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Reflection of The Korean-American UMC Youth Initiative

 

By Andrew Min, San Diego KUMC

Hello! My name is Andrew and I have been a part of the UMC ever since I was in the womb. I am from sunny San Diego where I have been serving the youth ministry as a student servant leader for the past four years. Being a student servant leader has had its fair share of joys and trials, but through it all, I have learned so much about the grace of God that empowers us to do His will despite our weaknesses. The UMC has offered so many opportunities to both serve and learn. One of which is Youth Initiative. Youth Initiative empowers the leaders of youth groups across the nation to serve God while still maintaining a fervent relationship with God. I have been a student at YI(Youth Initiative) for two years and this year I was given the opportunity to become a counselor. This year, YI took place in Las Vegas, the theme was “Ordinary”. While this may seem to encourage a life of complacency, it is quite the opposite. It challenges us to seek to lay down our lives in the most humble and loving way without the pressures of “making an image” or gaining reputation. This YI was particularly such a blessing because it was my first time serving instead of being a student. I came in insecure about my abilities, feeling unqualified, and fearful of holding the responsibility for the faiths of three students. God taught me that in my ordinary life, He empowers us, equips us, and remains faithful to those who remain obedient to His call.

As someone who has been both a student and a counselor, I can say that YI has been such a powerful program for the youth of the UMC. YI allows for youth to make connections with other Christians across the nation and also seek mentorship/advice from pastors/teachers. YI is a place where leaders, who usually help coordinate worship and service, are allowed to just enjoy and receive the presence of God. In a time where the Church is experiencing challenges and shift, it is important to invest in the children of God. Although this year’s YI was hosted in “Sin City,” the fact that so many youth experienced God this week is a testament to the fact that God is everywhere can be found even in what we consider the darkest places. As for me, I hold onto the hope that our youth will continue to unlock God’s light in a world that seems to increasingly be filled with violence, darkness and uncertainty.

Video recap of the YI Conference. Music Credit Bethel Music - This is Amazing Grace Bethel Music - Jesus, We Love You   YI 2016: Ordinary (비디오 영상)

올린날: 2016년 7월 7일, 연합감리교회 공보부, TN