If you are young, self isolating but don’t want to miss youth group, Steve and Naomi Chong invite you to an international online get-together this Friday.
Churches and related communities around Australia and the world are trying to respond to the effects of coronavirus measures. Founder and directors of the RICE movement of young Christians across Australia, New Zealand and other countries, the Chongs hit upon an idea to help teenaged Christians.
“RICE has always been there to support youth groups and provide a platform for them to unite for evangelism and renewal, so this time is no different,” explains Naomi from the Chongs home in Sydney.
“One of our pastor friends, Peter Ko of South-West Evangelical Church [Kingsrove, Sydney], told us that he can’t run his small youth group anymore.
“He approached us and asked if we would be willing to do something for them and for those who can’t get to their youth group Friday night.”
The Chongs will trial this Friday night an online youth group. Connected via video call app Zoom, the digital group is open to any teenagers (granted appropriate permission by guardians) around the world who want to converse, read the Bible and pray together. Click here to sign up.
“We don’t want this to be a one way download session,” says Steve Chong. “We want this to be interactive, so we are expectant and hopeful that youth will connect with each other and share what God has put on their heart.”
Parents of four kids, experienced youth ministers Naomi and Steve believe that “the coronavirus effect [of] mixing isolation with fear is a potent combination that will effect not just teenagers’ mental health but [their] ability to live out their faith in Jesus.”
“All humans are created for relationship’ adds Steve Chong, “and in a world where young people were already unhealthily isolating behind their screens, the absence of the previous few physical gatherings like youth groups … is something we are ready to fight for creatively.”
“The internet can be used in such destructive ways and has ruined so many teenagers through inappropriate images, addictive gaming and cyberbullying – but I want to see this space reclaimed.”
WANT TO JOIN?
2) The Chongs also want to trial two regular online prayer meetings for all ages. You can express interest here.