Last Saturday’s Global Youth Day was the single largest international mobilization of Seventh-day Adventist youth through social media, said Gilbert Cangy, the world church’s Youth Ministries director.
As hundreds of thousands of Adventist youth participated in community outreach, the church’s Youth departments worldwide reported their service activities live on Hope Channel in Australia, Germany and the United States.
More than 80,000 youth were connected through the social media – including Facebook and Twitter – and over 4 million people were talking about the initiative on the Internet.
Adventist youth skipped hearing a sermon and mobilized for service to demonstrate practical Christianity.
"It was a historically unifying moment for global Adventist youth,” Cangy said. “At the heart of it all, this was not any of our doing; we simply made ourselves available to God as his hands and feet to get His work done. It was so inspiring to see the results.”
Hundreds of young people in Spain participated in a flash mob in one of Madrid’s biggest shopping centers.
In England, young people served as missionaries for the day at local nursing homes and hospitals. Another group transformed their church into a shelter for abused women.
Young Adventists in Tanzania responded to an urgent call for blood donations.
In Puerto Rico, young people prayed for motorists on a busy street.
In South Africa, young people made breakfast for law enforcement officers.
And a headline in the Guyana Times read: “Adventist youths inspire hope through community service.”
“It was so wonderful to see the Youth Ministries department taking leadership in mobilizing the whole church this way," said Daryl Gungadoo, distribution and network engineer for Adventist World Radio Europe and an organizer of the event.
Megan Brauner, social media specialist in the world church's Communication department who assisted with the event, called for more social media integration with church activities and initiatives. "Social media is the perfect vehicle for spreading awareness and showing the results of a global movement in one place," she said. "The more we integrate social media into our projects, the more we'll reap the benefits of quickly communicating with millions of people and receiving immediate feedback."
The next Global Youth Day is scheduled for March 15, 2014.