Find inner greatness at conference

2017-02-21 06:00
Pastor Bradley van Reenen PHOTO: tiyese jeranji

Pastor Bradley van Reenen PHOTO: tiyese jeranji

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Youth pastor Bradley van Reenen of New Hope Church in Steenberg says his church is on a mission to empower youth and young adult leaders for better ­communities.

Van Reenen believes the youth have strength, passion and the energy to change the communities that are terrorised by gang shooting and drugs. He says the youth need someone to steer them in the right direction.

Van Reenen says he understands the challenges the youth face.

“I was a youth with so many challenges. I was a drug addict for about five years. I attempted to commit suicide six times because I felt it wasn’t worth it and I felt like I wasn’t belonging here.

“I knew I would be a motivational speaker but at that time I had so many things going on. However, one day God spoke to me. In the midst of my problems and wanting to kill myself, he spoke to the seed of greatness inside me. He called out the leader in me and it sounded louder than the mess I was in.

“From there on I knew that I had to push the greatest in other people,” he says.

Van Reenen says the challenge is that people have magnified the problem for a long time.

“Nothing much is being said about the potential and the strength that young people possess. It’s time that we speak to their strong character. We don’t want to talk about the negatives; we want to bring out the good in them.

“We will doing so much work for the police and we will be reducing crime in our communities, because these are the people who still have the energy to go back into their communities and tell others and lead with courage,” he says.

He is hosting a youth conference on Friday from 19:00 to 22:00 and on Saturday from 10:00.

The conference, called “I am passion”, was started in 2013. The conference is free on Friday and costs R200 on Saturday to buy food for those ­attending.

“All we want to do is release leadership principles. We want active leaders. We want to raise leaders who will be agents of change in our communities by igniting leadership. We want young people to live with a purpose, make accurate decisions. When they leave the two-day conference they must have a mindset that says: ‘I can become the change in my society.’ We will have 10 speakers from different areas all to impact a strong message of hope and speak to the inside leaders in our youth,” says Van ­Reenen.

The church is calling for sponsors and partners.

“We want everyone to come and benefit from this conference. We are calling on those who can sponsor the R200 to do so. We are calling on local businesses as well to invest in our youth.”

V For more information email iam­passiongo@­yahoo.com or call Megan Rodwell on 078 507 8083 or Bradley van ­Reenen on 083 459 8339.

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