“Very relevant to this time and age because for most of us we interact with post modern people and this retreat helped us learn how to witness to these people.” - Lavina Batulayan, Vancouver Filipino SDA Church
What is Truth to a postmodern? Pilate asked Jesus “What is Truth” also, but he did not wait for the answer. Who are the post moderns, what do they believe, and how can we reach them with Adventist message?
These were the questions and challenges that Pastor Ern Brake, the newly elected Vice-President for Administration of the BC Conference posed to the young people during the Filipino Association of Advent Believers in British Columbia’s (FAABBC) sponsored young people’s retreat at Deer Lake School led by Matthew Reyes, Youth Pastor of the Vancouver Filipino SDA Church.
Young people from Vancouver Filipino, Burnaby FilCan, Inspire Ministries, Abundant Life Community, Fraser Valley, and Surrey Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Churches were at the “Empowering the Young People” spiritual retreat for two consecutive Sabbaths, April 9th and 16th, 2016, for more thorough instructions on how to evangelize the post moderns.
According to Pastor Ern Brake, the foundation of a postmodern mindset is that there's no such thing as absolute truth. They don't believe that there can only be one God or that there could be a God at all. But as Adventists, we believe that it is our duty to preach the gospel to everyone so that they will believe and receive God's gift of salvation. This can be difficult for those trying to share the gospel of Jesus Christ - as we believe God is the one and only true God.
Pastor Ern related his conversion experience as a university student in the Maritimes, and showed how the young people can help non-believers experience God for themselves as well. They were made aware that the traditional way of evangelizing to the secular world is no longer as effective as it used to be. It's not because our message has changed, but because of the different mind set of our present society.
The importance of learning how to reach out to this new way of thinking is crucial for this generation of Young Adventists to become successful in being witnesses for Christ. This is because the age range of College and University students mirrors the age range of Young Adults (18-35). What this means is that as young people, they are constantly interacting with peers that may believe in the postmodern mind set.
Nina Lim, a graduate student at Trinity Western University from Kazakhstan, introduced Adventist Christian Fellowship (ACF), a way of reaching out to non-believers in the public post secondary institutions. Currently, BC only has one ACF club, which is found at UBC, located in Vancouver- the most non-religious city in North America. It is in this time of a person’s life that their minds are wide open, and when the biggest decisions of their life are made. That being said, it is their duty, as bearers of the truth, to be readily available to help build God’s kingdom by working together in spreading the gospel through their words, action, and by embodying the character of Jesus. After the second meeting, the young people enjoyed the sports
Here are more of the comments of the young people.
“Good! Awakening! We need more!” - Gino Geniebla, Abundant Life Community Church
“Nice, we should have more of this. Good to know all the other members of the other Filipino Adventist Churches” - Daisy Labro, Burnaby Filipino SDA Church
“It was an enlightening event for me. Definitely would love to have another one by any means as I know everyone who attended was blessed. It also brought the youth closer to each other and developed bonds that would probably last a lifetime. Thank you to all who made this retreat possible.” - Archie Quinones, Fraser Valley SDA Church
“The sundown worship at Deer Lake School was a very inspiring and exciting one. I truly was able to understand the complicated topics and strengthen my relationship with Jesus. I also met new faces who were all very kind and welcoming. The food was of course delicious and the games and sports we played really got us laughing and sweating. The whole evening was memorable, and I would 100% go to the next one.” - Jeimyl Rullamas, Surrey Filipino SDA Church
"I was inspired. I learned a lot! It’s life changing!" - Ella Ongyiu, Vancouver Filipino
“I liked it. I saw my friends from other churches. How often do we see them? Only at Camp Meetings . This is targeted for our generation, young people.” - Harriette Laroco, Vancouver Filipino SDA Church
By Ben Berto, Head Elder, Abundant Life Community Church
Contributor: Lavina Batulayan, Vancouver Filipino Adventist Church
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