Youth Alive Sabah Wins the Hearts of the Young

Sabah Mission hosted a Youth Alive SAD Free Convention on June 3-5 at Goshen Adventist Secondary School (GASS). Over 300 youths and young adults from Sabah, Sarawak, Peninsular Malaysia, and Brunei participated in the event themed “My Choice: SADfree” to instill awareness and resilience among the youth.

Youth Alive is a program designed to build resilience among teens and young adults by equipping them to make healthy choices. The SAD (Smoking, Addiction, Drug) free movement promotes a smoking, addiction, and drug-free lifestyle. The program was a collaboration between the Youth Ministries and the Health Ministries. It was officiated by Mr. Abqree Fawwaz Bin Abekan, President of the Malaysian Youth Federation, and Ms. Edith Clarrisa, a representative from Malaysia’s Anti-Drug Enforcement Agency. Among those present were Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso, SSD Health Ministries Director; Dr. Ron Genebago, SSD, Youth Ministries Director; Dr. Jane Yap, MAUM, Health Ministries Director; Elder Farrel Gara, MAUM, Youth Ministries Director; Mrs. Doreen Lim, Sabah Mission, Health Ministries Director, Pr. Lysoniel Juji Laman, Sabah Mission, Youth Director, Pr. Ham Diyon, Sarawak Mission, Health Ministries Director, and Pr. Chan Tin Loi, Sarawak Mission Youth Ministries Director.

MAUM organizers invited two main speakers: Dr. Nathan Edwards of Penang Adventist Hospital presented interesting talks on healthy lifestyles, including understanding addictions and emotional pain, while Pr. Ervin Karau, University Chaplain of Asia-Pacific International University, Thailand, delivered uplifting spiritual talks. At the end of the 4-day, 3-night event, in a unity circle, Pr. Ervin made an alter call. Two brave souls came forward. They wanted to be baptized, and several other young people requested Bible study.

Before this event was a facilitator’s training, it occurred from May 31 to June 2 at Walai Tobilung, Goshen, Kota Marudu. Mr. Marvin Marcelino, teacher at Adventist International Mission School, Thailand, was specially invited to train facilitators. There, special training was given to facilitators as they prepared themselves through a series of activities aimed at creating awareness and allowing the young people a safe place to share their struggles. Facilitator B said, “I really loved the activities we learned and participated in. The activities allowed the participants to feel more comfortable with me, making them trust me and willing to open up and share their thoughts and feelings.”

When reflecting on the recently concluded event, Dr. Jane Yap said, “The program generated interest from different pastors and youth leaders to conduct it in their respective churches/locality. Hence, the hope is to see more events in the coming years.”

Adik Charming from Friendship Group 1 said, “I didn’t mind listening to the long talks and enjoyed meeting more friends. I really appreciated getting to know the group facilitators. They were like older brothers/sisters.”

Adik Cheerful said, “I learned so much about myself. Most of all, I learned to look at life from a more positive perspective. I owe this to the group the facilitators. They helped me realize and see things differently, to think more positively. Without them, I would probably not be that positive.”

In his closing remarks, Elder Farrel announced that the next Youth Alive SADFree Convention would be hosted by Sarawak Mission next year.

05, July 2023, Wednesday.