Journal of GYC 2002. Pr. Larry Kirkpatrick

Wednesday 18 December 2002

GYC began to night with a blessing. Young people had gathered from all across the USA, and further. We were surprised to repeatedly hear the story: young people serious about distinctive Adventism, sometimes pressed by others in their churches for being too earnest, too serious about obedience, too faithful to the counsels of the Spirit of Prophecy. But far from permitting themselves to be cowed, they have gathered. They are networking already. E-mail addy's and cell-phone numbers are changing hands. The revolution has begun.

What a blessing to make re-aquaintenances again. Peter and Elena Gregory in the hallway, Sam Pipim in the cafeteria, Kevin Paulson in the auditorium, smiles and embraces all around. This evening we checked-in. Meetings opened with vigorous and joyful singing from the SDA Hymnal. Israel Ramos gave a powerful introduction talk that really set the tone. The young people are tired of gospel gimmicks. They want serious Adventism -- distinctive, real -- what God wants.

Randy Skeete's talk tonight challenged us as those made in God's image to truly let Him reproduce His glory through us. Could it be that a revolution is underway? That young people are waking up to the pure word of God? His youth seem ready to watch and pray!

Thursday 19 December 2002

At 6:00AM most of the group were in our seats, ready for Peter Gregory's first talk. Powerful. He closed at 7:30AM -- breakfast time. But I heard not one complaining. All the talks of all the speakers today were spiritual, helpful, energizing.

Met a young person today attending the meetings who was from Melbourne, Australia. Down there they are planning on planting another church next year from his congregation. No rock music. Met another fellow. He rode for 50+ hours on Greyhound from the east to be at GYC. A man offered him $5000 to fly to Romania, marry his girlfriend there, bring her to America, divorce her, and bring her to him. Of course he refused and continued on his way to GYC.

Samuel Pipim showed up in the same workshop I was attending by Eugene Prewitt. We enjoyed a nice visit in the afternoon. God is blessing the meetings. When I came a few minutes late to Randy Skeete's talk it was packed-full and I couldn't get in. I had to go to overflow were they were showing the talk via projection. The fire is burning. Something new is happening. I believe God will do something now that He has always longed to do. There are showers of blessing, and it is good to get so wet at GYC!

Friday 20 December 2002

There is a spiritual oneness here. The people here are serious about the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. They are serious about serious Adventism. The people are very largely of one Spirit. God is moving and His people are moving. Could this be the time of which we have always dreamt?

The meetings are going by so fast. Have met many of the people. Again by 6:00AM the meeting room which holds 319 people was mostly filled. Peter Gregory shared again. The messages are undiluted and solid Adventism. Good meetings through the day. Iona Research Center (Peter Gregory) showed a video about their Taiwan mission trip. People are here from every background. Most are from colleges and campuses all over, both denominational Adventist and secular. The list is too long to repeat here. But this is an awesome sign. These are serious folk and will carry an influence in years to come. They are defending and propagating their faith in the heat of serious discussion at secular campuses, and doing it successfully.

The spirit of GYC is a spirit of excellence. What a blessing to close this day, my 40th birthday, and see what God hath wrought. I believe many prophets and righteous men have longed to see this day, and have not seen it. They've longed to hear what we are hearing, but have not heard it. Samuel Pipim speaks tomorrow.

Sabbath 21 December 2002

The Sabbath service was indescribable. The organizers originally only planned for 200 attendees. There are over 400 here today, stacked in many to a room. Overflow is busy. Samuel Koranteng-Pipim spoke about Joseph, who believed God's promise that He would deliver Israel and therefore commanded at his death that when they were delivered, they would take his bones up with them to the promised land. He says there is a resurrection today. A church that was raised originally by youth is new again. There is a resurrection. By this he says he also means to say there was a death. But today is a new day. If the spirit of our pioneers seemed nearly to have waned away, today it is renewing itself. A new era for this church is opening. What a day. Blessings throughout.

This evening a mighty call was made by Skeete. Numerous people came forward. Several have requested baptism and rebaptism. Their information was taken to communicate to their local churches. Tonight Israel Ramos approached me. Wants me to close the meeting tomorrow with the consecration prayer. I get so choked-up when I am doing a wedding or a baptism, how can I utter a word in closing this mighty meeting? But I will. Must pray and seek guidance, and prepare a very short talk for tomorrow, when GYC ends.

Sunday 22 December 202

It is over. Peter Gregory gave us one of the most powerful challenges I have ever heard, and I have heard a few. We must carry the torch of truth. People don't want to leave. God has blessed. There have been showers of blessing. The mighty days of Adventism are here again. We are going to carry up the bones. We are going hold high the torch. We are going to let God guide us and empower us. There is a new beginning today. As something has passed away, something new is beginning.

Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin is written on the wall for the old mode of youth ministry. Here is an army of Adventist youth who reject its flimsy, cotton-candy nothingness, and are committing themselves to something much higher. We live in the day when God is moving. GYC 2002 is over. But it is only beginning. In our Lord is life, and His life is the light of men. And His life is the light of General Youth Conference. I do not believe these will sink into the common pathway ever again. This is too good. Jesus is coming soon, and His army of youth, rightly trained, will give that message until the sky is alight with the flame God has already kindled. Go GYC!

Pastor Larry Kirkpatrick is an ordained minister of the gospel. Since 1994 he has served in the American Southwest as pastor to several churches. He received his BA in Religion from Southern Adventist University in 1994 and a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in 1999 with a specialization in Adventist Studies. While in Michigan he was employed by the General Conference at the White Estate Berrien Springs branch office. More important than his scholastic preparation has been his immersion in the biblical and Spirit of Prophecy materials. He is author of the 2003 book Real Grace for Real People. Presently he serves as Pastor of the Mentone Church of Seventh-day Adventists, located near Loma Linda, California. Larry is married to Pamela. The couple presently live in Highland, California along with their two children, Etienne and Melinda.

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