Sabbath morning began with business as usual, but as I walked up to Church, the air seemed tinged with something different. There was a buzz of excitement as the sun shone brightly, bringing a strong breeze that carried the promise of what God had in store for the Area 2 Youth Day of Fellowship.
The venue was Preston Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the day would be great. After all, "this was the day that the Lord had made", and we were ready to "rejoice in it" (Psalm 118:24). Area 2 was well represented with young people visiting from Manchester, Leeds, Bradford, Blackburn, Salford, Birmingham and Windermere.
The program started well with a prayer and a warm welcome from Preston's praise team. The praise team, accompanied by a number of talented musicians, warmed up the Church and prepared them to study the Word. An excellent, interactive study on James 2 followed, leaving us thinking about partiality and how Jesus' countercultural approach to this issue is still applicable.
During the Divine Service, we were richly blessed with a special item from a trio of singers from Blackburn, and Pastor Jermaine Swaby, who fed us the spiritual food. The message was aptly titled #ThereisLifeInMe with a focus on Acts 20:7-12. During Pastor Swaby's conclusion, the Spirit moved, with many attendees responding to one of the three appeals made.
We had all worked up an appetite and were ready to partake of the physical food. To say the food was good would be an understatement! The catering team did an excellent job of feeding us all and then some.
We wrapped up the day with a powerful afternoon service led by Pastor Micah Campbell, who reinforced the acronym IMAGE (I Am Always Good Enough). The afternoon service was focused on personal development and provided some practical tips on goal setting and measuring one's growth.
The day was such a huge success and testimony to the hard work that we know goes on in the background, despite us only ever seeing the finished product. Thank you to the Preston Youth Team, the NEC Youth and Communications Department, Pr Swaby and Family, Pr Micah and Family, Pr Joe Philpott and family and the entire Preston SDA church family for organising and hosting.
May we always remember that we are made in the IMAGE of God, and He says we are always good enough!