A dream came true on the weekend of September 5–7, 2014, when Jóvenes por Cristo (Youth for Christ) held its first youth congress in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.
One evening in January, I was meditating on what could be done to supply the spiritual needs of the Adventist youth here on the island. While reading some Facebook posts about how spiritually uplifting Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) 2013 had been, I was inspired to start something similar. Remembering Dr. Standish’s oft-repeated theme of “being ambitious for the Master’s glory,” I prayed that God would bless and prosper this youth ministry. From that evening meditation, Jóvenes por Cristo was born.
Jóvenes por Cristo seeks to encourage the consecrated youth, awaken the sleeping youth, and rescue the lost youth, all to form part of the final generation that will finish the work. After giving the idea more thought, I presented it to my students at Campo Real, where I formerly taught, who fully embraced the idea of a youth movement. So we began planning a youth congress that would be different from the usual youth retreats that provide much fun and entertainment, but little spiritual depth. As conducted in various GYC meetings, we planned a literature distribution for the last day of the congress, focused on the latter rain. But we all wondered, What literature will we distribute? Then I had a light-bulb moment—Last Generation magazine!
For the past two years, attempts had been made to get Last Generation into the Dominican Republic. Yet, for one reason or another, things never lined up to be able to send them. “But like the stars in the vast circuit of their appointed path, God’s purposes know no haste and no delay.” The “Back to Basics” edition of Last Generation is now the first Spanish edition to be shipped to other countries. God knew that those magazines needed to arrive in 2014, because that was when the youth congress would take place. Glory be to God, the magazines arrived this past summer to be used in the literature distribution and many other evangelistic efforts!
About 80 people attended our first youth congress, 40 of whom participated in the mission work. On Sunday, we over-packed two 15-passenger vans and sent a few motorcycles to the central park in Jarabacoa to begin the mission effort. The youth were divided into 4 groups of about 10, and were sent two by two to various neighborhoods to hand out the magazines. I stayed at the park to pray for the groups that went out to hand out magazines, and after almost an hour, groups began returning to the central location with happy faces. Some returned looking for more magazines to distribute, and others returned looking for more people to give them to. In the end, all were encouraged and enthusiastic to have taken part in such an outreach activity, which was the very first mission effort conducted during a youth congress on the island!
The silent, yet powerful influence of these magazines has continued even after the youth congress. The local church of Jarabacoa received a magazine, and some members took extras to distribute in their homes and businesses. Pastors of churches in other towns took large quantities to aid in evangelistic efforts. Also, a sister starting a vegetarian restaurant in a nearby town took hundreds of magazines to pass out to her customers. Thanks be to God, Last Generation has played a big role in making this dream of sparking revival and reformation come true.
*Back to Basics
1 White, Ellen G., The Desire of Ages, p. 32
2 White, Colporteur Ministry, p. 4