Youth Show Three Ways to Be the Sermon
Pacific Islander and Hispanic youth in western Washington led the commemoration of Global Youth Day on March 20, 2021, through three key activities: a weekend rally, community service projects and baptisms.
“Washington youth did an excellent job of showing faith, creativity, resolve and courage to #BeTheSermon even during a pandemic,” says David Salazar, Washington Conference youth director. “They reached out across cultures, colors and community.”
The 2 Percent — by Dannelly Boggs, AAA student
The Pacific Islander community, who make up 2% of the Adventist world church, held a Wayfinder-themed rally at Auburn Adventist Academy Church to celebrate youth and young people. The theme of each talk was “Pushing Forward With God.”
Naomi Mulitauaopele Tagaleo’o, executive director of the Education with a Purpose Foundation for Pacific Islanders, joined the program virtually to share her testimony of graduating from Stanford University and starting an educational program for young people.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Ofa Langi, Auburn City Church pastor, described starting a drive-through food site to help provide fresh produce to families in desperate need. Auburn City Church’s mission expanded to include financial aid and helping people find health care, as well as hosting free COVID-19 testing.
Then Olga Falakiseni, a pastor from Texas, recorded a powerful poem explaining how, while growing up, she embraced being different in her home.
To finish the program, Rome Ulia, Auburn Academy Church pastor, shared how, even though life has been hard, you need to give it everything you got and do it for the Lord.
Throughout the afternoon, there were contests, testimonies, sermons and worship. By the end, three people were baptized. Because of this powerful event, many more came to the front of the church wanting to be baptized.
Where There Is Food – by David Salazar, Washington Conference youth director
It’s often said in ministry that, where there is food, there you will find people. Hispanic Youth Federation for Global Youth Day recruited youth from nine churches — Auburn, Auburn-Triumph, Bellevue, Burien, Federal Way, Kenmore, Lynnwood, Renton and White Center — to distribute 588 food boxes.
Tacoma Hispanic youth reached out to their youth group who hadn’t participated in ministry activities during the pandemic. They hosted an open house to share friendship and champurrado, a warm and thick Mexican chocolate-based drink. Bellingham Spanish youth held a similar type of gathering with interactive activities.
KhaiKhai Cin, a pastor working with the Burmese community in western Washington, was invited “back home” to Michigan's Grand Rapids and Battle Creek Zomi Adventist youth to encourage them to “reach out” through distributing care packages for the homeless, hot chocolate and a gift of prayer.
A Personal Choice for Jesus – by Heidi Baumgartner, Washington Conference communication director
When Port Orchard Church reopened its facility and began offering children’s classes again, Eli Campbell started showing up with his mother. One week Campbell witnessed a baptism. This stirred something in his heart, and he told the interim pastor, David Salazar, he was interested in Bible studies.
“Eli is always so excited to study the Bible,” Salazar says. “Most people seem to dread online meetings. Not this kid! He kept it up because he said it was his choice. Later I heard that his teachers reported better behavior at school.”
In all, three Port Orchard pastors — Salazar, Dustin Serns and Natalie Dorland — were part of discipling this young man. All three were present for his baptism on Global Youth Day.