Simon Züfle, from the South of Germany, is one of 18 ambassadors for the International Youth Convention. In an interview with the Church district of Backnang he spoke about his tasks, activities and wishes as an IYC ambassador.
Who are you and where do you come from?
My name is Simon. I am 24 years old and I live in Freiburg. Perhaps you know me from the youth convention in Crailsheim or from Instagram
How did you come to be involved as an ambassador?
Apostle Martin Schnaufer thought of me as an ambassador for Southern Germany was being sought. Perhaps it had something to do with the “diplomatic” experience I had gained from the German Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia and with the European Union delegation in Kampala, Uganda during my studies in international politics but I’m not really certain of that.
What do you do as an ambassador?
Briefly, I see three objectives for me: to provide information, to bring others into the mood and to motivate. The ambassadors act as the vision of the youth and must firstly let the youth know just what we can expect and what is planned for next year. Next, I will be providing feedback to the planning organisers from the youth. Setting the mood is something close to my heart. I want to strengthen the feeling of eager anticipation of the IYC! When we think of the IYC our reaction should be a warm tingling sensation. At the same time I would like to invite everyone to become involved in advance of the IYC. The motto of the youth convention, “Here I am”, also means “yes” to involvement in God’s work, whether in preparations leading up to the convention or in the congregations and districts.
How much time do you invest in your tasks?
This very pleasing work requires daily commitment. I am very thankful for the hands-on support given by many of the youth in helping to prepare the IYC info booth, the presentation for the youth convention and the Instagram campaign. I would also like to visit each of the Church districts as often as possible – I have yet to make visits to the Backnang district. Apart from that, I keep an eye on the Instagram account and I try to respond promptly to questions relating to the IYC and to answer invitations to come to the youth meetings. Maintaining contact with the youth is very rewarding for me. If any of the youth would like to come with me they are most welcome to drop me a line.
What are your expectations of the IYC?
Imagine the following situation: you are sitting at the closing divine service of the International Youth Convention in the Arena. As we pray and our Chief Apostle speaks from the altar there is absolute silence. We praise our heavenly Father together, we listen to the strains of the IYC choir as it sings “Lord reign in me” (or better – we sing with them) and we are a part of the Mexican wave with 35,000 other young people. When I think about that I break out in goose pimples. I am certain that the IYC will be a wonderful international festivity of our faith, where each and everyone will be able to find the promise of God; “Here I am”! I wish for a colourful and diverse programme and that each person has the feeling of being cherished in this great congregation.
What is your wish for the youth at the IYC?
We are all ambassadors. That isn’t a responsibility exclusively to me. My wish is that we all travel to Düsseldorf with an expectation. Let us give our heavenly Father a chance. I am firmly convinced that we will find His love and His closeness.
My wish is that the IYC programme appeals to the youth and that they find interesting encounters with others who have come from all corners of the earth. I especially wish that our souls are moved by the divine service. I wish that each one of us finds orientation, strength and peace in Jesus Christ.
The interview was conducted by Benjamin Emmerich for the "Jugendinfo Bezirk Backnang" (October 2018, volume 19).
17. October 2018
Images: Konstantin Hepp