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…

Better Together: Sharing Testimonies and Covenant Friends

The first Wednesday of the month is something I always look forward to. Monthly we have our Every Nation Philippines Meeting and all our campus missionaries Metro Manila gets to reconnect and see each other -the classic extrovert me is just super happy to see so many people.

But these women are some of those on top of my list of people to spend time with, why? because we have been sharing lives the past few years and we have grown better  just from sharing our pain together, our laughters together, life’s challenges and also its victory. We intentionally built relationships with each other and today we get to enjoy its fruit thru teaching and coaching one another and simply being covenant friends.

Every meeting was unique , but if there’s always one thing consistent with our meeting we never go home without bringing a peace of each other ‘s victory and powerful testimonies. Today I got to hear these stories of personal and ministry answered prayers from these women of faith:

  • a dream condo that is rented out at a super cheap rate:                           Renting a cheap condo in Metro Manila at the place nearest your work is a piece of heaven on earth if you know how traffic is in Manila. Finding a cheap one is almost close to impossible, so to have a couple personally approach you and say: we meant to buy this house and rent it out for business, but God is challenging us to partner with you thru this and rent in out at the cheapest possible rate. Now that’s close to impossible and you know its only God’s hand and favor working and did I say its fully-furnished as well? Keep on believing God for your dream house at an impossible price.                                                                                                                                                          
  • the joy of biking and moving on                                                                         A lot of students think that their campus missionaries are like super men and women, how we wish we really are like that and that we don’t get hurt, stumble or fall. But the reality of life is real and challenges are a constant reminder of how much we all live under the grace of God’s goodness. I love the fact that no matter how personal our story sometimes gets these women are never lacking in humility to share their vulnerabilities, to share their stories, to ask for prayers and to enjoy the comfort of spiritual family and love the freedom accountability brings.                                                                                   
  • the power of being a blessing to an establishment                                      With all the counselling and one on one discipleships we get to do every day, we cant help but sometimes really based our “office” on a fast food chain nearest the campus we are ministering to. But this campus minister took it to the next level when she started praying for that establishment, believing God that she’ll get to share our vision of reaching students to the owner. Lo and behold, she got to do that and beyond, she got so much favor that they are willing to rent out their function room for free so that a discipleship group could meet their once a week and pray for the campus nearby. Truly we serve a good of unending faithfulness and surprises, don’t be afraid to believe for the impossible.                                                                                          
  • the joy of celebrating new seasons and existing ones                            Whether you are currently super challenged in your transition or enjoying a new season, nothing beats celebrating and sharing its joy and pain to a  group of covenant friends-someone who have seen how you started, people that walk with you in this journey, the same people who’ll be celebrating with you or comforting you in succeeding and trying.                                                                                                                                             I guess this is one of most important aspect of this constantly meeting together, we learn about commitment to a person’s growth, we challenge each other to believe for greater things, we celebrate the diversity of each one’s strength and wintogether as they fulfil their calling. We open our lives to previous “strangers”, we intentionally build trust and ended up being friends. We share endless stories of God’s faithfulness and endless lessons from His word and are in a constant cycle of discipling others and discipling one another- Indeed we are better together.

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….