GYC 2009: unAshamed…the first steps
GYC 2009 is here! After many obstacles, second thoughts, and finally a 12 hour drive from Toronto, I made it. I hope many of you were able to make it out to this one and if you see me be sure to say hi. This year’s theme is unAshamed. If you weren’t able to make it you can still watch the main sessions live online at: http://gycweb.org/. It will be worth the time. In the meantime I will try to keep you up to date with the highlights.
Wednesday evening went by like a blur. But Thursday morning started bright and early with devotion for those who could make it from the hotel over to the Kentucky International Convention Centre for 7am. Our speaker was Sebastien Braxton, director of STRIDE (Student Training and Resource Institute for Discipleship and Evangelism). Using the story of Nathan’s confrontation of David in 2 Samuel 12, he spoke about how sin is never victim-less and always destructive. But when we meet Jesus and he changes us our lives can be different. “Yes, I used to be the guy with the baggy jeans and the clothes that could fit my big brother – but now, because of what Jesus has done in me, I’m different.” We all have things in our past that people can call us out on, but once God has changed us we have nothing to be ashamed of, because with him we are a new creation.
If you have ever run from God or had to face extreme hardships for the cause of Christ, then the testimony of Denzia Hush (above) will speak to your heart. During the midday plenary, this Croation-born young woman shared her testimony of being born muslim, dabbling in New Age religions, Spiritualism, drug and alcohol use and even deviant behaviour before coming to accept Christ. Though she had read the New Testament and always had an interest in Christianity, it never truly changed her life until the day an experience with spiritualism left her hovering on the brink of sanity. It was only when she cried out to Jesus that she was able to be saved. Even then she was thrown out of her home and faced conflict with her parents over her decision to live a life sold out for Christ. But despite the struggle she has never once looked back.
To close off the evening David Asscherick, minister and director of ARISE (A Resource Institute for Soul-Winning and Evangelism) talked about what it means to be unAshamed of the crucified Christ. He drew on the conference’s theme text Romans 1:16:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
As he spoke about what it meant for Paul to profess (unAshamed) salvation through a crucified Jew to congregations for whom Jews were of low consequence, and crucifixion a dishonour, and how Paul was rejected by many who knew him because of this message, one can’t help but look at oneself. How many times have I been ashamed of Christ? Of this gospel? How many times has my fear of others’ reaction, or my lack of faith kept me from sharing God’s truth with someone who needed it?
It’s only been a little over day, but it hasn’t taken long to figure out the point of this conference. It is not so much for us to fellowship with other adventist youth – though that will happen. It is not so much to hear good speakers -though that is a inevitable feature. The purpose is make us unAshamed and prepared to finish the great commission:
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (20)Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. – Matthew 28:19, 20
What are you waiting for?
For a schedule of this year’s speakers and topics visit http://gycweb.org/Conference.html