March eNews – Solomon Islands Youth Conference

About 50 young people gathered at Fote’ Village in Malaita Island for the 8th Solomon Islands Youth Conference from 6 to 14 January 2024. Some live in Malaita, while others came from the capital, Honiara, and one brother, Japheth Kiere, travelled from the Reef Islands, closer to Vanuatu than Honiara. A new fast ferry has now reduced the travel time from Honiara to Auki from a 6-hour overcrowded and slow ship to just 2 hours. It also arrives in daylight instead of midnight: far more convenient! The 1st Youth Conference in the Solomons was held only 7 years ago, and, since then, COVID has fast-tracked the local brotherhood’s need to organise and run their activities for spiritual growth themselves. To the credit of the Solomon Island brothers and sisters, the annual Youth Conferences and Bible Schools all went ahead from 2020 until 2023.

Bro Clifton Kafo was Secretary and ran the 9-day Youth Conference assisted by Bro Herbert Toliramo. The studies were on “The teachings of the Lord” based on Bro Robert’s “Commandments of Christ” in the Bible Reader’s Companion, something given to all those who are newly baptized.

Each study was followed closely by 5 separate discussion groups. A handbook was printed for taking notes during studies and had questions inserted to help guide the discussion groups.

Local brothers, Chillion Suiti (from Fote’) and John Mark Kiere (Reef Islands), provided the exhortations. Sisters and girls prepared spiritual meditations for each evening which were read by young brothers.

Some highlights were the hiking and preaching day on Wednesday. Bro Luke Beard and his daughter, Rachel, brought printed t-shirts which made us stand out on the road to Bio. Those a little bolder stopped to talk to the locals along the roadside about who we were, the hope of the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, and the location of the nearest Ecclesial gatherings at either Fote’ village or Bio village. 5 kms along the road, we took a 2 km track through the jungle to a beautiful natural waterfall and pool. We spent a number of hours there and when we got back to the road, the afternoon rain set in, keeping us wet but not too cold. Some continued volleyball in the rain once a truck got us back to Fote’.

For the Drama night on Thursday, 5 groups prepared Bible skits. The depiction of the Good Samaritan had superb acting, complete with costumes and 2 young people dressed up as a beast of burden. A good deal of fun and Bible learning was enjoyed by all. The Song and Praise Night on Saturday is always a highlight. The songs of praise, both from the Hymn Book and locally composed, remind us of the true reason for our calling, to bless the Holy Name of our God, and to prepare for the day when collectively we will be presented as a beautiful bride for our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming. We pray that our God will continue to bless the labours, Sunday School work, preaching, and spiritual growth of the brothers and sisters in the Solomon Islands.

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