On March 19, 2022, the day observed as Global Youth Day (GYD) in the Adventist World Church, hundreds of energetic youth and their ministry leaders flooded communities across the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) to “be the sermon.” Under the theme “Loving the Forgotten,” youth, through various acts of kindness, reached out to persons in their communities who are often neglected or overlooked.
The annual initiative, which is service-driven, was first celebrated on March 13, 2013. The vision of Global Youth Day is to recapture the reality of Adventist youth as a global movement mobilized for service, contributing to the proclamation of the everlasting gospel and ushering in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
According to Dr. Kent Price, ATCU youth director, Global Youth Day was an exciting time across the union. “Our youth took to the streets with enthusiasm to impact their communities and make a difference. They were able to gain first-hand experience of how being a light for Jesus can make a difference, especially to those who are left out and forgotten.”
Over in the Cayman Islands, the youth focused on senior citizens, giving them $1000-gift-cards as well as food packets. They also cleaned up a home for one of the senior members in the community. In the South Bahamas Conference, young people provided breakfast and distributed clothing to residents in several communities. In the afternoon, they ministered to nearby homes as they gathered for park and praise on the grounds of the Adventist K-12 academy.
Youth in the North Bahamas Conference led worship services in their churches in the morning. In the afternoon, they organized a blood drive for the local hospital to help save lives of those who are often forgotten in times of need. In the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference, youth met at their churches for a short devotional exercise. Afterwards, they took gift baskets to persons confined at home, organized blood drives, prayed with business owners, and distributed encouraging reading material. A highlight of the day was the turning over of a wheelchair ramp (which the youth built as part of their Global Youth Day project) to a community member in Five Cays,
Global Youth Day also marks the official start of the Youth Week of Prayer meetings. Under the theme “God’s Message for Today,” youth stood in pulpits across ATCU to teach the Word of God and passionately call other young people to Jesus. All these activities are a part of the Total Member Involvement initiative of the Adventist World Church and a part of the ATCU strategy to get the youth of our church engaged in Total Youth Involvement. With a membership of 33,130, ATCU, which is headquartered in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas, comprises four fields, namely, the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, the South Bahamas Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference. In addition, Northern Caribbean University, which is located in Mandeville, Jamaica, is jointly owned and operated by ATCU and the Jamaica Union.