Summer Blessings 2.0
by Marah Roque;
(Photo: Nelson Bonifacio)
Last Summer. it was the time when KPFY came into my life like a surprise from God. I thought it would just be another ordinary summer, but they happened and we made memories. Then this summer came and I remember considering it as the most boring one. But I was wrong…again. The first KPF Youth Camp came not as a surprise for it’s already planned, but it is still a surprise in some extent for it exceeded my expectations. I didn’t expect it would be such a blessing. A gift. An opportunity to be healed and forgiven. To be whole again and reconnect with God.
The three-day Youth Camp held in Camp Wainui gave each one of us so many opportunities. It’s been three days of fun, excitement and new experiences. Three days of learning, growth, rekindling friendships, building relationships, brotherhood, family, healing, trust, forgiving, going out of our comfort zones, and knowing and serving the Lord.
I came to the camp with one purpose in mind—to just do my part as a youth leader. I have to be honest, prior to the camp, I felt discouraged by the demand of being one of the youth leaders. However, when I witnessed everyone’s effort, especially seeing the hard work of our parent guides I turned to myself and asked: “Who am I to complain?” The passion of the titos and titas in serving the Lord is very inspiring. Thus, as time passed by I’ve noticed that I already had a different purpose in mind. A purpose which was bigger than myself—I now have the goal to serve the Lord. So in every task I was asked to do, I made sure that I wasn’t doing it for myself but for God.
And as I have different goal in mind, I’ve felt that God started working on me. I could not explain the energy I felt everytime we’re doing the energizers. It seemed like there’s something special with the songs that uplift my spirit. We barely sleep on the second day. We were all like zombies and I wasn’t 100% ready for my talk, but I knew in myself that I had to do something to wake everyone up and remind them the purpose why we were there. So I did my best and just let God work on everyone in the room. And It did work. But if there’s one activity that really moved me that was the praying over of the participants. Never in my wildest dream, I’d see myself do something like that but I did and it felt amazing to know that I did not only do it for God but also for my friends. The impossible became possible because of His grace. I’ve never felt that close to God in a long time. And I believe most of us felt the same way. For sure, each one of us has a particular moment in the camp where they felt nothing but God’s faithfulness in our lives.
The camp has also given me a chance to encounter folks who have unexpected background and inspiring testimonies. I thought I am already surrounded by good friends; but it was only in the camp I’ve realized that I am surrounded by the greatest and strongest friends. They are the people who will never make you think that they’re going through something. People who hold valuable life stories and would bring life lessons and inspirations to most of us. These people reminded me my first life lesson during my first ever KPFY assembly last summer—everyone has a story to tell. Indeed, everyone has amazing story to tell.
Never for a single second I’ve felt God was not there. I’ve seen Him in most of our activities. I’ve heard Him in every personal prayers. I’ve found Him in every testimony. I’ve felt Him in every worship song. I’ve remet Him in every people I encounter in that camp. Everything doesn’t go according to our original plans, but I am a witness that everything goes according to His plans.
I would be forever grateful for this life-changing experience. I would be forever grateful for the people behind this youth camp, for the parent guides and volunteers. And I would be forever grateful for the people I encountered, especially to Kuya Gabriel Balauag for being a great team leader and an inspiration to all of us. You have made us so proud. I would be forever grateful for our respective families. And of course, for God, for making all this possible. Sure, I wouldn’t be able to remember every bit of this youth camp when I get older, but the memories and the experiences we made together are the ones I would definitely treasure forever.