[This short article was prompted by responses to one of my weekly thought-nuggets titled “The Value of Rags.” I pray that it will be a source of encouragement to those who are paralyzed by their past failures.—Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD.] Introduction It’s easy to talk about our succ...
|Dr. Pipim's GYC Statement/GYC 2011--Fill Me: Our Earnest Plea||| Print ||
At the inception of the 2011 GYC meeting in Houston, Texas, Dr. Pipim released a statement to the speakers and attendees at this historic event. The statement consists of (i) a background, explaining why, for the first time in the movement's history, he couldn't attend this particular GYC event, and (ii) his personal message to the attendees and speakers at the 2011 GYC convocation.
On May 23, 2011 I resigned as Director of Public Campus Ministries and from the employment of the Michigan Conference, and made the news public on May 29. My resignation was prompted by a moral fall I experienced earlier that year. 
As a consequence of my resignation in May 2011,
1. I surrendered my ministerial credential to my Michigan Conference employers, and ceased to be its Director of Public Campus Ministries and its umbrella organization called CAMPUS (Center for Adventist Ministry to Public University Students).
2. On June 9, 2011, I offered my resignation from the GYC Board of Directors. CAMPUS is the birth place, headquarters, and sponsor of GYC. Thus, I had served on its Board since the founding of the movement. The resignation letter I sent to the Board reads:
Dear GYC Board Members:
It has been a privilege, serving alongside with you, in providing spiritual mentorship and guidance to the grassroots movement of young people. After prayerfully considering needs in my personal life, I wish to inform you of my resignation from the GYC Board of Directors, effective today. Although my passion for youth training and empowerment has not waned, I believe that a little time for personal and family spiritual renewal will better equip me for greater service in the future.
I could never have committed myself to a much loftier cause than that of GYC, a movement that has impacted our church in a very profound way. I am grateful for your Christian friendship, and will continue to assist your efforts in any way possible. May the Lord grant you wisdom, courage, and faith as you guide GYC towards its vision of a Bible-based, life-transforming, mission-driven, and racially-diverse movement of young people.
3. On June 15, 2011, I submitted myself to the disciplinary action of my local church. 
4. On October 31, 2011, I wrote to notify the leadership of GYC and the Michigan Conference that I will not attend the 2011 GYC meeting in Houston, Texas (December 28-January 1). The relevant section of the letter stated:
I have decided that I will not attend this year’s GYC meeting (the first time I would do so in the decade-old history of the grassroots youth movement I had grandfathered). My absence at this 2011 GYC meeting will not only avoid any distraction from the sacrificial and splendid work the young people themselves are doing, but will also send the loudest message that GYC is bigger than any single individual. My nonattendance of this year’s GYC meeting is particularly painful to me because this year’s theme on the Holy Spirit and revival is a subject I had eagerly looked forward to. Moreover, this particular GYC event comes at a critical time in the history of the movement, especially since new leaders of this youth organization will be introduced to the world and given a solemn charge. I have always considered these transitional moments as extremely vital to the future direction of this Bible-based and mission-driven movement. [Thus, over the years I have introduced and given the charge to the new leaders who are selected.] Besides my own absence, this year’s “change of the guards” is significant, in that it will be the first time that the ECOM [Executive Committee] of GYC will have none of the original founders of the movement birthed, sponsored, and headquartered at CAMPUS. Though painful that I will miss this year’s GYC, I believe my decision to not attend is in the best interest of God’s work among the youth.
5. On November 4, 2011, at its first official board meeting since my resignation, the GYC Board voted to accept my resignation from the Board. On the eve of the 2011 GYC meeting in Houston, a public statement was released by GYC regarding my resignation. 
6. The actions listed above are all part of the consequences of my sin. Such is the high price sin exacts, particularly so when one holds a position of trust. Though painful and shameful, I have publicized my sin and responded to it forthrightly in the hope that these actions will impress upon many—especially young people—the ugliness of sin (my own as well as all sins), and call forth deeper repentance and confession by myself (and all). By the grace of God, I am learning that pain is not merely the price of sin, but investment in righteousness, for it is in facing the painful results of sin that God prepares us for the rich blessings of His righteousness.
As I “sit quietly in the dark,” learning the song the Lord would have me sing in the future, I pray that in the coming year I would have the opportunity to share—by pen and by voice—some important lessons I have learned from this experience. Failure doesn't have to be a dead-end; it can be a valuable detour to aid us in the journey. Setbacks need not set us back; they can be stepping stones on which we can step upward and forward. I also pray that through my witness in the coming year and beyond, many would be warned by my failure, and that those who have failed would be encouraged by my faith in God's forgiveness and eventual restoration to any line of ministry of His own choosing.
Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement, and support during this most difficult period of my life. As eagles in a world of chickens, keep soaring high by living and sharing the message of God’s amazing grace—His forgiving, transforming, and restorative grace. Pray that my self-inflicted wounds would heal fully and speedily, and that one day soon This Wounded Eagle would also soar again.
In the meantime, I wish to share the following message to all speakers and attendees who will miss my absence at this year’s GYC.
II. Message to Speakers and Attendees at 2011 GYC
I am sharing this message not only to make a request of you, but to also assure you of my personal prayers as you attend this year’s GYC session in Houston, Texas. I pray that there will be an out-pouring of the Spirit at this event, so that all will be filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to go forth and proclaim the Word of God with boldness.
“Fill Me: Our Earnest Plea” is the theme for this year’s GYC. It is based on Acts 4:31 “After this prayer the meeting place shook, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the Word of God with boldness.”
The theme for this year’s GYC expresses an urgent need for the Spirit’s transforming work in our lives, and a deep need for the empowerment by the Holy Spirit so that in our brokenness before Him we can proclaim the Three Angels’ Messages with urgency.
In the context of my spiritual failure, I hear the Lord speaking to me personally in the Acts 4:31 passage:
--I sense my need of the Holy Spirit to deliver me from the power of sin in my heart and to give me a new life in Christ.
--I feel my urgent need for the Spirit to protect me from the temptation of the enemy to keep me busy like Martha working FOR the Lord, instead of joyfully abiding WITH the Lord, sitting at His feet like Mary.
--I sense an urgent need to have my mind, emotions, and conscience captive to the Word of God, instead of the beckoning traditions of the past and the alluring fads of today.
--I feel an urgent need for the Lord to use me as an earthen vessel in any line of His own choosing, to continue sharing His saving grace and leading others to the Lord Jesus Christ.
--Above all, my earnest plea is for the Holy Spirit to give me a sense of the urgency of our times so that I may proclaim the Word with clarity and boldness when other voices are muted, shrilled, or confused.
My need for the Holy Spirit is also a prayer for myself and for you all—speakers and attendees—on this special occasion. I know you will be praying for me, as Jesus prayed for Simon Peter. “The enemy had sought to sift me like wheat. Pray for me that my faith will not fail, and that when I have fully repented and turned to Him again, I will strengthen my brethren (cf. Luke 22:31, 32; my paraphrase of NLT).
I claim for all of you attending this year’s GYC the same experience that attended the apostolic church: "And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness" (Acts 4:31).
Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, PhD
December 28, 2011