October 30, 2015. I still remember how excited I was then… about going out of town, traveling with new friends, and working together with some brothers and sisters in Christ from churches other than the one I regularly attend. All together, we’ve prayed for this event, and God has not failed us. He showed up… in a powerful way! Wow! I can use all the affirming words that are available, but they will still be insufficient to describe what happened back there in Pangasinan.
The night before we left for Pangasinan, I, KJ, and Myrrh attended YES CG (Young Eagle Society Cell Group), a gathering of youth leaders from various Christian churches in G.M.A., Cavite. We had a long, jam-packed, and fun discussion about leadership that night. Hence, we came home late.
I haven’t been feeling well in the past days, which deprived me of the chance to pack my things earlier than that night. Having everything I needed packed only a few hours before the trip, I then asked my brother to drop me off at the meeting place. I was denied at first, but out of love, he acquiesced on second thought. Yeyyy!
I reached the rendezvous 34 minutes early—which was something ordinary (and how I wish it was real). I opted not to enter the 7-Eleven store for I was already feeling cold despite a hoodie on. While waiting, I saw some children getting ready to sleep beside the road with just boxes as beds. It made me ask myself: “What have I been doing to help young people like these ones in front of me?” I stood alone for less than an hour before my companions finally came, and we’re set! Thank God for the soft seat!
We hit the road at past 3:00 AM. By pairs, we were asked to intercede for the event as we traveled. During which, I felt the power of God’s presence. We reached EDSA in a few hours. Oh that brought back a lot of memories! For a few years, I have taken that route. It made me thank God for His guidance through the years, not only as I traveled to the university and to the office thereafter but also as I traveled through life. He has been with me and is still with me, just like what He promised. Right then and there, I uttered this from my heart: “I love You, Jesus.”
That was the first time I fell in love on that day; it was true love, mind you.
Oh the wonderful effect that that trip had on me… My heart brimmed with gratefulness as we continued with the trip. I was able to reflect on how good God has been to me. He really is who He says He is.
Some picture taking here and there…
… And we were back on the road!
What an amazing scenery it was when the sun started to peek through the clouds!
We reached Asingan, Pangasinan after a five-hour travel. Oh how I love to sleep during trips. Wish granted the soonest after we ate breakfast. ZzzzzzZZzz…
We had to wake up at midday to… Guess what? … Eat again!
I was delighted to have helped carry some music instruments and equipment to the vehicles, which were to be brought to the venue. It was the men’s task, but no one could stop me.
While waiting for something which I was clueless about, we temporarily parked in front of a place where there were hollow blocks, sand, etc. Those things got my attention so much that I had to go nearer to pick up the shovel and shove some heaps of sand onto the wheelbarrow.
When enough sand was already on it, I had to lift it and take it to the other side… I tried but I couldn’t. It was too heavy! Oh my! Nyahahaha… “We have to go!” my mates yelled. Everything was falling into place. Somehow I felt bad that I wasn’t able to finish what I started though.
As we reached the venue, we unload the pieces of equipment and set them up. We rehearsed just once for the reason that excluded our being excellent enough.
We made our way back to the compound where we were staying.
Then we ate… again. “Can somebody from here adopt me, please?” But I had no guts to say that then.
We had had to freshen up a bit before the program proper started. I took a bath, so everything was perfect. It’s not every day that I… Oh forget it! Let’s carry on…
We prayed all together before alighting from the transport vehicles. I and Paulo were tasked to preside during the event, and so we did.
The Praise & Worship started. There was enthusiasm. We were singing and jumping and shouting. God was undoubtedly there.
As the singing ended, the presiding had to continue, and I didn’t know where to get the air that I had to inhale. Sensing some exaggeration, huh? It was so nice to see young people worship God through singing, dancing, and everything else. It was so nice to worship one God together.
Edgar and Jsol showed the participants some gestures that went with a short song (to the tune and dance steps of Whip Dance). It was something like: “I love You, Lord. I love You, Jesus. I love You, Lord, Lord. I love You, Jesus. Oooohhh… Christ in me!”
They’ve done it for a couple of times and had the rest of us imitate them.
It was enjoyable to watch the both of them do it on stage. I also had fun doing it myself. I danced well but only I knew of this, which of course was pitiful, but I’m okay now.
It’s time for the Word of God. Ps. Sarah Galang delivered it.
She spoke of a lot of inspiring things and threw a lot of jokes which had all of us laugh till we almost dropped. Nyahahaha…
It all revolved around Galatians 2:20 (NLT): “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” As she continued to preach, oh God, I couldn’t stop crying. God’s Word penetrated into my heart. A lot of things flashed through my mind, and it made me realize how faithful God has been to me and how much He loves me from the outset.
There, in that moment, I fell in love for the second time on the same day.
All together, we experienced the overwhelming power that God’s presence brought with it. How I wish I could stop the time and remain in that moment forever.
The best place on earth? That could be any place where His presence is…
Moving on… After the event, of course there must be some picture taking. Yiiiiiiiha!
Afterwards, we went back to where we were staying. Was the event tiring? It was. Life-changing? Absolutely! I felt like I was just a breath away from God’s embrace during that time.
We were supposed to leave for home that night, but it got postponed as our drivers needed some rest, or else the rest of us would be laid to our final rest. *Pun intended.*
I still had an hour to read my Bible before I could call it a day, so I decided to read instead of having dinner. 5 chapters down! After which, I went to sleep. Oh how could I resist this wonderful thing? zZzzzz….
Photo credit: Myrrh Racquel Vargas Dalisay