted the Youth Alive training event the first week of December on the campus of the University of Arusha, the Adventist institution in Tanzania. It was attended by hundreds of young adults from across the East-Central Africa Division (ECD).
The event was hosted by Pastor Magulilo Mwakalonge, youth director for the ECD, and the presenters were coordinated by Pastor Paco Mokgwane. During his worship sermon on the last day (7 December), Mokgwane introduced Youth Alive social media and urged the participants to stay connected. His sermon title was “It Is Possible,” based on Acts 3:6. He encouraged young people to never give up because “it doesn’t matter what difficulty you are going through, it is possible” to overcome.
Mokgwane urged believers and leaders to show people Jesus in action, practical kindness “because that is what it means to be youth alive.” Referring to the text where a handicapped person was healed by Peter and John as they headed to church, Mokgwane said God does not give you things that last for only a little while, such as wealth, He gives you legs so that you can walk and find people in need.
Adventist Today witnessed many young adults go forward in testimony to a call to pastoral ministry and pledge their lives to the mission of Christ in response to a call by Pastor Musa Mitekaro, who is the ECD ministerial and family life director. There is a passion for God’s work among young adults in this part of the world.
Many of the young adults told Adventist Today they wanted days added to the week of training because they were enjoying it so much. Large numbers responded positively to a pledge “to choose Christ to be my power … to be healthy and happy and say no to” alcohol, tobacco, drugs, pornography, gambling and sex out of wedlock. And “to stand for what is true.”
Pastor Abraham Mafwele, one of the presenters, told Adventist Today that participants have been enriched with knowledge and guided to change attitudes and character by the week. “Youths are challenged with drugs, sex and worldly behavior, and this training confronts all that, and by the power of Holy Spirit we have equipped young adults in ECD to confront all that in their communities and among the young people around them.”
Tyson Jacob is a reporter for Adventist Today based in Africa. He attended the Youth Alive week at the invitation of the denomination’s East-Central Africa Division staff.