Ghetto Preacher Engages Youth with GPS

December 01, 2010 | Ephraim Palmero

"God ... People ... Service ... GPS. Your journey as a youth will be more meaningful if you will allow God to make you more compassionate to your neighbors and serve your communities with enthusiasm." Willy Ramos, a.k.a. the "Ghetto Preacher," broke the house down with his modern approach to engage youth in participating in the witnessing function of the church.

The Alaska youth ministries sponsored the second statewide Youth Summit Sept. 24–26 at the Pioneer Adventist Campgrounds in Palmer, Alaska. Hundreds of youth from Nome, Alaska to Homer, Alaska, participated in the weekend-long event. Serious themes, such as abusive dating, teen romance, substance abuse and secular issues challenging youth in their early Christian lives, were discussed. Cheri Gatton, Idaho Conference women's ministries director, facilitated modules about teen and young adult issues concerning forming values and healthy relationships.

Another highlight of the summit was the question and answer forum led by teen and young adult panelists moderated by Leandro Robinson, pastor. Several theme questions, such as "Why does God allow bad things happen to good people?" and other serious concerns that baffle youth, were discussed. Audience responses were encouraged to bring depth and reflection to these issues. Paulette Smith, a youth from Hillside O'Malley (Alaska) Church told leaders, "We are grateful that you guys are listening to us."