By Shephard Ectin
The Adventist Youth Society of Cebu City Seventh-day Adventist Church (CCSDAC) hosted this year’s Training Camp with the theme, “The Seal, The Mark” last January 26-28, 2018, at Mountain View, Busay, Cebu City. This Total Member Involvement (TMI) initiative for reclamation and retention was participated by 70 Adventist youth and friends alike.This unique event, a combination of team building and biblical workshop, became a medium for the youth to appreciate the once avoided topic – the Sanctuary Doctrine.
The camp was designed in answer to the result of the pen and paper survey conducted in the church on September 16, 2017. The results showed that: (a) most of the Adventist Youth (AY) members are single; (b) mostly in the AY population are regular visitors; (c) a noticeable number among AY members have fewer friends, and that (d) AY fellowship is halfway towards ‘excellence’. The activities were intended for the youth to learn the sanctuary doctrine in an enjoyable and catchy fashion all the while engaging socialization and lasting friendship. It was hoped that through the short training, the plan of salvation will become clear and simple for the Adventist youth.
The Bible in John 14:6 says that Jesus is “the way” and Psalms 77:13 says that the Lord’s way is in the sanctuary. The sanctuary and its symbols are God’s illustration to help His people understand better the plan of salvation. Research suggests that associating pictures with lessons is one of the best methods of memorization. Because of this, AY leaders recreated a life-sized model of the tabernacle. It served as an exhibit during the training camp for the youth to revisit the experience of ancient Israel. The construction of the makeshift sanctuary was made mostly of cardboard, cloth, and tarpaulin.
The training camp has four breakout discussions and group activities: (a)What is Sin? (b)How did Christ live? (c)What are justification and sanctification? (d)What is biblical perfection? Through the Central Visayan Conference (CVC) Youth Ministries director, Pr. Harold G. Hallasgo, the sanctuary exhibit was made into a three-dimensional lesson thus helping the youth to experience and understand in a very practical way the role of the heavenly sanctuary in these last days. As the youth tried to learn God’s will, they were fascinated through the study of the prophecy and this unique doctrine of the church. They understood how God justified and sanctified the sinner in preparation for eternal life.
There were two paper tests conducted to measure the learning of the youth. The pre-test a week before the camp averaged to 55%. But the post-test with an average of 82% showed that, after all, the youth know well that there’s no guessing as to how God’s plan of salvation works. Rather, it must be experienced through His abundant grace.
About the writer:
Shepard Ectin is a civil engineer, a deacon and assistant youth leader
of Cebu City SDA Church. He is now living in Bangkok, Thailand, with his wife.