Hundreds of youth, young adults, and adults participated in several compassion initiatives during the joint camp meeting of the Greater New York and Northeastern conferences on June 29 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The projects included a shoe drive with Soles4Souls and a Rose with a Promise, along with a visit to a nearby rehabilitation center.
You couldn’t miss those involved in the projects because most of them wore red-and-white compassion T-shirts ready to show that “actions speak louder than words.”
New or mildly used shoes or sneakers were collected at the gates as people entered the Coliseum. Many boxes were filled with all types of shoes that were donated that day to share with those who are in need of shoes.
In the afternoon, more than 500 roses were distributed together with a card containing a promise that read: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand”—Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV).
The streets around the coliseum were filled with hundreds of people wearing compassion T-shirts and carrying roses in their hands. They distributed roses to people on the streets as they made their way to the rehabilitation center a mile away from the Coliseum.
Nurses, staff, and patients expressed surprise as youth and young adults approached them with smiles, roses, a promise, and a prayer to brighten their day.
The compassion initiatives were organized by José Cortés, Jr., Atlantic Union Conference Adventist Youth Ministries director, and Andres Peralta and Roger Wade, youth ministries directors for the Greater New York and Northeastern conferences, respectively, and their associates, together with a team of leaders from both conferences, including Aurora Sandoval, Natalie Noble, and Roy Davidson, who led the events for the day.
—Joanne Cortés, communication assistant, Atlantic Union Conference