Africa Bids Farewell to the BYU Young Ambassadors
Sister Kay Hatch, Africa Southeast Area Public Affairs Associate Director
Brigham Young University’s Young Ambassadors’ tour of Africa was one of the special events in life which will impact us forever. The Young Ambassadors brought enthusiasm, energy and talent as they toured and performed in South Africa, Botswana and Swaziland. Hope, happiness, inspiration, and joy were feelings they left all along their way.
The Young Ambassadors arrived at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg with excitement in anticipation of their 25 day “whirlwind” tour. Firesides, Family Home Evenings, 13 concerts, 25 outreach activities, and even sacrament meeting programs were on their schedule!
The true spirit of Jesus Christ was manifest as they lovingly interacted with the people of Africa. The light of Christ did shine in their eyes as they hugged, played, danced and sang with the children in each area they visited. You are a Child of God was the message to each listener as the Ambassadors sang the favourite hymn, “I Am a Child of God.”
Those who had the opportunity to accompany the Young Ambassadors witnessed overpowering examples of tender love reflected mutually between an Ambassador and a child.
The Young Ambassadors were also on the receiving end as they saw and felt the courage and hope of many young burn victims. They performed for old age centres, interacted with High School students and college students, and even had the opportunity to learn from the renowned SABC television choir.
These young adults, aged 19 to 27, included singers, dancers, musicians, lighting, and sound technicians. In addition they are students of medicine, law, business, education or the arts. But when the Young Ambassadors presented a fireside or family home evening, each member became a singer. They testified through the hymns of their faith and love of the Saviour.
As they travelled from place to place they brought a spirit of joy to all. They were perfect examples of “What would Jesus Do?” In sacrament meetings, they testified as a group by their actions and words, and in individual testimony, as they proclaimed their faith in God.
It had been 14 years since the Young Ambassadors had performed in Africa. Everywhere they went the question was the same, “When are you coming back?”
[The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors Brigham Young University (BYU), which is located in Provo, Utah, U.S.A. The Young Ambassadors are associated with BYU.]