True Love Conference: Lake Yale

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More than 90 Hispanic youth and young adults came together at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center over the Labor Day weekend for a retreat themed True Love.

Four speakers addressed the group out of John 15:9 in which Jesus says “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.” They were Noel Lozano, pastor of Turning Point Church; Carlos Finale, student pastor at Iglesia Bautista Northside; Sammy Rodriguez, student pastor at Calvary Clearwater; and Jose Marrero Jr., from Haverhill Baptist Church.

“Over the weekend the speakers and teachers fleshed out what love means in a relationship, towards others, yourself and God,” said Emanuel Roque, Hispanic church catalyst of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Youth and young adults worshipped together but had separate break-out sessions as well as conference sessions.

“In a world where love is defined in so many different ways and our young people are under attack, we need to go back to the one who defines what love is,” said Roque.

Finale focused on three aspects of what true love calls for.

“In addition to John 15:9, I also led them through the first verses of Hebrews 13,” he said. True love means obedience, enduring hardships while focusing on eternity, and loving other believers as well as non-believers, foreigners and prisoners.

Missions was also another aspect of love that was encouraged.

“God saved us so that we can take that message of salvation to other people…Just as Jesus was sent into the world, we are sent,” said Rodriguez.

“Missions is our top priority as Christians and we have to break away from a cultural Christianity.”

Rodriguez also emphasized the need for multigenerational and multicultural churches.

“We are all made in the image of God and when your church doesn’t look like your community you are missing an expression of the image of God. We must look like our context.”

As youth and young adults go back to school and to jobs, Roque encourages them to be disciples and to disciple.

“Our desire is not just to create a conference or camp but to equip them to live out their faith in their everyday.”

By Keila Diaz, Florida Baptist Convention, September 5, 2018

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