ECYC 2010: Fully Persuaded
I was a skeptic when I walked in…
I’ll admit it. I didn’t even stay at the hotel. I made the 45 minute drive across town to the Delta Mississauga each day of the event held August 19 – 22. I had not been to the Eastern Canada Youth Conference (ECYC) in 2009, but I heard it had been okay, so I decided to spare a vacation day for the cause this year.
Attendance at the opening plenary on the Thursday night was low, but the message from Eastern Canada Youth President, Valmy Karemera was not lacking any substance. He talked about what it means to be fully persuaded Christians. For one, it means having a precommittment to God – being ready to give whatever God requires before He even asks us to do it. It also means being willing to be separated from the crowd. Just as Abraham was willing to be separated from those around him for the sake of Christ, so we must be if we are to honestly call ourselves fully persuaded Christians.
At the end of Thursday I was a little less of a skeptic.
Friday morning brought the workshops and more people. There was too much quality and quantity for me to give you everything but here are the tidbits of the ones I managed to attend:
Reasons to believe: Persuading the Mind and the Heart was done by Pastor Richard Roschman of the Heritage Green Adventist church. He touched on controversial topics including doubt as part of the Christian experience and why having doubt doesn’t mean you’re a terrible Christian.
Former television actor, Nwamiko Madden of His Image Ministries took on the sexy topic of Movies, Music and Spirituality, the sum of which left a friend of mine quite upset when it was suggested that certain types of Christian music she enjoyed listening to might not be as virtuous as she thought. Names of people, artists and films have been withheld to protect the innocent, but I would pose the following question: Is there really any such thing as innocent entertainment? If it doesn’t turn us to God, then what does it do?
Dr. Ron Du Preez from the Michigan Conference led Persuasively Peculiar Among Pluralistic People. Don’t let the long name fool you though, this Christian Foundations workshop went deep into how properly interpreting and studying the Bible can help us be fully persuaded Christians. He also outlined a six step Biblical process for making good decisions in a secular society. My fingers grew tired from writing.
There was so much to this conference that space doesn’t allow me to mention: the evening devotionals by C.A.M.P.U.S‘s Steven Conway; the morning devotionals by Pastor Jason Williams; the Sabbath message from Malcolm Douglas. But what moved me most was the commitment of the young people I met who were fully persuaded for Christ.
The 23 year old young woman who has spent the last couple months working in the Gimbie Adventist Hospital, Ethiopia; the team of ECYC youth who went on a Mission Trip to Zambia for several weeks this summer; those who stayed here and took part in a summer canvassing program; the ECYC executive and their teams who, though being scattered around different portions of Canada and being involved full-time in school or work, devoted themselves to the development of this growing movement; even the young people who went on outreach on Sabbath afternoon, knocking on doors and handing out literature despite the overcast sky and the slight rain.
My brother, who I dragged along for the Sabbath portion was impressed; I was impressed. And it led me to this one conclusion:
Fully persuaded young people create other fully persuaded young people. Our witness is by our testimony – our own personal testimony. This is how we will win others for Christ in this generation.
I came a skeptic. I left fully persuaded.