“Everything you said was so clear. I felt like you were speaking directly to me.” My heart warmed at the words of this college-aged girl. I felt privileged that God would use me to impact Seventh-day Adventist young people like her.
The Ibalik 2019 mission trip to Davao City, Philippines, involved many activities, such as giving health lectures to thousands of public school students, sharing hope in both men’s and women’s jails, and preaching truth through an evangelistic series. However, the most rewarding experience for me was the Youth Share Summit put on by our team members to inspire Adventist young people to stand faithful to Jesus in an increasingly media-saturated world.
Heidi* was another young person who reached out to me. On Sabbath morning, I had preached a message called “The Battle for the Mind” in which I challenged the young people to consider what might be distracting them from their walk with God. God knew the specific individuals in that audience who needed to let go of distractions, and I was praying for the Holy Spirit to convict them.
God allowed me to glimpse the answer to my prayer through Heidi.
“I hadn’t heard the story of Ananias and Sapphira before,” she shared with me. “Yet when you mentioned them in your lecture, I felt guilty right away. You said there are a lot of people who promise to surrender themselves to the Lord, yet still keep something back for themselves. It didn’t take but seconds for me to realize I am like Ananias.”
Her message to me was a plea for help. She desired to know Jesus in a deeper way and to stand against the pressures of the world but found herself struggling to resist temptations.
“Is it okay to ask for help?” she questioned. “I’m having a hard time giving up a worldly life, but I’m desiring to commit myself to change.”
Heidi’s honest appeal touched my heart, and I was so thankful that she reached out. Since then, I have had the privilege of mentoring her and encouraging her in her walk with Jesus, despite being oceans apart!
This experience in the Philippines impressed me with a deeper burden for Adventist youth who want to live for Jesus but struggle to push against the current of the world. I pray that my life can be a spark in their future ministries.
*Name has been changed.