Hello everyone, I hope you’re having a great Sunday so far. My name is Seoyeon Yoo and I am here today to celebrate the graduation of the grade 12s who are a part of the Seed Youth! First off, I want to apologize for not being able to do this in person, I really wanted to but unfortunately I am across the globe right now. However, I am still extremely grateful I am able to celebrate with you virtually!
I cannot believe that time already flew this quick. I’ve been a part of this church since it first began and it’s incredible to have witnessed not only my growth, but my fellow grade 12 friends here at this church, their growth as well. On behalf of the grade 12s, I want to share a bit about my experience as a Seed Youth and reflect back on our past.
When I first joined the Seed, I remember being so hyped that I got to be surrounded by all the older 언니들 and 오빠들, I wasn’t a Rocket Kid anymore, I was served good food. I remember looking at those junior chickens after service and thinking to myself “this is Heaven”. However, my main takeaway from the Seed so far is being a part of the youth house church. Being a part of the Seed youth has been like having a second family where I got to build lifelong relationships with special people.
Especially in our teenage years, I think it is easy to lose sight of what’s important and become distant with the people we love around us. Despite the challenges we face growing up, I have to say that the youth ministry has helped me navigate my way through the Christain life. What’s so different about the Seed youth is that we were able to build a personal one on one connection with our shepherds and even house church members.
I personally found it extremely difficult to open up to friends and family. I have this tendency of bottling everything up to the point where one day, it all explodes. My decision to stay silent all changed throughout my time as a youth. A few years back, I mustered up the courage to reach out to my shepherd, Esther. At the time, I was in a very difficult headspace but I was just compelled to reach out to my shepherd. I didn’t believe that a fully grown adult would want to hear the problems of a teenager but when I dumped out my feelings through text it was within seconds of sending she called. It wasn’t a “hey, let me talk to you later” or a “I see, I’m sorry to hear that”, it was my phone ringing from my shepherd, who was willing to listen to me. And just by the background noise you could tell that she was outside yet she still put everything on pause just to talk to me.
I remember being in immediate shock because truly, I didn’t expect that. Now I’m not saying that just because someone responds to you in a heartbeat makes them a good person, it’s their sincerity of response to you. She cared. That’s what mattered. My youth house church only showed me unconditional love. And I’m saying this with full assurance but you will never ever find another youth ministry like the Seed. We don’t just meet up for house church or share after every Sunday Service for nothing. We celebrate the good and the bad times together and I think that’s what makes us family. I’ve received nothing but kindness and care from youth house church and can really see God’s good work in all of us. For the longest time, I thought that you have to navigate life alone but you don’t have to. You can navigate this confusing time in your life with God’s people; the church.
So I want to take this time to thank all the youth shepherds. You may not know this but you have all been a great blessing in our lives. Even though it may not be visible, you’ve played a big role in our lives and I do not think we ever thank you enough. As a youth, I feel so incredibly grateful to have had such amazing leaders who served us and all whom I can call friends. Even as someone who watches from the sidelines, being a youth shepherd is not at all an easy thing to do. However, it has been incredible to witness God working through them to us. Without you guys I don’t know how any of us could navigate our way to God and this fulfilling Christain life. We thank you.
I know that God has a great plan for us and we’re living in it right now. I pray He blesses us and strengthens us in this next chapter of our life. Thank you to the Seed family, our parents, Pastor Caleb and Pastor Anthony, the youth shepherds; especially Esther Sung and Sarah Cho who have been my shepherds throughout my time as a youth, and most importantly God. Congratulations to all the graduates. This is a well deserved achievement. And good luck to the next grade 12 youths! Thank you for your time!