The ambassadors for the International Youth Convention (IYC) met for the second time in Düsseldorf at the beginning of January 2019, ten months after their first meeting in April 2018. They met to discuss and share their experiences and to receive a progress report about the planning state. Anna-Maria, an ambassador for the New Apostolic Church in Northern and Eastern Germany, talked about her impressions of this exciting weekend.
“I had eagerly waited in anticipation of this second meeting of the ambassadors in Düsseldorf. This is the place where many thousands of young people from all over the world will come in just over 100 days time, to be together at the first International Youth Convention of the New Apostolic Church. It started for me after work on Friday to pack my suitcase, jump on the train and off to Hanover, where I would meet up with Anna-Sophia, the second ambassador for the New Apostolic Church in Northern and Eastern Germany, who would take me with her to Düsseldorf. We checked in to the Tulip Inn, the hotel directly overlooking the Arena, which is the city’s largest stadium.
I was already a little bit nervous, but, was naturally looking forward to meeting the other ambassadors. I had some misgivings about how we would communicate; would English be the language we would be using to talk with each other over the ambassador weekend? But as soon as we had embraced each other all that was forgotten. At that moment it became clear: the weekend could begin.
With an insider tip we found a small snack bar close to the Rhine, about 30 minutes walking distance from the Hotel. The food was good and our discussions even better. After we had been chatting into the late evening we fell into bed, our energy drained by the journey and the long day.
Saturday ‒ strong impressions and an upbeat mood
We went out early after breakfast on Saturday morning. “Awesome!” I thought, as I gazed through the glass front to the view across the stadium. There will be more than 30,000 people sitting here in May. The Arena is going to be filled with cool lighting effects, actors, dancers, the grand choir of the pop oratorio, the Chief Apostle and the many participants.
Our conference took place in our church in Düsseldorf-Derendorf. We began with a number of brainstorming sessions, where we updated ourselves about the current planning state and situation. We drew up plans for key information which we could take with us and pass on to the youth; we spoke about the challenges which we faced and about the role of the ambassadors for the IYC. Heike, from the editorial team, added her support through a video workshop and David let us into some details about the programme of the International Youth Convention, primarily about the unimaginable plans for the major events in the Arena.
In the afternoon we made a visit to the Arena. The atmosphere was electrifying! Of course, our first Mexican waves, a few selfies and some social media stories were obligatory! We then began with our planned photo shoots. There was a complete palette of photo and advertising sessions, including some for the IJT Shop; from cool neck scarves up to “Here I Am” powerbanks. I personally took a fancy to the “Here I Am” straw hats. I found the design totally cool and, above all, practical. The open air swimming pool will also be open for the Youth Convention and I love to sun bathe. Looking like a tomato, with a bright red head would be really uncool.
Divine service in the congregation Düsseldorf Eller
On Sunday we visited the congregation in Düsseldorf Eller, to attend the service there. We were made incredibly welcome in the small congregation. It was very apparent to us how much joy there was at our visit there – and for those who make it to the IYC, be assured; the people of Düsseldorf are great hosts!
We ate together in a room especially set aside and talked with the other ambassadors about activities which we could start or give our support to. The time moved on much too quickly and I look forward to meeting the other ambassadors who couldn’t make it for this weekend and to seeing you all.”