NZPUC Youth Congress ignites faith

Pastor Jose Rojas during an evening worship service.

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A recent youth congress held by the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference (NZPUC) attracted more than 240 young people, many of whom committed their lives to Christ.

Held in the heart of Auckland city, the congress welcomed youth from across the NZPUC, including delegates from French Polynesia, New Caledonia, the Cook Islands, and the North and South Islands of New Zealand.

“The theme for the congress was ‘Ignite'”, said Dr Nick Kross, youth director for the South Pacific Division (SPD). “We challenged young people to ignite their passion; to get involved, be active, engage in ministry and go and enter the world.”

Activities for the week included ice skating, an “Amazing Race” and community service projects across Auckland, while worships and a “creative” prayer station were counted among some of the best highlights.

Dr Kross presented several of the different workshop options along with Dr Gilbert Cangy, former youth director for the General Conference, while morning devotionals were taken by Pastor Tara VinCross, senior pastor for the Azure Hills Church in California.

In the evenings, the youth heard from Adventist independent ministry leader Pastor Jose Rojas, and the response was overwhelming.

“Pastor Jose’s call was to go and change the world; to be the young people who would go and finish the work,” Dr Kross said. “There was a huge number of young people who responded to his altar call each evening.”

NZPUC’s “Ignite” is the first of four youth-related conventions held across the South Pacific Division in 2017. The Australian Union Conference (AUC) will host the Converge youth congress at Stuarts Point next month, while the same venue will be used in September for Move With the Power IV, a SPD initiative for youth ministry leaders. The Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) will also host a Fiji congress in December.

“The purpose of events like this is not only to build friendships with other Adventist young people, but these events become a memory and anchor point,” said Dr Kross. “When you go back to uni and work, you can look back, and it helps to sustain your faith in contexts where faith is not appreciated.”

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