By: Ghe Sedillo
The serene, nature-bounty, and refreshing ambiance of Visayas State University (VSU), Baybay, Leyte homed the 133 delegates of the very first ever Youth Conference of the Evangel Family Churches across Eastern Visayas, namely: EFC Calbayog, EFC Tacloban, EFC Baybay, EFC Talisayan, and EFC Ormoc last April 17-19, 2019.
Anchored with the theme: “Catching Fire: Igniting Your Faith in Jesus”, this year’s camp has envisioned that Jesus’ followers: young and not-so-young, new and old – have ignited their faith in Him. And, will have a life full of hearty service to Jesus.
The first day of the camp started with a registration and welcoming of the participants. The first session with Ptr. Jay Bautista, EFC Cebu Pastor, as the speaker blessed the delegates with both heartwarming and an awakening message of recognizing and grabbing opportunities to be able to serve Jesus, wholly.
Meanwhile, Ptr. Jeefrey Arrogante of EFC Baybay, encouraged the delegates to have a fiery heart in serving Jesus.
During the night session, Ptr. Em Baustista, Senior Pastor of First Touch Ministry, spoke on the essence of giving one’s heart to Jesus. She emphasized that no matter how broken one’s heart is, no matter how sick one’s heart is – it should be given to Him – who is able to heal and to make things anew.
On the second day, the delegates’ faces mirrored happy souls. Everyone devoured spiritual nourishment, along with the luscious food being served to everybody. It was a blissful day as Ptr. Jeffrey Metante, in his session, reminded each one to see life in God’s perspective. Seeing life in God’s view meant being on track, and being able to see oneself as able and mighty like Gideon – because the Lord enabled Him.
More so, the delegates were indulged in team building activities. These activities taught them to be patient, to value team work, and to reflect the need to be under God’s care, love, protection, and deliverance. The winning team was the Green Team and they received a huge medal and tokens.
Ptr. Bobby Subong of EFC Ormoc, in his session, conveyed about the symbol of fire in faith, and he encouraged everyone to keep each one’s heart on fire in serving and following Jesus – and not to allow anything in this world to put off the fire away.
EVANGELIGHTS – a mini-concert for Jesus, the most awaited part of the camp, followed right after Ptr. Bob’s session. The young people shouted, danced, jumped, and even ran to express their praises. As part of the not-so-young Jesus’ followers, I was amazed of how the young people would not want to stop praising and singing their love for Jesus.
The altar calls called during the camp signified commitment, and surrendering. The delegates raised their hands, and expressed their hearts out loudly calling for God’s anointing, expressing their love, and yearning for God’s enabling blessing to be able to use them for God’s work. It was miraculous.
The third day was a victorious day. Water baptism was done. It’s somehow partly true that the best is saved for the last – swimming time and just sitting or walking in the seashore ignited hearts of friendship and brotherhood developing a bondage whose focal point is faith in Jesus. T’was amazing.
Regardless of the shortage of the working force, Evangel Family Church Ormoc, who served as the host of the 3 – day camp, exuded faces with both fulfillment and happiness knowing that the camp was a huge success.
As part of the working force behind the activity, I was anxious; I felt fear before the camp. But, during the 3-day camp, all went well by the grace of God. Everything has just fallen into place. I cannot even imagine where I got my energy because I have not felt even an ounce of tiredness, and all the anxiousness, even the fear – they vanished during the camp. I know it was not us. It was God. He really is limitless. And, His work is really incomparable.
When I got home, body pains struck me though. But, my heart is full and blessed and ignited and in awe of how wonderful and amazing truly Jesus is. I also have caught the fire!