PMCC South Bay held a two-day Youth Conference entitled Youth Up! It’s the first time our local church and the US District has conducted anything like this: an event built for high school and college students, to engage them, talk to them about today’s issues, and empower and equip them for greater service unto the Lord.
Delegates from North California (Milpitas, Daly City, and Fremont), Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego, and South Bay), and a good number from Las Vegas, Nevada traveled a long way to make it to the event. A big group from Spokane, Washington is reported to have driven 16 hours overnight just to make it to the event. And sure enough, they weren’t disappointed.
Day One was packed with seminars from guest speakers, including: City of Gardena Councilmember Ronald Ikejiri; CEO of Hosanna Broadcasting Network, Miss Tersit Asrat; 7-year chaplain of the LA Clippers, Pastor Robert Cummings; Carson’s longest-running mayor, Jim Dear; and financial adviser for Wachovia Bank, Brother Edmund Gabor.
South Bay’s Senior Pastor Jonathan S. Ferriol, brainchild behind the Youth Up! Conference, followed up each session with personal (and biblical) thoughts and remarks. At the end Pastor Jonathan opened up an interactive question-answer portion, and sure enough many were interested to know more. Pastor encouraged youths from different locale churches to mix it up and make new friends. He even incorporated a team-building exercise to get different local churches working together. Indeed, by the second day, strangers knew each other’s name, and everyone was having a good time.
By Day Two, the youth united to prepare for the Saturday night Youth Crusade. By their combined efforts, they had an amazing turnout: some youths brought friends from far away, and others invited acquaintances and first-time visitors to the church. By nightfall, the sanctuary was packed, and each local church put their best foot forward with talented performances including dance presentations, youth bands, and video presentations.
Highlighting the event, Apostle Arsenio T. Ferriol, our special guest speaker newly-arrived from Marikina, Philippines, spoke to our youth during Worship and on the night of the Crusade. In both powerful and anointed messages, Apostle Arsenio explained to them through the fulness of Scripture and by his own experience the importance of giving their lives for God, and stepping up in their service. Many dedicated themselves to the full-time ministry, and others were prayed for by the Apostle.
According to one of the delegates, “It was a great experience. I learned a lot: how to manage my finances, how to stay fit, and most of all how to step up my service to God. It was awesome.”
He hopes that in 2013, it’ll be even bigger and better than ever. Thumbs up to the organizers and volunteers behind the event! Looks like we’re already looking forward to the next one.