At 1:30 on the afternoon of
March 15, more than 1,000 Adventist youth in Manila gathered for a Global Youth
Day compassion walk. Participants walked more than three kilometers, from
historic Lapu-lapu monument in Rizal Park to Harbour Square, to make a
statement that compassion is best communicated in practical ways.
The walk was led by Jobbie
Yabut, Youth Ministries director for the church in the Southern Asia-Pacific
Division (SSD), and Tony Stanyer, SSD representative for One Year in Mission
(OYIM), a program, initiated by the Adventist Church to inspire youth to
dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ.
During the walk, Stanyer
shared his perspective about this significance of the event. “As a Christian
youth, we have to be seen by how we love people. Compassion is a medium in
which we can put our passion into action.”
The walk included four prayer
stops, each with a different emphasis: such as the people of Manila, Philippine
government officials, the spiritual and religious leaders in the country, and
Hope Manila 2014, a revival initiative of the church that calls for cities like
Manila to find hope and peace in Christ. Hope Manila 2014 will feature a
week-long revival series in May featuring Ted Wilson, Adventist world
president. Master Guides from the Adventist University of the Philippines
served as prayer leaders at each stop.
Earlier in the day, 80 groups
of Adventist youth filled the streets, parks, and neighborhoods of metro Manila
with acts of kindness, or “acts of compassion” as they called them, to celebrate
Global Youth Day with 8 million Adventist youth around the world. These
intentional acts of kindness ranged from giving away free food and drink to offering
encouragement cards, sharing flowers, and offering to pray with individuals.
These small acts were designed to show the character of Jesus Christ to the
Square, a two-hour live video stream via the Internet featured reports about
different acts of compassion from around the SSD territory. Toward the end of
the program, Deaf Ministry members from the Pasay Adventist Church, led by
Lychelle Gabuco, touched the hearts of the crowd with their sign language
rendition of the song “He’s got the Whole Word in His Hands.” The authenticity
of the simple tune gave a closing reminder that God had indeed used the hands
of Adventist youth to touch lives of the world around them.