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Youth Summit Delegate chosen for MWC


March 24, 2003
-by Daniel Rempel

Jennifer Egan

Winnipeg, Man.— Jennifer Egan will travel to Zimbabwe this summer to represent Mennonite Church Canada at the Mennonite World Conference Global Youth Summit. Organizers hope for as many as 50 youth from around the world to attend.

“It's just an amazing opportunity to deepen my faith and learn about other cultures,” said Egan, a twelfth-grade student at Westgate Mennonite Collegiate in Winnipeg. She also confessed, “I'm a little bit anxious... going to a country where there's a famine and political unrest right now is a little nerve-wracking.”

As preparation for representing their fellow youth, organizers ask delegates to survey their national peers on what issues concern them. Compiling responses from dozens of youth and youth groups made Jennifer “realize that the church of tomorrow is pretty much in good hands.” She found many youth eager for more active leadership in church, with visions for how the church can become more relevant and inspiring to its younger generations.

In Egan's survey, Canadian youth raised temptation, peer pressure and the influence of media as spiritual challenges, and materialism and pacifism as pressing issues on the minds of Mennonite youth.

Twelve youth from across MC Canada applied for the delegate role. “Choosing one from the excellent candidates who applied was a difficult task,” said Anne Campion, MC Canada youth ministries director. Egan impressed Campion as “articulate, passionate for the church, and real about her own faith journey. She knows this is more than just an adventure and has a strong commitment to Jesus Christ and a desire and openness to be stretched.”

Doris Dube, a Mennonite World Conference organizer in Zimbabwe, expects the youth summit “will be a wonderful thing, with lots of enthusiasm and many youth representatives from surrounding African countries.” Egan looks forward to meeting with as many as fifty youth delegates from around the world.