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Adventist Mission


The Only Place to Be

Why am I still with Adventist Youth Ministry (AYM) after all these years? Because there’s nowhere else to be!

Why am I still with Adventist Youth Ministry (AYM) after all these years? Because there’s nowhere else to be!

My name is Chiemela Ogu, and I’m the Pathfinder director of the AYM at Babcock University’s Pioneer Church. I grew up on this campus, where my father worked in the registry. I have been part of AYM since I was an Adventurer.

During my time at Babcock University, my mentors have helped inspire me to be a servant leader. Some of my Pathfinders come from non-Christian homes, and God has given me the opportunity to share His love with them. It’s been very rewarding to see them blossom as they learn about His forgiveness, grace, and mercy.

A good friend confided in me that she thought she had committed too many sins to keep talking to God. “I can’t even pray anymore,” she said, “because I don’t think He’ll listen. I’ve broken the connection between us.”

I assured her that there was nothing she could ever do that would diminish God’s love for her. “Be open with Him,” I encouraged. “Acknowledge your mistakes and ask forgiveness. Then trust that when He looks at you, He sees the sinless life of Jesus.” With time she gradually began to let go of her guilt and shame.

Many of my youth are dealing with difficult personal challenges. I noticed that one boy was very quiet and kept to himself. I was friendly, and, over time, he began to open up to me. “My friends at school say I’m proud and not easy to get along with,” he told me.

“Do you think there’s any truth to that?” I asked.

“No,” he replied sadly. “I’m just really shy. And I’m afraid I’ll say the wrong thing and end up hurting someone’s feelings.”

“I think the fact that you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings is a good reason to like you,” I said.

“It’s not—for them. They think I’m stuck up.”

“Well, they may not like you, but I do.” I replied. “And I’m pretty sure other people will like you too, just the way you are.”

In time, this boy came to understand that not everyone is comfortable with his temperament but that his temperament is what makes him who he is. He realized he didn’t have to change in order to be liked and appreciated. It’s been a joy to see him develop a little more confidence.

Our AYM members have been able to encourage others, too. One Sabbath after worship, we had what we call a Balloon Evangelism. We wrote Bible promises on balloons and gave them to the students. Some of the students said, “This is great! This promise is just what I needed today.”

Babcock University is a family of love, and we’re trying our best to expand our family by sharing God’s love with those who’ve never had the opportunity to know Him. But there’s so much more we could be doing.

The Thirteenth Sabbath Offering this quarter will help us build a youth center for our young people that will have an auditorium, a church, and a place where we can teach the children practical crafts and skills.

My dream was to have a young preacher’s club, a club in which the Pathfinders can be trained to speak publically with proficiency and confidence. I’m so pleased that we’ll be able to do this in our new facility.

I get worried when I think about the exposure and distractions our children will face 10 years from now. I believe it’s very important to have a special place to teach them how to live godly lives and to prepare them for whatever the future holds.

I can’t express how grateful we are that Babcock University will be receiving a portion of this quarter’s Thirteenth Sabbath Offering. Through the years, we’ve been privileged to hear mission stories about the work being done all over the world. It’s so exciting to know that our brothers and sisters will have an opportunity to hear our story and know that we, too, are doing our best to fulfill God’s Great Commission. I just want to say a big Thank you!