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national and cultural backgrounds to bond throughout the fi ve days of meetings. Focused on the conference theme, “Reach,” the studies focused on the ways in which God reaches out to persons and how youth are to reach out to each other and others in ministry and mission. Facilitators were drawn from countries around the world, including countries in Asia such as Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, India, South Korea, Philippines, Nepal and New Zealand; African facilitators from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, South Africa and Nigeria; European session leaders from Germany, the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic; and facilitators from the Americas such as Bahamans, Jamaica, Canada, the United States, Brazil and Argentina.


Packaging more than 250,000 meals for the hungry D


STORIES OF Ministry&Challenge uring the 16th


Baptist Youth World Conference in Singapore, youth


were reminded that part of the call to being Christian is a commitment to justice and reaching out to those in need. Asha Sanchu, founder and director of MIqlat Ministry, based in


Dimapur in the Northeast Indian state of Nagaland, told her story of rescuing women and girls from the sex trade, despite threats on her life. “Once some men [who are involved in the sex trade] held a gun to my head and told me to stop what I’m doing. At fi rst I was afraid, but the threats happen so often now that I got used to it and I’m no longer scared.” She said it is not enough to save women from the sex trade; they also


Above: Music and drama by Alfred Street Baptist Church, Virginia, USA Left: Creative expressions from the Baptist Church of Mizoram Far left: Presentation refl ecting one of the cultures of Singapore


A highlight of the closing event was the installation,


presided over by BWA President Upton, of the new leadership of the BWA Youth Department, to be led by Amanda Haines of the United States as president. Other leaders include vice presidents who are the presidents of each regional youth body. They are Koffi Soke Kpomgbe for Africa, Vesekhoyi Tetseo for Asia, Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson for the Caribbean,


Hojmark Andersen for Europe and Jasses David Silva for Latin America. Haines is the youth president for North America.


Dale Stairs of Canada is the chair of the International Program Committee to plan the next youth conference.


Conference speaker Rachael Tan washes the feet of a youth delegate during her presentation at the Baptist Youth World Conference


need to be provided with life skills that enhance their chances of survival. This includes training that enables these women and girls to earn a living. Since 2004, Miqlat has helped more than 200 women to start their own businesses and to become nurses and other trained professionals. Brickson Sam of Sierra Leone has played a part in lowering the


Andreas


incidences of sickness, disability and deaths caused by malaria in his country. Sam, immediate past president of the All Africa Baptist Youth Fellowship and a vice president of the Baptist World Alliance Youth Department, led a program in which Baptist World Aid, the relief and development arm of the BWA, helped to fund the distribution of 1,000 insecticide-treated bed nets provided by His Nets, a Christian ministry based in Oklahoma in the United States. Sam told the gathering that the net distribution is a demonstration of Matthew 25 and that clothing the naked, feeding the hungry and helping the stranger is part of the commitment to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Wado Saw, a Myanmar refugee in the Mae La camp on the Thai-


Myanmar border, testifi ed to the diffi culties faced by the tens of thousands of refugees from Myanmar who have been displaced due to confl icts in their homeland. Despite their desire for home, it is unlikely that their dreams will be realized anytime soon. Youth made monetary and in-kind donations toward school kits


for refugee children in Thailand. There are an estimated 31,000 school children from Myanmar living in seven refugee camps along the Thai- Myanmar border. A majority of the delegates attending the youth conference packaged


more than 250,000 meals from supplies provided by Stop Hunger Now and funded by contributions received by the BWA. Two 20ft containers were fi lled for distribution in Asia. One American participant from New York declared, “This is something my church can do, perhaps during Thanksgiving (in November) or Christmas. I’m going to share this vision with my pastor when I get back home. I know this is something she will be open to doing.”


OCTOBER/DECEMBER 2013 7

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