On the afternoon of Sabbath, October 14, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), hosted by the South Bahamas Conference (SBC), held its Bible Connection (formerly Bible Boom) competition finals under the theme “Study to Satisfy; Memorize to Maximize.”
Visitors and church members attended the event at the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church where Kianna Rankin of the Cayman Islands Conference; Stephon Forbes of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC); Charles Greene of SBC; and Adrian Reader of the Turks & Caicos Island Mission (TCIM) showcased their Bible knowledge. This competition among the four territories of ATCU was held to determine who would represent the union in the wider competition with the other semi-finalists from the 23 union fields within the Inter-American Division (IAD).
Pastor Kent Price, youth ministries director of ATCU, stated that the competition, organized by the Youth Ministries Department of the IAD, was more than just memorizing the Bible. He explained that it was about connecting with the word of God and developing a relationship with Him. He congratulated each of the finalists and admonished them to continue to draw nearer to Christ.
Pastor Paul A. Scavella, president of the SBC, brought remarks and congratulated the Youth Ministries Department of ATCU for helping young individuals to stay connected to God’s word.
Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president of ATCU, also greeted the participants and their well-wishers. He observed, “The fact that the Youth Ministries Department is sponsoring such a program underscores the importance of being reconnected to God.”
Moderated by Ms. Takara Lewis and Elder Curtis Bryan of SBC, the competition was conducted via a software designed by the IAD where participants sit at computers to answer 50 questions with a maximum value of 450 points. The response time of the participant is also recorded. If there is a tie in points, response time would be the tie-breaker.
Once the competition had ended, Mr. Adrian Reader of TCIM was declared the victor with a score of 385 points. He would now go on to represent ATCU in the IAD’s finals that will be held in Cancun, Mexico during December 1 – 3, 2017.
In commenting after the victory, Judith Robinson, youth ministries director of TCIM, praised God for His faithfulness and His protection during Hurricane Irma. Ms. Robinson stated that while more than half of the Turks and Caicos Islands was still without electricity, Mr. Reader had not allowed the absence of light to deter him from his mission to delve deeper into the Scriptures.
In 2011, Waylon Johnson from NBC won the IAD’s finals and then captured the winning trophy in 2015 during the IAD’s contest among the quinquennium’s four champions (Super Bible Boom), earning the privilege of attending the 2015 General Conference Session as a youth delegate. This year, ATCU is hopeful of earning yet another championship at the 2017 IAD Bible Connection finals.
From Left to right:
Stephon Forbes of The North Bahamas Conference, 315 points in 7min 37sec; Kianna Rankin of the Cayman Islands Conference, 315 points in 6min 16sec; Adrian Reader of the Turks and Caicos Islands, 385 points in 10min 12sec; Charles Greene of the South Bahamas Conference, 320 points in 10min 35sec.
ATCU Communication Department
Still happy and proud that the overall winner of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ (IAD) 2015 Super Bible Boom championships came from within its territory, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) held its 2016 union-wide Bible Boom finals at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church on Saturday evening, October 30 in Nassau, Bahamas. Organized by the youth ministries department of ATCU under the directorship of Pastor Eric D. Clarke, the Bible Boom’s aim is to encourage and motivate young people to study the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.
Competing were the finalists from three of the union’s four fields. Stephon Forbes (North Bahamas Conference), Adrian Reader (Turks and Caicos Islands Mission), and Alexandria Scott (South Bahamas Conference) tackled fifty-five challenging questions from the Old Testament books of Joshua, Judges, and Ruth as well as the first twelve chapters of the book Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen G. White. Using individual computers to submit their answers, the contestants answered questions that were assigned different points and time limits in which to respond.
At the end of the fifty-fifth question, Adrian Reader was victorious, winning the Waylon Johnson Bible Boom trophy with a total of 465 points and a time of twelve minutes and twenty-five seconds. He was followed by Stephon Forbes with 425 points. In third place was Alexandria Scott with 205 points.
Adrian Reader will now advance to the division-wide competition where he will represent ATCU in competing with over twenty other contestants for the title of 2016 IAD champion in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on December 10. There are five IAD Bible Booms held within a quinquennium, but the final is the Super Bible Boom where the winners of the four previous IAD tournaments convene to challenge each other for the Super Bible Boom award.
Waylon Johnson of the North Bahamas Conference won the IAD Bible Boom in 2011 and went on to emerge victorious at the IAD Super Bible Boom in 2015, winning over four thousand dollars ($4,000.00) in scholarship along with being named the youth delegate to the 2015 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) Session in San Antonio, Texas, where he was able to participate in the process of reviewing and amending the rules and policies of the world Seventh-day Adventist church.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has always placed a high priority on youth ministry; and in keeping with this stance, the Inter-American Division has launched an initiative dubbed “Pass It On.” This is a ministry of integration between youth and adults that promotes the transfer of knowledge and skills to the younger generation of the church in every aspect of church ministry.
The youth department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), under the directorship of Pastor Eric D. Clarke, has fully embraced “Pass It On” and has charged the fields within its territory to implement it in their local churches.
One of the first churches to implement the program is the Johnson Park Church in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC). The young people planned, in detail, all the church’s programs for July. Therefore, on the first Sabbath of July, the first elder, Dr. Colyn Major, officially transferred his leadership role to Takara Lewis, symbolized with the handing over of a Bible.
The young people are eager to serve and lead, having presented their plans to the church board. “We are excited and ready to faithfully do the work of God and are in need of your support and prayers,” commented Takara Lewis as she addressed the Johnson Park church.
During July, celebrated as youth month in SBC, the young people of the Johnson park church will be mentored as Sabbath School teachers, preachers, church board members, and parking and security attendants. They will be leading out in both in-reach and outreach programs, culminating with the Pathfinder band leading a march to a nearby park where an evangelistic series is planned.
“It is my hope that at the end of this “Pass It On” experience, the youth of the church will be revived and motivated to take on the leadership roles in the church and that they will become very active in doing the Lord’s work;” expressed Leonardo Rahming, pastor of the Johnson Park Church.
Communication Department, ATCU
"Involved fathers are God’s antidote against youth rebellion." This is the view expressed by Drexel Deal in his book entitled The Fight of My Life is Wrapped Up in My Father.
Deal, a former gang member, paid a courtesy call on the union administrators on Tuesday, October 15, 2015, to present copies of his book and to share his experience of God’s redemption in spite of his rebellion.
The book chronicles the life story of Deal who was a top general in one of the largest gangs in the Bahamas. It recounts how he was shot four times while attempting to commit a robbery and was presumed dead. While God spared his life, he lost his sight because of the gunshot wound to his face. According to the book’s blurb, Deal picked up the pieces of his mangled life and set out to retrace his steps and those of other gang members to find out where they all went wrong. It took Deal ten years to research, document, and write the book about his experience.
Drexel Deal was baptized into the fellowship of the Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South Bahamas Conference on June 6, 2015. Deal explained how this happened.
"I was at home one day flipping through the radio channels on my phone. I stopped at a station and heard a gentleman preaching. I cannot remember the name of the preacher," he said. "But the message got my attention, and I sent an email to an address mentioned at the end of the program.”
According to Deal, the miracle of his conversion was that the signal for the radio station, Word SBC, did not reach the area where he lived, "but God used that radio station to reach me where I was,” said Deal.
On Friday of that week, two elders from the Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church knocked on his door in response to the email that he sent. "The rest is history," Deal stated. "I began Bible lessons and was baptized.”
He explained that he never received the radio signal again at his home after that day and described the time since his baptism as "a beautiful walk.”
"The Seventh-day Adventist Church is everything I expected it to be. It encompasses every aspect, from the Word, the Sabbath, to how we should eat and live,” he explained. “I didn’t choose the Seventh-day Adventist Church. God chose it for me."
Today, Deal has two passions: his new found faith as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian and his desire to reach young people who are heading down a path of destruction like he was. His ministry now is to share Christ's message of redemption to young people, to schools, and to churches.
He has begun to write another book that will share how a small group of young males used fourteen principles to grow a gang of thirteen persons into the largest gang in the Bahamas with over 20,000 young males.
"I was one of those gang members,” he said. "Many of the gang members are dead today, including the person who was with me in the robbery. We can use these Biblical principles in a negative way or positive way.”
Deal firmly believes that the absence of a father in his life and in the lives of many of the gang members back then was a determining factor in the choices he made - from school, to the gang, to in and out of prison, to becoming disabled.
When asked what advice he would give to the young people, Deal responded, "It is simple. It is found in Exodus chapter 20 verse 12, and it says ‘Honour your father and your mother that your days will be long upon the land which the lord your God has given to you."
Communication Department, ATCU
The Cayman Islands Conference (CIC) celebrated with other Adventist organizations around the world in commemorating the 65th anniversary of pathfindering during September 19-20, 2015.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) and guest speaker for the weekend, challenged the pathfinders as individuals and the Pathfinder organization in general to stand up for Biblical principles and the ideals on which the ministry was founded.
On Friday evening, September 19, during the consecration service for the pathfinder clubs in the CIC, Pastor Burrows referenced youth organizations similar to Pathfinders who gave up their long-held principles, bowing to the pressures of secular society.
“The time will come when this organization will be faced with similar issues, what will we do?” Pastor Burrows asked. “Like the three Hebrews boys who stood up when compelled to bow to a golden image, we ought to stand our ground against the tide that will compel us to compromise our identity and mission.”
The highlight of the weekend was the combined investiture service, which was held on Sabbath afternoon, September 20 at the Kings Seventh-day Adventist church. One hundred and sixty-five adventurers, pathfinders, and master guides who successfully completed the course requirements for the various classes of study were invested. Pastor Ivor Harry, youth director for CIC, remarked that the service was the largest single investiture service for the CIC.
According to the information from the General Conference youth department, there are approximately two million pathfinders in the world. Reports from the fields in ATCU indicate that there are approximately fifteen hundred pathfinders scattered throughout 52 clubs in the union.
Each year, the third Sabbath in September is designated as World Pathfinder Day. This year is significant, as pathfinders around the world are celebrating the Pathfinder Club’s 65th anniversary as an official arm of the youth ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist church. The theme chosen to celebrate this milestone is “Courageous Pathfinders, Full of Faith, Determination, and Bravery.”
The embryo for Adventist youth ministry, in general, began in 1879. Pathfinders as an organization for junior youth began to take shape as early as the 192Os with the first Pathfinder Club being established in 1927. However, it was in 1950 that the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists officially adopted the Pathfinder program for the world church.
As we celebrate 65 years of training our young people to be bold trailblazers for Christ, I commend the Pathfinder leaders from the Atlantic Caribbean Union for their commitment and dedication to leading and directing the Pathfinder ministry in their respective areas. Further, I encourage all our pathfinders, by God’s grace, to truly live the words of the Pathfinder song “Oh, we are the Pathfinders strong,” unwavering in your purpose to be courageous, faithful, and determined young people for Christ.
Happy Birthday Pathfinders! May God continue to bless you abundantly.
Youth Ministries Director
Atlantic Caribbean Union
Communication Department, ATCU
The summer break has ended and the young people across the territories of the Atlantic Caribbean Union are returning to their respective schools and colleges. During the summer holidays, the Adventist youth ministries department continued in the tradition of summer evangelism.
Cayman Islands Adventist Youth Lift Up Jesus
The Savannah Seventh-day Adventist Church, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands concluded a dynamic Youth in Leadership Month with a one-week crusade during July 26 - August 1. The theme for the event was “The King is Coming,” and the speakers were Charlton Samuels and Joshua Lawrence. The crusade was conducted entirely by the youth of the church and resulted in thirteen (13) precious souls being added to the church.
In addition, the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church held a youth campaign during July under the theme “At the Feet of Jesus” with Jermeil Hydes as the evangelist. Six (6) precious persons were baptized.
Victorious Youth Campaign in the North Bahamas
Under the theme "Victorious," the youth of the North Bahamas Conference conducted its annual youth camp meeting at the Freeport Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grand Bahama during August.
Activities began with some thirty young people carrying out community projects during the day. One of the projects involved assisting with the clean up of the home of Ms. Robinson, an elderly retired nurse who has served the community of Grand Bahama for 50 years. Young Paris Williams, ATCU’s youth representative for the initial phase of the One Year in Mission youth project in Mexico City in 2014, spearheaded this phase of the community outreach.
During the nightly meetings, Pastor Dewaine Frazer, guest speaker from the Dupont Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Washington D.C., U.S.A., preached relevant and electrifying messages that stirred the hearts of the people.
Jesus Loves Selfies Youth Campaign In Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
The youth ministries department of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission held a unique youth campaign that captured the attention and interest of young people across the island of Providenciales during August 8 - 15, 2015, at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Adventist youth and visitors filled the pews to capacity each night as the word of God was ardently proclaimed by the young people from the different Seventh-day Adventist congregations on the island.
At the conclusion of the event, seven (7) young persons gave their lives to the Lord and were baptized.
“Jesus Loves Selfies” was the fourth in the series of “Jesus Loves...” youth summer campaigns organized by the youth department of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission.
Adventist Youth Experience the Power in the South Bahamas Conference
The young people of the South Bahamas Conference held their outreach campaign at the New Providence Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Nassau, the Bahamas during August 8 -22, 2015. The event, which was themed, Youth to the 10th Power, saw the young people meeting for ten nights of preaching, praying, singing and testifying.
Newton Joseph, a ministerial student at the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Jamaica, and Manasseh Simms, a ministerial intern in the South Bahamas Conference, each presented five powerful sermons based on the theme. By allowing the Holy Spirit to utilize them and through the combined efforts of the entire team, thirty precious souls were baptized into the kingdom of God.
The Pathfinder organization is a worldwide ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that caters to the complete development of young people ages 10-16. Attending camps and camporees is an integral part of the experience of any pathfinder, whether it is at the church, conference, union, or division level.
Ordinarily, local churches and local conferences or missions conduct pathfinder camps in their specific areas at least once a year. However, at the union, division, or international level pathfinder camporees are held at least once every five years. Pathfinder camporees provide young pathfinders with the opportunity to:
On April 4, 2015, approximately 200 pathfinders from the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, converged at the Bahamas Youth Camp in Nassau, Bahamas to participate in the first Atlantic Caribbean Union Pathfinder Camporee.
The theme for camporee:
In August 2014, during the Forever Faithful International Pathfinder Camporee in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, USA, Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director, of the Atlantic Caribbean Union challenged the pathfinders to recommend a theme for our very own pathfinder camporee. Ideas were tossed up, and themes were suggested based on popular Biblical characters. “Let’s do the story of Jonah and the whale!” suggested an enthusiastic pathfinder, from the Cayman Islands Conference. We can call it the “Whale Way”. At the pathfinder camporee planning committee, the concept of the story of Jonah and the whale was presented. After much discussion and fine-tuning, it was agreed that the theme would be YOU-Turn with a pun on the vehicular code, “U”. There is an intentional focus on you as a person. “You” represents anyone, any pathfinder, any youth, or any adult. It refers to anyone like Jonah who finds himself/herself running away from God. Yes, you can make a U-TURN toward God.
The Camporee Logo
The logo depicts a large fish, with human-like teeth coming up out of the sea, against the background of the pathfinder logo with the camporee theme. It is enclosed by a border, which displays, the date, and the place of the event. Interestingly, two pathfinders, and not Jonah, are seen inside the mouth of the large fish. One, a young girl, is curious to explore what is inside the fish. The other, a young male, has determined that life inside the fish is not a place to be and makes a fast YOU-turn out of the fish’s mouth.
Daily Camping Experience
Each day, before sunrise, pathfinders greet the day by having personal and corporate devotions in their conferences followed by line call. The daily agenda is filled with activities such as, sports and exhibition challenge, craft and honor, developmental seminars, and spiritual nuggets. One of the highlights of the camporee is the nightly drama, where the pathfinders act out the experience of Jonah. This is followed by an appeal as the pathfinders are challenged to remain focused on their relationship with Christ.
A crowning feature of the camporee will be a pathfinder investiture service and a baptismal service on Sabbath, April 11. This will be followed by a community project near the campgrounds where the pathfinders will distribute thousands of copies of the book, Health and Hope. On Saturday night, April 11, 2015, the curtains will come down on Camporee 2105, You-Turn, with the closing ceremonies. -Pastor Andrew Burrows, Youth Director; ATCU
Communication Department, ATCU
The Pathfinder organization is a worldwide ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist church that caters to the complete development of young people between the ages of 10 and 16 years. One of the many programs designed to assist with this all-around personal growth is the Pathfinder Camporee, an enriching event that all pathfinders should experience.
Consequently, in keeping with the objective of providing for the spiritual, physical, mental, and social development of its youth, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will be hosting its first Pathfinder Camporee on the grounds of the Bahamas Youth Camp on Gladstone Road in Nassau, The Bahamas during April 4-12, 2015. It is estimated that some 500 pathfinders from the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands as well as other countries will be in attendance.
The theme for the camporee is “You-Turn” and is based on the Biblical account in the book of Jonah. According to Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of ATCU, the camporee will feature a nightly drama, daily honor and craft classes, pathfinder exhibition, community service projects, pathfinder investiture service, baptismal service, a grand community parade and rally, and much more.
Pathfinders can register for the camporee through their local youth directors.
Under the theme, “Empowering Youth…Securing Our Future,” national youth month began with the national youth leaders certification course, where many youth leaders from across the country sought to become certified youth leaders. During the month of October, there are many activities that engage the services of the youth of our country and one such activity is the national youth march.
The youth groups of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) were led by Pastor Andrew E. Burrows, youth director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), pastors Paul Scavella and C. Melvin Lewis, president and treasurer or SBC, pastor Kent Price, youth director of SBC and other associate youth director of the conference.
Accounting for a wide age spread, the adventurers, pathfinders, masterguides, Adventist youth leaders, and members in their church’s colors, joined in as usual and in an organized fashion paraded through the streets of New Providence. Other groups represented included primary, junior and senior high schools, churches, other uniformed youth groups, and youth groups from all of the political parties. This magnificent representation conveyed the profound message to the nation and the world that youth can still make a positive difference.
Other activities during national youth month will include, a holy youth jam, youth parliament, youth awards and medal pinning ceremony, and youth band encounter. All churches are encouraged to allow the youth to be featured during the month of October. The Pathfinders will host a speech contest on Sabbath October 18, at 6 p.m. at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The church for a long time has been empowering its youth and thus we are able to secure our future and make a difference in a society where everything bad seems to be noted and the good that our youth do go unnoticed.
In a press release to inform the nation of national youth month, Dr. Daniel Johnson, minister of youth for the Bahamas, stated that “during the month of October there will be a showcase of many positive youth role models and outstanding leaders within our country while encouraging unattached, marginalized, and at-risk youth to become involved in meaningful program and projects in their communities.”
The Seventh-day Adventist church will continue to partner with the ministry of youth to ensure that no youth is left behind and all are encouraged to do their best. As pathfinders, we will continue to do the work of the Lord and take this message to all the world.
The young people of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) will long remember the weekend of May 23 to May 25, 2014. It was during this time that the youth department held its 3rd ABC (Ask Believe Claim) Prayer Conference and also an historic Pathfinder, Adventurer, Master Guide Investiture Service. In addition, during the same weekend, the TCIM hosted the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) Bible Boom finals.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of ATCU was the guest speaker for the entire weekend. During the Sabbath morning service at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Church, Pastor Burrows challenged the youth of TCIM to be committed to the development of their personal relationship with Christ. Using the story of Eutychus as found in Acts chapter 20, he reminded the youth of the dangers of sitting on the wall of non-commitment. He then made a passionate appeal for individuals to commit to Christ and six individuals took the bold step and were baptized.
On Sabbath afternoon, the young people and members assembled at Maranantha Academy to view the annual Bible Boom finals. The participants were Alexandria Scott from the South Bahamas Conference, Shyander Escaman from the North Bahamas Conference (NBC), Shyain Newell from the Cayman Islands Conference, and Samuel Nemours from TCIM. At the end of the competition Samuel Nemours and Shyander Escaman were tied with a score of 400. However, Shyander emerged the winner as she answered the questions in less time.
On Sunday morning more than 60 young people participated in a prayer walk and relay in the Five Cays Community. During this time they prayed for and with the individuals on the street and in their homes. They also prayed with business owners and employees and the local police in the community.
The weekend ended on Sunday evening with an historic investiture service in which 28 Adventurers, 15 Pathfinders, and 8 Master Guides were invested.
Communication Department, ATCU
Now that the four territories within the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) have completed their Bible Boom finals, the stage is set for the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s 4th annual Waylon Johnson’s Bible Boom finals. The much anticipated event will be held on Sabbath afternoon, May 24 at the Maranatha Academy auditorium in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.
The four young people representing their respective fields are Shanyder Escaman from the North Bahamas Conference, Shyian Newell from the Cayman Islands Conference, Alexandria Scott of the South Bahamas Conference, and Samuel Nemours from the Turk and Caicos Islands Mission, the host field.
The winner of this year’s Bible Boom finals will represent ATCU at the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) Caleb Award to be held in Guatemala City on Sabbath afternoon, August 2 during the IAD’s youth congress. The study material for this year’s Bible Boom covers the books of the Minor Prophets, Hosea to Micah.
On Sabbath, 26th April, 2014 the Youth Department of the North Bahamas Conference held the Waylon Johnson’s Bible Boom Competition for the conference level. The event was accompanied with beautiful and uplifting gospel music by the group Adoration, from the Eight Mile Rock Church, along with special guest artists, Patrick and Anna Marie Amerthil.
In attendance was the Youth Director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union, Pastor Andrew Burrows, who brought greetings and delivered a timely vespers message entitled, “Keep Your Eyes on Jesus.”
After the third and final round of the Bible Boom Competition, it was announced that Shelton Saintel from the Bethesda Seventh-day Adventist Church took second place, and Shanyder Escaman from the Eight Mile Rock Seventh-day Adventist Church was pronounced the winner for 2014.
Shanyder will go on to represent the North Bahamas Conference at the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s finals to be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands on Sabbath afternoon, May 24, 2014.
Pastor Desmond Brown, Youth Director for the North Bahamas Conference congratulated all of the candidates that participated in the Bible Boom and encouraged the young people to continue to study God’s Word and be drawn closer into a more meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Monday, April 14, 2014, Paris Williams of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) returned home to Freeport, Grand Bahama after spending three months in Mexico participating in the One Year in Mission (OYIM) initiative which was organised by the youth ministries department of the Adventist world church.
The comprehensive mission-oriented program realised approximately 40 young persons from Adventist churches throughout Inter-America converging in Mexico for mission training, community service projects, evangelism, and small group ministry. Paris, who represented the Atlantic Caribbean Union, reminisced that the experience really changed her spiritual life.
“I did things that I never thought I would be able to do, such as have an evangelistic campaign for a week, stand in the front of a group of people and tell others about God, do Bible studies, and have worship on trains and in public buses.”
On Sabbath, April 12, at a special service held at the Mexico City Arena in Mexico City, Paris along with the other OYIM participants were awarded for their hard work and commitment to youth evangelism by Elder Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Upon her return to Grand Bahama, Paris was warmly greeted and welcomed back by her family and local church leaders of NBC. However, for Paris her work continues.
“My work is not finished as yet. I have to prepare an article for Vision, the Adventist youth magazine, and a sermon. Also, in July we will do a mission project in Guatemala for one week. I will always be a missionary, as our motto says "o sereis misioneros o no sereis nada" which means "you are a missionary or you are nothing.”
In 2015, Paris will assist Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, in organizing phase three of OYIM which will be conducted at the union level.
Communication Department, ATCU
It was estimated by the youth department of the Adventist world church that more than 8 million young people from around the world participated in the second annual Global Youth Day held on Sabbath, March 15, 2014.
In the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), Adventist young people left the confines and comfort of a Sabbath worship service and took to the streets, communities, towns and shopping districts to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Wearing t-shirts imprinted with the words “Be the Sermon,” Adventist youth preached the sermon that day though various acts of service and ministry. Some of the projects included:
Giving out bread, soup, food items, clothing, and books at churches, homes, hospitals, police stations, and wherever people were found.
Distributing bottles of water, specially labelled with spiritual messages, to residents and visitors in the main town areas.
Visiting with and praying for the elderly and those who were ill at home or in the hospital.
Conducting health screening at various sites.
Hosting short spiritual rallies at community parks.
To conclude the day of service, Adventist youth gathered at various locations throughout the ATCU territory.
In the Cayman Islands, the day’s activities culminated with a huge youth rally at the football field in North Side, Grand Cayman.
On the Island of Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos Islands, there was a float parade that ended at the Graceway IGA Supermarket where the young people participated in a flash mob.
Two mega rallies were held In the North Bahamas Conference. One was held in Abaco where all the churches assembled at Sandy Point to impact that community. On Grand Bahama, the youth of the conference, met at the Government Complex in Freeport and marched to the Freeport Church where a grand concert was held in the parking lot
In Rawson Square, downtown Nassau, the youth department of the South Bahamas Conference hosted a concert, ministering to the residents and visitors through song and drama.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, ATCU youth director, gave brief remarks and offered the prayer on behalf of the youth at the concert in Rawson Square. He stated that while the activities of the second annual global youth day might have ended, the work of youth ministry and the acts of service by our young people continue every day.
Communication Department, ATCU
From July 29 to August 2, 2014, the city of Guatemala will welcome thousands of Adventist young people from across Inter-America for the Embrace Guatemala Inter-American Division (IAD) Youth Congress. In preparation for the historic youth congress, a planning session was held in Guatemala during February 2-6, 2014.
In his opening charge to the union youth directors and members of the planning committee, Pastor Benjamin Carballo, youth director for IAD shared the objective of the youth congress.
“We are at the threshold of another Inter-American Division youth congress and those of us who are at the forefront of our new generation of youth must realize that our young people need to feel loved, included, and valued,” said Pastor Carballo. “Furthermore, they need to be trained, challenged, and sent to mission. We cannot supply these needs of our youth, but we can create the environment and work hard as a team so that the Holy Spirit performs a transformation in their lives.”
During the planning meetings, the youth directors toured the Fraternidad Cristiana de Guatemala (Christian Fellowship of Guatemala), the venue for the meetings. The center is the largest mega church facility in Latin America, having the capacity to seat up to 15,000 persons in the main auditorium.
Reports shared during the meetings indicate that more than 5000 young people from outside of Guatemala along with thousands more in Guatemala will impact the city during the five-day event. At least 50 young people and youth leaders from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) are expected to register for the event.
Pastor Andrew E. Burrows, youth director of ATCU, is encouraging the young people of ATCU to be a part of youth congress 2014.
“Having travelled to Guatemala and seen firsthand the venue, the various sites, the hotels, the people, and the city itself, I believe that this event is a must for as many young people in our union as possible to attend. I want to challenge our youth and youth leaders to take advantage of the opportunity the Adventist church has given,” Pastor Burrows said.
Persons interested in attending may contact their Adventist youth leader for information.
Communication Department, ATCU
"Félicitations" (congratulations in French) was the word expressed repeatedly at the conclusion of the 2013 Inter-American Division (IAD) Bible Boom finals as Jempsy Tisma of the Haitian Union was declared the winner.
The Bible Boom competition is the annual youth Bible knowledge challenge of IAD that encourages the study of God's Word. This year, twenty (20) young persons from twenty (20) of the unions within the IAD took part in the event which was held on December 7, 2013, at the La Vibora Adventist Church in Havana, Cuba.
This is the first time in the 10-year history of the Bible Bowl/ Bible Boom that a young person from a French-speaking union within the IAD has won the event. Also, with this win by the Haitian Union, it can now be said that within the last three years, a young person from each of the three major language groups in IAD has walked away with the top honours. In 2011 and 2102, Waylon Johnson from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), an English-speaking union, and Victor Manuel Jaimes of the South Colombia Union, a Spanish-speaking union, received the top honours respectively.
In this year’s competition, Luis De Jesus Cruz of the South Central American Union and Anavansi Soranio of the Hondurian Union finished second and third respectively.
Representing the ATCU was Patrick Brown of the Blessed Hope Church in the North Bahamas Conference (NBC).
In commenting on his participation, Patrick Brown said, "It was a great experience for me, being my first time at this level. I just want to encourage the young people of my church and our union to continue to study the Bible." Patrick Brown was accompanied by Pastor Andrew Burrows and Pastor Desmond Sturrup, youth directors for ATCU and NBC respectively.
Elder Hiskia I Missah, associate youth ministries director of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was one of the invited guests for the weekend. In his final charge to the young people, Elder Missah stressed the need to study and apply the Word of God, “When you read the Word of God, you put yourself in the hand of God. When you put yourself in the hand of God, you have salvation."
At the conclusion of the event, it was announced that next year's Bible Boom finals for the IAD will be held at the IAD Youth Congress in Guatemala City on Sabbath, August 2, 2014. The books of study for Bible Boom 2014 will be the Minor Prophets, Hosea to Micah. This year’s study focused on the Pauline epistles of Ephesians to Hebrews.
Desmond Sturrup, youth ministries director, NBC
The youth department of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) held its 2013 Youth Gala Awards Banquet on Sunday, December 1 at the Hilton Outten Convention Center in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The evening was spent celebrating some of the outstanding accomplishments during the year of the young people and, in particular, the achievements of the most outstanding youth from each of the twelve churches of NBC.
Greetings were extended via video presentation by Pastor Desmond Sturrup, youth director of NBC; Pastor Paul A. Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference; Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU); and Pastor Benjamin Caballo, youth director of the Inter-American Division (IAD). Pastor E. Bryan Tinker, president of NBC, gave official remarks and applauded the accomplishments that were realized by the youth in the various churches during 2013.
The special guests of honour were Pastor Andrew Burrows and his wife, Karen Burrows. In his remarks, Pastor Burrows highlighted the significance of the young people to the overall mission of ATCU and pointed out that all of the winners of the Bible Boom finals in the history of ATCU emerged from the North Bahamas Conference. He went on to acknowledge that Waylon Johnson and Kesa- Petit-frere, both from the Eight Mile Rock Church in NBC, won the first two ATCU Bible Boom finals in 2011 and 2012 respectively, with Waylon Johnson advancing to capture the IAD 2011 Bible Boom finals.
After his remarks, Pastor Burrows presented the union's floating plaque and a gift from ATCU to Patrick Brown, from the Blessed Hope Church, for winning the most recent Bible Boom finals which was held in the Cayman Islands in October 2013. Patrick Brown will represent ATCU at the IAD Bible Boom finals in Havana, Cuba on Sabbath, December 7, 2013.
Pastor Burrows also shared that beginning in January 2014, Paris Williams, who also attends the Blessed Hope Church in NBC, will represent the ATCU in Mexico City, Mexico during the One Year in Mission Project (OYIM).
The twelve outstanding awardees included:
1. Sasha Demeritte, North Abaco S.D.A. Church
2. Berline Dormeus, Marsh Harbour S.D.A. Church
3. Geneva Joseph, Salem S.D.A. Church
4. Alicia Gómez, South Abaco S.D.A. Church
5. Lawrence Hepburn, Sandy Point Branch Sabbath School
6. Alisa Author, Freeport S.D.A. Church
7. Patrick Brown, Blessed Hope S.D.A. Church
8. Fandy Green, Bethesda S.D.A. Church
9. Justine Sturrup, Sunrise S.D.A. Church
10. Elvanae Thompson, Eight Mile Rock S.D.A Church
11. Patrick Amerthil, West End S.D.A Church
12. Kristen Saunders, Shiloh S.D.A. Church
Kristen Saunders of the Shiloh Church received the Overall Youth Director’s Award.
Let us continue to pray for the young people and the youth leaders as they continue to enhance the work of the Lord in the North Bahamas Conference.
Communication Department, ATCU
On January 16, 2014, the Inter-American Division (IAD) will begin phase 2 of “One Year in Mission” (OYIM), an outreach program of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists that began in October 2011. According to the youth department of the IAD, the vision for OYIM is "to encourage young people to get involved in the mission of the church."
The first phase of the project involved each of the 13 world divisions of the Adventist Church sending one youth representative to participate in the evangelistic endeavor “Mission to the Cities” held in New York City earlier this year. The experience served as a model for the subsequent phases that will take place in each division, union, and conference/mission over the next two years.
In OYIM, Phase 2, a team made up of young adults from each of the 22 unions that comprise the IAD will be trained in three areas: evangelism, community service, and small groups. The goal is to create a working model that can be replicated in their respective unions and local fields during 2014 and 2015 respectively. Mexico City has been identified by the IAD as the host city for this second phase of the project.
During its recent year-end meetings, the executive committee of ATCU selected Paris Williams of the North Bahamas Conference to represent the union in Mexico City.
Paris Williams is a member of the Blessed Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Freeport, Grand Bahama, the Bahamas and currently serves as a Sabbath School secretary, assistant church clerk, and junior deaconess. She is actively involved in the youth department, holding the position of secretary of the Adventist Youth Ministry. Ms. Williams was the recipient of the Most Distinguished Pathfinder Award for the Blessed Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2011 and was the second place winner of the North Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist youth speech competition in 2012.
Pastor Andrew E. Burrows, youth director of ATCU, notes that upon the completion of the OYIM project, Paris will be instrumental in helping to formulate an evangelistic plan for the youth department of ATCU based on the experience gained in Mexico and the model of OYIM.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, seventeen youth and youth leaders from the three countries within the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) began their journey to South Africa to participate in the much anticipated 3rd World Congress on Youth and Community Service (WCYCS). After an average of twenty-one hours of flying time, the delegates from the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands arrived in Cape Town, South Africa to begin the first phase of the WCYCS, which was a week of community service projects.
Upon arrival, they were received with open arms by the leaders and members of the churches from the various districts in the community. The warmth and hospitality of the host families quickly made up for cold weather that would be experienced throughout the trip.
The group from ATCU participated in two community projects. The first was the Vacation Bible School which was held at the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Khayalethu district. The second project involved the fencing, clearing of rubble and debris, and the painting of the children’s Sabbath school rooms at the Good Hope Seventh-day Adventist High School and the adjourning Kuils River Seventh-day Adventist Church. According to the statistics on the Impact South Africa website found at www.impactgcyouth.org , there were more than 65 community projects in both Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa.
After an eventful week of community projects, the delegates flew to Johannesburg/ Pretoria to participate in the youth congress. Thus, on Monday evening, July 8, after an impressive and inspirational opening ceremony, Gilbert Cangy, youth ministries director for the Adventist world church, declared the congress officially opened. Using the theme “Jesus is in the City,” Gangy challenged each delegate to show Jesus to the people in South Africa and also in the places where they lived.
The sessions were held at the St. George’s Hotel outside the city of Pretoria. There were 3,200 persons from 97 countries registered as official delegates. Each day began with devotions and plenary sessions. Activities continued in the afternoon with workshops and concluded with Spirit-filled and thought-provoking evening sessions. These were interspersed with creative reports from the 13 divisions of the world church
The featured speaker was David Asscherick, co-founder of ARISE, a missionary training center located in Sonora, California, U.S.A., During his nightly presentations, Asscherick , a former punk rocker, now gospel minister, expounded on what he termed several non-negotiable truths, one of which is that “God is Love.”
There were numerous other speakers including Elder Ted Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, and Dr. Ben Carson, noted neurosurgeon. Elder Ted Wilson challenged the youth of the Seventh-day Adventist church to be involved in the mission of the church. Dr. Ben Carson inspired the young people as he recounted many experiences as a neurosurgeon.
On Sabbath morning, July 13, the 3,200 delegates were bused to the Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe stadium located in Atteridgeville, a suburb in Pretoria, where they were joined by church members from around Pretoria for Sabbath worship. Pastor Ted Wilson delivered the message to the worshippers and Dr. Carson again shared his testimony.
In the afternoon, the delegates, wearing their blue t-shirts with the theme “Jesus in the City” imprinted on the back, scattered throughout the surrounding communities of Pretoria and distributed approximately 20,000 copies of the “Great Hope.” They also prayed for and offered encouraging words to the residents.
On Saturday night, during the closing ceremony, the attendees waited with bated breath as the announcement was made that the next youth congress will be held in 2018 on the continent of Europe. The exact date and country will be announced later. Thereafter, the thousands of delegates from around the world, including the delegates from ATCU, left South Africa, eager and charged to take the message of “Jesus in the City” back to their churches , schools, work places, and their countries.
Contributions by Jewel Ewing, youth delegate from the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, and Ivor Harry, youth ministries director of the Cayman Islands Conference.
The link and programming information will be on the Division’s webpage at www.interamerica.org. The hashtag that will be used is: #WINWITHJESUS.
Tradition was broken in Seventh-day Adventist churches around New Providence, in the South Bahamas Conference on Sabbath, March 16, 2013, as young people left the confines of the church compound to walk about their communities “being the sermon” instead of preaching one. Read More...
Shannon Butler, a 12th grade student and Deputy Head Boy at his high school received the award for Best Overall Performance in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas in the 2012 B.G.C.S.E. examinations at the Ministry of Education Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at the Church of God Auditorium, Joe Farrington Road. Shannon earned 9As and 1B while in the 11th grade. Read More...
Beginning on Friday evening, December 9, 2012, the Youth Department of the Inter- American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) held its 9th version of the Bible Boom finals. The two-day event was held in the Caribbean Union Conference (CUC) at the Mt. D’Or Seventh-day Adventist Church in Champs Fleurs, Trinidad.
Summer time is at an end, and the young people of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) are headed back to the various schools, colleges, and universities. Read More...
“Goodbye”, “See you later”, “I love you”, and “Be good” were just a few of the words that were exchanged between campers and parents/guardians on Tuesday, July 31, 2012. This day marked the beginning of the South Bahamas Conference Adventurer and Pathfinder Camp under the theme, “Generation Power”. Over 70 campers and counsellors were ready to begin their 12 hour voyage to camp in Old Bight, Cat Island. What, 12 hours? Read More...
The Youth Department of the North Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (NBC) held its annual summer camp under the theme “Impact: Youth 4 Christ 2012” at the Missile Base in Freetown on the island of Grand Bahama, The Bahamas during July 15 – 22, 2012. Pastor Andrew Burrows, the Youth Director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission, and his family spent the week with the youth of the territory as one of his first assignments as Youth Director.
View Photos of the Camp Here
Recently, the youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM), Pastor Andrew Burrows, camped out with the pathfinders and young people of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) at the old missile base in East Grand Bahama, The Bahamas.
Pastor Andrew Burrows, ACUM’s Youth Director, will be in attendance.