Rio De Janeiro, Brazil — July 28, 2013.
Go. Do not be afraid. Serve.
Those were the final words of Pope Francis as he sends us off for our mission to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” How have I fulfilled that mission? Let me take you five months after.
Antipolo City — December 19, 2013.
Go. Do not be afraid. Serve.
That is our chosen theme for this year’s Youth Gathering and Vigil. We, Janica, Alissa, Sam, Celina, and I, chose this theme not only because we want to bring the World Youth Day experience to the Assumption Antipolo (AA) Community but also because we want to share our faith that was ignited through the experience and the mission to strive to become disciples of Christ. I remember being so fired up after WYD that when we came back to school, we ran along the hallway to Sir Bohol, the CLE Coordinator, to tell him that we would be more than willing to spearhead the Youth Gathering and we want to invite CFC YFL for the event. Later on, we had our meetings and preparations. Before we know it, the day has come.
It passed by so quickly that I lost track of the time. We had a bunch of things lined up for the day: inspiring talks by Kuya Gam Guarnes, Ate Sweet Roque, Kuya RJ Moriones, followed by activities to nurture each talk, Samantha sharing fearlessly how she was empowered by her WYD experience, in-house bands playing, dancing the WYD Theme Song and WYD Francisco, and of course my favorite and most significant part of it all–WORSHIP.
I felt so honored when Ate Kaye Matignas asked me to lead the worship for the Afternoon Prayer. In my thoughts, “Hey, this is great.” But after a while, I realized, “Hang on. I’m leading roughly 900 people. Most of them I do not personally know. Can I even do that?” Then I found the perfect song: “Holding Nothing Back” by Jesus Culture and the lyrics go…
You pick me up, turned me around
You set my feet on solid ground
Yours now forever
And nothing’s gonna hold me back
These were the exact lyrics that empowered me. I have been blessed with so many things, I experienced Him in many ways, I felt His loving kindness through the people around me so what should stop me from sharing the love to the AA high school body? Right there and then, I knew that nothing can stop a faith on fire. When it was time for me to go up the stage, I didn’t feel any nervousness at all and the words that came out from me were not anymore mine but His. After that, I have never felt so light. It was incredibly overwhelming and heartwarming to have been able to share to the whole high school body my love for Him through song and praise.
Kuya Kevin Remandaban pumped up the day with the Morning Worship. We ended it with Kuya Julius Eguia leading the Closing Worship. It was one of the highlights of the day because of the lighting of candles and batch prayer which was kind of a spontaneous thing but the Holy Spirit led us to it and that’s the reason why it was so touching and heartfelt that it brought almost everyone to tears.
At the end of the day, I was filled with an exuberance of joy. How I felt after everything was over was unexplainable. I felt fulfilled, inspired, sentimental, proud, and above all I felt GRATEFUL and BLESSED.
I’m a million times thankful that he allowed me to share my faith to the AA Community. It is my greatest pleasure to have served Him and His people. All I could say now is PRAISE GOD.
The mission does not end there. It actually made me love Him more and serve Him endlessly.
Shared by Mikee Alvero, Assumption Antipolo High School