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Army of Youth Impact Orlando

posted on July 30, 2013, under Conference, Video Report by

by Pedro Perez

With such an army of workers as our youth, rightly trained, might furnish, how soon the message of a crucified, risen, and soon-coming Saviour might be carried to the whole world!

—Education, p. 271

Naomi Olsen, right, and Judy Smith, center, lead game activities for children at Lake Eola. (Photo: Rhoda Burrill)

Naomi Olsen, right, and Judy Smith, center, lead game activities for children at Lake Eola. (Photo: Rhoda Burrill)

How many times have we read or heard the Ellen White quotation, above? For years, this standard for evangelism was tossed about by youth leaders and committees.

Recently, the Florida Conference Youth Department began to dream of putting these words into practice and energizing youth to get involved in various forms of ministry. The result? Impact Orlando was born!

During the week of June 23-30, young people throughout the state of Florida came together for training and outreach service, equipping them to make a difference in Orlando and, ultimately, in their home churches. Headquartered at Orlando Junior Academy, 50 young people spent their mornings involved in service opportunities:

Young people learn how to witness through face painting. (Photo: Rhoda Burrill)

Young people learn to witness through face painting. (Photo: Rhoda Burrill)

  • American Red Cross—updated and repackaged first aid kits.
  • Clean the World—recycled soap and shampoo for use after disasters.
  • Ronald McDonald House—prepared food for guests.
  • Bill Frederick Park—participated in park clean up.
  • Harbor House—involved with cleaning projects, games, and activities.
  • Second Harvest Food Bank—updated shelves and moved food.
  • University of Central Florida—worked at Arboretum.
  • Orlando Rescue Mission—prepared and served a meal and helped with programming for kids.

The afternoons were spent in training sessions with various entities such as Service and Love Together (SALT) and Florida Conference Children’s Ministries to learn methods of outreach ministry for the elderly, kids, and hospital patients, through sidewalk visitation, video production, CPR, balloon animals, puppetry, art, and face painting.

Young people learn to witness through balloon ministry and storytelling. (Photo: Rhoda Burrill)

Participants learn to witness through balloon ministry. (Photo: Rhoda Burrill)

“This week inspired me to go back to my church and start a homeless ministry, at least once a week, serving food and singing with them,” says one of the trainees. Trainees are already putting outreach programs learned at Impact Orlando into place at Tallahassee and Brandon Churches.

“The beautiful Florida weather makes it difficult to stay indoors!” said the announcer on Saturday afternoon from Z Radio 88.3 FM broadcasting from Lake Eola Park in Orlando at the Live With Hope Festival as the announcer invited the listening audience to join them downtown at the Festival.

Young adults prepare meals at Ronald McDonald House on the campus of Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando.

Youth prepare a meal at Ronald McDonald House on the campus of Florida Hospital for Children in Orlando.

This afternoon program gave trainees an opportunity to practice their skills while providing public awareness of the Adventist Church. Activities for kids, health screenings, information about ministries of the Church, lemonade, and popcorn were part of the free family day that brought this intense week of training to a close. Additional Festivals were planned at Altamonte Springs Church, Apopka Church’s thrift store, Kress Memorial Church, and Festival Park in Orlando.

The spark ignited in our young people is something we want to see reproduced. We are planning, as a youth ministry department, to offer this summer training program every year on a rotating basis at major cities in Florida.

Young people need to have a chance to be involved so they can experience what it means to live with hope, what it means to impact the city, and what it means to be used by God to live a long life of service.

Bonus photos: 
Impact Orlando Training for Puppetry, Face Painting, and Ballooning
Impact Orlando Training 2
Live With Hope Lake Eola Park

Bonus videos: in addition to the Florida Conference In Mission video report above, you may also watch six testimony videos. Click on the playlist button in the upper left corner to select individual videos or click play all.

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