When asked “Who will be at IMPACT Atlanta?” I get all excited. In addition to young adults from all around the world, we have some great mentors and leaders lending their lives to equip and empower new generations:
Yamilet Bazan, Yami, was born and raised in Cuba and came to the United States when she was 8 years old. A pastor’s daughter, an athlete, a sister, cousin, wife, mother, teacher, pastor, all these can describe her, but she prefers the label, “a child of God”. A graduate of La Sierra University (BA & MA) and soon-to-be graduate of Andrews University (PhD) Yami feels “indebted to the lives of the men and women who took the time to grow my faith, my intellect, and ultimately my love for God.”
Yami has been involved in education and youth ministries for the past seventeen years. She cares deeply for young people and has dedicated her life to serving God, the youth, and her beloved Adventist church. She began as an educator, continued as a minister, served as Associate Youth Director of her conference for eight years, and now is the Vice President for Student Life at La Sierra University. Her passion is to set the record straight about God and the Truth we hold so dear. She preaches Christ and Christ alone. There is no other Truth that can ever compete with His grace. Her personal motto is “Here I am Lord, Send Me.”
Yami’s been married for 19 years. “My husband is my best friend, greatest supporter and my complete opposite.” Together they share an active, musical, and funny eleven-year-old son; both dad and son are named Daniel.
Laurence Burn was born in Peitermaritzburg, South Africa. He moved to Helderberg when he was in grade 7. Sensing a strong calling to ministry, he came to the United States and studied at Weimar College in California. Laurence took a year out of college to teach high school students at Palau Mission Academy in Micronesia. After graduating from Weimar he was asked to be a Youth Pastor at Roseville Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sacramento California. A few mission trips later he met and proposed to the love of his life, Lois. After his marriage to Lois, the couple moved to Andrews University where Laurence enrolled in the Masters in Divinity program. While completing his MDiv he accepted a call to be an associate pastor at Pioneer Memorial Church as a chaplain for Andrews University. Six years later (2005) Laurence joined Adventist Frontier Missions where he is currently working as the International Field Director. He is an enthusiastic visionary who believes there is a win-win solution for every problem with Jesus as a partner. He deeply believes that people are our greatest asset and that education is our best investment. He has helped many people with conflict management, team building and other interpersonal issues. A great motivational speaker, he will inspire you all with his enthusiasm and genuine concern. He has taught Bible classes at the high school level, discipleship at the college level, and youth ministry leadership at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.
Tim Elmore, president of Growing Leaders, will be equipping iATL delegates with leadership habits and attitudes, sharpening their ability to make a positive impact in their church and community. Elmore trains middle school, high school and college students with the skills they need to become authentic leaders with huge potential to transform society. Since founding Growing Leaders, Elmore has spoken to more than 250,000 students, faculty and staff on hundreds of campuses across the country, including Stanford University, Duke University, Rutgers University, the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina, Florida State University and Baylor University. Elmore has also provided leadership training and resources nationally for the Future Farmers of America and multiple athletic programs including, the University of Texas football team, the Jacksonville State University football team and the Kansas City Royals. In addition, a number of government offices in Washington, D.C. have gone through the Habitudes™ curriculum [http://www.habitudes.org].
Matthew Gamble was born and raised in a nominal Christian home, but became an atheist at the age of 14. Having become fascinated by the Rastafarian religion, Matthew found himself, at the age of 19, on the island of Jamaica. He soon began smuggling marijuana into Miami, Florida. It was shortly after this time that God lead him to a Christian pastor who, after hearing his story, handed him a Bible. As he began exploring the teachings of Jesus, his life began to be transformed from inside out. Since that time, he has received a BA in theology as well as a Masters of Divinity from Andrews University. In 2008 he completed a Doctorate in Ministry with an emphasis in Transformational Leadership, specifically looking at trends of effective communicators of the Gospel in a postmodern culture. He is presently serving full time with VagaBondservant Int’l, a non-profit ministry that has taken him all over the world speaking about the life and teachings of Jesus. Additionally he is a Senior Consultant with both the Center for Secular and Postmodern Studies out of the Global Missions office of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, as well as the Center for Creative Ministry. He also serves as board member to the North American Division Young Adult Ministry Advisory, as well as Adventist Christian Fellowship Advisory. His first book is scheduled to be launched at the General Conference in Session in Atlanta.
Matthew has a passion for preaching from God’s Word. He has had the opportunity to return back to Jamaica to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Not to mention preaching in Canada, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Uganda, Haiti, China, Costa Rica, Bermuda, Australia, Hungary, Finland, Columbia, Trinidad and Tobago, and all over the United States (6 of the 7 continents!). Matthew has served as a volunteer Community Chaplain with the Seattle Police Department and spent two years volunteering as a Bible teacher at the Union Gospel Mission of Seattle.
Matthew’s passions include his wife, international travel, people, and studying trends in secularism and postmodernism. He is ecstatically married to the former Susan Mentges, his college sweet heart. She is currently in internal medicine residency at Yale University in New Haven, CT. They live together with their adopted dog, the world’s first Jamaican Shepherd.
Previously serving as a worship leader and youth pastor in the South Pacific and North American Divisions, Kasper Haughton, Jr. is currently a Masters of Divinity graduate student at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University.
A Costa Rican citizen, Kasper maintains an eclectic array of interests including music, production, and psychology. Although a reluctant writer, he has recently published a curriculum series with Lead Magazine as well as several notable critical book reviews. You can follow his new blog at http://kasperjr.wordpress.com.
Eddie Hypolite is a Londoner by birth, and the youngest of 10 brothers and sisters. He is husband to the gorgeous Yvonne Hypolite and father to the beautiful Rhea Jeanelle Hypolite. He is a pastor, educational consultant and motivational speaker. He travels internationally, preaching and teaching in the areas of urban ministry, leadership, and youth & street culture. His vocational background is originally in the area of residential social work. He presently serves as director for Teens and Chaplaincy ministry at the South England Conference. He and his family live in London.
Sam Leonor serves as Chaplain of La Sierra University. He is passionate about spiritual awakening among young adults, especially college students. His ministry is marked by a call to radical faith that engages culture deeply and emphasizes justice. He is devoted exploring contemporary Biblical spirituality in the context of the Seventh-Day Adventist church. His other interests include making music, traveling, history and good food.
Sam was raised in Central America, where his parents were part of developing health care missions. He attended Southern Adventist University and Andrews University. He has been a pastor in North Carolina and California.
He is married to Shelley Campbell Leonor. They have a daughter, Alexandra age 10, and a son, Samuel Micah age 7.
A. Allan Martin was born in Canada, but his native blood is from the Philippines. An ordained minister, Allan holds Masters degrees in Theology [Christian Formation and Discipleship] and Psychology, as well as a PhD in Clinical Psychology. He is the Associate Professor of Discipleship & Family Ministry at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He also serves as the young adult ministry coordinator for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. He and his wife, Deirdre, are cofounders of dre.am VISION ministries, a para-church agency dedicated to equipping new generations in Christian lifestyle and leadership. They are part of the presenting team for the nationally touring marriage conferences, From This Day Forward. Along with daughter Alexa, they reside in Niles, Michigan.
Tara J. VinCross is senior pastor of Chestnut Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Coming from a secular background, she accepted Christ in her early teenage years, and was then led to accept the Adventist message in high school. She has a passion for evangelism and has been involved in public and literature evangelism for over 15 years. She firmly believes in the power of the Holy Spirit to work through all of God’s church (Gal. 3:28, Eph. 2:14, 18) and bring transformation in people’s lives through Jesus (2 Cor. 3:18). Her greatest joys are seeing someone come to Christ and helping people find their purpose and place in ministry. Tara and her husband Caleb enjoy serving together in ministry, spending time with their families, backpacking, traveling, mission trips, and photography.
Nicholas Zork is a worship leader, songwriter, and the director of the Andrews University Music and Worship Conference. He is also the editor of the new Best Practices for Adventist Worship email newsletter, published by the North American Division Church Resource Center.
He regularly leads worship and performs at events around the United States and abroad. Previously, he served as youth pastor of the Glendale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana and is currently pursuing a PhD in Christian Worship at Fuller Theological Seminary. Nicholas lives with his wife, Noelia, in Los Angeles, California. His favorite hobbies include trying new restaurants and playing soccer, activities he hopes will offset one another.
You. If you’re an Adventist young adult passionate about loving GOD and others, I want to invite you to be part of this exciting volunteer service opportunity this summer.
IMPACT Atlanta [iATL] will be held June 23 through July 3, 2010 at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, Atlanta. Converging Seventh-day Adventist young adults from around the world, iATL aims to sharpen leadership and compassion skills through training and community service to the neighborhoods of greater Atlanta. Adventist young adults, ages 18 – 35, are invited to apply and register to participate.
Held concurrent with the 2010 General Conference Session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, iATL is a young adult leadership and discipleship experience where new generations will actively engage the great commission and great commandment in training, ministering, and worship. They will partner with churches and local agencies to serve Atlanta, but also join with organizations like ADRA to serve worldwide humanitarian causes.
Registration, as well as housing/meal accommodation packages are available. For more information go to http://www.impactatlanta.info or call 800-732-7587. I hope you will join us!