With the outrage of “Young Single Adult Summit 2019” tagged photos in circulation on social media sites, as well as the high energy posts clouding the air, it has become evident that the YSAs who were involved in the Lagos YSA Summit 2019 had a blast! There’s been an unrelenting buzz in the air since the conclusion of the summit, as old friendships were strengthened, new ones were made, and extra steps were taken on the path to eternal unions!
The summit this year - organized to last for 3 days - began with arrivals on Thursday morning. There had been a lot of meetings before this day by the organizing committee discussing how onboarding and registrations should ensue, as well as housing, feeding, and all other activities that would span the duration of the summit. As usual, these plans were graced with various unforeseen situations, however, improvisations came to the rescue. Amazing volunteer officials tried to get YSAs registered and in a queue for the next activity of the day as quickly as they came in and were identified, and also did their best to keep the campgrounds secure. Various young adults trooped in from all over the 6 stakes in Lagos with their backpacks, buckets, travel bags, and what they needed to be comfortable for the next 2 nights. As the numbers grew, the activity commenced with an opening exercise presided over by President Udobong of the Agege stake. This was an opportunity to welcome the YSAs; telling them what to expect from the next few days, giving safety precautions, and encouraging YSAs to compromise, be accommodating and make the best of what had been made available to them.
After rooms had been allocated with luggage checked in and lunch served, YSAs quickly proceeded outside to have a feel of the open space and engage in interactions and games. People were found practicing jump-rope techniques, competing in short races, and playing soccer among other things. Meanwhile, the hall was being prepared for the major game of the afternoon - a speed dating exercise. This became a fun way for the YSAs to interact on a large scale, making immediate connections that would be built on later.
Closing up Thursday evening was the variety night. Here YSAs were entertained by the talents of amazing dancers, singers and comedy acts. There were laughs and cheers, claps and screams as YSAs were kept engaged by high-energy performances, enjoying each other’s company.
The next day came somewhat quickly and started with a morning of aerobics - a well-conditioned body does improve the mind right? Then followed a workshop that focused on motivating the single adults to exercise faith in the Lord, focus on enrolling and attending institute and gaining the attendant blessings, and also seeking spiritual and temporal self-reliance. The guest speaker put a lot of effort into trying to motivate young single adults to start small and aim high no matter their circumstances or background. The workshop provided an opportunity for YSAs to better understand a varied set of topics, including the pathway program, dating, courtship, and marriage. The facilitators endeavored to answer as many questions as they could and provided resources that the YSAs could review later to gain greater insights about their topics of interest.
After hours of sitting, talking, listening and writing, physical activity was gladly embraced! YSAs, now in their sporting outfits were found on the soccer pitch or challenging themselves on ping-pong tables. Others created various other activities that got them engaged with their peers, as they talked and laughed and learned more about each other. As fun as these activities were, YSAs could not wait for eventide as they anticipated the commencement of the “dinner night”, which was supposed to be the highlight of the day. As the day grew dark, the preparations increased for this special event. Ladies were spotted arrayed in beautiful dresses and the young men also put in the effort to look their best. By the time the activity was ready for kick-off, eager young men and women were ready to find their dates, take their sits and savor the evening. Indeed the excitement about this event wasn’t met with disappointment, as the music, stage performances, and food kept attendees entertained throughout the program. Raising the spirits of all to an even greater plain were the marriage proposals that ensued doing this activity. There were cheers, hugs, and kisses as some men had planned to make the night even more special for their sweethearts by taking that extra step in the right direction and the women graciously accepted to be a part of the journey! Talk about highlights within a highlight! The night still didn’t end until our very own Elder Chigbundu rendered a few rap bars on the DJ’s beat before officially concluding the night. It was truly a night to remember and for some, a night that would live on in stories to their posterity.
By Saturday morning, it was clear that goodbyes were fast approaching. It was the time for pictures - loads of them! Apart from the picture groups called for by the leaders - mainly pictures to be taken stake by stake - people gathered in smaller niches to capture memories with friends who had become family. Some of these picture groups included: pictures with old friends, pictures with new ones, pictures with friends who served in the same mission, those taken with old friends and new friends... the iterations were endless! A concluding devotional was held and in attendance were various leaders from the 6 stakes. They graced all who attended with their testimonies and provided answers to questions asked by the young single adults. They shared their experiences as they testified about the faith necessary to find love in even the most unlikely places and to choose marriage. It was the proper conclusion for what had been an amazing 3 days. Many left hoping to return next year for another wonderful summit experience; others left with gratitude in their hearts for this summit, but with plans to make this their last as their aim became more resolutely set on the higher calling of marriage. The attendance for the summit was about 670 young single adults.