It’s Sabbath evening (August 4) in Valencia and there is an atmosphere of celebration. Seven young people have decided to publicly commit their lives to God and were baptized. The entire program was filled with supportive shouts and cheerful clapping.
The praise and worship team led the congregation using a balanced mix of hymns and contemporary praise songs. The stage was replete with professional musicians, members of either an orchestra or band.
The entire focus today in the plenary sessions was on living responsibly toward God. In other words, God’s love and character deserves all of our attention and energy. It was asserted that studying the words of God will be a good start to get to know Him. Once we accept His freedom we become truly free living beings. Freedom moves us past individualism and unleashes one’s true personality as God would have it. Finally, it will generate ideas–God wants each of us to reveal the genius inside ourselves when we dedicate ourselves to Him. Ty Gibson pointed out that a frequent mistake made by the church in recent years has been to shut down creativity within the church, especially when it comes from the younger generations. As he shared this, I wanted to know how creativity can be contained within biblical parameters, so that we can appropriately refresh our church practices. Is there a limit to what we should be considering?
However, there is a challenge we must all face when we meet or rediscover Jesus. And that is, facing our own weaknesses and failures. If we do, the next challenge awaits, and that is accepting God’s invitation to trust that He will “catch the fish” for us that we were unable to catch for a long time.
It appeared the attendance rate was lower today, but this may well be because yesterday’s outreach activities were somewhat tiresome and I have noticed others enjoying the opportunity to visit other locations around Valencia, including the alluring beaches in August (it is warm here).
In any case, I’m pleased that this event has produced the desire for seven young souls that have decided to dedicate their lives to the Lord tonight. Perhaps some are still deciding.
On another note, sports were organized at AYC twice in the afternoon and this year they had basketball, volleyball, floor football, etc. The sporting activities attracted a large number of attendees, while others decided to use the individual, united and/or creative prayer rooms for new ways to engage in prayer. You could draw or write on a wall your prayers or sit in a wheelchair to pray for repair and restoration. The creative prayer room remained the most popular.
The schedule remains demanding throughout the week, but I look forward to the Sabbath service tomorrow.
You can learn more about the European Adventist Youth Congress here.