Have you ever wished you were a butterfly so that you could fly away from all your problems? During Episode 5 of the IYF Youth Talk Show, discussions were driven based on the topic, ‘Legs to Wings,’ leading participants to realize that this way of thinking was contrary to the way butterflies live. That is, before a butterfly is able to fly, it lives as a caterpillar. As it transforms into a butterfly, it endures a lot of difficulties while breaking out of the cocoon. This helps to strengthen its wings so that it is able to fly. As a butterfly, it just doesn’t fly away, but carries out the very important process of pollinating flowers so that life on earth can continue. In the same way, the difficulties we are experiencing right now are preparing us to have strong minds that can soar above many challenges. This will ultimately prepare us to live for a higher purpose and benefit the lives of others.
Odayne Haughton, former CARICOM Youth Ambassador, Advisor for UNESCO Jamaica and the Caribbean, and Prime Minister Youth Awardee, was a Guest Panelist for Episode 5. He was very inspiring as he recalled the struggles he went through while attending school and how his mother was that tower of strength that motivated him to overcome all those challenges. Today, he is an Assistant Director at the Bank of Jamaica, an aspiring philanthropist, and is pursuing his second Master’s Degree in the United Kingdom.
Our Guest Speaker was Pastor Selbert Johnson, Director of the International Youth Fellowship Manchester Branch. He spoke about his experience growing up in Jamaica with his father and Step-mom. He felt quite disconnected from his father, and grew even farther apart as his father migrated to the United States. He ended up spending a lot of time on the streets and lived a very wayward life. However, at one point, he met a pastor and his wife, who planted the seed of the gospel in his heart and his entire life changed. He reconnected with his father and hugged him for the first time. He graduated from missionary school, and is now a Pastor and youth director, impacting the lives of so many young people and spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. His very touching story moved us all.
Pastor Selbert Johnson and Odayne Haughton were true examples of beautiful butterflies that endured so much but still overcame, and are contributing positively to the lives of others. If they can do it, so can you.
“Don’t focus on who you are today. Have hope in who you can become tomorrow.” – Revd Dr. Ock Soo Park