At 1:30 on the afternoon of March 15, over a thousand Adventist youth in Manila gathered for a Global Youth Day compassion walk. Participants walked over three kilometers from historic Lapu-lapu monument in Rizal Park to Harbour Square to make a statement that compassion is better communicated through practical ways. This compassion walk was led by Pastor Jobbie Yabut, Youth Ministries director for the church in the southern Asia-Pacific region (SSD), and Tony Stanyer, SSD representative for One Year in Mission (OYIM) - a program initiated by the Adventist church to inspire youth to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ.
Global Youth Day - Interview with Pastor Jobbie Yabut from SSD Adventist on Vimeo.
During the walk, Tony shared his perspective about this significance of the event. "I believe that as a Christian youth, we need to be seen by how we love people. Compassion is a medium where we can put our passion into action."
Global Youth Day 2014 - Interview with Anthony Stanyer from SSD Adventist on Vimeo.
The walk included four prayer stops, each with a different emphasis such as the people of Manila, the Philippine government officials, the spiritual and religious leaders in the country and finally HopeManila2014, a revival initiative by the church that calls for big cities like Manila to find hope and peace in Christ. HopeManila2014 will feature a week-long revival series in May with speaker Ted Wilson, Adventist world president. Master Guides from the Adventist University of the Philippines served as prayer leaders at each stop.
Earlier that day, 80 groups of Adventist youth filled the streets, parks and neighborhoods of metro Manila with acts of kindness or “acts of compassion” as they deemed it, to celebrate Global Youth Day with eight million Adventist youth around the world. These intentional acts of kindness extended to random strangers ranged from giving away free food and drink to offering encouragement cards, sharing flowers and offering to pray with individuals. These small acts were designed to show the character of Jesus Christ to the community.
At Harbour Square, a two-hour live video stream via the internet featured reports about different acts of compassion from around SSD territory. Towards the end of the program, Pasay Adventist church Deaf Ministry members, led by Lychelle Gabuco, touched the hearts of the crowd with their sign language rendition of “He’s got the Whole Word in His Hands”. The stirring authenticity of the simple tune gave a closing reminder that God had indeed used the hands of Adventist youth to touch lives of the world around them this day. [Gay Deles]