THE ROAD TO AYC

IDENTITY
•  REVIVAL  •  
MISSION
CONTINUE

IDENTITY

AUGUST - SEPTEMBER
Podcasts
Humans of AYC
Interviews
  • Morgan Meyer

    I love how God uses His word to support and strengthen me as I serve Him

    It’s early 2017, and I have recently returned from an amazing experience of revival and training at my first one week colporteur group evangelism event in Tamworth, two weeks of Arise Express in Newcastle, and the NNSW leadership conference. I had made a solemn commitment to door knock and sell books in my neighbourhood in Brisbane for the next two years. 

    When you’re on your own again it’s not long before one begins to question whether or not it was a short sighted, fanatical decision. The Second Coming naturally seems so much closer when surrounded by fellow evangelists. 

    Recognizing that these thoughts will only derail my commitment, I reach for my small Bible and read “By faith Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.” Hebrews 11:7. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Matthew 24:14. “… and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:20. 

    God was telling me that He was now giving me the opportunity to work for the salvation of souls, hasten the end of suffering and sin, and the glorious return of our Lord, and that even though I was not experiencing the same spiritual high during my training, He would be with me at every single door. 

    These promises stuck with me for the next two years, and strengthened me to face people in the community and speak openly about our prophetic message and our health message, even on especially hard days. So, I love how God uses His word to support and strength me as I serve Him, by opening to my view unseen realities.
  • Ellie Penman

    I have never known such security, such peace and such fulfilment as I have found in His love.

    The journey of falling in love with someone is exciting! When we love someone, we can’t help but dream up of different ways in which we can spend time with them, whether it's running into them at places they frequent, at socials or the good old board game nights. And when we see them, our hearts skip a beat. This is how it should be with our relationship with Christ.

    You see, we don’t have to plan sneaky ways to see Christ, instead, He has provided us with this amazing love letter called the Bible! I know what some of you may be thinking, been there, done that – I already know all the stories. I used to think the same thing until I actually started spending time with my Saviour in the Scriptures. I realised that I didn’t know everything (shocker), like how Eve wasn’t actually named until after sin occurred, she just went by ‘woman’. What I have discovered as I have pursued, and been pursued by Christ, is that I have never known such security, such peace and such fulfilment as I have found in His love.

    In Psalms 116:12-13 it says ‘What shall I return to the LORD for all His goodness toward me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.’ You see, we are sinners who do bad things and yet Christ still sees us as invaluable and does good towards us. So much good! And what is our response to be? Lift up the cup of salvation and call upon His name. How do we do that? By spending time in Scripture, learning about His beauty and awesomeness and how He obtained salvation for us. By starting and maintaining a relationship with Him – calling on His name when we are hurting, lonely, frustrated, happy, joyful and every emotion in between. Friends, Christ is in love with you, will you give Him a chance? Open your Bibles today and begin the journey of learning out just how much!
  • James Pontil

    As I grew in Christ, I also grew in mental and physical health. I realised that the more I cared about my health, the more easily I grew in Christ, and it became easier to resist the wants of this world.


    I grew up in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. I knew the truth about the Sabbath, the state of the dead and the health message.

    I didn’t know why and that’s what tripped me up.

    My mum (God bless her) used to send me to school with creation-science magazines in hand and a salad sandwich in my backpack. I reckon I was the cutest “catholic denouncing, carob eating, soy milk drinking 7-year-old” you could meet. It wasn’t all sunshine though, and after a few years of bullying and a need to fit in with everybody else, I found myself with a pornography addiction at 11.

    By the time I was 19, I was drinking, sleeping around, watching pornography, and playing videogames excessively. After two years of this, I eventually spiralled out of control. My mind-numbing job made me dwell on the things I did in my spare time, and the thoughts of my mind felt like they were “only evil continually.” Daily thoughts of suicide were the new normal for me, and I thought that it was my only way out.

    So what changed? What does this have to do with our identity?

    Picture this: It’s Sabbath morning, I’m driving my younger brother to Brisbane Big Camp while rapping Logic and Childish Gambino. My younger brother glares at me with unapproving eyes and makes comment to put some Hillsong on instead. I agree, and although my heart isn’t in it, I decide to stay for the day. As we go to leave on sunset, I run into an old friend from Townsville Big Camp. She asks for my contact details, and I grab her number with the intent of texting her but hold off since I didn’t really want to be invited to church.

    A few months go by and I was at rock bottom by this stage. Thinking that a new job will fix my problems, I decided to ask her if she knew anyone who was hiring. She replies, “not sure, but come over for dinner tonight.” I opened up to her and her husband about my struggles and in return, they shared God’s love with me. I started going to church with them and realising I lived 500 metres or so from the nearest SDA Bookstore, I started to buy books on mental & dietary health.

    After a while, I kept seeing this acronym everywhere: NEWSTART. As I grew in Christ, I also grew in mental and physical health. I realised that the more I cared about my health, the more easily I grew in Christ, and it became easier to resist the wants of this world. It didn’t take long for me to realise that the Sabbath was also one of the biggest blessings I had overlooked my entire life! No matter how exhaustive my week is, I know I can find true rest in His rest for us!

    When we understand who God is, we can rejoice in His guidance. When we follow what He says it will improve our lives. We can escape the darkness of pornography, drinking, and more!

    I’ll leave you with a quote from Aunty Ellen herself: “Blessed, blessed Jesus. I love Him because He is comfort and hope and opportunity and resource to me; to individual me and individual you. I want that you will consider yourself His property. Set your faces as a flint toward Mount Zion. Be determined that there is a treasure there that you can get.” —Manuscript 17, 1894.
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REVIVAL

OCTOBER - NOVEMBER
Podcasts
Humans of AYC
Interviews
  • Shannon Fenger

    Having faith of my own really started by seeing my mom’s faith and her walk with God. When her faith that God would sustain her car on fuel for 2 weeks while it was empty, and still being able to help others and drive them around. Or when we searched for our keys, and they would be found instantly after her prayer ended.

    My own journey of faith really started when I was 14 years old. The furthest I had ever been away from God was when I was 11-14, which led to a number of things such as loneliness, social awkwardness, and almost bad depression.

    But God called me out of that saying, ‘Shannon, Shannon, this is not the plan I have for you.’ It was as if something had changed in me, to hate what I was doing and started knowing God for myself, and growing in His love.

    I began to have the faith in my life that I had always seen in my mom’s life. Seeing what God did for mom and through mom made me believe the Word of God, and I took on the Christian life as my own walk.

    I praise God that I was able to show my faith and belief in God during the last few years of high school. The verse ‘Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God' stuck with me.

    In as many assignments as I could, I expressed what God meant to me, what He has done through the Bible, and in my life. Through God, I gained respect from friends, and teachers, and they saw in me someone they trust and rely on. And through this new foundation in my last few years of high school, God has set in me a faith in Him that I am extremely thankful for.
  • Maureen Malid

    My family and I were Catholics and I strongly believed in the Catholic Church doctrines and teachings until 2018; after I came to Australia, I learnt about the Bible truth through the Adventist church.

    I was amazed by my new understanding and knowledge of a loving God that is close to us and cares about us on a personal level. This is not the picture of God I was taught in the Catholic church. I freshly fell in love with God and got baptised as an Adventist a few months later.

    My faith was heavily tested in knowing that my family may or may not accept this change I had decided to make in my life. In most families in Uganda, changing religion or denomination from what you were born into is sometimes considered disrespectful to your parents and I have heard of families who disowned or were extremely disappointed in their children for change of beliefs.

    Choosing to become Adventist was me becoming one of those “disgraceful” children. The “black sheep” of the family, the “different one”. For the longest time, I decided to hide this change from my mom. I loved her so much I did not want to “disappoint” her or because of how big the risk of me losing her love for the sake of God was, I kept my faith as a secret from her.

    A verse once popped up when I was doing my devotions. Matthew 10:37 “He who loves his mother or father more than me is not worthy of me.” This was hard for me. Even when this may not necessarily be sinning, but me refusing to tell my mom about my faith in this newly found beautiful truth because she may disown me or refuse to pay my tuition or react in a way I may not necessarily find uncomfortable is me loving her more than God and me not trusting that God is able to provide abundantly beyond my imagination.

    A verse in Mark 10:29-30 addresses this issue in such a beautiful promise “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.

    Our God, being such a promise keeper has actively kept this promise by giving me such a lovely church family and friends. He uses all these beautiful people to make me feel his love.

  • Henry Pun

    “To be successful in life, you cannot rely on anyone’s help. Trust in yourself and work hard to achieve what you want to obtain.”

    That was the model that we follow growing up in an agnostic family. When I have control of my own life, I am the driver directing my own path toward success. However, when I failed, it was also a crushing blow on myself. “I’m stupid and useless. I’m a failure. I’m not good enough. I didn’t work hard enough.”

    As I travelled to Australia in 2015 and discovered God, I was told that He knows us more than we know ourselves and His plans are greater than our own plans. We just need to do our part and He will take care of the rest for us. That was 180 degrees of what I was taught while growing up. How can I rely on someone that I cannot even see or hear? Changing my career to hospitality, how will I ever find a job if I tell every employer that I cannot work on the Sabbath day when it is the busiest time of the week? If I keep the Sabbath day as a day of rest and only focus on the Lord, how am I going to catch up with assignments when I was already so busy with school work and extracurricular activities? How will I earn enough money to pay for school fees, rent, and have food to keep me going?

    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

    I’m not sure why I didn’t just leave the church and go my own way for success but a part of me wanted to cling onto God’s promises to test Him at His own words. Throughout my journey of faith, I faced many trials and temptations. I lost many opportunities with Melbourne top tier restaurants and struggled a lot financially, but why focus on the disappointments when we can focus on the blessings? I met the love of my life who will soon become my wife. I received multiple highly competitive scholarships chosen from large pools of applicants. I excelled in my studies, career and personal development. Every consecutive job that I received, I was able to keep Sabbath day off. After graduation, I received an offer working at one of the most prominent venues in Australia as a chef. During COVID-19, I was blessed to give back to the community by coordinating and cooking free meals for healthcare workers. In the midst of high unemployment, lockdowns, and with only two months remaining on my visa, I received a new job opportunity which led to a chance to extend my visa duration to stay in Australia.

    “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” – James 1:12

    Just like the book of Job, in good times and in bad times, praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy. Today, I can say that I keep the commandments of God and have the faith and testimony of Jesus Christ not because of the blessings that He has given me, but because I love Him and trust His path for me.

    “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33
  • Feny Belinda

    Straight after I graduated with a Diploma of Hospitality, God blessed me with the opportunity to work in the hospitality industry in a 5-star hotel environment for 3 years. I truly loved my job and at the same time, I was blessed that I could teach Sabbath School, serve as a Service Team Coordinator at church, and have more time to spend with my family and dear ones. Life seemed to be perfect.

    Then, as we all know, the pandemic hit us earlier this year. I got stood down from my job, there was a lockdown, and I couldn’t meet anyone. Even worse, other problems emerged around the same time that really brought me down. I felt disappointed and had doubts about what the future held. My dream to work as a chef seemed faint since the borders closed and restaurant-hotels couldn’t do dine-in because of the restrictions.

    For the first two months in this new situation, I tried to be positive, serving God and trying to be as happy and productive as I could. I didn’t want to share my feelings with others too much because it was a hard time for me. During that time, my sleeping schedule was such a mess that I didn’t do my devotion regularly. Eventually, I realised that the more I tried to depend on myself, the more it didn’t work. I became more frustrated and worried.

    One day, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I cried and prayed wholeheartedly to God. I told Him that I truly needed Him more than anything else, that I needed His mercy and guidance. It was just as how Jacob prevailed and didn’t want to let God go. “But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.” – Genesis 32:26.

    From that day, there was a strong desire in my heart to earnestly seek Him. I realised that I needed to wrestle with God in my daily prayer.

    I began doing my morning devotion and prayer with a church friend every day, and indeed, God is so good. Ever since I started doing my devotions again, I had no more issues with my sleep, and I could experience sweet time with Jesus every day. It brought peace and joy to my heart. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” – John 14:27

    In less than a month after I started doing my devotion, God provided me with a new job. A job that I specifically prayed to be a living testimony, to bless others and bring glory to God. Indeed, I felt really blessed with His mercy to me.

    Throughout this whole experience, God showed me that if I surrender everything and faithfully seek Him, I don’t need to be worried. He will take care of me and provide the best things for me in His time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

    It’s true that I lost my job and my dream a few months ago.
    It’s true that I was once living in my darkest time.
    It’s true that I had doubt and disappointment because of the trials that I faced.
    It’s true that there was a point when I just wanted to give up badly and run away.

    However, I finally realised that all I need to do is to wrestle with Him in prayer and never let Him go. Because He is truly my only saviour, my everlasting helper, and my Father.
    “And you will seek Me, and find Me. When you search for Me, with all your heart.”
    Jeremiah 29:13
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MISSION

DECEMBER - JANUARY
Podcasts
Humans of AYC
Interviews
Copyright © 2020 Adventist Youth for Christ
AYC is a ministry of a local Seventh-Day Adventist Church
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