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The official newsletter of the South Philippine Union Conference the Seventh-day Adventist church


SwPUC Youth Leadership Summit 2024

SwPUC Youth Leadership Summit Encourages Transformational Leadership and Increased Preaching Efforts in Unreached Areas

The Southwestern Philippine Union Conference (SwPUC) Youth Leadership Summit was held from March 27 to 30, 2024 at the SwPUC Compound. The summit brought together 150 delegates from across the union territory and had a theme of "Mission Refocus." It aimed to empower young leaders to actively participate in spreading the gospel message, especially in areas where it has not yet reached.

The summit had several speakers, including Pr. Ron Genebago, the Youth Ministries Director of the Southern Asia Pacific Division; Pr. Jerry Patalinghug,  SwPUC President; Pr. Max Dante Obbus, SwPUC Executive Secretary; and Pr. Dan Namanya, an Associate Professor at Mountain View College. Their presentations covered vital topics relevant to effective youth leadership, such as youth discipleship, care groups, literature ministry, team building, and camp directorship.

During the opening night, Pr. Patalinghug delivered a compelling speech on "Mission Refocus," underscoring the urgency of reaching the unreached, particularly within the 10/40 window. This rectangular geographic area covers North Africa through the Middle East to Asia. Pr. Patalinghug highlighted that two-thirds of the world's population remains 95 percent unreached and encouraged youth to spearhead evangelistic campaigns and community services, stressing the important role of effective leadership for success.

On Sabbath Day, Pr. Namanya addressed the inherent challenges of leadership, reminding youth of their divine calling despite their imperfections. He urged them to lean on God's grace and embrace their role in leading others to Christ. He encouraged the youth leaders to embark on a transformational leadership journey for heavenly glory.

“Go and bear fruits that bring glory and honor to Heaven. It is my prayer for all of you that your leadership journey becomes a transformational journey," Namanya appealed.

During the divine worship service, Pr. Genebago and his wife, Jennifer, drew inspiration from Psalm 93. Both warned against spiritual adversaries, urging leaders to remain focused on Jesus. Moreover, they stressed leading by example and advocating for family involvement in service as a demonstration of commitment.

Youth Department’s Impact on Young Leaders

During the Youth Leadership Summit 2024, three young professionals shared how the Southwest Philippine Union Conference's Youth Ministries Department helped them develop important life skills that have contributed to their personal and professional growth. 

Reneboy Maquilava, the SwPUC Young Professionals Coordinator, credits his success to the youth department, which equipped him with organizational strategies and effective communication skills. His enhanced interpersonal abilities have proven beneficial in his role as a jail officer. Moreover, his experiences in the youth department have strengthened his faithfulness to God, particularly during his studies in a non-Adventist institution where he faced obstacles to Sabbath observance. Reneboy, who is also a licensed teacher, comes from Maranding Riverside Church in Lanao del Norte.

Elmer Jr. Omandam, the SWPUC Pathfinder Coordinator, also shared the valuable contributions of the youth department to his career as a teacher at Caparan Elementary School in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. He gained camping and leadership skills through his active participation in different camping events and friendship camps where he often held leadership roles. When he became a Master Guide, he refined a skill called Christian Storytelling, which has been beneficial in his teaching career. Even though he teaches in a public school where half of his students are Muslim, sharing Bible stories still plays a significant role in shaping their character. This skill has also improved his effectiveness as a teacher, as storytelling and knowledge sharing are essential aspects of teaching.

Myrtle Ashlei Vasquez, a nursing student and the SwPUC Voice of Youth Coordinator, shared how she persevered and underwent a process of unlearning to become an effective leader. She stated that one of the greatest blessings in being a leader is learning to identify and understand the needs of young people, seeing everyone as individuals worthy of God's love and care. Having the ability to empathize with others' needs made a positive impact on her life as a nursing student. She can communicate effectively with patients, prioritize their needs and ensure that holistic care is provided through the love of Jesus.

After the three-day event, Pr. Junifer Colegado, the SwPUC Youth Ministries Director who led the summit, expressed his gratitude: “Lord, You continually amaze me with Your work during the preparation and execution of the Youth Leadership Summit 2024. I return all glory to You for the success of this event. To my youth leaders across missions and conferences, and my SwPUC youth coordinators, let us unite with our youth directors to serve and prepare young people for heaven. Until we meet again, God bless you all.” 

Currently, there are more than 1000 youth leaders within the union territory. 

By Quin Salarda, News Reporter
SwPUC Communication Department