Durnique Bostwick of the Centreville Seventh-day Adventist Church prays for a man who was walking by and requested prayer, as  children and young people were offering snacks and prayers to drivers and onlookers on Global Youth Day (GYD) in Nassau, The Bahamas, on Mar. 16, 2024. Hundreds of young people throughout Cayman Islands, Grand Bahama, Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas spread cheer, shared food and hope in cities and communities during the annual GYD. [Photo: John Garcia/ATCU]

Young people step up to be the sermon in Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and The Bahamas.

March 24, 2024 | Nassau, The Bahamas | Henry R. Moncur III/ACTU Communication and IAD News Staff

Under the theme “Show Up in the Cities,” hundreds of Seventh-day Adventists, most between ages 4 to 30, showed up in communities across the territory of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) for the annual Global Youth Day (GYD) on Mar. 16, 2024. Volunteers participated in service projects that impacted their communities with the love of Jesus in action.

“Show Up in the Cities” was more than a slogan in the Atlantic Caribbean Union, but a practical reality, church leaders said. Excited, enthused, and engaged youth became the hands, feet, and heart of Jesus, and showed up, making a difference in their communities.

Young people hold flags and a Global Youth Day banner in George Town, Cayman Islands, as they lead the march through the streets on Mar. 16, 2024. [Photo: Cayman Islands]

“It was great to see the transmission of the gospel continuing through our young people on this day,” said Terry Tannis, youth ministries director of ATCU . “It was a delight observing our youth in sharing the nuggets of joy with their communities. We represent what Christ has done in our lives and because [of] what Christ has done for us, we have to show up,” he said.

In the Cayman Islands

All 16 Adventist Churches across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and students from Cayman Academy donning blue, purple, and yellow shirts, flooded the streets of George Town. Despite the rain, the youth actively engaged in outreach and service activities. “It was great. People were receptive and respectful, and we had fun sharing the word,” Markino Fearon, a participant, said.

Young people put a special program for the elderly at the KCC Rest Home for the elderly in George Town, Cayman Islands, on Mar. 16, 2024. [Photo: Cayman Islands Conference]

Young volunteers distributed books, personalized water bottles bearing John 4:14, and extended invitations to the upcoming “Reset” campaign. They also prayed for and encouraged citizens, presented certificates of appreciation to the country’s emergency response teams, and handed over more than 40 pairs of glasses to the Lions Club of Cayman.

Merl Watkins, youth ministries director of the Cayman Islands Conference, expressed immense joy at witnessing the “authenticity of youth in sharing their faith.” Watkins underscored the role of Adventist youth in serving others and encouraged them to embrace their faith unashamedly.

GYD concluded with a road march and an evening of worship.

Children and young people stand by the capital city of Grand Bahama, West End, before they distribute food packages in dozens of homes on Global Youth Day.[Photo: North Bahamas Conference]

In Northern Bahamas

In the North Bahamas Conference, youth assembled in the capital of Grand Bahama, West End. Along with members of the recently reopened Seventh-day Adventist church in that community, the youth executed several activities for GYD.

A team of doctors coordinated dental screenings and over 40 children had their teeth clean by the dental hygienist on site. This initiative was the first of its kind to be implemented in the West End community and was greatly welcomed and appreciated. “I was amazed to see the church giving back to community so soon after reopening,” a parent commented.

Youth teams distributed fruit bags, Adventist literature, and organized singing events. “I feel like we made a great impact because we were able to put a smile on other people’s face,” a young participant said.

Amy Dorsette (left), youth leader of the dental cleanings project for children in West End, Grand Bahama, speaks to Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini Kingsley Smith (center) and his fiancee during GYD impact activities, Mar. 16, 2024. [Photo: North Bahamas Conference]

A key highlight of the day was a blood drive organized by the youth. The Member of Parliament of the West End and Bimini constituency visited the site of the blood drive and dental clinic and expressed his pleasure.

Peter Watson, youth ministries director of the North Bahamas Conference, noted that “the events by our youth today have given excitement to the community leaders in West End, and we are looking forward to a partnership in the future to continue activities of this nature.”

In Southern Bahamas

The South Bahamas Conference (SBC) held a rally in one of the oldest inner-city communities in New Providence. Present at the rally were members of the police force, as part of a new partnership between the youth ministries department and the Royal Bahamas Police Force Centreville Urban Renewal. Urban Renewal is an organization that focuses on youth and team-building exercises.

Young people in Nassau, hand out a meal to a person in the community as he passes by their station on GYD Mar. 16, 2024. [Photo: South Bahamas Conference]

During the rally, youth distributed packaged breakfasts, prayed for children in the communities, shared “The Great Controversy” book by Adventist-co-founder Ellen G. White, visited senior citizens, held a Stop the Violence rally to speak on the importance of peacemaking initiatives, shared school supplies and toys to children, and provided loaves of bread. In addition, free health screenings were offered to the dozens of people at the youth rally site.

“We hope by the grace of God that these projects will continue,” said Jamal Franklyn, youth ministries director of the South Bahamas Conference.

A man gets a health screening by Adventist health professionals during a nearby youth rally led by the South Bahamas Conference on GYD in Nassau, Mar. 16, 2024. [Photo: John Garcia]

In Turks and Caicos

In the Turks and Caicos Islands Conference (TCIC), outreach activities were varied and featured collaboration from multiple ministries with each church.

At the Blue Hills Adventist Church in Providenciales, a community impact exposition was the main activity. Booths were erected on the church grounds where young people distributed clothing and hot meals to community members. They also offered free weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar tests. Children manned a special booth where they prepared devotional and inspirational crafts that were shared with the children who visited the Exposition.

Groups of young people went out into neighboring communities distributing Adventist literature and praying with persons in their homes and on the streets. In the tourist hub of Grace Bay, youth from the Ephesus Adventist Church shared specially crafted devotional material and prayed with people.

Members of the Ephesus Adventist Church assemble outside the church as the prepare to distribute books and magazines Turks and Caicos, on Mar. 16, 2024. [Photo: Everette Green]

The Ebenezer and Antioch Churches in Grand Turk followed Jesus called to visit the sick and those in prison. One group visited a hospital, sang to patients, and distributed literature. Another group visited the local prison to share the love of Jesus with the inmates, sing, pray, and distribute literature.

One participant, Amelia Daniel, reported that one of the persons visited, a mechanic at his workshop, said that he was very impressed to see how enthusiastic the young people were. “He remarked that this was a very positive endeavor, especially when compared with all the negative news regarding young people in the society,” Daniel shared.

Members of the Community Services sort through clothing items for the start of the impact on Global Youth Day, Mar. 16, 2024, in Turks and Caicos. [Photo: Jacob Daniel]

The Atlantic Caribbean Union is headquartered in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas and oversees four conferences with over 28,000 Seventh-day Adventist worshiping in 92 churches and congregations. The church operates several primary and secondary schools throughout the territory. Together with the Jamaica Union, the ATCU owns and operates Northern Caribbean University, located in Mandeville, Jamaica.

Devarro Whitaker, Patelle Jones, Jacob Daniel, Sabbath Bethel, and Michelle Greene contributed to this report.


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