When my dear friend, Rhodes, asked me if I could be a facilitator for an upcoming singles retreat, I didn’t have second thoughts of saying yes. I have a great passion in reaching out to single women and sharing God’s love to them. At that time (and even until now), I felt so privileged that God gave me the invitation to serve Him by allowing me to do something that my heart truly desires for.
A week before the retreat, I got sick. I didn’t have enough rest as well since I went home for my dad’s 60th birthday. When I got back, I was working for the rest of the week on a 2pm-12am shift. But those things, I didn’t allow to get into all my preparations for the conference. I studied the material for module 1 with the available time that I have. I prepared the things that I need to bring 2 days before the retreat. And I just kept praying that I will not get a migraine on the event itself due to my lack of sleep. I was totally depending on God that He would sustain me for the rest of the conference.
The most important thing that I had to do before the retreat was to do a heart check. Days before the retreat, I kept checking my heart if my motives were still right for this retreat. It was really helpful for me because I didn’t want to do something for the wrong reasons. The reason why I was looking forward to the event was aside from being able to serve God, I was very much excited on how God will work in the hearts of the participants. I was excited on the souls that will be saved.
July 21 – Saturday
I arrived home from work 12 midnight, slept for 3 hours, and amazingly woke up with no migraine, no headache. Really grateful to God for giving me a good physical condition despite of my cough and coarse voice. I had been praying for a nice weather for the event but apparently, God had His own way. Just when we got into the bus, there was a sudden downpour of rain. But the rain really didn’t bother me. I was thinking that God can stop it if He wants to.
It was my first time in Rizal Recreation Center in Laguna. It was a nice getaway place from the busyness of Manila. Everything green. The first part of the activity was really a good one. It woke up all our sleepy senses – with those animal sounds, mind-boggling puzzles and funny pick up lines. Good job to those who prepared for it. 🙂
When I met the participants in the breakout group I was assigned to, and learned their reasons why they were in the retreat, I was really amazed. Some of them shouldn’t have been there because they got sick the night before the retreat, some have other important things to finish and even others just got off from work in the morning. But because nothing can hinder God’s plan for them, even before they were in the retreat, they already took the first step of pursuing God. And that’s by choosing to go.
The topics for Module 1 were not new to me already. They are the basic teachings of Christianity. But at that time, going back to the basic was what I really needed. I had been praying that the participants would just be open to all the messages they will be hearing. And that they will accept God’s Word with all sincerity in their hearts. But I didn’t know that God also gave me a teachable and humble heart. While listening to all the speakers, I felt like I was that person years ago who was just starting to seek God. I was like the participants, very hungry in knowing God more. It is in the basics that we are reminded why we are doing the things that we are doing right at the moment. I just praise God for the speakers. Not just the ladies in my group, even I, was really blessed and refreshed in their messages.
The Date Night or I would rather call it Socials Night was really a good way to show to the participants that being a Christian is not boring as it is stereotyped to be. That we also love doing fun things together that would strengthen the relationship and build up one another. And with everyone in their best attires, all would agree, that everyone really had a great night to end their day. And I might just not know, some might have found already their God’s best during that night. Hmmm.. 🙂 Great job to the organizers!
July 22 – Sunday
Just as I was very much overwhelmed (and still am) with how the ladies in my group responded to God’s love, I was also in awe during the baptism. I don’t know most of the participants who went through baptism. I may never know their stories, but that day, they told the most important story of their lives. It’s really amazing how God’s love could transform each and every one of us. That day, I felt the heaven rejoicing with us.
The theme of the conference is “Pursue Love”. After learning all about God’s love in the first day, Mr. Glenn Yu’s message, I can say was the best way to end the conference. Pursuing God’s love does not end in the conference. It was really good that he explained why do we need to pursue Love and even made a clear definition of what true love is. It was really a take home.
In those two days, God made me practice humility, total dependence, patience and grace in a different level. Right from the start, God had reminded me already that the event was not about me or about anyone else. It was about Him. It’s His work. And how He would want things to happen, He has the final say because He was the one who planned for it. No sickness nor rain nor technical difficulty nor even people differences can hinder any of His plans for the participants.
God’s plan. God’s implementation. God’s glory.
“If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. ” (1 Cor 13:1-7 TheMsg)
– Pepay // Beautifully Waiting.Pursuing Love.