Fear is the poison in the garden. Faith is the water that turns the seed into the loveliest flower. Faith, it makes things possible, not easy.
I’ve been in this community for almost seven years. I witnessed how victorious God is in my life. I actively serve the community despite I faced spiritual dryness, and unworthiness; yet, I always wanted to be present in all the activities so that I could be more blessed and a blessing. Yeah, a blessing when I was also became an instrument of God to invite my parents to be part of the community. It was a great victory, a joyride indeed, in the year 2008 they already become a part of the CFC-FFL.
Truly, in our community’s yearly theme will always happen in to your life, no matter what. Faith works wonders.
In 2011’s World Youth Congress in Dagupan, wherein all of us felt the LAKAS NG DIYOS, I was one of the servant-leaders who stood up before the crowd, and above all before God, and said, “Lord, I’ll be fearless for you because I know You are my strength.” Never did I realize that He will then test me; my faith. It’s when the fearless heart turned into fearful one. The moment when I said “No, God, I can’t,” my life doomed after with. Your response to God is the turning point of your life. As what I always been telling to my fellow YFLs that last year was really a life-changing happening in my life. I am really meant to live for so much more, more and more to God.
I was in third-year high school when I joined the community; it was September 22-24, 2006. I couldn’t forget that memorable moment since because at that point of time it started my great adventure. After a few months, our Cluster Servant approached me, telling me “Serge, chapter servant kana ha?” Well, even though I don’t know what to do, I totally answered “Yes, Kuya. Sure!” But despite I doubted that I t was God who called me, I still continue to live the privileged that I have: to become a servant leader. The Lord continuously led me into righteousness, after a few months, our Cluster Servant then again approached and told me that I’ll be his successor as the Cluster Servant in our area. And again though I don’t know what to do, and even asked myself why me, I accepted it because I do believe that it’s God who called me, and will then use me. I’ve become a Cluster Servant in more or less five (5) years, and by the grace of God I’ve been into three different clusters. I’ve seen and witnessed how people have changed their lives, and how they’ve changed me through their victorious stories. Napakasarap isipin na no’ng una ako lang yung na-i-inspire sa mga ka-YFL ko, ‘di ko inakala na ako na ngayon ang nagpapa-inspire sa kanila.
The past years in serving the community, I realized how I have easily said ‘YES TO GOD’ despite I don’t know what to do. Sabi nga YES LANG NG YES KAY GOD. The moment I said that I would be fearless for Him, God already set a challenge if I could still totally said YES to Him; it’s about how do I respond on the reward of greater service. During the year 2011, some of our elders (former District Core) teased me that I am the next District Servant. I just smiled at them, laughed with them, but deep inside already in the midst of fear. Months had passed I just ignored it because I know it was just only a joke. The belief that There were some household meetings that some of my co-core group members also infected on teasing me as the “next District Servant”; and snap, including our District Servant. The moment when our District Servant already told me that I could be his successor, my heart beats faster, full of fears. At that moment also I have lots of ifs and buts, whys and how. Fearless turns into fearful, darkness conquered my whole-being. If before I always said ‘YES TO GOD’ first time in my whole-life of service I did say ‘No, God.’ The moment that I responded God with my ‘NO’ it changes everything in my life through my own leading. Last year, I started to become cold-blooded one. I started it by simply not attending our Core Group household, & some activities in our area. In order for them not to communicate with me, I blocked my co-core group in facebook, I changed contact numbers not just once, but a couple of times. If they able to contact me, I abruptly changed contact number. I disobeyed God, I disrespected my parents, I dishonoured the couple coordinators, I have messed up with my studies, and I learned to have vices. Sabihin na nating ang buhay ko noon na binago ng Diyos, binago ko ito sa pansirili kong intensiyon dahil sa takot. Sinira ko ng walang pag-aalinlangan. Sirang-sira! Those people I have abandoned have even more love me.
No matter how I stay away from God, He didn’t stop loving me. He even more touched me. He didn’t give up to put greater plans for me. After six months of being a cold-blooded I ended up again serving the community, serving God. I have forgiven myself by the time I received forgiveness from the community, and most of all from God. In my prayer time I always say that ‘God, just use me. Let my weakness be my strength. There’s no turning back, and I can’t hold back because my life is already in You.’ God never forsaken me even I fail Him. He has given me the chance to make my mess into bless. I am missing before now I am blessing. This year I’ve made my YES to God. Tuloy na tuloy na ang pag-aalab ng pusong uhaw na uhaw sa pagmamahal Niya. No matter what happens during my life, I can assure that God is working everything out for the best. .
As I attended the WILDFIRE YFL Conference, the Lord reveals His unfathomable greatness in the whole duration of the event. All the happenings awaken my calling. He reminded me about my YES. The moment that I said YES to Him, it means Your (His) Empowered Servant. Saying YES to Him that means I am already accepting the challenge to change my life and the lives that He entrusted to me. He just said have FAITH and I will give you love, peace, and understanding. I won’t allow anymore that my fears will conquer my faith; instead I will let my FAITH be BIGGER than my fears.
Now, I still have the spark in my heart that could set the District of Naval on fire. If before when they have called me District Servant, fears and doubts prevail, now and forever, I showed them with a smile and said, ‘Faith really works wonders. God is just so faithful, so do I.’ Sabi nga ‘Smiling when times get tough shows your faith in God.’ I need to be that FIRE that will inflame the faith of the others. I already have burned my fears with my faith. Buong-buo kong iaalay ang buhay ko para sa Kanya. Challenging! Exciting! Yet, Life-changing!
Stepping out from the known to the unknown is called a step of faith.
By Serge Matugas, District of Naval