Faith Hoyt, with Abigail Marenco
Approximately 1, 200 young people from across the Pacific Union Conference worshipped together and built community at the Federación de Jóvenes Adventistas (FEJA) Youth Congress held at La Sierra University in late June.
The event, hosted this year by the Southeastern California Conference, included a Bible Bowl focusing on Luke and Acts, several social events, and volleyball, basketball, and soccer games. Each aspect of a FEJA convention is designed to help young people grow spiritually, form Christian friendships, and enjoy physical exercise.
“We are grateful to God for the response we’ve seen from our youth,” said Alberto Ingleton, director of Hispanic and Portuguese Ministries for the Pacific Union Conference. “Our objective is to encourage young people to keep walking with Christ, but beyond that we want them to become active disciples who witness to others—young people who have a story, who found Christ, and enjoy sharing that story with others in their communities.”
Guest speaker at the convocation was Andres Peralta, associate youth director at the General Conference. Peralta spoke in both English and Spanish, sharing the Word of God, testimonies from young people, and illustrations of God’s unfailing love and calling to all youth.
Over the weekend, Ismael Cruz, FEJA president for San Bernardino County, led worship with a team of young people from churches across the Pacific Union. During their time together on Friday and Saturday, attendees watched videos summarizing FEJA activities from each respective conference and heard union and conference leaders share messages of encouragement and support.
On Sabbath morning, Manny Arteaga, pastor of the Kalēo church, encouraged young people to share their stories with others and step up as active disciples for the kingdom of God. At sundown, the gym was cleared to make way for a mini-Olympics event, and teams from all over the Pacific Union competed in soccer, basketball, and volleyball tournaments.
Many young people made new friends; others reunited with old friends that they had not seen for some time. According to many who attended, this congress was a spiritual blessing. One young person, when asked of his opinion of the event, simply responded: “When is the next one?”
The Pacific Union Conference FEJA Youth Congress was held at the La Sierra University gym in Riverside, Calif., on the weekend of June 28-30. On Sabbath, around 1,200 young people gathered to hear guest speaker Andres Peralta, associate youth director at the General Conference.
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Bible Bowl teams from each conference participate at the Pacific Union Youth Congress.