By Jireh Bautista
Imagine yourself in the middle of a vast desert. Nobody else in sight and you’re long held captive by time. You feel nothing but the scorching day and the extremely harsh cold night. You’re dying yet your breath just won’t leave you. All you ever want is to get out of there, but you couldn’t help yourself.
That kind of thirst and hunger filled every heart of seventy-five young campers all set for the Transformakers Camp 2016. The will to get revived fueled God’s touch, the only hope of transformation in our lives.
On May 22, we all headed for the beautiful island of Bohol. After a dizzying five-hour sea trip to Tagbilaran and an hour jeepney ride, we finally set foot in Sunrise House, Loboc. It was already dark when we arrived, but everyone’s momentum on checking out the place was still on.
The next day was the official start of the camp’s scheduled activities. It started off with a morning prayer and guided devotion. The first session came next after breakfast where Pastor Gen shared about the critical roles of the choices we make in life. Above all, we must choose Jesus, she advised. She also mentioned that our choices ultimately drive our entire lives. Before we make choices that may come at different costs, we should thoroughly think about our future and choose to obey God. The whole group was then led to seek God with everyone lifting up their voices.
The second morning session started right away. Brother Nilo’s preaching focused on generosity. He shared that ownership is on God while stewardship is with us. Stewardship requires our generosity in our time, talents and abilities, possessions and finances. He also talked about generosity being an essential key to a genuine surrender to the Lord. Surrender, he said, is the unreserved submission of one’s entire possessions and plans to God’s will and purpose. After the preaching, we were left reaching out to God and reflecting on the things that we ought to have surrendered before the Lord.
In the afternoon after a quick nap time, we all gathered at the court for the team games. Each team yelled out their team cheers before the first game started. All had fun especially during the last game that made everyone so spirited, creative, and strategic.
From previous experiences in revival camps, the night sessions are the most memorable. If the camp was like a movie, night sessions make the climax.
The first night session was led by Pastor Gen with her sharing that revolved around the question, “How do you want people to remember you?” This question has somehow made us contemplate on the image we put on for people to see. The lives around us may copy selfless approaches, sacrificial actions, sinful attitudes or servant attributes. We were even struck further when Pastor Gen ended with “What have you done for Christ today that’s worth what He gave you on Calvary?” Of course, no amount of personal service can pay off what Jesus did for us all, but the campers were greatly encouraged to live meaningful lives for Him.
Tuesday light faded in, and it was time for the morning prayer and the guided paired devotion. With their light purple camp shirts on, the campers smiled their best for the picture taking after breakfast. Two morning sessions that followed gave us more insights we can take with us after the camp. The first was led by Sister Jomelyn with her sharing on reaching out the next generation through drawing them not to men but to Christ Himself. She also discussed points on how to develop, deploy and discover Godly character that is heavily important for the next generation to follow. The second session was headed by Sir Alfonso where he brought about an interesting topic – tithes and offerings. He explained that giving to the Lord is a biblical instruction and is a great way for honoring God and supporting the church ministries and workers. It is also showing God our gratitude towards Him for unconditionally blessing us not only with money but also good health, protection, mercy and grace.
The night session that started after dinner was incredible. Pastor Gen entitled her sharing “No Soldier Left Behind”. It was a nice analogy of spiritual conditions and soldierly statuses. There are Christians who are AWOL, deserters, missing in action or prisoners who need sincere care and encouragement from their fellow believers, their comrades. She also said that like in the army, we must always be prepared for battles and work together to achieve the mission. If we remain in Christ’s side, we will always reign victors against whatever sorts of schemes plotted to beat us down.
The night was a blast, the climax of climaxes. No one was left untouched, old or new ones. The campers were left in awe of the pouring down of the Holy Spirit. God used 13-year-old, Chelsea, to speak to us clearly how He loves us so much and how great it is to serve Him. “Seek me, seek me”. These were the very words that we heard that left us in tears, soaked in His presence. He even spoke of promises that He won’t forsake us nor leave our side. He also reminded us not to forget that He is God Almighty and that He is powerful enough to deliver us from anything we deem impossible to surpass. He is real and He is just here for us. The night was like a personal conversation between you and God. The feeling was just too overwhelming that we didn’t want it to end.
May 25th and we were still not over it. The touch was just revolutionary and radical. Although the Transformakers Camp 2016 was over and we enjoyed Panglao’s beach and sights, we will forever treasure the wonderful experience, the supernatural touch we had. Four years ago, some of us received that kind of touch in that very same place. And now, God has allowed the rest of us to experience it too. A few of us may have felt nostalgia and déjà vu but for sure, all of us cannot deny the amazing change this camp has brought us.
Imagine yourself in the midst of a crossing crowd of a busy street. You’re still, motionless yet your eyes can roll over every face ahead and behind. You wonder, “Has every single person here been rescued from his/her vast desert of darkness?” No one has ever been rescued unless they hear the good news of the Rescuer. No one will ever be unless someone is sent to preach the good news to them. To the revived campers, indeed, the touch is for the task.