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375 delegates, 42 nations, 25 languages, 1 mission: To spread the Word

8th International Christian Youth Conference in Teresopolis, Brazil

THE 8th International Christian Youth Conference (ICYC), held at the Methodist Mission Camp, Teresopolis, Brazil recently, brought together 375 delegates from 42 countries.

Speaking in more than 25 languages, including Appalachian and Australian, these young people, mostly aged 17 to 30, from the different continents, enjoyed a wonderful fellowship, ate good food, sang and danced together in worship, studied the Bible, and played together for seven days in the beautiful surroundings of God’s creation.

This quadrennial event is organised by the World Evangelism of the World Methodist Council in cooperation with the National Coordination of Christian Education of The Methodist Church in Brazil.

With the conference theme “That the World May Know Jesus Christ” in mind, the organisers seek to train and motivate young Christians to testify for Christ to the world.

With me at the conference was Mr Louis Loke, a youth leader of Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church.

The participants enjoyed a diverse programme. Testimonies and skits were presented during the mornings. Each day before lunch, they got together in “family groups” to discuss further on the morning’s Bible studies and to share their faith experiences in their own countries.

Afternoons were set aside for workshops and participants were pampered with choices. Each day was brought to a close with night services where the Word was preached and responded to. One of the most amusing moments was watching those MTV – “Methodist TV” which showed some participants sleeping and other funny moments.

The trip to Teresopolis, Brazil for the Eighth ICYC was truly an enriching experience for me. This conference allowed me, among many other things, to:

1. Get updates of the Methodist movement around the world by talking with the delegates from various continents. The reports are very encouraging;

2. Observe youth trends and spirituality from the different countries; and

3. Rekindle the call to bring the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

It was a great joy to be in the company of the Wesleyans at the conference, a joy I believe that will supersede a face-to-face meeting with Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos.

The Rev William Sam is Assistant Pastor of Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church.