THE Apostolic Faith Mission this week is hosting the inaugural international youth conference at Rufaro Centre in Masvingo.
The conference, which will run under the theme “Keep the fire burning” is expected to attract youths from more than 40 countries from April 6-9.
In an interview with The Sunday Mail Religion, AFM in Zimbabwe youth director, Dr Clever Gomba, said: “This is a unique conference because it is being held for the first time and fortunately Zimbabwe is hosting it.”
Dr Gomba said the conference will focus on spiritual and educational aspects of the youths.
“Youths will be enlightened on how they can pursue entrepreneurial activities, relational aspects were the importance of faithfulness, purity and sanctity in life will be stressed. Also issues of HIV/Aids awareness, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse will be addressed.
“And finally, mental development, focusing on mindset shift whereby the youth need to think in global terms in all their endeavours but maintaining the local outlooks,” explained Dr Gomba.
Notable speakers expected to grace the conference are AFM International President Professor Frank Chikane, deputy president Dr Aspher Madziyire and several AFM presidents from member countries.
“AFM international youth leaders from member countries, several government officials and renowned young entrepreneurs are also expected to attend the conference.”
The conference theme was extracted from Leviticus 6:12 which says, “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out.
‘‘Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.”
It is also enhanced with Exodus 3:2 which states that, “There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amusement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up”.
“Our theme emphasises the youth to remain fervent and committed to the Pentecostal brand of Holy Spirit reliance.
“It is also in line with the background of AFM after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 1906 at Azusa Street Revival while tongues of fire related to the Pentecost of the biblical book of Acts were witnessed,” he said.
Countries that are expected to send their representatives include South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, DRC, and Pakistan. Also anticipated to attend are pilgrims from Mauritius, Brazil, Australia, United Kingdom, Russia, USA, Ireland among others.
“On average we are expecting 75 000 people to grace the conference. Several music groups and individuals are also expected to perform during the conference.
AFM started in May 1908 after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America between 1906 and 1909. Since then it has spread the gospel across the globe with youths being the backbone of evangelism.