[Young men decided to submit their lives to God in baptism during the culmination of the union-wide Voice of Youth Ignite in the South Philippines. Photo courtesy of Voice Of Youth - PCAYO Facebook Page]
Philippines | Che Lauron, South Philippine Union Conference Communication

The simultaneous Voice of Youth (VOY) evangelistic meetings lasted eleven days and paved the way for the baptism of 3,804 precious souls during the culmination program on May 22nd. These new members were ushered through several evangelistic events across various locations throughout the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) territory.

With the theme “VOY Ignite,” the union-wide crusades held from May 12th through the 22nd, in 275 different sites, were organized and led by zealous young people under the guidance of their pastors and local conference youth directors. Due to current health protocols and local government restrictions, 75 sites were unable to have physical gatherings. Nevertheless, the crusade in the remaining 200 locations went forward as planned. The lectures on health and Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs were shared by the young people themselves. The final day of the crusade landed on a Sabbath and the baptisms were conducted during the Sabbath afternoon service.

“My heart was filled with joy while watching the simultaneous baptisms via Zoom,” said Pastor Jemsly Lantaya, SPUC Youth Director, in an interview. Because of the innovation and dedication of our youth, thousands of people are now engaged to follow and live like Jesus. In the four-hour Adventist Youth (AY) program that day, inspiring testimonies were shared by the newly baptized members and the speakers of the crusade.

VOY is a program of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church that began in 1947. Though it is older than the Pathfinder program, it became inactive for some years both in the local and global churches.

This year, Pastor Ron Genebago, Southern Asia Pacific Division (SSD) Youth Ministries Director initiated the revival of VOY with the help of the youth directors and the young people. The first phase of the VOY was launched during the Division Youth Directors’ advisory meeting. Then, the Union Directors gathered and planned the launch in the local churches, after which the pastors trained the youth who would be speaking during the crusades. Finally, a meeting with all of the participants from various sites was conducted. There were twelve members in every VOY camp location. Truly, an “army of workers as our youth, rightly trained” can help in the advancement of God’s work and in spreading the message of the crucified, risen, and soon-coming Savior.

Pastor Lantaya said that he was deeply moved to see the youth shed tears of joy and thousands of people accepting Jesus as their Savior. Moreover, he expressed his gratitude to the youth for answering God’s call and challenged them to continue winning souls and to remain in God’s love.

The General Conference (GC) of the Adventist Church has adopted VOY this year and we give back the glory and honor to God for the overwhelming results in soul-winning. The SPUC youth directors are aiming to have 350 evangelistic sites in 2022 with the theme “VOY Expand.” Let us continue to labor and pray for the winning of souls, for it will sweeten our bliss in that city of gold where we will have stars in our crowns.

This article was originally published on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division’s news site