Excitement was tangible as young adults from all over Uganda gathered in December for the first-ever Young Single Adult (YSA) Conference. Nancy Apiyo from Gulu commented, “The conference united us from different tribes, different branches, and different languages. It helped us realize we are of the same mind and heart, and we can build Zion in Uganda.”
The event was attended by over 180 people. A significant portion of the Church’s membership in Uganda is made up of Young Single Adults, ages 18-30. YSA conferences bring this age group together and help them gain confidence in their Church membership. They also get to know a wider circle of friends and have opportunities to meet future marriage companions.
The theme for the conference was “Born to Lead,” and as participants checked in and gathered the first evening for orientation, the reason for the conference and their purpose in coming was discussed. They were divided into groups of 10-12 people, and each group had a counsellor who directed them throughout the events on the following days.
The first full day was planned to include morning exercises, morning devotional, and classes which covered the topics of eternal marriage, participating in the Lord’s hastened work, true discipleship, and the need for continual self-improvement. The classes were taught by members of the Kampala Stake. Following the classes everyone enjoyed skits, a talent show, photo-time, games, and a day that ended with a family home evening for the entire group. At the end of each day, everyone was given time to reflect and review what they had experienced or felt from the activities of the day and to record it in their journal.
The second full day started out with a similar morning agenda, but after classes, the activities included a cheer-off and a dance. Following dinner there was a fireside, which consisted of a question and answer period, followed by guest speakers, including President Jimmy Okot, President of the Kampala Stake. The evening concluded with a “Take it Home” wrap-up in which they discussed their experiences and what they were going to take home and share. Everyone enjoyed the slide show that topped off the evening with photos of the entire event.
When Jospeh Ojatum from Mpumedde was asked what he enjoyed most, he said, “I enjoyed everything, but especially the dancing and the classes on celestial families. It helped me to think about finding a celestial partner.'
Bishop Kibiina and his wife, from Kajjansi, were asked to be the session directing couple. Bishop Kibiina remarked, “It felt so good. It happened for the first time. There was so much excitement, and everyone wanted the conference to continue.” So, as everyone awoke early to check out and depart for home on the final day, they were assured that it will take place every year. Bishop Kibiina added, “It is already on the calendar for 2015.”
Ugandan YSA group
Learning about marriage
Uganda YSA group