NYI completes first-ever Global Convention with delegates weighing in from eight locations
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Orlando, Florida
New president elected
The biggest cheers opened and closed Thursday, the initial day of Global Nazarene Youth International (NYI) Convention business sessions. The first applause was a reaction to having eight global sites live on screen in South Hall B, all connected via videoconference for the first time. The second was to celebrate the first election by the 722 delegates around the world: with 382 votes, Young Min Park became the new Young Adult Member-at-Large on the Global NYI Council.

Friday business sessions moved through 14 resolutions and completed the elections, making Jennifer Rae of England the council's new Senior Youth Member-at-Large and Erika Diones of the Federated States of Micronesia the new Early Youth Member-at-Large.

On the third ballot for each, Mark Holcomb (Central, USA Region) was elected Global NYI president and David Gonzales (MAC Region) Global NYI vice president for the next quadrennium.

"The people on the council are incredible visionaries," said Holcomb. "As far as the convention goes, this was as much their idea as anyone else's, and I think the new ones will be a great addition. I'm honored, I'm humbled, and I'm excited about what the next four years has for us. The sky's the limit." (For more on Holcomb, click here)

In other business, Bangkok, Thailand was announced as the host of the next Third Wave conference for emerging leaders. The event will take place in January 2011.

"We see things like AIDS and poverty on a daily basis," said Belinda Alder, a Thailand NYI delegate, "but we're excited youth can be part of peace work in that city."

Between business sessions, young people at each site participated in a variety of workshops, and some regions began hosting special sessions with their partner regions around the world. Connecting with partner region South America (Quito, Ecuador) from Orlando was one of Jennifer Wilson's favorite parts of the convention.

"I have always had the knowledge that those around the world are still a part of our family," said the 2005-2009 Early Youth Member-at-Large, who was born in Quito but moved away soon after, "but standing there in a room praying out loud and seeing all those in Quito praying as well, I finally felt that we really are one ¿ the distance can never separate us from our connection that comes through being a part of the family of Christ."

The business completed successfully at 4 P.M. on Friday in Orlando, with the affirmation of Ted Lee, chairman of the SDMI/NYI Committee of the General Board, still resonating from that morning: "We had a hard time getting our minds around [the idea of video conferencing]," he said in a brief greeting. "But once again, NYI, you have raised the bar, and you're going to change the way we do business in the Church of the Nazarene."
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