By Pastor Annaliza Novero
After the fiery trial that reeled the JECPP family in Luzon, our young people took the lead in rebuilding. Like a baby learning to walk, each wobbly but determined step is a break through, a new confidence to firmly stride and march in to new assignments and positions in the Kingdom.
As pastors and leaders, we hurdled our struggles by deciding to move on despite our pain. But while preparing for the camp, we somehow felt like being in a family left by the parents unguarded and forced to take a stand to survive. However, God sped up our healing as He rallied his young overcomers in this year’s summer youth camp to be a great encouragement to us. It was so moving to see our youth all over Luzon gathered to shift the lashing storm to waves of revival, unity and teamwork once again. 62 youths from Mindoro, Palawan, Batangas, La Union, Nueva Viscaya, and Ilocos Sur assembled at Jabez Campsite, Dasmarinas Cavite for the annual youth camp last April 17 to 20 with the theme “Restore”, a very apt season we are all hopefully waiting upon God.
Apprehension crept into our hearts because this was the first time we had to prepare for the entire event as my husband, Pastor Jetro, stepped in as the new Regional Director of Luzon. After a lot of prayers and brainstorming, all sections took charge. Batangas section prepared the accommodation and Praise and Worship for the camp, Mindoro section spearheaded prayer activities, Palawan section monitored the worship services, morning devotions and physical activities, and La Union section accounted the expenses. Our apprehension quickly turned into camaraderie and teamwork.
Not only that, we were also able to witness the courage of our young people who braved their storms as they were preparing for the camp. Three delegates from Mindoro missed the camp due to a motorcycle accident. Mindoro delegates were also delayed as they were stranded in the sea because their boat could not dock in the very crowded sea port. The Batangas youths experienced a strong devastating earthquake a few days before the camp and the father of four of their delegates died in a car accident. In Palawan, Pastor Letecia Potestad underwent immediate operation after diagnosed with cyst in the liver, and I was rushed to the hospital for an emergency check-up three hours before scheduled camp travel. All these experiences however turned out to be great turning point for all of us, young or old, to be more vigilant in prayer and intentional in our commitment to serve God no matter what circumstances we are in.
Because we did not give up, we were rejuvenated spiritually by the empowering messages of our Luzon Core Leaders Pastor Greta Tamayor, Pastor Domingo Galagata, Pastor Eddie Falla and Regional Director Pastor Jetro Novero. We also felt the lavish care of God as our JECPP Chair Rev. Benjie Chavez and JECPP Co- Senior Presidents Rev. Peter Wee and Rev. Andrew Kwong joined the camp to personally back up the youth with inspiring messages.
We were also very blessed with delicious food and a very comfortable accommodation. The event was full of stimulating activities for the body, soul and spirit. The last night was banquet night, and it was such joy to hear the young people sharing their testimonies and dreams restored by God. It was also very emboldening to know that Rev. Dr. Robert Lim has been on his knees praying for us for the entire duration of the retreat, and for that we greatly express our gratitude. For the victories we experience, all the glory belongs only to our great and awesome God who makes all things possible for His honor!