My first mission ever, and I was late. I was called to serve at a Live Christ Share Christ (LCSC) Youth Camp in Tagaytay. I was told that, to my surprise, the participants of the camp already belonged to a religious community, The Oasis of Love. Most of the service team was already at the venue conducting the opening of the youthcamp while me, Faye and Kuya Leo were still on a bus to the venue. When we finally got there, I was informed (again to my surprise) I would be sharing in 30 minutes for talk 1.
Throughout the youthcamp, I was faced with three surprises:
- I was a sharer for talk 1
- I was to facilitate 6 participants (more than I’ve ever had)
- I was to make a recap video
They told me that as a missionary, you have to be mission ready. Surprises can’t be helped when you’re on mission. But I was a bit taken aback from all the surprises. The youthcamp proceeded, and I was successfully able to facilitate all 6 of the participants until the end of the camp (the hardest of the three surprises). It turned out to be as hard as I imagined. The most challenging part was having one to ones with all 6 of them in 2 hours as well as praying over their concerns and problems later that night. I was exhausted. But one thing I realized was that you can never share the love of God to anyone if You don’t feel it for yourself.
We are like cups, and we can only share as much love to other cups as what has overflowed from our own. You can’t fully share the love of God if your cup is only half full; fortunately, His love NEVER runs out on me. As missionaries, it is our mission and directive not just to spread love. In order for that to happen we have to feel loved first. It is our mission to find Christ amidst the hardships and trials; to look not at the waves but at His face. When we have no more love to give, the love of God will surely not leave us wanting; we are limited and He is limitless.
There were times I just wanted to rest and do nothing. Times I wanted to be complacent and lazy. But the Lord always made sure that my cup was full and overflowing. 100% of the time, the Lord loves us for 2 reasons:
So that we may feel loved
So that we may share this love with others
As a missionary, it felt good to be sharing this love with others unconditionally; the participants weren’t even going to be YFL because they were part of another community. It was just being generous and Christ-centered. Period.
“Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me”: this was the newfound faith the participants of the first Oasis of Love Youth Camp confessed again and again during worship. The song One Thing Remains is anchored on my life verse Romans 8:38-39, which says that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Over the span of 3 days, I heard the 40 strangers sing this to the top of their lungs because of the love they felt from the love we shared. It was the most affirming thing ever.
Truly the Lord was working in this camp from May 1-3 because the service team, me including, learned and witnessed as much as the participants learned and witness. There was enough love for everybody to feel and receive. This was the magic of my first mission, and the first of many missions to love and be loved.
Shared by Andy Gruet, College of Saint Benilde, Campus-based