More than 1,500 young people from different South American countries met at the Church of the Nazarene House of Prayer in Cali, Colombia, for the first South America Nazarene Youth International Regional Congress in 13 years.
The last time a similar event took place was 1999 in Chiclayo, Peru.
Under the theme “On Fire: For a passion, for a calling, for Christ,” exhibitors and speakers challenged participants to live a life of action, self-denial, commitment, service, and sacrifice. The presenters made it clear in the minds of the youth that the only thing that will allow them to stay “on fire” is to live in the presence of God and allow themselves to be guided by him.
Several music groups performed, including the House of Prayer praise team, who recorded their live DVD En la Cruz (On the Cross) at the end of the event. Alternativa, Estado de Fe, and Venezuelan hip-hop singer Eingel also performed.
Plenary speakers for the event included Global NYI Program Coordinator David Gonzalez, Regional NYI Coordinator for South America Jimmy De Gouveia, Regional NYI President for South America Jean David Larochelle, Regional Director for South America Christian Sarmiento, House of Prayer Youth Pastor Juan David Herrera, National NYI Coordinator for Brazil Paulo Alexandre Matos, National NYI Coordinator for Argentina Ana Melva Chavez, and international youth preacher Lucas Leyes.
The event closed with an evangelistic outreach project called “Amor por lo Nuestro” (Love for Others), in which more than 5,000 people collected at least nine tons of nonperishable food to distribute to the needy in various Cali neighborhoods. More 200 people gave their lives to Christ as a result of this project.
“We’re living in a worldwide youth movement; we are at the edge of a new era… the Church of the Nazarene is yours (youth) and its future depends on you,” said Sarmiento, a panelist during the “Where are the young people going?” forum.
—Church of the Nazarene South America Region