The Lord truly surprises us in ways we will not foresee. And when He gives, He pours. I have experienced tremendous blessings last weekend and have seen Christ in Southern Mindanao. I have learned so much through the people I encountered; youth who were thirsting for God’s word and love, coordinators who were supportive all the way and YFL leaders ready to stand up to the challenge towards a greater call for Southern Mindanao.
It was a dream come true for me to be able to go on a mission in Mindanao. I have prayed and hoped to go to Mindanao since I had my first mission trip back in 2008. And lo and behold, I had my first Mindanao mission trip last October 26-29, 2013. One memorable experience was when I met the youth from the Bulol tribe of YFL Marbel. They really inspired me knowing that they needed to travel almost five hours just to be able to get to the venue, Camp Mary Hill in Toril, Davao. They even wore matching shirts, similar to what we do with our district shirts, and even wore two designs; one worn on the first day and the other on the second day. They were also awarded the ‘Most Vibrant’ on the last day. All I could say was, “Grabe ‘tong mga YFL na ‘to. Hanep magmahal kay Lord.” But, the highlight of the entertainment night for me was when they danced a ritual dance of their tribe. It was a war dance and it’s the first time I have watched a dance done by the very people who lived it. It was really moving, seeing their rich culture in front of my very eyes and it showed that even if they were already the new generation of their tribe, they never let their culture fade with time.
Another experience I had was when I met the youth servants of Davao; Laiza and Gelo. Laiza, 18 and Gelo, 15, looked like your typical teenagers. But when they opened their mouths and spoke about God’s greatness in their area, one cannot really imagine how those words came out of such young souls. Also,their dedication and love for the service assured me the Davao is in great hands. Speaking of great hands, I would also like to share about one of the most inspiring and “kwela” coordinators I have ever met in mission; Kuya Bok and Ate Gin Pilay. They and the other coordinators were the backbone of the event that happened. Without them, the youthfest wouldn’t have transpired into what God had planned. But because they let God use them, the Southern Mindanao youthfest turned out to be a very wonderful and moving one for the YFLs of Southern Mindanao.
All the people I met were all God’s gift to me. And I thank God for the opportunity to build relationships with them even for a short period of time. I am so happy to have been part of the Mindanao Missions and it has truly changed and improved my perspective towards things. I know I have learned so much and I am excited to use and share everything I have learned in mission here in Manila. The Lord is truly great and wonderful! Blessed be His Name!
Shared by: Ate Ayana De Ocampo, District of Novaliches