Global Youth Day Report 2019

Benjamin Bakina

Despite the cold and rain, youth from Glasgow and Faifley Seventh-day Adventist church gathered together on Global Youth Day 2019 on 16 March with the eagerness to reach out to the people of Glasgow by spending some time with the elderly in association with the No1 Befriending agency ran by Audrey Mutongi of Faifley church.

Equipped with games, music and the willingness to bring a smile to people, they set out to Ibrox Parish church with the aim of bringing joy to some of the elderly folks of Glasgow. Whilst some were helping prepare the teas and snacks and providing the best hospitality possible, others mingled and had a great deal of joy speaking to the elderly and learning from their life experiences before presenting some praise and worship songs that they recognised.

There were even some Scottish songs thrown in and the older folks loved every single one of them. Some were so moved that they said, "It's the best time I have had this year." Through this, the youth were also able to share some of their experiences growing up and taking some advice and comfort from those that have already been through it all. One youth said, "it was a pleasure to be the sermon by adopting and showing love to those of the previous generation that worked hard to give them their opportunities in life." One of the leaders said, "It's great to see young people being brave and strong and doing good for the community." An example has been set that all should strive to follow. One act of kindness can reach many.

The ministry to the elderly was initiated by local church member Audrey. Through her agency, Audrey continues to work hard to give the elderly an opportunity to get out of their homes and make connections with others, young and old. She has become so close to them, that she knows each of them by name and has become a friend to them. Her commitment and enthusiasm inspired us to include her ministry in our outreach project on Global Youth Day.

Indeed, it was an enriching experience. We were not only meeting the basic needs of others, but most importantly we were meeting the people themselves and getting to know them as friends. The youth who were involved, absolutely loved the experience and felt like they were truly making a difference to the lives of people who are sometimes forgotten. Each person was willing and enthusiastic to show love and kindness. In addition to this, with the funds that we have been given by the TED we plan to make this a continuous programme throughout the year. Not only adopting the elderly folk, but also some youth that need befriending, through various other projects.

Sometimes, and act of kindness is all that's needed to make a difference.