From Friday, August 31 until Sunday, September 2, 2018 close to 200 believers from Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia in Canada but also from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia, Indiana, California…, assembled in Toronto, Ontario for the annual spiritual conference of the East Canadian Field Conference. It was the time for meeting of old friends who have not seen each other for many years; and also the time for making new friends for those who are young in years or who just recently joined our church.
This year’s conference was dedicated to the needs and opportunities of the younger generation as they prepare for their life mission – to become the end-time heralds for the returning King. The conference main theme, “Preparing Our Youth for Time and Eternity” also highlighted the duties and challenges facing the parents, teachers and church leaders as they prepare their children and youth for Christ’s high calling.
Bro. Peter Lausevic, the conference main speaker, captured in each of his three sermons one aspect of our youth training for the last phase of the Great Controversy: “Youth in the Final Crisis” – the unique role of the youth living in the last moments of the earth’s history; “Youth – A Powerful Tool” – God’s plan to make our youth and all His faithful people true leaders, the head and not the tail; “Youth in Action” – God’s word, like a fire burning in the bones, will compel the converted and well-trained youth to boldly declare the Three Angels’ Messages and prepare the way for Second Coming of Christ.
It was a great blessing that this conference was attended by a large number of children and youth who were sitting in the front rows as they absorbed the inspiring and well-displayed gems from the Word of God. But the youth at the conference were not satisfied with remaing just passive observers and listeners. They made a major contribution to the success of the conference. Two young brethren from the US, Willy Acosta, from the East Coast and Ebert Fountain, from the West Coast, skillfully engaged the congregation in the study of the Sabbath Bible lessons on the subject matter of prayer.
Two younger Canadian members, one a local church youth leader (Sr. Nicole Lasica) and the other the conference youth leader (Bro. George Schiopu), coordinated the Sabbath afternoon Young People’s Meeting. We will remember this YPM as one of the musically most accomplished youth programs in recent memory. While attending this meeting we all realized that a new generation of gifted boys and girls are coming to the stage. Their God-given talents, if properly developed, may prove to be a great asset of our church in North America.
As we were approaching the close of the Sabbath day, we gave one more opportunity to several young canvassers to share the amazing missionary experiences gained during the 2018 Toronto Canvassing Project (2018 TCP). Bro. Etieene Lombard, with assistance of Bro. Dorin Burca, lead out in this highly interesting and informative program. 2018 TCP brought many blessings and valuable experience to our children and youth who are eagerly awaiting another opportunity to witness for Christ.
As the official conference program came to a close Sunday at about noon, fellowship and recreation still continued. Special outdoor youth program with team building activities took place on scenic church property in Puslinch. There was much joy and happines as those activities unfolded. Throughout the conference, both in Toronto and in Puslinch, we were served delicious vegetarian meals for which everyone is thankful to the kitchen coordinator with her able staff.
It was difficult to say Good-Bye to all dear brethren and friends. We did in faith that God will give us another opportunity to get together. In the meantime, we will follow the counsel of our Master and best Friend – “…Occupy till I come” (Luke 19:13).