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Allegheny East Spanish Youth Share “The Love of Their Lives”
Story by Taashi Rowe
He continued, “Even the disciples who walked with Jesus didn’t know Him! When we serve a dead God, religion becomes a burden, and we get upset because God doesn’t do what we want. But when we spend intimate time with God, when we walk with God daily, when we’ve had an encounter with God, our hearts will burn and our hope in Him comes to life.”
Caballero shared these words with Spanish-speaking youth and their families from six churches in the Allegheny East Conference Bay Area Ministerium who gathered for a special day of sermons, praise music, fellowship and fun. Youth from churches such as the Georgetown Spanish company and El Evangelio Eterno in Georgetown, Del; the Easton Spanish group in Preston, Md.; the Gethsemani Adventist group in Dover; El Remanente in Wilmington, Del.; and the Templeville Spanish church in Marydel, Md., planned and coordinated the daylong service. The youth invited Caballero to speak at this third annual youth day, and he presented two seminars that reflected the theme “The Love of Your Life.” He emphasized the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ.
Javier Scharon Jr., 25, a youth leader for the Gethsemani group, said this special youth day was about “sharing tools for young [Seventh-day Adventists] to become strong in their identities as followers of Christ.”
His father, Pastor Javier Scharon Sr., Bay Area coordinator for the Spanish-speaking churches said, “Some of our youth just come to church because mom and pop tells them to. We are hoping that because of this special day, they found God for themselves.”
Gadiel Scharon, 24, a youth leader from the Easton church said he hoped others came away as blessed as he was. “Sometimes we have people up in the pulpit who don’t know how to relate to what I am facing as a young adult and don’t know how hard it is for me to make it through the week,” he said. “We wanted our fellow youth to hear God’s Word from people their own age.”
When asked what inspired this program, Javier Jr. explained, “As a youth leader I try not to just preach to my youth, because the best sermon is not one that you hear, but one that you see. I give my testimony by showing them that they can live a fun, joyous life in Jesus.”
Only time will tell how Youth Sabbath 2012 impacts the attendees’ lives. Alicia Cruz, an 18-year-old from Easton, Md., who grew up in the Catholic Church, said she came to Youth Sabbath because her boyfriend invited her. She said the sermons have already made her think. “I’m at a point where I’m not really sure what church I want to go to,” she said. “But I really like how everyone here is so close like a family, and I really like what they have to say about God.”
In addition to seminars, each church showed their creativity by interpreting a sacred song through drama. At the end of the dramas, the groups received trophies for their participation. The day ended with a game night, which allowed members of the different churches and their guests to relax and have fun.
For Prudencio Solares, 25, a member of the Templeville church and coordinator for the Allegheny East Conference Bay Area Spanish youth, the day was also an opportunity for outreach. “We had so many people who are new members in the church and they brought their friends who are not Adventists,” he said. “I was so happy to see all these new faces.”
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