To walk into the Georgia Dome and see the faces of people you’ve never encountered before, it can be quite easy to immediately spot the differences between them and yourself. However, the more time you spend in their company, the more you begin to realize that they aren’t much different from yourself.
The biggest similarity is our shared religion. While certain aspects of our religion can be disputed among us, we more or less believe in the same principles, the same God, the same undying love. I couldn’t help but notice how many languages were prayed in throughout the duration of the Session. Despite not understanding what it all meant, everyone could comprehend the universal word ‘amen’. You could practically feel the love pulsating through the walls, encasing everyone in warmth. And it is this love that binds even the most opposite of people together, to form one big family that can work together for one goal, one purpose.
It was a blessing and a privilege to be able to meet fellow teenagers from all over the world who have diverse cultures, dress differently, and even speak languages I have never heard. The 59th General Conference was not only a time to praise and thank God, but to celebrate diversity. Every division was represented in some form, and people were able to see first hand how other Adventists around the world lived, learned, and worshipped. It was interesting to see how people so different from me, could be so similar at the same time. Many of the people my age worked in and for their communities, setting examples for others around them. They go to church with their friends, just like I do. They sing in choirs, do interpretive dance, and play various instruments all for the praising of God.
The GC Session ended with a huge world parade in which countless countries were represented with flags, photos, videos, and even traditional clothing. It was remarkable to hear how many Adventists were living in these countries, and how their presence was changing the lives of people in their communities. All corners of the earth were touched by the ministry.
Unfortunately the General Conference came to an end. I had made many lifelong friends that I will definitely keep in contact with. I consider it an honor to be able to share a connection with such amazing people from all over the world. Various social networking sites will just make staying in touch easier. I am definitely looking forward to the 60th General Conference. Hopefully, new bonds will be created and old ones will be strengthened. And more importantly, God will be praised no matter where we are from, what language we speak, what color our skin is, how old we are, or how we dress. The GC is an experience I will never forget.
Dana Nurse lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is in the twelfth grade at the High School of Fashion Industries.
Photo: Gerry Chudleigh/ANN. From the Saturday night parade of nations.