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Youth Evangelism Baptizes 3,804 in South Philippines

Young men decided to submit their lives to God in baptism during the culmination of the union-wide Voice of Youth Ignite in the South Philippines. Photo courtesy of Voice Of Youth - PCAYO

The 11-day simultaneous Voice of Youth (VOY) evangelistic meetings paved the way for the baptism of 3, 804 precious souls during the culmination program on May 22, 2021. These new members were ushered through several evangelistic events across various locations in the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) territory.

With the theme “VOY Ignite,” the union-wide crusades on May 12-22, 2021 in 275 different sites were participated by the zealous young people with the guidance of their pastors and local conference youth directors. Due to health protocols, 75 sites were not allowed by their local government unit (LGU) to conduct physical gatherings. Nevertheless, the crusade in the remaining 200 locations pushed through. The Adventist fundamental beliefs and health lectures were shared by the young people themselves. On the culmination day, the simultaneous baptisms were conducted on the Sabbath afternoon.

“My heart was filled with joy while watching the simultaneous baptisms via Zoom,” said Pastor Jemsly Lantaya, SPUC Youth director, in an interview. Through the innovative ways and dedication of the youth, thousands of people are now engaged to follow and live like Jesus. In the four-hour Adventist Youth (AY) program that day, inspiring testimonies were shared by the newly baptized members and the crusade speakers.

VOY is a program of the Adventist world church that started in 1947. Though older than the pathfinder program, it became inactive for some years both in the local and global churches.

This year, Pastor Ron Genebago, Southern Asia Pacific Division (SSD) Youth Ministries Director initiated the revival of VOY with the help of the youth directors and the young people. The first phase of the VOY was launched during the Division Youth Directors’ advisory meeting. Then the Union Directors gathered and planned the launch in the local churches. After which, the pastors trained the youth who will be speaking during the crusades and they were given materials including the doctrinal presentations. Finally, a meeting with all the participants from various sites was conducted. There were 12 members in every VOY camp location. Truly, an “army of workers as our youth, rightly trained” can help in the advancement of God’s work and in spreading the message of the crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior.

Pastor Lantaya said that he was deeply moved to see the youth shed tears of joy and seeing thousands of people accepting Jesus as their Savior. Moreover, he expressed his gratitude to the youth for answering God’s call and challenged them to continue winning souls and to remain in God’s love.

The General Conference (GC) of the Adventist Church has adopted VOY this year and we give back the glory and honor to God for the overwhelming results in soul-winning. The SPUC youth directors are aiming to have 350 evangelistic sites in 2022 with the theme “VOY Expand.” Let’s continue to labor and pray for the winning of souls for it will sweeten our bliss in that city of gold where there will be stars in our crowns.

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