Australian Event Helps Young People Connect with God

“Called by Name” conference drives dozens of youth to commit to Jesus.

Kimberley McMurray, Adventist Record
<strong>Australian Event Helps Young People Connect with God</strong>
Doug Bachelor praying with hundreds of young people at St. Kilda Town Hall in Melbourne, Australia. [Photo: Adventist Record]

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

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

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

Among others, guest speakers included Amazing Facts president Doug Batchelor and AF director of evangelism Jean Ross, North England Conference evangelism director Adam Randin, and Lineage Journey content writer Sukeshinie Goonatilleke.

Terry Johnson, president of the Australian Union Conference (AUC) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, opened the conference with prayer, and Victorian Conference president Graeme Christian gave a welcoming address on Friday night.

The special service, led by Christian, saw the ordination of Chris Guo. AUC Ministerial Association secretary Brendan Pratt presented the charge to ministry. Guo is part of the pastoral team for Gateway Adventist Centre in Melbourne. 

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

Kitevski added, “It was an honor to be able to see Pastor Chris’s 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.”

Outreach to the City

On Sabbath afternoon, AYC attendees were sent out into Melbourne City to conduct outreach, including advertising Doug Bachelor’s upcoming evangelistic series. 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,” 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.

“It was evidence that God is alive, and His presence was in that space,” Je added. “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.”

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

“The next AYC is about taking Jesus with us on the journey. No matter what crossroads we face, no matter where they may be,” Kitevski said. “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.”

The original version of this story was posted by Adventist Record.

Kimberley McMurray, Adventist Record