Youth from all over South Africa gathered for the first AMEN Convocation (Conference) in Cape Town, from 15 – 18 December. Modelled on the GYC philosophy, attendees were able to immerse themselves in the Bible, in fellowship with each other and in building lasting friendships.
The theme for the 2011 Convocation was: “Here I am Lord, Send Me”.
The Convocation featured the following speakers:
Director of the Student Training and Resource Institute for Discipleship Evangelism (STRIDE); a missionary training programme designed to train and equip college students and young professionals to reach secular campuses and workplaces for Christ.
PS. PATRICK STANDER
He is a graduate of Helderberg College and serves as a pastor for a number of churches in the Cape Conference. Ps. Patrick presented a seminar on evangelism.
Chris is president of Advent Revival and Mission for Youth (ARMY) which is a youth-based movement that conducts training seminars on evangelism, co-ordinates mission activities and provides revival programs. Chris presented a seminar on Righteousness by Faith.
Dr. Sedupane is the Director of Cape Town LIGHT and Radiant Harvest Ministries. His seminar covered various components of the Right Arm of the Gospel – Health.
JENNY AND RICHARD LOVEMORE
Richard and Jenny Lovemore presented a seminar focusing on Christian courtship and marriage.
Kurt is one half of the Last Day Events team, who conducts Bible prophecy seminars within the Cape Conference. He presented a seminar on current events in light of Bible prophecy.
What some of the attendees had to say:
It was a real blessing for me to be here and it was partly a miracle as well, because just in this week before the Convocation started I was about to make a decision and leave the Church completely. There was just stuff that happened in my life and I thought I have been close with God, I have been praying, but nothing was happening.
I was not physically going to leave the Church in my mind, but I was going to leave the people and the congregation because of many disappointments. But in this week I said, “Lord, I just need to be closer to you.” I have been going to church but I felt lost there. And I decided that I probably don’t need church I am just going to stay on my own and study on my own, focus on the Lord, look for the Lord.
A couple of days later, my friend called me and I hadn’t seen her in six months. She just said that there was this Convocation happening: “Would you like to come?” Something said just go and see what it is like. I am not, for one minute, sorry that I made the decision to come and I have actually reconsidered my decision and would say that we need God’s people. We need to be together. We can’t just do it on our own. I just feel very glad and blessed that I can be here and be a part of the family of God. He still listens. He takes you from where you are and lifts you up.” – Anonymous
I have a friend that is an athlete. I invited him to come to the Convocation and hear one of the messages on Sabbath. That particular day, he was supposed to take part in an event as an athlete. I tried to make him realise that athletics is not a lifelong thing: Would that be more important than life itself? I agreed to pack him a lunch. He then called me back some minutes later and said He would come. I asked him if he understood the message, and for some reason he said that Sebastian was able to make him think about attending church and wants to learn more. AMEN reached him and reached me. I want you to find God first and then He will lead you to where you need to go. Thank you to AMEN and my friends that made him feel that this is where he needs to be.” – Anonymous
The first time I heard about AMEN was when it was an idea to gather young people, educate and motivate them towards finishing the work commissioned to the Seventh-day Adventist Church by getting a well-known American speaker despite being uncertain of who it would be or what their availability would be. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and advice from Dr Ron du Preez AMEN got the ideal candidate, Sebastien Braxton, whom I consider a Bible student and a slave for Jesus Christ. He gave us new light to old truths and challenged us to take what we have to the next level.
The convocation was one of the most unforgettable highlights of my entire life where, at the foot of the world’s most beautiful mountain, family and friends gathered and learned more about Christ. The Spirit-filled environment was so different from other gatherings; it encouraged thinking and moved people to tears as they were confronted with personal issues that were exposed like an open wound ready for healing, and made each one mission-focused. Continuing from the convocation, monthly bible studies are held. The level of Bible knowledge from the hosts and the manner in which they bring the Bible to life and provide insight to difficult topics is truly extraordinary.
With the love of God as their motive and the desire to see Jesus return in this generation, what started out as an idea has turned into an event that both young and old look forward to. I know that God is the driving force behind the movement and He will continue to lead and direct. AMEN is for anybody who desires to learn more about God, wants to be a part of a movement, and wants to spread the Gospel to all the earth and bring a bit of Heaven to Cape Town. – Deano Goodman