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Young People Speak at General Conference

. 2 min read
Chelsea Spyres of the Peninsula-Deleware Conference helps deliver the young people's address during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS
 Peter Cibuabua of the Central Congo Conference helps deliver the young people's address during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS
These two young people were nurtured, live and serve half a world apart; yet, they professed a common message, “Be like Jesus and build relationships and love before anything else.”

Spyres grew up in Delaware and now serves as a missionary in
Detroit. She explained that she began attending her home congregation at a
young age with her grandmother, Nana. Church camp and mission work followed
during her teen years. Spyres spoke of her appreciation for the nurture she
continues to receive from her home congregation in Newark, Delaware. “That
family of faith allowed me to see how powerful the body of Christ can be, when
the church is looking outwardly more than inwardly,” she said.

What she learned from them about “the power of
relationships” carried her to commissioning as a Global Mission Fellow (US2) in
2014. She credits her service at NOAH Project in downtown Detroit for showing
her how powerful love really is. “Every day I get a glimpse of the Kin-dom here
on earth through a bagged lunch and stories shared.”
Chibuabua is from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
His faith story began in a Muslim household.
“But it happened that I began studying in one of the United
Methodist schools in my home village,” he said. His decision to start attending
a United Methodist church made him “like a stranger in my own house.”
Eventually, he was baptized and confirmed. Like Spryes, Chibuabua notes, “I
loved the preaching about love and grace.”
Today Chibuabua is the evangelism chairperson and president
of the young people’s ministry in his conference, showing others “when we have
love, we can live above and beyond any situation with a neighbor.” Teaching
English, speaking on the Methodist Radio and cleaning the church “are still my
favorite work in life,” he noted.

Read the rest of the story.