Who? I Am.
I just got back from the church's Summer Youth Camp at Jabez Campsite, Dasmarinas, Cavite. The theme was "Who? I Am." It was based on Exodus 3:13-15, a passage that recounts Moses' burning bush experience. Much of the preaching, the songs, and the group discussions focused on this important Biblical account.
The last time we had something like this was three—or was it four?—years ago, when Monty Banta was a high school freshman, when Jason Amigo's voice still hadn't cracked completely, when Banjo Acuna was still a single man.
This year, many of our attendees were in the 11 to 15 age range. I know, they were that young.
"So when were you born?" I asked some of them, to which they replied, "1998." I was amused: I was already in fourth grade when they were joyfully expelled out of their mothers' wombs.
The following is a brief account of what happened during those three days.
We left on April 3 at around 2 pm, some 80 of us. Some parents clearly had separation anxieties. Sweet.
The bus ride was eventful. After more than an hour of traveling and getting to know some new faces, we eventually arrived at Jabez.
The participants got their IDs, looked for their rooms, and prepared for the first plenary.
That night we had a camp skit which portrayed man's need for a savior. No amount of human strength, beauty, or power can obtain for him his greatest need: salvation from his sins. Pastor Oscar Villa, using the skit as a springboard for his message, emphasized the need for Jesus' saving grace.
The second day was jampacked. Jogging exercises at 6 am. Breakfast at 7 am, group devotions after that, and many more activities in the afternoon and evening.
Pastor Caloy Figuerras spoke on the second plenary. He asked why it was necessary to know God—the Great I Am.
Some of his answers: (1) what we know about God will impact our lives and our obedience, and (2) we live in a world that constantly reinvents God.
He expounded on Exodus 3:10-15, calling the passage a virtual showcase of God's character and attributes. God is holy. God is eternal. God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. The preaching was so refreshing.
After lunch, we had a group activity called the Trust Walk. Participants were blindfolded. They had to finish the course that ran around the camp site and they had to meet—and overcome—many obstacles along the way. They only had the a piece of rope to tell them where they were going. And the great thing was: nobody quit.
There were many lessons from the activity, including the hardships that a Christian faces and the importance of accountability.
Pastor Lito Sto. Domingo, the youth pastor, spoke on Plenary Three. He emphasized that service is a form of worship. He encouraged us to serve the Lord in whatever way we can.
At dinner, we had the Talents Night. I may be posting some videos of the presentations here soon.
Pastor Deni Koswardi, our resident Indonesian minister, exhorted from Psalm 16:8-11. He said the secret to happiness is to set the Lord always before one's self. That means: making the Lord's presence the greatest of all facts to us, making God's glory as the supreme object of our lives, living in consciousness that the great God is always watching, setting the Lord as the source from which we are to derive peace and comfort in each trial, and holding constant communion with the Great I Am.
We capped off the conference with a game: form a puzzle. This took a while to finish because the clues were confusing. Pero natapos din! The puzzle showed a quotation of John 3:16 and an artist's rendition of the crucified Christ.
The camp was a blessing, and I thank God for the opportunity to serve and minister to the youth in our church.
Before I end, allow me to present the people from the cell group where I belonged.
And our mandatory jump shot.
You can check out more photos in my Multiply.