The bright morning of the Saturday gone (4 March) saw youth gathered at Edinburgh Seventh-day Adventist Church for a day of fellowship. The programme started at 10am with small group discussions led by several young people on witnessing - what it is, what it involves, and the forms it can take. One of the thoughts shared was that you can’t be considered a credible witness to something, for example a car accident, unless you are able to give a first-hand account of what happened. The same principle also applies to Christian witnessing. To be a credible witness, you have to have experienced Jesus and his transforming presence in your life first. Does the desire to witness come natural for a genuine Christian? Yes and no. When we experience the overwhelming peace, freedom and joy that comes from knowing God it will reflect in our everyday conversations and interactions. However, life is a constant state of ebb and flow. There will be times we feel physically and mentally so exhausted we would rather sit in silence and wait on the Lord to ‘refill our cup’ and that is ok too.
The worship band did a wonderful job tying the first part of the morning programme to the second where Pr Clifford Herman from the South England Conference took to the stage to share with young people his thoughts on the theme for the day ‘What’s the Point?’. He shared with the audience a personal experience from a day in the past where it felt like everything that could go wrong went wrong. His car was stolen, his wife’s car got damaged in a road traffic accident and to top it all off he lost his wallet. In times like this and worse you are sometimes left wondering ‘What is the point of it all?’ There is a story in the Bible of a young man called Joseph who lived through some extraordinary hardships. Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery in a foreign country where he experienced sexual harassment at the hands of someone in a position of authority. He was then also wrongfully imprisoned. Most people would fold under these circumstances and question the meaning of their existence. Joseph stayed hopeful and faithful to the one God he knew and believed in. Years later things take a positive turn for Joseph and he receives the respect and acknowledgement of the Pharaoh who gives Joseph a new name ‘Zaphnath-Paaneah‘ meaning ‘God speaks and God lives’. Pharaoh sees God in Joseph and eventually Joseph regains his dignity, his family, and his life. Perhaps if Joseph was here today to retell his story he would say that there was meaning in his suffering. Pr Herman challenged young people to see themselves as the embodiment of God who speaks and lives. When people see us, do they see the embodiment of a God who speaks and lives? Despite our imperfections we have the opportunity to be connected to God and work alongside Him to share the story of the greatest God in the universe.
With much food for thought, the young people then headed to the church hall for some lunch and social interaction.
The afternoon programme received great participation from the youth. The young people were asked to identify one issue in their communities that they would like to address and engage with to bring about positive change, such as homelessness or loneliness. They then worked on developing a plan of action describing what they were hoping to do and how they were going to do it. We would like to commend our youth on their enthusiasm and willingness to work on making a positive difference in their communities. We look forward to hearing more on this at the next Youth Day of Fellowship!
A huge thank you to the dedicated technical team at Edinburgh Seventh-day Adventist church, the worship band, the event organisers, and to all who contributed to the success of this event.
A recording of the event can be viewed here.
Scottish Mission Youth Day of Fellowship 2023 Gallery
(Photography: Hellevi Walker)