Tuesday, January 02, 2007

National Youth Conference energizes Dominican youth

What a privilege it is to spend time with energetic, dedicated, capable young Christian leadership. This was the joy that staff members Beth Gunzel, community development staff, and Nancy Heishman had when they shared the responsibility of accompanying six Dominican youth to National Youth Conference and two weeks of visiting churches. On July 15, six very nervous and excited youth (along with their experienced “travel guide” Timothy Heishman, age 16) boarded a Boeing 757 bound for Chicago and eventually for National Youth Conference. By the middle of the following week, Guidalba FĂ©liz Guzman was marveling at all the completely new experiences she had had within just a few short days. Hamburgers, e-mail and computers, and air travel were just a few of the experiences that were new for many group members. What has been most lasting for the group, however, are the relationships they formed with US Brethren, the kinship they feel for the larger church, and the conviction to return to their communities and invest their lives in the work of Christ there.

One example is the renewed energy Pastor Pedro Sanchez has for reaching the youth of his tiny town of Magueyal. Only 23 years old, Pedro has begun of fering activities designed to introduce young people to Christ and the church family. He is combining a study of the book, “The Purpose Driven Life, ” with an invitation to the participating youth to make a life commitment to Christ. Pedro is organizing recreational activities, all-night prayer vigils in the church, as well as small renovations to the building to accommodate the growing numbers. All this is undergirded by Pedro’s deep devotion to a life of prayer and study of God’s Word and his warm, joyful spirit. Other youth have been inspired to sharpen their English skills and to also invest themselves more fully in their communities.

Source: December 2006 Dominican Mission Report

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