About 50 young people gathered for the first time in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nepal to discuss how their generation would actively participate in furthering the church’s mission of proclaiming the soon return of Jesus.
The group of millennials from 18 Adventist churches traveled for hours, including by foot, to attend the three-day conference in a remote mountain village church in Kaping, 20 miles (30 kilometers) west of Nepal’s border with China.
“Rain, inconvenient transportation, and a five-hour hike on a treacherous, mountainous path did not diminish the hope of these young people to be empowered to join the church in sharing God’s love in practical ways,” said Umesh Pokherel, president of the Adventist Church in Nepal.
The inaugural Nepal Youth Ministries Advisory, themed “Pass It On” and led by Mohan Bhatti, youth director of the church’s Southern Asia Division, drafted a five-year strategic plan to involve young people in church ministry.
Bhatti told the attendees — a mix of young pastors, gospel workers, and young lay men and women — that the first step was to identify their talents so they could begin to prayerfully consider their roles in fulfilling the church’s mission.
Bhatti noted that the youth department of the Adventist world church had come up with a program, also called “Pass It On,” to allow the younger generation to join forces with the church by becoming an integral part in the effort to share the Adventist message and values.
Between devotionals and seminars, the young people brainstormed on what programs they could introduce and implement in their neighborhoods. The Adventist Church has about 5,000 members worshipping in 37 churches and 16 companies across Nepal.
The young people also shared their faith. A young woman gave an emotional testimony about how her sister’s illness had resulted in her parents and the rest of the family becoming Adventist. The sister died giving birth.
Attendees left the June 23-25 conference energized to serve, said Pokherel, whose official title is president of the Nepal Section of Seventh-day Adventists.
“The young pastors said they would now knock on the door of the Nepal Section with their programs rather than the Nepal Section knocking on the doors of young people with its programs,” he said.