Youth Corps bring their explosive joy to Quebec City

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Photo: Sarah Barclay

64 dynamic young people performed a bilingual gospel concert called Joy Explosion.

The Bridge United Pentecostal Church touched down in Quebec City last week with  group of 64 young people from across North America. The purpose of their visit? To engage in community service and perform a series of free gospel concerts at the Centre communautaire Lucien-Borne.

 Hailing from various provinces and American states, these young men and women were each tasked with raising funds to pay their own way on this trip, the first of this kind for United Pentecostal Church (UPC) International in Quebec City. 

 Josh Carson, who works with UPC International’s General Youth Division, explains that these trips are not just an opportunity for young people to discover a new city. “One of the aspects of Apostolic Youth Corps is serving… our goal is to say ‘maybe we can give a little bit back,’ so while we’re walking we pray simple things and pick up any trash we see.” Although, as Carson is quick to point out, “This is one of the cleanest and prettiest cities I’ve ever been in!”

 This may have been visit to Quebec City by the Apostolic Youth Corps, but Carson insists that it will not be the last: “I think we have several students who aren’t going to give us an option about whether or not we come back,” he chuckles.

 The group seem equally delighted with their first visit to Quebec City.

 Ethan Vaught of Arkansas had never been outside the U.S. until now. When asked about his first impressions, he grins from ear to ear: “It was definitely meant to be! I love the people, I love the atmosphere, I love the friendliness!”

 “It’s just so beautiful here!” echoes Carly Mooney of Louisiana. She and her new friends Michaela and Aaliyah were among the group picking up trash and speaking to passers-by about their church. Although the three only just met on this trip, they seem to share a bond.

 “We encourage them to get to know each other really well and form new friendships,” explains Liane Grant. She and her husband Scott are pastors of The Bridge UPC in Trois-Rivières. “If they have strong relationships … they get involved and give something back to their community.”

 The young people came together to sing bilingual gospel songs in a concert that was appropriately called Joy Explosion. “Last night they practised for the first time, and it was just like they’d been singing together forever, it was amazing!” exclaims Grant.

 Grant and her congregation are thrilled to have the group in Quebec City, as it coincides with an expansion. The Bridge UPC is calling it a “daughter church.” For the past year, the UPC has been offering services at the Centre communautaire Lucien-Borne approximately once a month. They hope to increase this frequency through the fall before the arrival of the new pastor, Melissa Fross, early in the New Year.

 

 “We’re just in the stages of letting people know we’re here,” says Fross. The Bridge UPC’s Quebec City services are currently offered mostly in French. For more information, search for Le Pont EPU Québec on Facebook.