Better Together: Team Teaching on Purity

Last Friday I got a chance to share with our Friday Youth Service leaders about a Valentine month ender message on Healthy Boundaries and Purity. I will be blogging about that message soon but I have learned so much just simply bouncing off and getting feedbacks from other people I want to share that experience first.

Studying the Bible

There are just countless of verses to use and numerous angles to take to discuss this so though it took lots of time, there’s just a joy wrestling with God’s word knowing how it will cut your heart first before your intended audience. At the end of it there’s just peace in finally understanding, this is what God wants to communicate from this verse for this specific group of people. Then prayers would flow and now you are really pumped up to finish the whole message.

Embracing Feedbacks

Early on my first years of doing campus ministry, my pastor in Victory Los Baños really trained us on the diligence of writing a message. He challenge us to prepare well and try writing it verbatim, I know this is not for everyone but for me it was really helpful as fully writing it clearly shows my thought pattern, the clarity of the message and the strategy of delivery. Plus it also helps in making very smooth transitions, adding and editing things based on the time given and grammars can also be easily edited as we have a very unforgiving crowd of UPLB students back then. Next is  the diligent process of asking feedbacks, I remember he would really challenge us to finish our messages early, that way we can practice it with him and or the other staff, our messages really comes out way way better than it started. Though this task may seem quite strenuous for some, the saying remains true: “two heads are indeed better than one”

Collaborating with others

For this specific message my first life line was Mye, one of our pastor’s wives and a campus missionary by heart, I know she just spoke about this topic a week ago so I got a copy of her message right away. Her notes really helped me focus on the verse I need to zero in and I got a lot of power lines as well such as:                                                                       God’s standards vs. people’s opinion and experiences                                                You cannot live on borrowed convictions                                                                       Your standards determine the way you act

Maya was next, she’s one of our  diligent theologians in campus ministry and as we have just been from a Systematic Theology class I want to make sure my Bible interpretation was spot on. I’m really glad I passed the test. (yay!) The basic premise of my message was really embracing purity as our God-given identity. Maya expounded my message by explaining to me that its God faithfulness that He gave us standards on purity and He did not leave us clueless on our own. She also emphasised on the rewards of purity

Next I got to call Fidel, my campus director at EN Campus Fort to find out if I’m on the right tract for what he intended the purpose is of the Leader’s Huddle. He added in that he wants the student to really go home hungry for more of the Bible and he wants them to have greater accountability in the context of community. Perfect, it has helped me channel all my applications to really gear towards a deeper understanding of His word and a push for more transparency and vulnerability from our student leaders.

Wrapping things up

Final touches on the message and added in one of Dove’s commercial: When Did you stop thinking you are beautiful? and posted this question in the end “When did you stop thinking you are pure”?  Also inserted some of my I learned it the hard way moments and lots of my past mistakes. I got to bounce it off to Em as well, one of our campus missionaries atEN Campus Fort and she added in this concept of faith, fact and feelings, which was really so good I wish she would blog it as well. One of her powerlines: “Your feelings are valid, but its not always right” (boom! pak!) I’m glad for her affirmations as well on where the message was headed. She wrote a perfect one-liner summarising what I want the students to bring home that night:                                                                   “Purity is not a status to be attained. It is an identity to be lived out.”

Questions and Answers On the actual talk itself, Im super happy that Sonjia (Fidel’s wife) was there along with our other campus missionaries, Ella, Reynette and Em. The discussion was really a joy as all of us are really excited to interact with our leaders and hear their hearts. We all come from different backgrounds and seasons and it made the answers a lot richer.

Final thoughts

Overall I think more than the students learning from us,                              We got to learn a lot from each other as well.

Indeed we are better together!

Lessons from the Legends: Standing Strong

Last Thursday we got the privilege to hear stories of faith, endurance and leadership from 3 legends in ministry, their messages were simple and uncomplicated but it really cuts through our heart and spirit and really spoke volumes to us. Today I’ll share my take on what Ptr. Ferdie imparted to us. Ptr. Ferdie Cabiling is one of the fathers of our movement, he’s been advancing God’s kingdom for decades and he’s one of the senior pastors that I know of who still hasn’t graduated from being a campus missionary as he’s literally evangelizing students every chance he has. He’s currently the director of all our Metro Manila churches.

Ptr. Ferdie’s topic was on standing strong to the finish and it was a breath of fresh air indeed specially with all the good transitions happening in our movement. By default yes we understand and we know that we need to stand strong and stay healthy in the ministry but truth be told along the way we have unnecessarily picked up weights and baggages that unconciously have now accumulated, we have gotten used to and tolerated. I myself am guilty and and I couldn’t happier with God’s conviction in me though the process was quite painful.

Baggages can be as simple as an unhealthy habit that has grown too big over time, little compromises here and there, undisciplined emotions left unchecked, good relationships that requires necessary endings to experience what’s best. Whatever form it might have taken, we are currently carrying it all on our shoulder, we feel it, its slowing us down and taken its toll but we have still allowed, tolerated and indulge it.

The Bible was very clear on what we need to do with it: Hebrews 12:1

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles”  NIV

“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily strips us up” NLT

“Let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely” ESV

Let us (intentionally, deliberately) throw off everything that hinders our complete devotion to God, our focus and single-mindedness, anything that distracts or misaligns us from His purposes and perfect will.

a. Throw off any guilt and condemnation of the past and even of the present. Focus yourself on God’s truth.

b. Strip yourself off any unmet and impossible expectations set on you even by good people (or you think they might have)

c. lay aside the pressures of this world, more so your towering expectations of yourself (say this with me: hindi ako perfect :))

d.  let go of legalistic mindsets and convictions, be wary of sticky ideas thats sounds so great and yet not bibilical

e. fight against accusations against your leaders, family, yourself and even God

f. kick out bitternes, anger, fears, selfishness, greed, doubts and unbeliefs

The Bible is clear that in order to finish this race and run with endurance, this we must aggressively do. What a breathe of fresh air indeed for everyone who’s heavy laden, for every heavy heart and downcast spirit. Breathe life unto us Lord. speak your truth in our minds.

Ptr. Ferdie ended his message us by reminding us we have this help:

  1. Cheering Crowd- men and women of faith from ages ago to our current leaders, mentors,family and friends. Look out for for them, reach out to people that will inspire and encourage you to run with endurance.           “Since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith ” Hebrews 12:1 NLT                                                                                          What I gleaned from Ptr. Ferdie’s message was to have a posture of confidence as we are running this race, he would say words like:       “Every time Im preaching and leading, I know (Ptr) Steve is backing me up, I know the apostolic team is behind me cheering me on”.                   He recounted how he literally cried seeing all the pastors and even Ptr. Steve joined him at the finish line of his Run 50 across the Philippines.                                   To all you leaders and ministers out there, never believe the lie that your pastors and mentors are not rooting for you, they believe in you, they want you to finish and succeed. Never mistake the personality, manner nor frequency in which it has been conveyed mislead you into thinking this is not truth.
  2. Champion Coach: Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith                  “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus,the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” Hebrews 12:2 NLT                                                           Jesus, the one whose applause only matters, is never out there to see us stumble or fall,rather He has finished the line, won the victory for us and is now walking us through and the only reason that keeps us standing strong.                                                                                                             I’m cheering for all of you!!

 

 

Traveling and faith building part 2

A few days ago my flight has gone and I was left behind as my visa for this dream gift trip has yet to arrive. We live near the airport and the constant sound of airplane passing by is cutting thru my heart. I don’t  know what God’s plan is but Im still believing that another way will be provided amidst all odds. Today Im going to look back again at God’s faithfulness to remind myself that though i might not get to understand all of His ways, His will is always good, pleasing and perfect. May you get encouragements as well as you journey in this faith building called traveling.
There’s a part 1 to this blog by the way and you can find it here:
I was looking for a very simple video to explain how our muscles grow and i found this one:
I find it very unique that before our muscles actually grow, they are first torn and we have to experience pain, before the proteins take action and repair happens.
How apt is it in real life that its almost parallel to how we build our faith muscles, so many seemingly random circumstances turning upside down before turning right side up, so many things will come up, so many questions to be answered before we see God’s actual purpose slowly unfold. No matter how much we try to wish the process is not such, God’s give us grace to endure, hope to keep on moving and faith to keep on looking forward.

Traveling to another continent: The Kenya Missions Trip

There’s a long but beautiful back story to this but for now Im focusing on the journey itself.

I’ve always dream of going to Africa-aside from being really fascinated with their culture, all the people i’ve met from there has easily become my friends and of course the safari!!

One day i just found myself being given an opportunity to join our first ever church-planting in Nairobi Kenya, I have mixed emotions about it. The thought of going to another continent, learning a new culture and planting a church happening all at the same time was quite (understatement) overwhelming to say the least. Nevertheless, by God’s grace, my leader’s affirmation and my friend’s and family’s support, I finally have the courage to go.

First there was the visa needed, I have 3 failed visa attempts going to the US before so this was the first challenge. I tried applying online but after a week long of trying to submit it nothing’s happening, please bear in mind that this was 2 weeks before i have to fly out. I tried doing the manual way but then they are asking new requirements not on the list. Just when i thought of giving up, i tried one last time and then it went thru. Three days later, it was approved miraculously.

Then it was time for the flight to be booked. As all my trips has been historically beating the deadline against all odds, this was no different. Im supposed to fly out Monday and I have set that Friday the week before, provisions by-faith should come otherwise i have to resign that Im not supposed to go. Friday came- I was full of faith!! yeah cmon!
But instead I wasn’t I was in fact too tired of convincing myself to believe
I was crying, praying and wondering why am I going thru this all over again. Then a message came and then a call and with it come’s the miracle of God’s provision. I cried lots because again God proved Himself to be faithful and on time. Kenya here I come!!

You would think that the storm had passed and there’s no more test but wait there’s more.
Hours before my supposed to be flight,there was a problem with my ticket
All my bags are literally packed and yes Im ready to go
After 2 hours of never ending phone calls and follow ups.
Yes I almost barely made it to my flight
But I did and I would never trade any of all these crazy experience for a smoother one

God gave me a crazy opportunity
He approved my visa in 3 days
Provided for my airfare in a week
Rerouted me to a better airlines in 2 hours
I have no contribution to this except my
fears,
tears,
doubts
complaints

Looking back i should have:
a. been more grateful than fearful of every God-given opportunity
b. looked for supernatural provisions than what my feeble sight could see
c. celebrated amidst the last minute mishap knowing that victory was already won

Next time I’ll do better, even as the faith muscles has been torn to pave way for a bigger one 🙂
Cheers to you who’s believing for an impossible miracle
To you who’s situation seems to be hopeless
To you holding on amidst all circumstances

Traveling and Faith Building part 1

As I’m writing this today I,m literally in faith for a trip I’ve been praying for quite some time. Supposedly I should be on the airport right now boarding on the plane going to a birthday trip given by my best friend but it seems other plans are in order. I should not be surprised! The truth of the matter is that all trips I’ve been outside the country were never normal,never worry free and never lacking in both adventures and excitement. You see traveling is one of my faith muscle builders!

My first trip
I had my first trip about 11 years ago, it was our school (School of World Missions) assignment to go on a 10 days Mission Trip and I couldn’t be more excited to travel outside the country for the first time. But the odds are against me, studying for 10 months is difficult as it is and we added in other subjects from ATS (Asian Theological Institute). That time my  financial partnership has dipped in to 50% less and raising partnership for the missions trip was excruciating doing in between reading 1 book a day, homework and not even having money to buy decent food. I did my best and as the song goes it wasn’t good enough to get me what I needed to raise up for the trip. Needless to say I was heartbroken, I have given up and settled things in my heart that I can no longer go.

But God has other plans, a day before my team is about to leave, my team leader called me and told me to go, I have 100 questions to which his reply was only “Bahala na si Lord, He will provide”
I have to wash and packed my clothes until 1am, I woke up late and crazy frantic as I need to travel from Los Baños to Clark for the first time, I packed my literally wet clothes as my friend drove me until Cubao, somehow I arrived in Clark, I was literally running and like in the movies I shouted as I saw my team getting ready for boarding. I made it, it was crazy but God pulled me through.

 

Here’s some nuggets from the faith building exercises God put me in this trip:
Our lack of hope and faith will never be a hindrance for God to move on our behalf. He remains faithful amidst our faithlessness.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful [true to His word and His righteous character], 
for He cannot deny Himself.  2 Timothy 2:13Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

Delays does not necessarily means no, it can sometimes just mean “Wait on God’s way!”

Hopeless situations are God’s specialty, don’t give up too soon.

I know given a choice I would have opted for an easy first time missions trip, but I’m glad that God’s faithfulness ensures I got to exercise my faith muscles every step of the way.

How are your faith muscles being “torn” or stretched recently?
How are you responding to it?
My prayer for you is that you’ll have the tenacity to endure the faith building exercises life throws in at you.

P.S.
Miracles of this trip:
Someone generously paid for my airfare
A family in Singapore hosted our team
Too many people feed us 🙂
I got to go home buying souvenirs for my family
So many miracles indeed
One faithful God to give glory to

Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 3

So this part took time as I’m preparing again for a new missions trip YAY!!
To read about the first 2 check out these links!
Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 1
Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 2

Today I will be blogging on our actual experiences on the mission field:

The Dreaded Immigration (insert horror background music here)
Philippines: After lots of prayer and speaking in tongues (quietly), I breeze a super early morning flight from PAL (Philippine Airlines) . This is only my second time flying out through PAL internationally, but I do find it easier going thru the immigration here than Cebu Pacific who grills you as if you don’t deserve having a vacation outside the country (Sorry Cebu Pac, too many bad experiences with you)
Vietnam: This was quick and easy thank you Lord!
Cambodia: The immigration was quick and easy as well but crossing the border was too confusing. The driver gave an instruction only in Vietnamese, (my gift of interpretation of tounges is not yet that fluent sir 🙁 ) we went down from the bus and just waited among a throng of people-all foreigners being clueless of what’s happening.
I realised i just need to stay calm, let them work out their system or the lack of it and just wait for your name to be called.

Welcome to the nations!
While Vietnam welcome us with warm sunshine, Cambodia literally soaked us with heavy rains, flooding level. We are soaked and jampacked in the tuktuk along with all our luggages. We found out historically that our first missionaries who stepped here in Cambodia 10 years ago were actually soaked with rain as well, but the supernatural part of it was that they are the only ones who were rained on while the whole place was dry- WHOAH! So Im thinking this might be the welcome or warning from the gods of the land. (insert walang makakapigil sa amin video)

Not our actual picture when we arrived, but this is how you packed a tuk tuk with your luggage.

Meet the Church

Greeted by so many happy faces in Cambodia!
I’ve always known Filipinos are super warm and friendly but I never fully appreciate it until I went on missions trip. Blame it on discernment I guess, but sometimes  I feel atrocities from people, a sense of cold stares as if they don’t want you on their nation, or maybe Im just not used to being unwelcomed :). 
Seeing our church mates for the very first time was really good- all of a sudden you feel at home (away from home) and you can just feel the life oozing out of them-they are so vibrant and alive, compared to the locals of their nation (who has yet to know Jesus). I super appreciate how warm and hospitable our churches are at different parts of the globe.
About Hospitality
Hospitality may seem to be too minor to be expounded, it can be easily ignored by some but clearly the Bible has a lot to say about it exhorting us to extend it even to strangers. So don’t underestimate the power of a cheerful face, those hands that helps carry luggages, the times you spent waiting and picking a guest from the airport, the money you invest in taking out people for lunch, dinners and coffee, and the home you lovingly prepared for someone to stay into. Kudos to you for showing Christ-like love even to the tiniest details.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV
Great company and great food, Vietnam is a mecca for all the foodies out there!

Lessons of a missionary newbie part 2

Our 11 days trip to Vietnam and Cambodia might be one of the top 5 things that happened to me this year for so many reasons but on top of the list will be that its a God- fulfilled promise. I’ve always have 3 nations in my heart Mongolia, Vietnam and Africa and Im glad that finally after many years of waiting i got to visit one of them.

I’ve learned so much from this trip and one of them is to celebrate diversity!! 
Sometimes in our head its our common default to lean along choosing people who are most likely like us-how we work at the phase we wanted and how we wanted it. But thank God we are too unique to find so many people like us, I think its God’s grace and mercy upon us that despite of how alike all our DNAs our (99.9% according to Science), we are made super different in so many ways.

I cannot even describe how unique we all are on our mini team of three. One loves to wake up really early while another stays up late to keep abreast with Eat Bulaga’s kalye serye. Two of us are adventurous foodie while the other would want to stick to a diet of unli rice and meat- true-blooded Pinay indeed! I love observing how different we all are and yet it never becomes an issue.
In terms of ministry one of us is a worship leader while the other one is a frustrated singer haha.
It doesn’t matter really because she’s the evangelist in our group, just leave her for a few minutes in any corner and minutes later you’ll find her having a new friend-she has a way of making people really feel comfortable when she’s around its a gift really. As for me, Im the organised teacher who takes super long time studying and organising everything.

In terms of preparation, i love how one of us is really good in the computer, she prepares all keynotes-no complaints, no questions ask just pure servant leadership! Initially I was supposed to go to this trip alone but I thank God’s providence and sovereignty He gave me a team. And what a team we made, while one is teaching, the other would be leading worship while the other one will be the host. On another end, while one is doing the workshop, another one will be the game master and the last one will take of the technicals. I love how we all take turns in doing what we love to do, what we don’t normally do, what we need to learn to do, excelling in how God wired us to be and yet in the same breath doing and learning what the circumstances called us to be. I do believe that we don’t need superstars in this line of work, rather team players who will do whatever it takes to win and shoot the ball as a team!

As we start our day every morning i love how one of us is just consistently sincerely grateful to everything God has done the day before, she prays from the heart every breakfast and im blessed just really watching her do it. And as we end our day, the other person just remains to be that perky, jolly person amidst our exhaustion, its always like her day is just starting no matter what time it is.

So here’s some encouragements to all team leaders of future missions trip:
a. no one is an accident in your trip, God has placed them in you team for a purpose
b. learn to spot and mine all the hidden gems every team member carries
allow them to shine in their element and be stretched learning a new skill
c. keep the healthy tension of being teachers and perpetual learners at the same time
d. be a constant encourager and set up your people for success
e. keep on modelling and learning, re-learning and un-learning even.

To Lynn and Melfer, my mission trip buddies, thank you for making me a better person in this trip!
Cheers to more front-row seat and God-sized adventures together!

Lessons of a Missionary Newbie part 1

I’ve always wanted to go on a cross-cultural missions trip, but for some weird reasons i keep on getting denied. From a supposed to be long-term missions trip on Afghanistan the very reason i left my last job, all my 3 friends got to go except for me. And the saga continues, another trip to Mongolia that got postponed because of a super cold weather, and still another one in Mongolia where I was not chosen to be the staff to go. Even a study and a conference trip to US where my visa got turned down thrice.
But last September 17-28 turned out to be different. After 10 years I was out for my officially second missions trip with two other campus missionary-Lynn and Melfer. An odd group of three women but certainly not an accidental combination as I would relate later on. This blog is meant to chronicle some of the lessons I’ve learned as a newbie and hopefully you can glean something from it as well.

Lesson 1: Love for the nations begins with lots of preparation

Confession time- we barely had 2 months to prepare for this as we are doing this on top of all our everyday task at work.

Prepare yourself physically
Yeah of course you know this, but some people refuse to heed it so im writing it here hehe.
Aside from the fact that you don’t want to be hospitalised in another nation and be detained,
you also don’t want to be quarantined when you get back on your own nation-remember the yellow paper you have to fill up honestly.
Melfer was really smart in asking her nurse friend to give her a list of medicine must haves so that whatever slight sickness we have she got it covered-yay! So i suggest go have a list like that.


Lesson 2: Don’t underestimate the power of a healthy body in the mission field

Prepare yourself emotionally
I will keep it short and simply say- leave your personal baggages in your own nation (better yet deal with it) and carry only loads of peace, joy, and love.

Prepare yourself spiritually
On top of the very basic thing of not cramming your personal week long devotions a day before you go to the missions ( i know the struggle is real but so is God’s grace), dont forget to keep your prayer team informed. There’s so many ways to prepare yourself spiritually but i’ll just zoom into prayer team just for today.

Lesson 3: We can never have an overdose of prayers while in the mission field

Aside from our family and close friends, our prayer teams are the most informed people in our lives during the whole trip. Audaciously ask prayers from them, your family, friends, team even your FB friends. Even if just !% of my FB friends will be praying about what I posted that will still be 42 additional people interceding for us. Speak in tongues daily, pray unceasingly!

Prepare your team
 To keep things short and simple, lets put an acronym for this: VIP, nothing original just
Vision, Instruction and Prayer

Vision: Honor God, make disciples and be a blessing to the nations.
         Obey all of God’s instructions and seize every divine appointment

Instruction: Get and prepare as many materials as we can.

I was so blessed to have a team that will do whatever it takes to get the job done. We got so many materials you would think we are doing a month-long seminar 🙂 Melfer even brought books and manuals no matter how heavy they are. As for me Im privileged to have well-travelled bosses so i hijacked them for all the materials they used whenever they speak outside, I got notes on Leadership, Discipleship, Evangelism and Teams.

By faith we are nations-ready!

We prepared ourselves for whatever they will asks us to do. We got a lot of training materials and were just constantly studying and learning: Worship Service, Events Management, Discipleship Database,Power Evangelism, Five Dysfunctions of a Team and the list continues. What a blessing that we are all so diverse thus its easy to complement and amplify each other’s strength.

Lesson 4: For training materials focus on the value we have and the principles why we do what we do, teach them methods only as examples and not patterns to follow

Prayer: We prayed on the plane, prayed on the taxi, prayed on the bus even in the tuk-tuk, we prayed every breakfast, prayed even when the event is already ongoing. Im glad no one among us was an expert missionary that it really drove us everyday to really depend on God’s strength, grace and wisdom.

Prepare for the unexpected

On top of all the crazy preparations, one thing we cant prepare is teaching all the trainings with a translator :), this is a skill we have to learn on the spot! We navigated when to pause, what words to use to make it clear and simple, when to cut our sentences and when can we do paragraphs, what illustrations are best and what examples can they relate to. This whole experience is completely a Holy Spirit moment as we allow Him to teach us words to use, discern right timing and relevant stories to share, otherwise we would not have survived this exercise 🙂

Lesson 5: Good communication skill is a must to missions keep on mastering it!

So this is just a tip of the iceberg of this exciting journey called Missions.
I hope to continue writing everything we have learned though i know as early as today that there will be no words enough to capture every God-sized adventure we undertake. Cheers to more front row seat to what God is doing to the nations!

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….

Ignite Aftermath part1: Embracing Change

Too much has happened this week and not writing it down would be a lack of stewardship on my part as so much has been deposited in my life. Yes, I’ve been blessed, first and foremost, to witness what God has done, shown and changed all throughout these months culminating at the Every Nation Campus Conference: Ignite 2015 and followed by the International Campus Exposure Program.
So much have been said, there are too many lessons learned and relationships built, but at the end of the day, our obedience to what God has called us to do matters the most, our commitment to stay on track and to continue everything that God has changed and transformed in our lives, by His grace.
The lessons are there to inspire us and give us a vision for the future.
From the Father heart of God, to changing our campuses, to going to the nations – 
everything sounds like a tall order when we process it all at the same time. It’s like putting truffle chocolates, Wagyu beef steaks and large prawns all in one blender (or in a purely Pinoy fashion: lechon, adobo and kare-kare). They are all amazing to eat but putting them all in a blender and drinking the juice in one gulp would have a terrible effect on us. We might even throw everything up, wasting all the good deposits given.
Processing and phasing our steps is crucial.
Baby steps are ok!

Daily obedience,
waiting on God’s work in our life
partnering with the Holy Spirit
cannot be underestimated in becoming the world changer
God sees us to be.
One step at a time,
no comparison with anyone else,
this is the beginning of your personal journey
with God’s plans-not yours, not your leader’s or what you see others will do.
Inhale. Exhale. Baby steps are just as good as 1 giant leap.
Finding the right people to walk with is as important as the journey itself.
By the grace of God, He will finish and perfect His work in our lives, but the joy of it is you don’t have to do it alone.
Even as we have daily counsel with the Holy Spirit, God has surrounded us with people who will keep reminding us that we are wired and purposed to fulfill His call.
They will be our cheerleaders when we fall,
our counselors when we get lost,
our trainors when we lose sight of the goal.
Covenant relationships works!

As good daily renews our spirit and as we feed our bodies with healthy food, covenant relationships are the fuel of our souls.
a.   Seek them out, walk in humility and give them permission to see your life in all its glaring colors and darkness.
b.   Receive instruction, no matter how they may be painful at times.
c.    Celebrate small victories and keep on bouncing back from every mistake.
d.   Be someone’s covenant sister/brother, walk with someone committed,  watch them grow and move into the exact place God wants them to be. 
Be bold, be brave, be faithful!
Heaven has been opened and marching orders have been given.
Do not shrink back, do not go back to worldly things nor good things that you have done in the past. This is the time to stake your claim in every land, dream and vision that God has given. Quit whining or complaining or making excuses- remember that the Holy Spirit who is now Ignited in you is greater and beyond anything of this world. Put on the full armor of God, meditate on His word day and night, pray unceasingly, preach the gospel boldly. It’s time to show the world what you are made of. It’s time to be a light in every dark corner He has placed you in. You are called for such a time as this!

So stand up, make your life count and together as one body we will CHANGE THE CAMPUS and CHANGE THE WORLD!
Here I am send me!

“Crush lang, broken-hearted na agad!”

One night this week I was hanging out with 2 friends who are both young professionals.

Girls love to dissect and process things that happened and this is one of those nights:
bakit nya ginawa yun?”
bakit nya sinabi yun?’
at ang pinakamasakit na tanong “bakit hindi ako?’
I was only listening, quasi most of the time women really doesn’t need an answer or a solution-because they already knew what it is. They need friends who will listen, friends who understands exactly what they are saying, they need to feel that its normal and for times like this its ok to be a bit overacting and emotional.
One of my friend said this: “Crush lang broken hearted na agad!” Lakas no!

She didn’t say this in a demeaning way but really to give a title for moments like this.
How I wish I cannot relate, but sadly I do not hold any badge that says: never been defrauded or better yet hindi pa nagpaloko, most of us had this moment for those who haven’t, my prayer is that you never will and that you’ll know that its possible to be never broken-hearted na ikaw ang may kagagawan. I want to share with you some lessons I’ve learned the hard way, lessons I learned from my mentors, brace yourself coz the truth will really hurt, huwag mong basahin kung hindi ka ready makinig:
1. Never Assume! -same old boring statement but as you well know it really works!
Eh ano ngayon kung maraming smiley ang text? So what kung lagi ka nyang kausap?
Gentleman ba kamo? Feeling special treatment ang datingan?
Marami bang regalo or madalas ka ba nyang puntahan?

Sampalin mo ang sarili mo gurl! (harsh i know, pero kelangan yan para magising ka)
Me sinabi ba sya sa yo? (Christian translation: nag-lay down)
Me commitment ba? Nililigawan ka ba nya? 
Kristyano ba sya? Ready ka na bang mag-asawa?
Kapag No ang sagot sa lahat ng nasa taas- Itigil ang kabaliwan! Gumising sa katotohanan!

2. Don’t Pre-emt
Ang mga bagay na hindi pa nangyayari ay posibleng mangyari pero pwede ring hindi!
Narinig mo bang me gusto sya sa ‘yo?
Me nagsabi sa yong liligawan ka nya!
Sabi ng friends mo kinoconsider ka nya
Eto ang mga moments na actions are better than words!
Hintaying mo munang magkatotoo bago ka maloka kakaisip
Balik sa step no 1: Never assume! Never assume until proven guilty na totoo ang mga pinagsasabi sa yo
3. Talk to God 
Lahat ng tanong mo sa mundo kahit gaano kakumplikado, si God lang makakasagot ng pawang katotohanan, yes pati ang lovelife mo!
It has never been an issue if God will answer, He always does.
The issue is do you know how to listen and obey?
God always speaks, He always listen, its simply a matter of learning how to hear Him.
If that’s too hard-read your bible, me sagot dun!
If you can’t understand the Bible- talk to a more mature Christian leader.
If you are too emotional, as i know we often are, consult a more mature Christian of what you heard from God and trust them to discern and help you understand God’s will. (Huwag matigas ang ulo!)
4. Train your Emotions
I will do another entire blog for this, but for starter’s:
a. dont react to your reaction-nginitian ka lang, yung utak mo nakarating na sa wedding gown sa kasal nyo, wag ganun!
b. learn how to do poker face-kapag binigyan ka ng regalo or hinatid ka ng naglalakad hanggang Antipolo, magpasalamat ng tama at wag magtatalon sa tuwa sa harap nya.
c. take what he says literally-huwag mong gawan ng buong commentary ang statement na “coffee tayo!” ang coffee ay coffee lamang hindi yun codename ng “i like you”, “i love you”, “you’re so beautiful!” at kung no-ano pang gusto mong isipin dahil crush mo ang nag-invite sa yo.
5. Say No to any undefined relationship
 No commitment, No intimacy-in tagalog wag kang feelingerang gf!(ouch! ilag lang)
wag kang pumayag sa more than friends less than lovers na set-up-talo ka dun!
– kahit gaano pa nya iparamdam at sabihin ang words na “I need you!”, don’t play the best friend role, wag kang pumayag sa MU, wag mo syang i-disciple, hindi ka lalaki,
hind rin ikaw ang nanay nya so wag mo syang i-baby, elaborate ko pa ba o gets mo na? 🙂
When in doubt kung ano ang relationship nyo, back-off and re-calibrate.
Love kita gurl, wag mong saktan ang sarili mo, tandaan mo to:
Walang madedefraud kung walang magpapa-defraud
Wag mo silang bigyan ng permiso, take responsibility!
Be a wise woman of God
Fear Him alone and don’t fear being alone
Listen and obey Him at all times, no matter what the cost
I believe in you, you can do it!

PS Here’s a book Im highly recommending for you to read:
Also share in the comments lessons you’ve personally learned in you travel to emotional purity 🙂