Jonathan C. Catolico/ANN
A record 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists attended the May 11 Sabbath, or Saturday, program of the 10th annual youth congress in southern Philippines. Organizers say that people came by cars, busses, cargo trucks, and many other modes of transportation, to hear world church senior youth leader Alfredo Garcia-Marenko, from the Adventist Church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. The Alumni Church of Mountain View College, where the event was held, was filled to overflowing.
“I am very excited to see this army of youth show their commitment to finish God’s work in this area of the world field,” says Garcia-Marenko. He says the theme of the congress, which ran May 7 to 11, was “Choose and Change,” and was intended to help young people identify their priorities, choose those that are right, and make them work, for both personal benefit and for the church.
Youth play a massive role in evangelism in the Southern Asia-Pacifc, says Hiskia Missah, youth director of the Adventist Church in the region. “We’re not only talking of the quality of service but the quantity of help that our thousands of youth give towards church programs in this division, particularly in the Philippines.” He notes that the southern Philippines is well known for its high rate of baptisms due to strong participation of the laity, the majority of whom are young people.