Global Youth Day, Church’s Largest Social Media Event
The March 16, 2013, Global Youth Day was the single largest international mobilization of Seventh-day Adventists through social media, Gilbert Cangy, the world church’s Youth Ministries Department director, said after the event.
SOUTH AFRICAN MARCH: Youth march in the streets of Alberton, South Africa, on Saturday, March 16, 2013, as part of the Adventist world church's Global Youth Day.As hundreds of thousands of Adventist youth participated in community outreach, the church’s youth departments worldwide reported their service activities live on Hope Channel in Australia, Germany, and the United States.
More than 80,000 youth were connected through social media—including Facebook and Twitter—and more than 4 million people were talking about the initiative on the Internet.
Adventist youth skipped hearing a sermon and mobilized for service to demonstrate practical Christianity.
“It was a historically unifying moment for global Adventist youth,” Cangy said. “At the heart of it all, this was not any of our doing; we simply made ourselves available to God as His hands and feet to get His work done. It was so inspiring to see the results.”
Hundreds of young people in Spain participated in a flash mob in one of Madrid’s biggest shopping centers.
PHILIPINES SERVICE: Youth and children get ready for a day of service activities on March 16, 2013, in San Pablo City, Philippines. Hundreds of thousand of Adventist youth participated in the community outreach day worldwide.In England, young people served as missionaries for the day at local nursing homes and hospitals. Another group transformed their church into a shelter for abused women.
Young Adventists in Tanzania responded to an urgent call for blood donations.
In Puerto Rico, young people prayed for motorists on a busy street.
In South Africa, young people made breakfast for law enforcement officers.
And a headline in the Guyana Times read: “Adventist Youths Inspire Hope Through Community Service.”
“It was so wonderful to see the Youth Ministries Department taking leadership in mobilizing the whole church this way,” said Daryl Gungadoo, distribution and network engineer for Adventist World Radio Europe and an event organizer.
The next Global Youth Day is scheduled for March 15, 2014.
—reporting by Inter-European Division and Adventist News Network