Two words that would best describe my experience in the Wildfire YFL Conference: LOVE and PASSION. Moments when love and passion branch out into different other things are those moments when we know that God is truly at work. Commitment, service,sacrifice, effort, tears, joy, dedication, giving up, letting go, learning,humility, anticipation, understanding, acceptance, and all other emotions mesh together to make one person love God beyond his own capability and have that passion to do more for the service one is given. These things I have witnessed.
The great thing about this service God has given us is that it empowers us to do more beyond what we can. And the wildfire conference is a product of the impossible that was made possible because of the simple truth that God can do everything if it is according to His will. All the preparations for the whole event were clearly being guided by God’s hand from the start, for if it wasn’t, the whole thing will never ever pull through and all efforts will be put in vain. But what is effort if love is not put to it? How can we call it God’s work if it is not for God?
Indeed, the Lord is one great God for everything that occurred was by His love and grace and providence.
I would say that one of the most touching scenes for me in the conference was when everyone was praising God under the scorching summer sun. The heat was in reality unbearable and knowing that it was around 12 noon but the way everyone praised God and raised their hands and jumped for joy and sang their hearts out and prayed fervently was truly a sight to behold! Love drives people to do crazy things and this one is a crazy thing to do. Who would worship God under the intense heat with burnt skins and sweat covering one from head to toe? Only people who are so much in love with the Lord. And that same love has made the lives of those who attended the conference never the same, including myself.
Passion can mean a lot of things. And the passion that I will emphasize is the passion of the people to serve. I have witnessed a lot of people who sacrificed their personal time, joy, and resources to be able to make this all happen and that same passion has enabled those people behind the event to be driven to their edge, to the limits of their capacities just to make the YFLs see, know, feel, and experience how God loves them so much.
Love and passion if translated into love for God and passion for service can do amazing things. It can change lives, make people go out and proclaim, and do everything for God even if it means changing the way we live our lives just to align it to the life God has planned beautifully for us. The Lord can do crazy things in our lives; crazy yet beautiful, crazy yet irresistible, and crazy yet more than us and bigger than what we can imagine.
Wildfire YFL Conference has undeniably left scorch marks of God’s love in our hearts. It burned us to the point where the fire we have is uncontainable and thus we share it. We have experienced more than we could anticipate, we have been taught more than an ordinary youth can learn, and we are loved much more than we deserve yet God gives this all for free!
…and so we should respond with blazing faith.
“Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
-Saint Catherine of Siena
By Ate Ayana De Ocampo, District of Novaliches
YFL Mission Volunteer