Outreach was the name of the game at the Generation. Youth. Christ. (GYC) annual convention on December 30, 2022. Participants distributed nearly 50,000 copies of The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White to homes in the Phoenix area in Arizona, United States.
The single-day door-to-door evangelism campaign allowed participants to pray with at least several hundred area residents and offer Bible studies to those interested.
“Lord, give us Phoenix!” was the rallying cry of the more than 2,000 people who fanned out throughout Phoenix to minister. Led by Junior Vertus, GYC’s vice president for evangelism and pastoral intern at the Village Church in Michigan, participants entered the misty conditions and busy streets motivated to impact the community.
The outreach led to what many considered to be divine appointments.
“I was a little apprehensive about doing this outreach even though I had done canvassing before,” Eliya Morris, a 19-year-old participant, said. Morris said she had an encounter that changed her outlook. “I walked up to a lady’s house, and she answered the door. It looked like she had been crying,” she said. “I told her that we were in the community giving out a gift. After giving her the book, I asked her if there was anything she needed prayer for.” The woman divulged that before answering the door, she had been praying and that one of her best friends had been diagnosed with cancer. “We were able to pray about that, and she said that she felt more at peace and that we had knocked on her door at the perfect time. She took the book and said she was going to read it with her friend.”
Anthony, a 17-year-old participant, said that his group had prayed to find at least one Bible study interest. After many houses, the group became discouraged that they had not found anyone interested in Bible studies. “Time was going by, and we realized that if we were going to pass out all the books before we ran out of time, we had to leave them on the door. After a couple of houses, we knocked on a door.” A woman answered the door and was immediately interested in Bible studies. “Even after it seemed like we weren’t going to get the Bible study, it happened anyway.”
After the outreach concluded, attendees returned to the Phoenix Convention Center for the evening plenary session.
Steven Conway, the evening speaker, who is pastor of the Troy Seventh-day Adventist Church in Michigan, continued his series of messages based upon the “Break Forth” theme. Conway called for spiritual healing and a renewed community with those that are considered “broken.” “If we ourselves have not been healed, then we cannot take a message of healing to the world,” he said. “Because we have in many instances … used religion to get us away from our brokenness. Yet, in Isaiah 58, God says ‘No, I want to bring you into community with broken people.’ ”