GC Youth Director Speaks to Young Alaskans
The first-ever Alaskan Youth Summit was held at Anchorage Junior Academy Oct. 30–31, 2009. Organization was provided by the Alaska Youth Ministries. The event was designed to address youth development needs, promote leadership skills, enable and empower youth to partner in the church mission. The event also provided a venue for a military appreciation ceremony in honor of men and women in uniform losing their lives while fighting for freedom and to commend thousands of Adventists in uniform. A tearful one-minute silence touched hearts as the audience reflected on the horrors of war and violence.
Friday vespers opened with Masai Fanene, an Alaskan Youth leader from the Anchorage Samoan Church. Fanene also led the Samoan choral group. Rona Hodges, of the Kenai AY, stressed the importance of empowering youth leadership while Miracle Ulisese, of the Samoan AY, talked about witnessing. Roby Teeling, a youth leader from Wasilla, Alaska, shared the value of being alert from the constant attack of the enemy.
The Sabbath morning Youth Empowered to Serve emphasis on community outreach, civic engagement and volunteerism, was presented by Ephraim Palmero, Alaska Conference Youth Ministries director.
Baraka Muganda, World Church Youth Ministries director, challenged more than 320 youth and young adults to "share our testimony and less of ourselves." Muganda hailed the theme "Reflecting His Radiance" and advocated its application. Ric Palacios, Texas Conference pastor; Dennis Tello, Central California Conference pastor; and Bill Kasper, Alaska Conference pastor; provided the Sabbath afternoon sessions with inspirational messages and best-practice witnessing experiences.
"Yes, we would like this to happen again!" was a chorus among young people who attended.
The showcase of youth talents and skills enhanced a unified spirit of commitment, confidence, love and loyalty to the church.