37,000 People at NAYC Help with Disaster Relief

nayc

Today is the last day of the North American Youth Conference (NAYC) in St. Louis, Missouri. Around 37,000 youth and chaperones are wrapping up the three-day event by participating in “Serve Day,” where they are providing people in the area with disaster recovery resources.

“Heading in to Day 3 of a call-confirming, life-changing #nayc19 over 1,000 have received the Holy Ghost. Numerous miracles,” one church posted on Instagram. “We are so thankful for the laughs and love this trip continues to bring!!”

NAYC Serve Day

NAYC 2019 took place in St. Louis from July 31st to August 2nd. Friday afternoon, the conference attendees filled 2000 buckets to assist the area with disaster relief. Reach Out America helped organize Serve Day, and Feed the Children donated supplies to the effort. Serve Day also received support from the UPS Foundation and the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.  Each bucket is worth $75 and contains cleaning supplies, personal care items, and back-to-school supplies for kids.

David Bernard, the general superintendent of the United Pentecostal Church told Fox2now St. Louis, “We often work through local churches so we have instant access to the community, and wherever there’s a need, like [the] tornadoes in Oklahoma or in southern Missouri a couple of years ago.” Bryan Parkey of Missouri Division United Pentecostal Church said having everyone is a “blessing to us as a city and as a state.” 

While the NAYC has been held biennially since 1979, this is the seventh Serve Day. The event used to be called “Project 22:39” because it is inspired by Matthew 22:39, which contains Jesus’ command to, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 

The Conference Experience

The NAYC is held every other year in different cities throughout the United States, although it seems to take place mainly in the southern and midwestern regions of the country. While there are no age restrictions, the conference is aimed at people between the ages of 12 and 25. 

It has also been growing. The 2015 NAYC conference sold out at 19,000 people, and the conference in 2017 hosted over 33,000. One attendee posted this on Instagram after the 2017 conference: “My reaction waking up this morning realizing we have 2 years before another NAYC. I will forever remember of His healing power and love.” #nayc2017

Now the number of people who are attending NAYC is so high that the conference has to be held at football stadiums. NAYC 2019 was held in “The Dome” in St. Louis. 

One attendee of this year’s conference posted this picture with the caption, “One of the best things about NAYC is when you don’t recognize that many people. What a great thing God is doing in the Earth! We love to bring our youth and see old friends, but this sea of beautiful faces is a picture of Heaven.”

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Jessica Mouser
Jessica Mouser is a writer for ChurchLeaders.com. She has always had a passion for the written word and has been writing professionally for the past two years. She especially enjoys evaluating how various beliefs play out within culture. When Jessica isn't writing, she enjoys playing the piano, reading, and spending time with her friends and family.