Our September 2017 Volleyball weekend was the biggest one yet! However, it was not the numbers that blew me away, or even the injury free tournament. It was the worship, intergenerational fellowship, attitude and culture of the weekend together!
G1 (God First) was hosted by the Addington Samoan Church Youth Team on Friday night. 65 young people (and a few young at heart) gathered to worship, share “RAW” testimony and hear the Word from Pastor Dyason Karesa. At the same time over 40 teens gathered at Christchurch Adventist School to close off their Week of Worship with a new Friday night programme called “REVOLUTION”. Pastor Josh Stothers had journeyed with the high school students throughout the week challenging concepts of true friendship and this was an opportunity for them to invite those outside of the CAS community to come along.
What an amazing testament of Gods power at work when we consider that this means over 100 young people chose to come together in two separate venues to fellowship as community. In a world where there are so many other things enticing our young people on a Friday night I praise God they chose Jesus!
Then on Saturday night 26 teams gathered to compete in the SNZ Youth Volleyball Tournament in Christchurch. We counted over 400 people in attendance, young and old, all packed into the stadium cheering, laughing and celebrating with teams traveling from as far as Nelson and Oamaru. Congratulations to “Addington Assassins” for winning the Men’s Grade, “Soul Sisters” for winning Women’s Grade, and “Island Wantoks” for winning the Social Grade!
What became most evident is that youth ministry is richer when adults are found right beside them. Relationships are formed and flourish in the context of community and this not only supports our young people, it grows them in their faith experiences and as disciples of Jesus Christ! Thank you to all who played, supported and made our tournament such a success. It is exciting to know that because of the growing numbers we have already booked the stadium for both Saturday night and Sunday morning next year. See you there!
-Pr Sarah-Jane Riley, Youth Discipleship, South New Zealand Conference