The territory covered by Guam-Micronesia Mission (GMM) is scattered with distant islands. Yet this challenge of geography did not hinder the youth leaders from gathering in Guam earlier this year. Through the strong support of GMM, the North American Division (NAD) Youth Department, and the team of Guam churches, God brought to fruition GMM’s first region-wide Youth Leaders Advisory and Training. Island youth leaders embraced new friendships and memories through a weekend of sharing ideas, trainings, and collaborations.
Twenty-nine youth delegates from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, and Guam attended the event. The Guam churches graciously hosted us each day. We were greeted by beautiful leis, a display of island decorations, and an abundance of delicious local food. Praise the Lord! Their hard work conveyed their support of youth leadership. Our first sessions opened at Talofofo Church, beginning with the election of the GMM Youth Leaders Committee and youth delegates sharing reports from their own islands. We welcomed Sabbath together and fellowshipped over a grand dinner the church had arranged.
Sabbath morning, after a lovingly-prepared breakfast at Agat Church, we took a short drive across island to Guam Adventist Academy which hosted our Sabbath program and activities. We were graced with the attendance of the NAD Youth & Young Adult Ministries Director, Pastor Tracy Wood, and Associate Directors, Pastor Armando Miranda and Pastor Vandeon Griffin. Pastor Griffin provided a training on Youth Sabbath School, then Pastor Wood spoke for the main service. After a hearty lunch at the academy, we enjoyed the view of the westside of Guam as we drove to Ordot Church for our afternoon program. Pastor Wood shared a presentation on Young Adult Ministries, while Pastor Vandeon Griffin enlightened us on Youth Sabbath School Momentum. At the end of a full day, Ordot refreshed us with an abundance of delicious food and stimulating conversation.
Sunday was our final day but grew more interesting as we were hosted by the Korean SDA Church, who introduced us to a tantalizing breakfast of Korean dishes. We heard from the last of the reports from the youth delegates and Pastor Miranda’s training on Club Ministries. Pastor Armando gave each of the delegates the Micronesia Pathfinder patches and we engaged in the popular activity of patch trading. Before ending the event, the GMM Youth Leaders Committee formed plans and programs for the coming year. This Committee agreed that we will do a GMM-Wide Pathfinder Camporee to be held in Palau in the year 2022.
The youth leaders have returned to their island churches with renewed minds and ideas for youth leadership. Although separated by distance, we will continue to follow-up this training over the internet. We are praying as we plan for the proposed GMM Pathfinder Camporee. For now, the GMM Youth Leaders will focus on their own yearly goals and activities for their respective youth group in their island churches.
Praise the Lord for the huge success! He provided all we needed, including the local transportation between venues. We are so grateful to all the Guam brethren, including those of the Agana Heights, Man’Aguaiya, Northern, and Happy Family churches, who sustained the delegates with an abundance of delicious, healthy food, and welcomed us with warm island hospitality, Surely the youth leaders that attended this event will not soon forget their first experience of youth advisories and training in Guam.
After the event, some attendees described their experiences in their own words:
“I would describe our meeting as encouraging, refreshing, catalyzing, enriching, and heavenly” - Danny, Saipan.
“An energizing and uplifting experience” - George, Guam
“Spirit-filled event, eye-opening program, practical approach, friendly atmosphere, and dynamic activities” - Joel, Palau
“The food was good! There was no meat, but I still gained weight!” - Gideon, Delap