The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) hosted a Pacific Islanders Youth Leadership Training in Atlanta, Georgia on July 31 to Aug 2, 2017, for all UMC PIYYA youth and young adults. MANA, God is with Us 2017 was the theme, meaning “Except for God.” Every youth and young adult gathered at Emory University to partake in training sessions, workshops, and opportunities to explore their call to the Methodist ministry.
The organizers asked two of PIYYA representatives to share their experience.
Soana Fie’eiki, a young adult from Santa Ana United Methodist Church, shared, “It was so refreshing! Just being in an atmosphere full of young adults who come with a past similar to me was an experience to remember. To be able to witness to these young hearts have the same passion as I do, to serve in the church and to build our Y&YA of today. I went there unsure of what my calling was and left the conference with confirmation of what I wanted to do.”
Ofeina Tuihalamaka, a young adult from Knollwood United Methodist Church, shared, “My experience at Atlanta was an eye-opener for myself as a Youth Leader and as a Pacific Islander. Seeing three different culture come together and praising God gave me that joyful spirit that I knew God was present in our training. Also, knowing that I’m not the alone one in this journey as we overcome that gap between the 1st and 2nd generation.”
It was the not only the first time some of the youth and young adults left their home to experience a new environment, but also the first time more than 50 PIYYA youth and young adults reached out to find their calling within this ministry.