My World Conference Highlights Part 2

Our heart is so full and our spirit filled with every great adventure and surprises God has lovingly prepared for all of us at the Every Nation World Conference so here’s part 2 of my highlights for this trip: Check out part 1 here

The faith stretching supernatural provisions

I have countless stories of our campus missionaries testimonies on how God has provided for them for this trip, from a family who has completely blessed one of our campus missionary airfare and free accommodation to a luxurious hotel, to last minute special gifts to a money being saved up 3 years before this event took place. We are so blessed to take part in this event, we thank God for provision, we thank God for sowing a vision in our heart, we thank God for everything has been deposited in our lives.

We are super proud of our campus missionaries (specially the younger ones) who took that step of faith to register super early to the conference and believed until the last end and saw God’s faithfulness.

The Global Friendships Built

Though I wont remember all the names of people I have met, the joy of having this so much friends from all over the globe was amazing. Everyone just keeps on building, connecting, eating out, inspiring one another, challenging each other’s faith to honor God and make disciples.

I’m so privileged to meet a LOT of students and campus missionaries from our family here in South Africa, and though externally we look super different coming from 2 continents-im glad to have heard the same passion and faith, some of the same challenges and struggles we all go thru as well as we pursue to advance His Kingdom. But the best part of it is the willingness to try and hear one another’s story, going the extra mile to connect and built even if we are continents apart and the desire to lock arms in building a stronger team to change the campus change the world!!

The Unceasing Passion to Reach the World

During the International Staff Meeting, our Regional Leaders were inspiring us on what God is doing in different continent- I saw so many heroes of faith, people who has laid down their lives in sharing the gospel no matter what the cost, pastors, missionaries, young professionals and even students are now on different parts of the globe sharing the love of Jesus to a world starving from the true Saviour and and real love.

But this scene touched my heart the most: our spiritual family in Europe consistently plowing thru hard soil, planting on the seeds on the gospel no matter how long it would take to bear fruit. This continent who has long been missionaries to the world has now become a ripe mission field and our leaders has called us the continents of Africa and Asia who has been recipients of the gospel from Europe to lock arms and GO and sow that same seed of the gospel back to this continent.

europe-1

Watch the video of the prayer here!

Let’s all set our alarm 9:38am every morning and pray for workers to be sent into this mission field, for partners to rise up and send more missionaries and for prayer warriors to intercede for Europe.

For everything the Lord has shown this week, everything He has made known, the people I have the privilege to meet, the places too beautiful for words, His presence that is so real and His love made tangible in every language and expression possible. Thank you Lord,You are the author of impossible dreams come true, our faithful Provider, our loving Father who bring us to the best adventure ever! The World Conference gave us a vivid picture of what you are calling us to do, the people from every nation gave us a glimpse of Your image in different colors, shapes, sizes, culture and age. And all together we say “Here we are! We will GO!!”

My World Conference 2016 Highlights

I can’t imagine where to begin writing about this experience- it’s supernatural, its awesome, a God-sized dream come, a history marker and a personal encounter all wrapped up in one only its so so so much more than that! But here goes some bits, pieces and nuggets of the grandest event this year in our Every Nation family:

A Picture of Consistent Committed Leadership

This week I got to see Ptr. Steve, Ptr Rice and Ptr Phil all in one event- the founders of our movement. I’ve known them since I was a student and in my almost 2 decades of being part of this family (I started in Kid’s church btw-hahaha joke!) –their consistency, commitment and character is a shining beacon of great leadership for me, more than their giftings, more than their vision, more than their accomplishments. I’m sure they are not perfect, but I love how their radical passion from the moment they stepped into our nation as fresh graduates is still as the same if not greater for sharing the gospel to the next generation.

founders
Salute to our founders and spiritual fathers, also took the chance                to photo-op with Ptr. Phil Bonasso 🙂

A Growing Multigenerational Movement

We are a multi-generational movement and as much as we put emphasis on raising up the next generation of leaders , the steady presence of our heroes of faith who has paved the way and remains to build also continues to inspires us to be pioneers and history makers, both is vital and important for our family. I have a glimpse of this attending the different workshops in the conference

From this young boy being trained by his mom to encourage and prophesy to our senior leaders at the Prophetic Workshop

boy

To this lovely couple in their golden years who just decided to be a cross cultural missionary in our Cross-Cultural Mixer:

what a great example of faith

Its never too late or too early to serve God!

This is Ethan sharing to me what he learned at the Kid’s church conference:

ethan

To these amazing people working behind the scenes:

bts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

God has indeed called us ALL to GO and make disciples, no one is exempted!

The presence of loving spiritual fathers

One of my most favorite part of this conference is observing the dynamics of our leaders-in front, alongside and even behind the scenes. And while much is to be told of a lot of people’s humility and servant leadership, the evidence of having spiritual fathers is what Im most grateful about.

From making sure that our Jesus is the centre of the whole event more than the vision, to ensuring our core values is at the forefront, to emphasizing on raising up the next generation, to that gentle nudge that we have to be healthy and take time to rest, to a push to preach the gospel no matter what the cost is-this is fathering at it finest, God giving us spiritual fathers, God fathering us all throughout the process.

 

fathers
Our spiritual fathers praying for our regional leaders

 

More highlights on the next blog…

Ignite Aftermath II: Leadership Lessons BTS

If you want to catch up on Ignite Aftermath I here it is
Confession time, there are some bad leadership decisions I’ve made the last few weeks and how I wish I could turn back time and undo them- but we all know I cant. Times like this I can only rely on God’s encouragement, the power of His truth and His supernatural grace.  He just reminded me that:
 
Grace can also mean the acceptance of the reality that mistakes are bound to happen as we continue to lead, yet we cling on to the truth that His call and great plans remain in tact and on track. We can never mess up God’s plan nor diminish His faith in us!
 
And we can also CHOOSE to repent, apologize, bounce back and move forward. If you made a mistake the past few days, don’t beat yourself up, don shrink back from leading, and never listen to lies. Embrace correction, grow up, look up (shame is from the enemy) and stay on track.
On the other hand, today’s blog highlights some great leadership examples I’ve observe behind the scenes at Ignite 2015.
The true heart of leadership is a heart willing to serve and sacrifice
From every student volunteer who, instead of just sitting down, listening and learning, CHOSE to help, pack ids, do the designs, attend never ending rehearsals, stand up for 3 days as an usher, prayer warrior or part of security…To every young professional who has supported the never-ending, over-priced fund raising items of the students. These are professionals who even carved out days in their leaves just to be part of the production, or security or ushering teams stationed at the yellow area, giving their support and energy. To every campus missionary and Every Nation staff going above and beyond the call of duty, sacrificing whatever they can.To the businessmen who have sown in campus ministry, who even offered their cars and houses just so some of the delegates can stretch their budget to attend the conference.
I remember in this picture of the VIP lounge at Ignite Day 3:
Joe was giving instructions to those who are going up to pray for the different spheres of influence. You can imagine how unnerving it was, in a sense that there are lots of great men and women there from different field,even one of the senators of the nation was there. I really loved it when Senator Gringo Honasan said this: “Whatever you need me to do, that’s what I’ll do”There was no sense of entitlement, no hint of needing any VIP treatment.
We salute you, everyone, for everything you did and continue to do.
Leadership is fuelled by unending support and commitment to the cause and to one another
This is one of my favorite shots during the Ignite Pre-conference:

 
It was the first time one of our Hub leaders, Jeff Dacumos, would stand up and preach to a crowd of 4,480 student leaders from 36 nations. We believe in him. We knew he would do a great job but nothing could fully capture how supported he is by these campus directors surrounding him and praying for him.
This other picture is Dan Monterde, our conference director, rallying more than 686volunteers a few minutes before gates opened, reminding them that this is not just for any great event, or church or for the leaders, but its impact is on the generations to come.

And if that’s not enough, the brilliant people behind Ignite decided to launch the newest committee we have for Ignite: Volunteer care, a built in program inside every committee to ensure that everyone working within, around and behind the scenes knows exactly that they are fully supported and we’ve got their backs.
Leadership requires audacious faith to do the impossible

Given the chance to do a video on Ignite, I would really love to make one just on how much faith our student leaders have shown all throughout this season, especially with all the fund raising activities needed to be done. Some people don’t understand just the amount of faith a student from the province needs to muster just to be able to join this annual event. Here are some examples of their faith in action:

Our students from the Visayas and Mindanao regions needed to raise up around P10,000 for airfare, accommodations and food. While it may not seem like much for some, that is way more than the amount their parents are earning monthly. For some of these kids, it’s actually their first time to ride a plane, to go to Manila, to see a mall and to watch a movie.

I’ve heard so many stories of great faith one is a student from General Santos who had to endure wearing a mascot costume for 2 hours just to earn P200. A student in Iloilo did manicures and pedicures to raise funds. A girl from Davao who colored other people’s hair. Our students in Tacloban made coffee jellies until midnight to sell at our Sunday Service the day after.

To every student leader who believed that God would bring them to the Ignite Conference and every campus missionary who never gave up on bringing as many students as they can through whatever means-your faith is such an inspiration. Thank you for not giving up!!

To be continued….

“Tao ka rin pala!”

I love my job for so many reasons but one of the best part of it is just the privilege to train young student leaders and our next generation of campus missionaries. Early on as a student from UPLB, I was brainwashed by my leaders in church ( in a very good way naman) to love my nation and serve it, training the next generation is I believe one of the best thing we can do to be a nation builder.

A lot of my time as a campus missionary is spent on mentoring and coaching leaders, last Wednesday was no exemption. A week ago, Che and I had set this appointment to catch up and really just to speak to each other’s lives, so this schedule was quite ordinary or so it think. Che is currently one of our homeroom teachers for the School of campus ministry, every year she gets the privilege to train around 60 upcoming campus missionaries from all around our nation.



During our conversation her words struck me “tao ka rin pala,ate!” (You’re a normal person after all!). She was telling me some challenges, concerns and frustrations and was wondering if I also have those times. “ Why of course I do!”- if I would indulge myself my concerns and frustrations would be quite a list, but let’s not focus on that s my “positivity theme “ would be stressed let’s focus on today’s lesson:

There is great value in being vulnerable appropriately!

In today’s world, leader’s are shown to be very strong, smart sometimes borderline bossy and domineering. They are portrayed as highly skilled, gifted and has a can do it all attitude. Which in a sense is good but the only problem is that its not realistic! That’s why I really love how the bible portrayed all its leaders-flaws and all. You know its real its happening and you have no unrealistic expectations of yourself and others.

We need to learn how to be vulnerable appropriately as a leader:

 1.  to show times of weakness and challenges (specifically those they can relate to) and ask for prayers from the people we are mentoring and discipling e.g.
a.     difficulty of doing 121 and following up people
b.     frustrations of counseling a person who keeps on going back to their sin
c.      challenges in consistently prioritizing our quality time with God
2.     to communicate well trying times and moments when you makes mistakes in an uplifting manner saying: its ok to make mistake and learn to bounce back from it e.g.
a.     moments when my parents would get sick and we are having financial challenges and my faith dwindling
b.     times when I made a bad decision as a leader and suffering from the condemnation that follows
3.     to learn what to say and which group of people to say it to so as not to stumble younger believers

4.     to speak our challenges without gossiping others or making them look bad to the people you are training

5.     to share some things we are frustrated about and share the right response that God has already instructed us to do. #filterfilterfilter

Being vulnerable inappropriately happens when:

a.     we talk about specific people and their flaws instead of the circumstance we are in; do not gossip about people!Do not make the excuse of using a prayer point to talk about other people faults.
b.     we are foolishly displaying our what my boss would often refer to as “dirty laundry” and hoping that the student will understand “we are only human “; do not expose yourself unnecessarily.do not share to them all the morbid details of your past; do not make them aware of the things God has protected them in-be responsible!



I hear this sometimes even in preaching, that in sometimes in our desire to relate and communicate well with students, we tell them everything.
c.      we are exposing unresolved sins and asking advice from people way younger than us instead of seeking help from our own leaders, more mature Christians who will walk with us to victory
d.     we are emotionally ranting everything –anger, hatred and all instead of processing it first with God and again telling this to the right people

I remember one time we I had a coaching group with my student leaders at Mcdo 32nd, it was February and I was about to share about being “above reproach” and loving purity. Lo and behold, right in the parking lot. I saw a guy I haven’t seen in a decade-my ex-high school boyfriend gash! (pls. don’t judge me haha) I was shocked and flustered- this man is a tangible reminder of some of my bad decisions when I wasn’t yet a Christian. He’s there and was talking to me and asking my number, and everything else was happening so fast at the same time. The girls noticed my agitation. I took a moment to go out, prayed and quickly quieted my soul as I was talking with God. Quickly dialed the number of my mentor and processed everything with her and prayed together.

I went back to my coaching group, told them who that guy was, shared some of my bad decisions in high school and made it a jumping point of our topic. They appreciated my honesty, we were laughing about it afterwards, they are actually teasing me. The upside of that incident was them also honestly sharing their struggles emotionally. I thank God for His grace and wisdom that night, it could have gone wrong in so many different ways, but He has made me steady.
Learning to be vulnerable accordingly would take some quite time to master as I did learned it the hard way, but I hope and pray that you would take up the challenge in adding this up to your list of things to learn. We believe in you!