FAIFLEY AND GLASGOW GLOBAL YOUTH DAY EVENTS
22nd March 2017
Glasgow is often famed for its unpredictable weather and being the friendliest city in the world. And on the 18th of March 2017, on a typically overcast day, it became the backdrop for acts of service by the Adventist youth of Glasgow Seventh Day Adventist Church.
The mission? To be 'the sermon' on this Global Youth Day by serving others in the community.
With guidance from the City Council, the youth of the Adventist church spent some time cleaning up the streets in their community. With bin bag in one hand and a litter-picker in the other, not a single piece of litter was missed. Even when the rain came, the young people went about their service with smiles on their faces.
They embodied the city slogan of "People make Glasgow". Thus, many observers were touched to see young people cheerfully giving their time to help their community. One such moment, leading to an elderly lady coming to personally thank the young people for the good that they were doing. She was so thankful, she made sure they had some snacks to give them the energy to continue to serve. However, that was only one of many inspiring moments.
For one of the group’s organizers, Audrey, meeting a man named Frank who owned a memorial park on the other side of the church, reminded her that people in the area are always observing the church with curiosity. Having witnessed what the young people were doing, Frank expressed his interest in one day visiting the church.
But perhaps the most inspiring moments of that day, came when the young people went to sing and hand out free fruit and water in the town center. Needing a place to set up their stalls, they found a man named David already occupying the area and playing his drums - something that would have proved challenging as they would have had to compete with the loudness of the drums. However, after Audrey spoke to David, he was more than willing to take a break and allow the group 30 minutes to sing and connect with the people.
But what made David's act of kindness even more moving, was what he said afterwards. Three weeks prior, his son had committed suicide, and David himself was recovering from cancer. And because of those two things he no longer believed in God. Therefore, for David to give up his territory and allow a group of Christians to sing gospel songs for a God he does not believe in, was a truly touching and miraculous moment.
Also, some of the youth, along with Temba and Jeremy, prayed with a homeless lady and bought her a hot drink afterwards. As Lisa Mahailova remarked "it was inspiring that we had a Sabbath where we did things for others rather than ourselves". One of younger members added that "serving others is what being a Christian is all about".
For me, the kindness and sense of community displayed by us as the young people of the church, was deeply profound and showed the community what we are all about. We are Christians with the aim of sharing the love of God, and bringing hope by constantly serving the needs of the community. Furthermore, it became apparent that it was the hearts and minds of the Glasgow church youth that had ultimately been inspired by the events of Global Youth Day.