Young people equipped to seek God’s voice at AYC

Pastor Doug Batchelor praying with hundreds of young people at St Kilda Town Hall.

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Hundreds of young people gathered in Melbourne for the Adventist Youth For Christ (AYC) conference entitled “Called by Name” from January 26 to 29. 

Held at St Kilda Town Hall, there were more than 420 registered attendees, with more than 250 guests visiting on Sabbath. “We had a waiting list which grew exponentially by the hour, right up till the Thursday night (January 26) when AYC began. Attendees came from all over the country and the world,” AYC president Samuel Kitevski said. 

Throughout the weekend, there were morning devotions, workshops and evening worship programs. 

Guest speakers included Amazing Facts president Pastor Doug Batchelor and director of evangelism Pastor Jean Ross, North England Conference evangelism director Pastor Adam Ramdin, Lineage Journey content writer Sukeshinie Goonatilleke, 3am Ryde Church pastor Joshua Gonzalez, Victorian Conference youth director Pastor Philip Hyland and Professional Advantage Pty Ltd managing director Derek Rippingale. 

The special service saw the ordination of Pastor Chris Guo. The service was led by Pastor Christian, with Ministerial Association secretary Pastor Justin Bone and VIC secretary Pastor Craig Gillis also present. AUC Ministerial Association secretary Pastor Brendan Pratt presented the charge to ministry. Pastor Guo is part of the pastoral team for Gateway Adventist Centre in Melbourne. 

Pastor Chris Guo’s ordination service.

“AYC played a powerful role in Pastor Chris’ journey, as the first AYC he attended he was not yet baptised but was seeking more” Mr Kitevski explained. “He was baptised, and then attended the next AYC, where he made the decision to commit his life to service to God, and the rest is history.”  

“It was an honor to be able to see Pastor Chris’ journey come full circle at AYC and have the opportunity to highlight one of the countless lives which have been impacted by AYC over the years,” Mr Kitevski added.

On Sabbath afternoon, AYC attendees were sent out into Melbourne City to outreach, including advertising Pastor Doug Batchelor’s upcoming evangelistic campaign. As a result of the outreach, they received more than 400 survey responses with 36 requests for Bible studies, as well as other requests for prayer and expressions of interest for Bible studies, health programs, kid’s programs and more. These contacts will be followed up by representatives from Gateway Adventist Centre.

“It was a privilege to be able to witness so many decisions for Jesus. This weekend was a blessing and encouragement for me personally, as hearing the messages, testimonies, and seeing the decisions made, God reminded me of His calling in my own life,” Mr Kitevski said. 

AYC vice-president Susanna Je said, “seeing St Kilda Town Hall packed with hundreds of youth and young adults praying on their knees and earnestly seeking to hear God’s voice was a deeply moving and humbling experience”.

Ms Je continued, “It was evidence that God is alive, and His presence was in that space. I have witnessed and been encouraged at AYC 2023 that the harvest is plentiful and those willing to be sent into God’s harvest field are many (Matthew 9:37-38).”

Next year’s AYC is themed “Crossroads” and will be held in Melbourne in January 2024. 

“The next AYC is about taking Jesus with us on the journey. No matter what Crossroads we face, no matter where they may be.” Mr Kitevski continued. “AYC 2024 is about urging Jesus to remain with us, to journey with us. Desiring Jesus to be revealed to us personally and desiring our hearts to burn within us.” 

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