Millions of Adventist young people from Norway and Mexico to the cyclone-devastated South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu will share food, visit hospitals, and offer hugs to passersby as they seek to show Jesus’ love in their communities on Sabbath, March 21.
About 8 million young people participated in the two previous annual celebrations of Global Youth Day, and a similar number is expected to show up this year to meet the challenge of the organizer, the Adventist world church’s youth ministries department, to “be the sermon” for the day.
“Our ultimate goal is for Global Youth Day to be a springboard for service to become a way of life,” said Gilbert Cangy, director of the youth ministries department, in announcing the 2015 initiative late last year.
The youth ministries’ website has an abundance of
Global Youth Day resources and community service ideas, including video promotions and links to Apple and Android smartphone apps that will track participants at their service locations and “light up the world” on a map showing where Global Youth Day activities are taking place.
Motivated by Vanuatu’s devastating cyclone last weekend, students at Fulton University College outside Nadi, Fiji, have made rapid changes to their plans and will now include a fundraising concert for cyclone survivors.
In Port Vila, the hard-hit capital of Vanuatu, Adventist Church leaders say their Global Youth Day activities will still take place.
Interest in Global Youth Day is also strong in South New Zealand, where young people will visit local schools and nursing homes. In Christchurch, a team will offer free hugs to passersby.
“Each of these groups will be wearing bright-colored T-shirts with ‘SNZ Youth Ministries’ printed on them,” said Ray Moaga, Adventist youth director for the South New Zealand Conference. “They are challenged to engage in conversation with the public and let them know why they are doing service.”
Young people across the Inter-America Division’s 24 major church regions are scheduled to share food and clothing, march for health, visit hospitals and nursing homes, donate blood, offer prayers in plazas, and hold concerts in public areas.
Running in conjunction with the Global Youth Day community service activities is a 24-hour internet video livestream, bringing live and pre-recorded programming from 19 locations, beginning with Fiji, looping around the planet and ending at the church’s General Conference headquarters in the U.S. state of Maryland. The livestream will webcast on the Hope Channel at
A promotional video for this year's Global Youth Day.