GOD’S PRESENCE SHOOK DVO DEL NORTE YOUTH CAMP
Evangel Family Church Tagum has hosted Davao del Norte region Sec-A’s 3rd Youth Camp with the theme “RENEW YOUR PASSION” last March.
More than 70 young people from Kapalong, Florida, Carmen, Panabo, Kidaraan, Laak, New Corella and Tagum outstation churches were blessed with revival messages throughout the two days and three nights of fellowship.
I noticed the excitement and the hunger of the youth to encounter the Lord. Our hearts and minds were nourished in the night sessions where our pastors served variety of topics such as Renewing your passion, Pakigsuod sa Dios, Finish Well, Power to conquer with God, Built on a rock and Knowing your purpose. We also stretched our muscles and enlarged our friendships in our basketball and volleyball matches on the second day.
On our last day, we were grouped to share our personal testimonies. Stories from pastors and peers reminded us how great and faithful God is in our lives. We were more inspired to serve God. Disappointment was defeated that day because we were comforted by God through the encouragements we received.
A common problem mentioned by the young people during this sharing was persecution from family members when they received Jesus. One youth who is the family’s breadwinner was mistreated by his brothers when he wanted to work in the church. They wanted him to look for a more lucrative work instead and ordered him to stop attending church. Because of this, he backslid several times. He was thankful for the counseling time of the camp that enabled him to open his feelings and receive decision-making advice and guidance from pastors.
We also heard a testimony from a female youth. She and her siblings are also persecuted by their mother because her mother is very much against the church. When their mother sees them dressed and ready for church every Sunday, she would call them back in to their house and immediately assign chores.
Another testimony was shared by someone who has just attended church for three months only. He said he was rebel at a young age. He even had a gun and lived a violent life.
Before he met Chist, he thought that was the only way to live. But instead of being happy with the positive change in him, his family started to intimidate him the moment he came to church. He shared that every Sunday, he would throw his church clothes outside the window so he would not be caught by his mother. Then he would slowly go outside, quickly pick them up and put on for church. He said fought for his salvation because he got joy when God changed his life. He testified that during the youth camp, he was revived and have known God more.
On the last night of the camp, Pastor Rosario Simpas preached on The purpose of the cross. Wewent down on our knees; we remembered God’s sacrifice on the cross that gives us not even one reason to turn our backs on him. It was really the first time that I have experienced something this great that happened in the church. The place shook. We thought there was an earthquake, but there was none. The Holy Spirit literally shook us. Wow! God’s awesome presence was with us! We were crying. Voices were lifted out so loud, very desperate to touch God. The Holy Spirit was ministering to every heart. It was very good to see that despite the world’s wickedness, there is this young generation that finds God’s presence as the best thing life can ever have.
(written by Micah Simpas)