Over 1000 young North America Ghanaian Seventh-Day Adventists celebrated 20 years of annual youth camp in style at Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Singing and dancing through Marywood University on Wednesday morning, nearly 1,000 Ghanaians wanted to share the “good news.”
“We want the youth to know… Christ should be the center of everything,” said Kwasi Acheampong, one of the directors for the annual youth retreat of the North America Ghanaian Seventh-day Adventist Church. “If anybody sees us, we can share the good news with them.”
Plenty of people saw Wednesday’s parade, kicking off five days of worship, service and faith.
Sister Mary Persico, I.H.M., Ed.D., president of the university, stood along the parade route, waving to participants.
“Hi! Have a great time!” she shouted to the teenagers chanting “Hallelujah!”
This is the third year Marywood has hosted the annual retreat, aimed at youth between the ages of 14 and 25. The location makes it convenient for people attending from New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, organizers said. Most of the young adults were born in the U.S., their parents having migrated from Ghana.
The youth event started 20 years ago with about 100 people from four churches. This year, the nearly 1,000 people represent 20 churches. This year’s theme is “Christ first, Christ only.”
“We want them to recognize how far the Lord has brought us,” Acheampong said. “Without Christ, nothing would have been possible the last 20 years.”
Every residence hall on campus is filled, along with some beds at the University of Scranton. Through the weekend, parts of the group will distribute literature, sing at nursing homes, collect clothes for shelters and feed the homeless.
“We believe we need to give back what we’ve been privileged to obtain,” said Eric M. Frempong, director of the camp.
Participants said they enjoy meeting up with old friends each year and to have the opportunity to focus on their faith.
“The seminars are going to be great,” said Evelyn Oppong of New York City. “I hope it’s exciting for people.”