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Youngsters celebrate Youth Encuentro

Youngsters celebrate Youth Encuentro


When one thinks of Jamaica, the first thing that comes to mind is its rich culture, ranging from dancing to reggae music. But on July 24, 2006, the agenda was slightly different, when over 450 persons gathered in that country for the third Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) for Youth Encuentro.

Held under the theme, “WWWJESUS.COME”, many youth committed their lives to walk, worship, witness and work for Jesus Christ.{{more}}

The eight districts gathered in Jamaica were South Caribbean District, Haiti District, Leeward Islands, Panama, Bahamas/Turks and Caicos Islands, Guyana, Belize/Honduras and host country Jamaica.

Delegates spent the week at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. Sessions on different topics were held each day at the Jamaica Conference Centre where all the participants gathered for praise and worship.

Exuberance filled the conference hall as hands were raised to the sky giving Almighty God glory, thanks and praise. The delegates were truly being fed spiritually by the presence of God and his Holy Word.

Lives were being transformed in the blink of an eye; some persons could not even stand on their own as the power of the Holy Spirit engulfed their bodies. One uplifting revelation was to witness all the different countries praise God in their style and language, from Papiamento and Dutch to French and English, but on this occasion there was no language barrier when it came to praising Christ.

Sessions on HIV/AIDS, Christian Stewardship and the Caribbean, Methodism in the Caribbean were some of the topics on the front burner at the conference. Each district got the opportunity to present a report on the problems facing their different church denominations and suggested ways in which they could work as a unit to help combat some of the problems.

Perhaps one of the main highlights at the Encuentro was the Food and cultural evening where all the countries displayed some of their country’s traditions. The St. Vincent and the Grenadines delegation, which included Nattisha Lorraine, Maxine Gumbs-Gordon, Jermaine Creese, Tornia Wyllie, Ronnelle Cambridge, Afesha Daniel and this writer, gave a good showing with a musical selection entitled, “Come to St. Vincent”, and earned thunderous applause from persons across the Mona old Library building.

At the closing service Reverend Derick Richards from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, delivered a sermon that stuck to everyone’s mind. The message signified that behind every smile is not necessarily a good individual. He said some persons are afraid for the stone to be removed from in front their eyes because of what will truly be revealed of them. He said that people often think that they are fooling others with their false demeanour, but in fact they are only fooling themselves. He said that God sees all, and knows all, and that nothing goes unheard of with God the Father.

The Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas Youth Encuentro 2006 ended on July 31, 2006.