By: Fransen Mariano Esteban
EFC Iloilo Section recognizes the value of youth to the divine cause. They identify their strength, energy and hearts that are filled with visions of the future. To them, the youth can be a valuable component in the Kingdom of God. This certainly agrees with the Scriptures when Paul said to Timothy: “Let no man despise your youth; but you be an example to them that believe, in word, in manner of life, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Tim. 4:12).
Wherefore, on April 18-19, 2019, young people from EFC Churches of Iloilo, Pototan, Tigbawan, Guimaras, Dumagas, San Miguel, Bacolod, Sara and Tubugan congregated in EFC-Ajuy, Iloilo for a youth camp- a special time of equipping and mentoring. Pastor Benjamin Chavez, warmly welcomed the delegates with a message found in Ecclesiastes 12:1 “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years draw near when you will say, I have no pleasure in them”. It was an arresting message as the youth camp begins.
The camp’s theme was “Moving Forward in Unity”. It was timely and relevant to all delegates because they came from different EFC Churches and it is important for them to know that all who follow Jesus are one in Him. During the praise and worship time, the Spirit of God came, giving everyone the freedom to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Many walls of alienation, indifference, pride and insecurities have come down during the worship time. The commitment to arise as one body of Jesus Christ prevailed and is present in every part of the camp.
Furthermore, many powerful topics have been discussed such as: Dangers of Drug Abuse Among Youth by Pastor Vivian Macadag-um; the Salvation Story entitled Moving Forward in Jesus by Pastor Myrna Pacheco of EFC Bacolod; and The Need to Stand in our Doctrine by Pastor Roseniel Rivera of EFC Baguingin, Tigbauan.
Lastly, Pastor Chavez shared about the advantages and disadvantages of social media. According to him, unrestricted use of social media will bring the youth to alienation, addiction, laziness and will open opportunities to sin. He added that technology can make us more efficient and productive but it can also help to waste time. The young people submitted to the fatherly rebuked and rededicated their lives once again to Jesus during the altar call.
The youth appreciated the efforts of their pastors who lovingly look after their spiritual lives. Their dedication and passion to teach the next generation impacted the lives of all the delegates. Indeed, God has raised people to go before the younger ones, so they can pave the way and bring others up. As the Bible states, “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts…God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…so that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it”. (1 Corinthians 12:12-26)