GYC Seattle: Last Day

The whole day had a very mission-minded accent—that last full day of GYC in 2012—from Wes Peppers’ morning devotional to David Shin’s evening emphasis on the sacrifice required for any revolution. But in the opinion of the author, the day peaked around 12:45 pm in the main meeting hall. The afternoon plenary was just finishing, and Vincent Samuelson–after sharing powerful stories of his own experiences with Muslims–made a very specific appeal: Who will commit three to seven years of their life to overseas missionary work?

To be honest, I’m not quite sure how many responded. At the appeal’s conclusion, about 70 were gathered at the front to pray—but by then, several others joined the circle to support or take down names for follow-up. What I am sure of is that one of those 70 was me. There, in Seattle, Washington on the last day of 2012, I myself promised to be an overseas missionary for at least three years of my life.

Later that afternoon, a friend and I went around asking attendees two questions: 1) What was meaningful to you about this GYC? and 2) What are you going to do differently when you go home?

Rodger said that this GYC–his seventh–meant rejuvenation. He went on to remark, “I’ve seen the need for consistent spirituality in my life, but I hadn’t considered the affect it could have on others.” A 24-year-old science teacher at an Adventist Academy, Rodger plans to support some of his students in starting an after-school Bible study upon his return.

James and Phil said that this GYC provided “substance, spiritual substance.” They were moved by the same appeal that moved me that afternoon, and though they can’t quite get away themselves, they plan to be more intentional about praying for and giving financially to overseas missionaries. (I’d like to mention here that Phil is the great-great-great-great grandson of John Wesley.)

Johanna told me that during outreach, she and her friends were explaining to an interested homeless man the importance of having a personal relationship with Christ. She said that in the middle of the conversation, her troupe realized that they were really speaking to themselves–it was they who needed to work on their personal relationship with Christ; that will be their focus after the conference. Heidi said similarly that upon return, “I am going to—by God’s grace—find more time to spend in God’s Word.” Michael said, “I have to get back to reading.” Kathryn, “I want to get to my Bible and pray more.”

Stevy, a 15-year-old touched by outreach, said that’s what she’s going to do when she goes back. She wants to knock on doors and tell people about Jesus. (She also wants desperately to join a canvassing program, but none will let her in because she’s too young. To that I will take another brief detour to say,let no one despise your youth . . .)

And my favorite: David, all the way from Europe, said that when he goes home, he’s going to “win back the youth in Austria.” Wow. I’m going to reclaim my whole country for Christ.

I was thinking about these things when a question was asked to the Executive Committee during the Q & A session this morning: Is GYC settling? It reminded me of another poignant question during Vincent Samuelson’s appeal. “What are the signs of a church that needs to revive its missionary culture?” he asked. In answer, he cited two bits of history. In early Adventism, when a call was made for missionary service, 100 came forward, and 100 went. At GYC 2004, a call was made for missionary service, and 200 came forward; one went. In light of numbers like that, Are we settling? certainly seems a legitimate question.

In answer, I must turn the question back on the asker and on all those reading this now. Are you settling? Because you see, GYC is no longer just an annual conference—if it ever was. No, GYC is the movement that exists amongst the attendees between the conferences. That spirit that insatiably craves a deep relationship with Christ, that spirit that hankers to spread the gospel so that Jesus might come sooner—that is GYC. That is Adventism. That is Christianity.

Are we settling? I think about Rodger, and James and Phil, and Johanna, Heidi, Michael and Kathryn. I think of Stevy and David, and it leads me to a resounding no. No, we are not settling, we have not settled, nor will we settle until we settle down next to Jesus under the tree of life in Heaven. We will wear out the pages of our Bibles, we will preach the gospel, and we will see Jesus come in our lifetime. May we only be faithful.


Executive Secretary, GYC

  • Good questions!

  • AMEN Livvy and I intend not to settle until next to Jesus.


    My First GYC was 2009 Unashamed and I went for the Appeal for missionary service in the absence of knowing how, where, or even when. My heart was torn(Pricked) by Paul Howe’s sermon/testimony. When Dr. Pipim gave the appeal for missionary work I went. God has provided the fulfillment of that each year in oversees missionary work both foreign and domestic.

    When It was preached night after night to not be ashamed of a crucified Christ, a coming Christ, a “etc” Christ from the scripture of Romans 1:16. Each day hitting some area for us not to be ashamed, BUT WHEN Pastor Asscerick boldly proclaimed in the Sermon from Hebrews 11:16 where it says, God is not ashamed to call us Brethren. My Heart was again torn, For I was focusing on me being unashmed day to day at GYC to then have a new perspective that hit me like a ton of bricks. Not that I was not aware of this, I guess I was coasting on the me not being ashamed and the day’s shift in focus truly was like a dagger within me. When it was done I had the strongest desire to praise and worship GOD. I fled for the piano in the Galt hotel and began to prayerfully with all my heart sing the praises of God. One became two then three, then musicians, pianists, violinists, alto’s, tenors, blacks, whites, asians, latinos, Everyone ON ONE ACCORD IN PRAISE TO GOD. Thus began the GYC Worship and Praise with Hymns to bring in the New Year with Glimpses of Heaven and melody with the Angelic Choir above.

    The Beginning-GYC 2009

    All the way to GYC 2012 Fill Me

    There will be no settling for We Are The Revolution and GYC has lifted up Jesus and a massive army of thousands of Adventist youth and young of heart have been Drawn unto him. I was unable to finance GYC this year, but I brought in the new year at my Local Church singing the Hymns of Zion with all My Heart. There is no Settling.

    Onward and Upward Through Christ!!!

    Galatians 5:1

    PS By God’s Grace I look forward to seeing you all at GYC Orlando.


  • Emilie

    I pray that God leads Stevy to a canvassing group! About 10 years ago I was 16 and the oldest of a fairly large group that split in two to work areas of Vermont and New Hampshire. The youngest ones (12, 13, 14) were well received by many in the communities and God did a great work through them, just as with the older youths and as He will with anyone who give of themselves to His work. We had wonderful leaders who watched us carefully, and angels by our sides!

  • When we all realize that GYC is not a conference, but a movement, and that the Spirit of GYC permeates our lives 365 days a year, then we would take all commitments (made at GYC and privately) seriously, and then when 100 commit to something, 100 will go! Let’s remember and keep our vows unto The Lord.

  • Amen!

  • Callie

    Blessed. Inspired.

  • Amen.

  • Silvertone Stare

    By Gods grace we will see it through.

  • Brittainy

    Amen! I am encouraged, challenged, and inspired. Thank you for writing this Livvy!

  • “At GYC 2004, a call was made for missionary service, and 200 came forward; one went.” –Livvy. That is a sad reality. I did not attend GYC in 2004. However, my purpose in replying is to recall the final charge of GYC-Seattle.

    Our “promises and resolutions are like ropes of sand.” (SC 47.1) We can make promises to go to the end of the world, but they are just promises.

    Just like the old Israelite, they stand before God on the feet of Mt. Sinai, saying, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do.” (Ex 19:8) In-front of God’s messenger, in God’s presence, in GYCs, appeals were made. Hundreds or thousands stood. Yet, we know what happened after.

    It was not even a year later that the Israelite bow down to worship the golden calf. (Ex 32)

    Promises like ropes of sand.

    The problem with our young people today is not the will, we have that. The problem with our young people today is the lack of commitment to yield our will. The sum of money in your bank account, the worldly popularity that you attained, the physical strength that you gained, the knowledge that you have accumulated, the things that made you think you can do anything, to do what were appealed in the presence of God will be in vain if we have not yield our heart to God.

    It is a sad reality that out of 200 who came forward, one went.

    Have we yielded our will to God? Have we yielded our heart to God? Have we committed time in earnest prayers and through deep studies on the subjects of truth? Have we yielded our flesh, pride, and the lust of the eyes?

    GYC, God’s young people, or Christians, the same power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) that filled Peter, Paul, and the other apostles exists today. If only we can yield. I hope that is your desire.

  • aFarTraveledPassionThatWishesOnlyTheHighest

    AMEN sister. And WOW about your promise, I deeply admire that passion!
    (…I’ll be there for you, if there’s ANYTHING…you’ll ever need)