Adventist young adults in the Southern Asia-Pacific region (SSD) teamed up with mission oriented young professionals from all across Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines to experience the joy of service and the adrenaline rush of adventure during a week of volunteer work. This year’s Mission Adventures trip is the second of its kind within the region designed to involve young volunteers and service-oriented individuals.
This year’s call for adventure takes the delegates to Makassar, Indonesia, where the need to reach people is immense and the opportunity to serve is great. Known to be Indonesia’s fifth largest city, Makassar has a population of 1.6 million people as of 2013. The city is nestled within the 10/40 window where 60 percent of the population has yet to hear the gospel. It seems Makassar is just the right place for young people who are eager to come out of their comfort zones and do something radical for Jesus.
Thirty two delegates signed up for this year’s Mission Adventures which started in Makassar and culminated in Toraja. Activities included medical mission, the youth to youth student mentoring program (Youth2Youth), restoration of portions of Toraja View Academy (TVA), healthy living workshops for residents in and around TVA, and discipleship and nurturing workshops for TVA students.
Youth2Youth Student Mentoring Program
The Youth2Youth Student Program readies young adults to mentor younger generations for ministry and mission. This program was realized due to the growing challenge of young people who are leaving Adventist churches. The SSD Youth Department hopes this program will be one possible tool to retain a future generation of leaders inside our churches.
Studies show one of the highest reasons why young people decide to leave the Adventist Church is because no one contacted them after they stopped attending. Adventist leaders in SSD say this is why mentorship is so important. Mentors are trained to deal with the spiritual, moral, and leadership aspects of the individual, while mentees are being prepared for mission and organization management within their own sphere.
“The Youth2Youth Student Mentoring Program is a good program for the advancement of youth services of reaching up, reaching in, and reaching out,” said Beverly Yaofifi, one of the 2018 Mission Adventures delegates. “To be able to mentor others, one must allow to be trained and be immersed in God’s presence,” she added.
“For me, we cannot impact our society unless we first start within ourselves,” Yaofifi concluded.
Organizers of the mission trip aim to progress this program in the coming months to other parts of the region.
The Toraja View Academy
TVA is one of the oldest academies in East Indonesia. Known to be the only boarding school in the area, it is also known for its quality of education. This academy served as a stepping stone for most missionaries and theology graduates from the region.
Mission Adventure delegates, in partnership with TVA students and administration, got their hands dirty by renovating and remodeling the academy to its pristine beauty. The activity served as an inspiration for TVA’s over 400 students who are equipping themselves for the Lord’s work.
“Working for the Lord has never been this good,” said Alvianus Saleppang, Mission Adventures coordinator for Indonesia. “All the delegates from different countries and all the students and administration are doing all the dirty work for one purpose. Mission Adventures will never be the same without the opportunity to do service and actually experiencing it.”
After five days of construction, volunteers flattened the academy field, built a concrete stage, and repainted the walls of the academy.
Senior Youth Leader Curriculum
Introduced during the 10-day mission trip in Makassar, the Senior Youth Leader (SYL) Curriculum immersed the delegates in church life-situations so they can develop leadership skills. This curriculum was recently launched by the Adventist World Church Youth Ministries Department during the Youth Leadership Congress in Germany as the church’s response to the growing need of leaders in our church. This curriculum aims to awaken among our youth a greater sense of responsibility, a desire to take action, and for them to discover more opportunities to serve the Lord.
Mission Adventures 2018 delegates had the opportunity to be the first batch in the Southern Asia-Pacific region to undergo the training and certification of the SYL curriculum. They are now tasked to train other young people in their respective conferences, missions, and churches to take organizational responsibilities.
“We have a lot going on during this 10-day journey with spiritual formation, personal development, leadership equipping and social justice awareness, said Anthony Stanyer, Mission Adventures Coordinator and Adventist Youth Consultant for SSD. “In a time when our church is becoming concerned about the mass exodus of young people and of the rate of disengagement, Mission Adventures is one of the platforms of filling a void in the 18-35 year old’s so they can find empowerment and ownership in the movement of the Adventist Church.”
Jobbie Yabut, the youth director for SSD said, “Our SSD Church Membership is made up of individuals under the age of 39. This makes our division a young division and we have an opportunity to maximize on this.
“[Mission Adventures] is keeping true to our five-year theme of Pass It On. It is exactly what we are doing. Through Mission Adventures we are empowering the generation Y to become more intentional in leading and mentoring the generation Z Adventists.” he added.
As part of this year’s Mission Adventures program, the delegates got the chance to visit different tourist attractions in East Indonesia. Among the places they visited are the Wisata Pantai Galesong Waterpark Resort, Kodigareng Keke Island, Lolai Village in Toraja, and the statue of Jesus in Buntu Burake, Toraja.
Next year Mission Adventures aspirants can plan ahead and be ready for the adventure of their lives as the team invades Thailand on October 9-19, 2019.
“My hope is that all young Adventists can do the same as we did. It does not mean that you have to join Mission Adventures to be able to do that. Just do what you can and with what you have for the people around you,” said Maryone Walintukan, one of this year’s Mission Adventures delegates.