Here’s My Heart: A Report from Presbyterian Youth Triennium

By Debra VanOverschelde

Presbyterian Youth Triennium was held July 16-20 at Purdue University. This event takes place every three years and this year’s gathering marked the thirteenth Triennium and thirty-nine years. Sixteen youth and four adults (along with two others) from South Dakota attended this year’s event. In all there were 7,420 students and over 800 adults in attendance from all over the world.

The theme of the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, “Here’s My Heart,” gets right to the heart of the matter. Drawing from the words of the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” it expresses our deepest desire to be part of something bigger and more beautiful than the tiny flicker of our own candles. It speaks of passion and identity. It speaks of purpose and action.

We heard a message each day from a different pastor about how important it is to be ourselves, follow our dreams, and become something bigger than we ever dreamed of. We learned that everyone is capable making a difference and it takes everyone to come together to change our world. We can do this by one and many acts of kindness. The praise band The Nettletons led us in song during each worship service.

The missions we participated in were many small projects that will make a big difference—for instance, decorating pillowcases with messages of love to give to children affected by the hurricane and decorating socks to give to the elderly.

We learned many new energizers, learned how other cultures celebrate and worship, and met people from all over the world. One highlight of Triennium is that everyone in attendance always brings pins that represent their group and the goal is to exchange your pin with others as a way to meet new people and also to see who gets the coolest pins.

Yes, it was hot VERY HOT in Indiana, but the messages we received, the friendships we made, and the opportunity to see everyone grow in their faith made it an awesome experience.