RELAY Fires Youth For Evangelism…

Youth evangelim programme RELAY in Riga, Latvia. 2009.
Youth evangelim programme RELAY in Riga, Latvia. 2009.
Riga, Latvia —More than 40 attentive young people from Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia attended the first Relay course held in the Baltics, 5-17 April.

During the first week, the module ‘Foundations of Adventist Beliefs’ taught by Dr Gunnar Pedersen, Newbold College lecturer, and Paul Clee, Field Secretary of the Trans-European Division, created a good foundation and generated a deep interest of the subject. Pastor Clee commented, “I found working with the young people of the Baltic States a real joy. They were responsive and willing to try anything”.

Foundations of ‘Youth Discipleship & Leadership’ was also taught by lecturers working in pairs. This second module was taught by Pastor Janos Kovacs-Biro, TED Evangelism Director and Pastor Giedrus Rimsa, leader for evangelism in Lithuania. Pastor Kovacs-Biro said, “Working in pairs is not only Biblical but it is a very good spiritual experience and a good example of teamwork as well.”

Both presenters and participants felt that the best part of the second week was the outreach initiatives during two of the afternoons. The participants were divided into four main outreach groups:

  1. The Relay Media team produced about 60 interviews from people in the town streets;
  2. The Relay Research team used the door-to-door approach with a Questionnaire visiting more than 100 homes;
  3. The Relay Creative team handed out flowers, polished shoes, distributed balloons and sweets to children and gave food to beggars, showing God’s love in practice to more than 200 people; and finally;
  4. The Praying and Working for Friends team, prayed that God will change circumstances in the lives of their friends, and guide them in ways of sharing the Gospel with their friends.

At the conclusion of the two weeks, one Latvian participant commented, “Relay gave new breath to Latvian youth. Relay helped me personally to know Jesus better. It also showed me in practical ways how to witness. I dare say that Relay is the best thing that has ever happened to Latvian Adventist youth”.

Pastor Kovacs-Biro commented, “Relay is a blessing! Relay can be a movement of training and sending out young missionaries in their own countries very soon. Relay creates energy and commitment to the Mission of the Church. Young people are not only the future of the Church, but they are already impacting the present of the Church.”

All presentations were recorded by professional young people, and made ready for distribution. With a local pastor involved as a presenter, and with the recorded Relay material, the Relay concept could be spread in all three countries. “This is the Church of today, preparing for evangelism tomorrow”, said Pastor Valdis Zilgalvis, President of the BAUC, and organiser of the event.

The Relay participants from the Baltics will come together, under the leadership of pastor Valdis Zilgalvis, for a one-day meeting on 15 June 2009, to evaluate the progress of their local evangelism initiatives since the first course of Relay. Planning is already underway in organising further Relay courses in the Baltics, and in other parts of the Trans-European Division.

Anyone interested in attending the TED Institute of Evangelism is encouraged to contact their Union Youth Director for more information.

P.S. You can listen Dr G.Pedersen’s lectures here:

Janos Kovacs-Biro/TED News Staff/TED News