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                The South Central India Union had their Union Wide Youth Congress at Bangalore, India which is known as the Silicon Valley of the World. The Youth Congress was held at Bangalore Adventist College (Lowry Memorial College) Campus from November 9 – 12, 2012. About 1000 delegates comprising of students, lay youth, youth pastors were part of the Youth Congress.   Nearly 25% of the delegates were IT Professionals. The theme of the Youth Congress was “Here Am I………..”.   This Youth Congress was being held after a gap of 5 years in this Union.
                The main attraction of the Youth Congress was the presence & participation of Pr. Gilbert Cangy, GC Youth Director.   The Youth Congress began on November 9, 2012 with the inaugural address presented by Pr. Gilbert.   A Colorful opening ceremony was presented by each Conference & Mission of this Union.   Pr. Gilbert hoisted the AY flag and the Youth Directors of each Conference & Mission raised their individual flags.   The AY flame carried by youth representatives of each Conference/Mission was finally lit by Pr. Gilbert.   About 1000 colorful gas balloons were let out by Pr. Gilbert & other Church Leaders as the mark of inauguration of the Youth Congress.   Mr. Thyagaraj David, the Union youth Director welcomed the gathering, Pr. Cyril Monthero, the Union President made the Opening Remarks.   Immediately after the inaugural programme, the key note address was delivered by Dr. Gordon Christo, the Executive Secretary of SUD.
                In the evening the Vesper Service began with very inspiring song service by the young people.   Pr. Ravindra Shankar, the SUD Youth Director spoke during the Vespers Service & challenged the young people to rightly use the freedom that been gifted by God to mankind.
                The next day the Sabbath Service began with a lively song service & it was followed by an interesting Sabbath school Programme put up by the young people. The Sabbath School Lesson Study was a panel discussion presented by a group of senior youth.   Pr. Gilbert spoke during the Divine Service and inspired the young people to be ready & fulfill the mission of Youth Ministry.   Hundreds of young people came forward & committed their lives to Jesus when the alter call was made by him.
                In the Sabbath afternoon, the young people presented a lively “festival of music” & Bible skits.   The delegates & the audience were spell bound watching the talent of the young people.   In the evening an attractive investiture service was held & several Master Guides were invested during the ceremony.   PLA & PIA were also awarded to several young people who have completed the requirements. The day ended with the evening devotion. Two talented young people gave the devotional message and inspired the delegates.
                On Sunday November 11, 2012 the Congress continued with an inspiring devotion by Pr. Cyril Monthero, the Union President. It was followed by a presentation made by Pr. Gilbert on the topic “The Post Modern Era a divine opportunity for Adventist Youth”.   During his presentation he interviewed several young people who have involved themselves in Youth Evangelism in one way or the other.   Immediately after this presentation, a series of workshops were held on several topics like
(1)    Interpersonal Relationship
(2)    Youth & Leisure time
(3)    Courtship & Marriage
(4)    Discipleship in outreach
(5)    Time Management
(6)    Stress Management
(7)    Money Management
(8)    Web Evangelism
(9)    Adventist Career Guidance
(10) The Role of Adventist Youth in the Church
                The young people enjoyed attending & participating in these workshops. They were educative & informative.
                The afternoon session was dedicated to games & recreation. Several games both indoor & outdoor were organized.   Young people loved participating in these games & recreation.   During the evening devotion another two young people delivered the devotional message & inspired the delegates. The day ended with a colorful & a vibrant culture program presented by the delegates of each Conference/Mission.   These programs depicted the culture & tradition of various regions of this Union.
                On Monday November 12, 2012 the Congress continued with the morning devotion. 
Mr. Thyagaraj David the Union Youth Director spoke during the devotional hour. It was followed by a presentation made by Pr. Sebastin Braxton from USA on the topic “The Principles of Youth Leadership”. Immediately after this a series of workshops on the same topics were held. The concluding session was the consecration service Dr. M J Prakasam, the President of Bangalore Adventist College gave the consecration message & inspired every delegate to commit & consecrate their lives to Lord Jesus Christ. It was a solemn ceremony.
                The youth congress came to an end with the lowering of flags. It was a good & a rich experience for every delegate who attended the Congress. Finally the delegates were challenged to go back to their homes with one unique friend “Lord Jesus Christ”.
                The Department of Youth Ministries at SUD launched a unique program entitled “Straight Talk” in collaboration with Hope Channel India. This is a program where a group of young people will have Question & Answer Session with the Leaders of the Church including the personal of the Department of Youth Ministries. The entire program is recorded at different locations of the Division and telecasted by the Hope Channel India.
                The “Straight Talk” program was formally inaugurated by Pr. Gilbert Cangy on November 4, 2012 at Chennai City where the Head Quarters for Hope Channel India is located.   On this day a group of 30 young people comprising of Doctors, Teachers, Pastors, IT Professionals, Lawyers & Students from the City of Chennai gathered at the studio of Hope Channel India and interviewed Pr. Gilbert Cangy, GC Youth Director, Pr. Ravindra Shankar, SUD Youth Director & Pr. Lincon, the Local Mission Youth Director. The young people had several valuable Questions to ask and get them clarified. The Hope Channel India recorded the entire program & it will be telecasted in 2 episodes shortly.
                Another “Straight Talk” program was recorded at the City of Bangalore which is known for IT Industries on November 11, 2012. Here again a group of young people from Bangalore City & other parts of South Central India Union interviewed Pr. Gilbert Cangy at the studio. This group was also comprising of Doctors, Teachers, IT Professionals, Lawyers & Students.   They had several Questions to ask and get them clarified.    The entire program was again recorded by Hope Channel India and it will be telecasted shortly.   It was a wonderful experience for the young people and also for the youth Directors.
                Similar programs are planned at various Unions, Conferences & Mission Head Quarters. The Department of Youth Ministries at SUD will work with Hope Channel India & come out with several interesting & innovative programs for the youth of the Church.
M Ravindra Shankar
Director, Youth Ministries
Southern Asia Division
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