Central American Anabaptist Youth Convention

Since August of last year, Adam and I have had the priveledge of working on the planning committee of the annual Anabaptist youth convention that was held last week here in Nicaragua. We welcomed 85 youth from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico! It was such a blessing to see all of our hard work come to life.

Here’s how our week broke down:

Sunday, April 1st

  • Hosted a participant from Mexico

Marisa and Elisa during the cultural night

  • Went to Masaya to buy typical shirts for the staff to wear during the event
  • Went to church
  • Ate a typical Nicaraguan dinner of carne asada, gallo pinto and tajadas

Delicious dinner shared with new friends

Monday, April 2nd

  • Worked and worked…

Marisa's plan for registration. Marisa was in charge of logistics for the event.

Tuesday, April 3rd

  • After a long day of work, we slipped away to our favorite Italian restaurant to celebrate

Wednesday, April 4th

  • 1am – Adam arrives at the bus station to wait for participants from Guatemala and Belize
  • 4:30am – Adam falls into bed
  • 7am – time to get up again and start final preparations!!

Decorations for the main meeting space.

Preparing name tags, room assignments, workshop passes, etc. before the arrival of the participants.

Thursday, April 5th

  • Start of the Convention!!
  • Marisa in charge of the registration tables – everything runs smoothly!
  • Opening session, first round of workshops, delicious lunch
  • Cultural Night that included a fair and presentations from each country

Costa Rican folkloric dance presented during the cultural night.

Puerto Rican dance at cultural night.

Friday, April 6th

  • More sessions: Anabaptist Identity, Interpersonal Relationships
  • Continuing the workshops
  • Pool time!
  • Formal night with final worship service

"Friendship Groups" met four times during the convention for Bible studies and other activities designed to get youth reflecting on God's will for the church and for us as individuals.

With our friend Alex from the Latin American Anabaptist Seminary in Guatemala who led a plenary session on "Anabaptist Identity".

All the youth gathered in the pavilion in front of the pool during the "Formal Night" where youth were called to make a commitment to serve Jesus by continuing his work and ministry.

Saturday, April 7th

  • Session on Christian sexuality
  • Last workshops
  • Assembly to make decisions for future conventions – 2013 Convention will be in Costa Rica!
  • Trip to an artisan market with the Hondurans in their school bus!
  • Crash….hard:)

"The Human Knot" game illustrates possible responses to conflict during the Conflict Transformation workshop.

Presentation during the "Worship Music" workshop.

Partipants learn pantomime and acting techniques for use in worship and evangelism during the "Prophetic Expression" workshop.

We cannot express our gratitude to all our friends and family who made donations to make this event possible. It was truly a blessing to have participated in the planning and execution of the event. The experience has been one of the highlights of our time in Nicaragua so far. We believe the event was truly life-giving for all those involved and hope that everyone who attended left with a stronger commitment to serve God, each other, and their communities.

The following is a quote from a youth serving and working in Honduras with MCC who was able to attend the convention:

“I had the immense privelege of attending the JUAMCA (Young Anabaptist Mennonites of Central America) retreat during Holy Week, a gathering of about 70 from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica that may have been the best retreat of my whole life.  It was at a beautiful hotel/camp near Managua, Nica, had great food, amazing planning and staff, super-relevant seminars, intense bible-studies in mixed groups, workshops in worship, leadership, and prophetic drama, recreation, blessed worship and preaching, and a night where we all shared from our cultures.  No one went away without being freed, blessed, and having a deepened sense of what it is to be the international body of Christ. Wow.”

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4 Comments on “Central American Anabaptist Youth Convention”

  1. Jeanette Bueno Says:

    Brought tears to my eyes. SO important to get the youth established in their walk with Christ and service to the Kingdom. Their whole lives are ahead of them. I really liked the topics too. Very needed teaching.

  2. So glad that it went so well!!!

  3. […] and I continue to meet with a group of youth that were involved in planning the Youth Conference in April. We are studying the book “The Naked Anabaptist“, which describes core […]

  4. […] Conference, which was held in Costa Rica. You can check out pictures from the event on Facebook. Last year we were heavily involved in the planning of the event, so this year it was nice to just […]

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