Young and active
A New Year’s Eve get-together for the little ones, hiking with the confirmands, and countrywide Youth Days: there is always something going on for our young sisters and brothers. Here is what our children and young people around world have been up to over the last weeks.
New Year’s Eve party for the little ones
Who could look after the children on New Year’s Eve? The Sunday School teachers in the congregation of Hohoe in Ghana had an answer to this question last year. And the resulting event was so good that some mothers and fathers also participated in the programme. Children from the Hohoe congregation and the neighbouring congregations of Ve-Koloenu and Liati-Dafornu were invited to participate and were offered an entertaining programme with Bible recitals, poetry, drama, and music. Apostle Timothy Akubia also enjoyed the last day of the year in the circle of his young brothers and sisters.
Night walk with popcorn ahead
Toward the end of last year, the children of the Kassel-Korbach district in Germany also had an exciting programme that lasted into the night. After a prayer, the children headed into the forest with their parents. They had all been given flashlights and lanterns to help them find the way. And they followed and listened to their hiking guide. After an hour and a half in the dark, they met with adults at a barbecue hut, where a fire was already lighting up the night sky. A vehicle equipped with all kinds of technical gadgets not only provided musical entertainment, but was also able to make popcorn. This of course was much more exciting than waiting for their grilled sausages to be done.
Mentally strong confirmands
At the end of November 2022, around seventy confirmands from the Stellenbosch district in South Africa set out into the Kylemore Mountains for a morning hike. This was followed by a mental health bonding session and sports activities. The day was opened with a prayer, after which the girls and boys set out into the mountains. It was an hour-and-a-half walk filled with conversations and laughter. Those who were not yet exhausted after the walk could later join a relay competition or a soccer or touch rugby match. In between, the confirmands listened to a talk on how to stay mentally strong. Topics discussed were self-confidence, choosing the right friends, and staying away from substance abuse.
Youth service on a lake
According to the weather forecast, it should have been cold and snowy over the three-day event in October. But the Youth Day in San Carlos de Bariloche in Argentina at the beginning of October took place in beautiful spring weather. The service on the Sunday could even be celebrated in the open air on the shores of Lake Perito Moreno. Before and after there were activities such as kayaking, volleyball, or table tennis. And there was a lot to learn, for example at a first aid workshop given by the local hospital.
Four days of fellowship
Young people from eight districts participated in a four-day youth event in Kondembadou in Guinea. They discussed the value of divine services and how they can put their gifts and talents to use in the Church. Then they playfully tested their biblical knowledge. The highlight of the four days was the divine service with Apostle Nema Jacques Conde.
Youth Day with a flight delay
District Apostle Rainer Storck and Apostle Dimitrios Diniz were bleary-eyed when they arrived at the sports grounds in Água Creola in São Tomé and Príncipe for the Youth Day. They had only arrived at their hotel at four o’clock in the morning because their flight had been delayed by 15 hours. The first thing they had to do in the morning was conduct a seminar, and this before the youth service. For the divine service, District Apostle Rainer Storck used the same Bible text as he had used recently at the Youth Day in Western Germany: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15: 5). The young people also enjoyed the sermon contributions of Apostle Jorge Gomes from Guinea-Bissau and Priest Dietz, a rector from Germany. He was in São Tomé and Príncipe privately. His late father had bequeathed the property to the Church where the Youth Day was being held.
After the divine service, the young people performed some plays, the District Apostle visited the seminar building where courses are offered to the young people on a regular basis, and the young people joined in various activities.
First youth service in the new year
The young people of the Algrange-Metz district in France met in Metz on 8 January to spend the day together. The day started with a church service in which a new district youth leader was assigned. Priest Franck Dietz was relieved of this task after ten years. After lunch, the young people sat down to make plans for their upcoming Easter youth convention in Strasbourg, to which the youth from Belgium and Luxembourg are also invited.
First all-Nigerian Youth Day
There was excitement in the air as the young people in Nigeria gathered for their long-awaited National Youth Convention on 4 December. It was the first all-Nigerian Youth Day and for many of the young people it was the first time they travelled so far. District Apostle Michael Ehrich from Southern Germany also had a long journey. He was accompanied by Lead Apostles Geoffrey Nwogu from Nigeria and Samuel Oppong-Brenya and Benjamin Ohene-Saffo from Ghana, as well as Apostles Felicien Ebanga Edou and Ignatius Chi Nche from Cameroon and Apostle Gonzalo Esono Aló from Equatorial Guinea. The divine service took place in the stadium of Ikot Ekpene.