It’s been seven months away from home, here I am in a foreign land, my temporary home maybe for the next five to 10 years. I choose a life which for the many is never easy, what is a normal to me might just be a trauma and too stressful, on the uncertainties it may bring.
Here I am starting life all over again. Too often I am ask what I missed the most? Or Do I miss my home country?
To be honest, I don’t miss my country what I miss are the people who showed so much love and care. I miss them and I remember them well. Thank God for technology, I sincerely feel they are so near though far away.
I have a purpose and a mission to fulfill, two things that keeps me grounded to why I am doing what I am doing. A purpose and a mission enough to make me leave my comfort zone and dearest friends.
It is easy to quit with things are going tough! when uncertainties are piling up and you may feel there no-where to go nor run. I remind myself of my purpose and my mission, For God’s glory and honor, In obedience I will go.
Teach me Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding so that I may keep your law and obey it with all of my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart towards your statutes and not towards my selfish gain. Turn my eyes from worthless things, preserve my life according to your word.
What runs through my mind in these verses:
Teach me Lord, because I I do deeply need your guidance and teaching. Teach me Lord for I deeply desire to follow your ways to the very end.
Give me understanding, I acknowledge that human intelligence and understanding with never be able to fathom the greatness of who you are nor are your word. Every time I go towards your word, In Jesus name I ask that I may be given a deeper understanding.
Direct my path or direct in the path of your commands, because God I know deep within I can easily be misled by my own rationalize good path.
Turn my heart for only you can turn this heart around. This heart apart from you can be filled with self deceit and lies.
Turn my eyes from worthless things, Turn my thoughts from worthless thoughts. let me hold dearly on the eternal truth. let me not wander away in your presence and your word.
As I went through the day, these verses comes to mind and help me have awareness of my present thoughts. in these moments I re-invite God through this lines to my thoughts. I remind myself of these prayers.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
Today’s pondering was at Psalm 119:9-16 NIV, let me share what spoke most today.
Verse nine of this chapter start’s with a question “How can a young person stay on the path of purity?”
The psalmist gives us a clear response.
By living according to God’s word. ( Verse 9)
Seek the word with all heart ( verse 10)
Hide the word in the heart ( verse 12)
with our lips recount the laws/word ( verse 13)
Rejoice in obeying the statutes ( verse 14)
While I have I read this passage over and over again, today was of a different highlight.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Psalms 119:15-16 NIV
Meditate, Consider, Delight
Staying on a path of purity is a life long journey and battle. In the deepest sense purity is integrity, which means whole. The purity of our being demands us a whole, phyically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. How do we then stay on the path?
We meditate on the precepts of the Lord, Joshua spoke to the Isralites at Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night,so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.”
Is meditation of the scripture part of your daily schedule?
Are you taking the time to let the word simmer in our hearts and mind?
Where are you in staying in the path of purity?
Consider the ways of the Lord
We recognize the authority of Jesus in our lives, in the same way we recognize the authority of the Holy Scripture. Our sinful nature tells us to be independent and not involve God in the process of our lives. Recognizing these, should bring us to humility and battle pride by considering the ways of the Lord.
Do we easily rush into decisions without giving it a careful thought, prayer and consideration if it is pleasing or right to the Lord?
Do we trust in the Lord and His ways?
Delight on the Word
Delighting is rejoicing, it is a whole hearted excitment and focus. It does not rush but rather enjoys the moment, celebrate the word allowing it to simmer to the deepest parts of our innermost being.
Is our heart taking delight in the word? or does it feel more like an obligation or a routine?
On the scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest where do you think are you in the delighting in the word?
Meditating, Considering the ways of the Lord and the Delighting of the word is never easy, however when we see it as a response to the grace we have received in Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, Salvation, the redemption and new life, it becomes motivating response.
Heavenly Father, As I start the year help me see more on you and less of me, Help me to grow in the knowledge of Christ and your word. Give a me heart that desires for you always. Encounter me as I delight in your words daily, expand my capacity to receive knowledge and wisdom from you. Help me to depend more in you and your ways. May my actions speaks loudest of your Lorship in my life. In Jesus name.
Summer youth camps are just around the corner! For instance, Every Nation Campus Ortigas will be holding its youth camp titled “Wildfire” on May 25 – 27, 2019 at Caliraya, Laguna.
In reality, youth camps can be pricy but finance should not be hindrance. How can a student like you be able raise funds? Below are list of suggestion.
1. Pray & Save
Yes! Pray first, remembering to ask God for provision and wisdom in doing the fundraising. God is our ultimate provider and hold on of His promises from the bible.
Save money, and set aside from your allowance. You may need to make some sacrifices maybe by skipping a few Starbucks drinks, KFC meals, or movie tickets. Keep in heart that the youth camp is all worth the self investment. Keep the exciting vision of meeting new friends, having fun, having a great experience, and the life changing lessons to be learned.
2. Make a list of people
If you are raising Php 3,500, try to list down 35 people who can donate Php 100 each or 70 people that can give you Php 50 or maybe 7 people who can give you Php 500 each.
Start the list with your family members, relatives, neighbors, and friends. Raise more than enough, so you can also bless others!
3. Ask for referrals
Approach the people in your list, after asking them if they can donate. Ask them if they can refer you to others who may be able to help you. Ask politely for names of at least 3-5 people. Remember to politely request if they can inform these people in advance before you contact them within the next 3 days! Yes, make sure you do the follow up too! Don’t forget to thank them.
Fundraise through selling. You can do this individually or as a team. Show off your baking skills like making cupcakes, cookies, graham balls, or pastillas. You can also make T-shirts or pens. Gather your slightly used fashionable clothes and accessories for a garage sale. Make sure to personalize your product by putting your name or the title of the youth camp event. Don’t just sell the product, sell the vision that you and your friends will be in the youth camp! They are investing in the next generation leaders every time they are buying your product.
Make sure to mark up your price, for example if you make a T-shirt that costs you Php 100, sell it for Php 200 or more. Remember to sell the vision and that their support will go a long way.
5. Service through chores or job
Ask your parents, relatives, neighbors, churchmates, or friends if there are chores or job you can do in exchange for a donation.
I will never forget a great friend who offered car washing services a few years back just to be able to attend the camp. There were the students who help me cleaned the apartment in exchange for their registration for Victory Weekend. To what great heights are you willing to raise funds?
6. Organize concerts
If you and your friends or schoolmates have all the time, all energy, and resources to pull this off, why not? Be mindful that this needs a lot of preparation and consideration. This is great if you are raising funds for more students in your campus or community to attend. This is the least of all I recommend.
7. Utilize use social media
Make use of Facebook, and let the world know that you are fundraising. Tell them that they can help you by donating or buying your product.
8. Set target goals
Set a target goal amount to raise up every week. If you have 7 more weeks left, write a specific amount you need to raise. Be in faith to reach that amount and that you’ll be able to complete it before the deadline.
I’m excited for you as you raise funds and encounter God’s faithfulness. Have fun and always be in faith for God’s provision. God is more than able to bless you more abundantly than what you can ask or imagine. Remember to honor Him and worship Him as well as you give your tithe, remembering that it is God who gives you this provision.
While preparing for the message for the Youth Service, my good friend and fellow campus missionary, Roel Layug shared to me about passion killers among the youth in the church. What are passion killers? These are things that rob our enthusiasm and zeal for our faith and relationship with Jesus.
Ungodly relationships : Relationships that lead us away from our intimacy with God, causing us to sin and disobey God’s will. Godly relationships help us to value more our relationship with God and pushes us to honor Him and walk an ever increasing path of obedience to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Mike (not his real name), a student, came to know Jesus at our campus ministry. Realizing what Jesus did for him, he left his ungodly relationship with his girlfriend, pursued his relationship with Jesus, and is now one of our fruitful leaders – sharing the gospel in his campus and leading fellow students to Christ.
Unbelief : This comes from a heart that is not sold out to God, who He is, His ability, His promises, His unfailing Love, His forgiveness, His redemption, and His sovereignty. When challenges come, our unbelief can cause us to be overwhelmed by fear, anxiety, and insecurity. The only way to counter unbelief is to move in faith in God’s words and promises. When in doubt that God will provide, believe that everything comes from Him. When sickness strikes, believe God’s word for healing. When relationships are broken and dysfunctional, move in faith that God is able to change hearts and minds. When faced with uncertainties, hang on to God’s promises. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the word of God will last forever. Even in the midst of unbelief, God remains to be faithful and loving. Unbelief hinders us from fully receiving God’s promises and breakthroughs. The only way to counter unbelief is to hold on to God’s word, and that can happen when we commit to do our part of knowing God through the Bible, prayer and devotion, and a community of believers.
Voices we listen to – Nowadays, social media, society and peers makes huge influence in our youth; they set the trends of what is in or out, what is cool and what is out-of-the-date; and most of the time, these are the voices our youth listens to. First Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character”. It is true that whoever we listen to or who we are with most of the time, influences us, whether big or small. I’m not saying that we must not be with them, actually we must be with them, like what Paul did, but we need to filter the things that is according to God’s word and that are not – this can happen if we soak and meditate in His Word. Ultimately the only voice we need to listen is the voice of God. To hear God we need to create that quiet environment for us to hear Him speak. When we know God’s voice we easily discern other voices that are not from God. God’s voice is redemptive, regardless of our failures, shortcomings and sins. The voice of God is distinctive, it loves you but it leaves you unchanged, accepts you, affirms you, comforts you, and secures you. What matters most is the voice of God than the opinion of men.
Every time I meet with young people and hear of their challenges, I ask these questions, What is God telling you? How is your quite time and daily bible reading? What is/are God’s word regarding the matter. As they faithfully seek God and keep the spiritual disciplines, our young people will remain passionate for God and the gospel.
I’m thankful to my fellow campus missionaries in Ortigas for sharing their insights about this topic.
Not all are privileged to go to school, and for some, getting a college degree is a dream far from being achieved. The realities of financial lack give little option but to work and help contribute to the family’s needs. But then there are those who, despite all the impossibilities, resist and refuses to give up, get all the more determined, and are armed with a vision and hope to push forward against all odds. They strive to make ends meet, and they find creative ways to make a living. These are just some of the ways they make ends meet:
Tutorials: One of the opportunities they grab a hold of is offering tutoring services, which may have started from simple sessions with a neighbour’s child to recommendations from relatives and friends. This grows until a network of connections is built and more formal opportunities to tutor are established.
House Chores Services: One of the many options to take into considerations is doing house chores. You need not go far as the best place to start is within neighbourhood,and within a network of relatives and friends.
Selling: Some of the things I personally did during college was to make and sell homemade sandwiches. I also sold frozen goods supplied by a friend (tocino,embotido, and longanisa), even adobong mani packs. Other students sell perfumes and other goods. One student from STI would sell balut, just to make sure he has his daily allowance.
Part time jobs and rackets: Some students I’ve met, constantly, make use of their skills such as singing, event hosting, playing musical instruments, acting as event clowns, event coordinators, and even doing random errands for someone.
Working in a fast food chain: This is one of the most common options for most students, but this is also one of the most challenging. Sometimes, work shifts come before or after class, and because of these challenging schedules, students don’t get enough sleep. One should carefully consider the academic load when entering into a job like this. I had batch mates who took quite some time in college, juggling studies and work as server or cook. When I was a student, my classmates who did this were my constant reminder to be grateful, to be inspired and to persevere.
Call Center Jobs: There are still a few graveyard warriors who continue to inspire many people, juggling their graveyard shift and studies. When I was working at a BPO company, I was surprised to see an employee in student’s uniform, only to find out that after the shift, she would go directly to class. I can only imagine how all her sacrifice was not in vain as I’m sure she has gone far in pursuing her dreams.
Scholarship Grants: There are so many scholarship grant available out there. If you’re a student looking for one, try checking your options starting from the school, barangay program, to the local government and research on non-government organizations focused on helping deserving yet underprivileged youth.
God did not leave us powerless against lack or poverty. The determinant of our richness and success is not our environment nor lack, but in our identity in Christ. Through Jesus Christ, we can rightfully claim every promise of God in the Bible. In Jesus Christ, we will be able to live a storm proof life. In him we are made victorious. At the end of the day, It is the object of our faith that will sustain us and will make us victorious.
“I thought I was doing the right thing. I found joy and fulfilment in having same sex relationship and immorality. I didn’t care what people would say. I was happy with myself and my choices even if I was being bullied and being taken advantage of. All I cared was finding love and being loved specially by handsome good looking men.
But then the love and care that I was looking for was not enough. There was deep loneliness and emptiness that I could not explain. I thought I was living the life as it should be then I found myself in search for the real meaning and purpose of my being.
I rejected the idea of attending Youth Service in Victory Ortigas where I was invited. I came once and thought I already knew God and that was enough. I was constantly being invited and I would always make my academic busyness as an excuse.
After a year, I invited myself and showed up in the Youth Service. While I was standing up during the worship time I felt the presence of the Lord for the first time. I felt complete, cared and forgiven. After the service, a campus missionary approached me and connected me to a Victory Group and to a person who led me to grow more in my relationship with God. I did not hesitate, for deep within I wanted a change in my life.
It was during the one 2 one discipleship I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. My desires for flesh was still there and so were my struggles. As I continued my journey for my personal relationship with Jesus, slowly I found myself turning away from my old ways and God gave me new desires in my heart that honor Him.
I finally found the love that I was looking for. Truly, only God can satisfy the deepest desires of my heart and I am grateful that He replaced those ungodly desires and continues to replace it with what pleases Him. His love is so compelling that I started to share the Gospel to my schoolmates and even to those who bullied me. The same Gospel that transformed me is the same Gospel that I am sharing to them; the message that brings salvation, hope and forgiveness that can be found in Jesus Christ. Indeed, the change has come in my life and it can happen to anyone!”
– Christiane Bulawan; changed by the love of Christ!
Christiane is now one of our Youth leaders in Arellano University – Pasig. Recently, he made a post on facebook status.
“I don’t want to be called ‘sis’, ‘gay’ or ‘bhesty’. Because that is not the identity God gave me. I want to be called ‘bro’ or by my real name. The old has gone, the new has come.” – Cristiane Bulawan
As our Youth leaders’ are excited to go back to school, they are also excited to have their allowance back. But at the same time they are also excited to fulfill the Great Commission. What is the most basic app that would help them in their mission of changing the campus and changing the world?
1. The God Test
Because evangelism is a lifestyle, doing the God test is a great tool to help you engage your schoolmates. Start the conversation about God and join the global survey. The God Test App is both available for android and IOS users.
If you want to know how to do the God test, you can visit http://www.thegodtest.org, which has video guide on how to use it or you may approach your Every Nation Campus coach.
2. One 2 one Discipleship App
This app is designed to help you walk in faith those made the decision to accept Jesus as Lord and saviour.
121 Discipleship Journey tracker ( helpful in tracker which chapter you last shared to your classmate.
Different 121 Language versions (includes English, Tagalog, and other foreign languages).
3. Bible app
Never go without this app, although you may be using the printed version when at home, this apps comes handy and on the go. Sometimes we are on the morning rush and don’t the time to read and reflect upon waking up, whether you are on the jeep or bus. You can still have the time to savour God’s words on the go.
There are so many app versions out there, I am using YOU version and bible.is. Both provides an option for audio, as the bible say’s faith comes from hearing the message.
This app is helpful not just in our academics, but even in understanding God’s word. As leaders we value understanding and clearly defined words.
Victory App provides you podcast from your Victory Pastor preaching and sermon base materials. If ever you miss the preaching or want to hear other preachers. This app is both available in android and IOS mobile phones.