CFC Youth For Christ International Leaders’ Conference
Marikina Sports Complex, Marikina City
April 1 – 7, 2013
For those who don’t know, Youth For Christ is a Catholic youth organization, for the youth from ages 13-21 years old, under the umbrella of Couples For Christ‘s family ministries. You can check out our website for more information. :)
So yep, every year, we celebrate our anniversary by holding a conference lasting for 3 days, which is called the International Leaders’ Conference. Every year, it is held on different parts of the Philippines. We’ve been celebrating it for 20 years already. I’ve been a member of Kids For Christ since I-don’t-remember-when, but I’ve crossed-over to Youth For Christ, after I turned 13. It was back from 2006. I will hit the 7th year mark next month (Yey! :”>).
You might ask, am I happy with YFC? My answer would be one big, fat, YES. I don’t know how my life would be if my family was never invited to join this community. It changed our lives. Our whole family serves in the community. My 2 youngest siblings (Julia and Rainier), serves at the Kids for Christ (KFC), me and my two brothers (Idan and Alvin), serve at Youth for Christ (YFC), and my parents are servants at Couples for Christ (CFC). And may I add, I met Dennis at YFC. :D
I can’t explain what YFC is in whole in one blog post, but, one main purpose that we are here, is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. We encourage people to know more of Him, and be closer to Him, this is our mission.
And on my almost-7-years of service in YFC, I have only been to 4 ILCs. Namely, Tatak Kristo: ILC Tagaytay (2008), To the Max: ILC Baguio (2010), Almighty: ILC Aklan (2012), and the latest Jesus Expo: ILC Manila (2013). Every ILC experience was unforgettable, but before the latest one, my favorite among the 4 is my first ILC, in Tagaytay.
Well, I attended the conference with high fever. I was taking up meds while in the conference. (Imagine the coldness of Tagaytay, and I have fever. Brrrr) Then on the second day, while we’re having our morning worship, it started to rain. Well, we never stopped our worship, everyone was feeling so blessed with the rain. During that time, I never thought of running and finding protection from the rain. I stayed. There. In the rain. Another great thing is, it started raining when we were singing “How Great is our God” of Hillsong (We’re still playing Hillsong songs that time), on the bridge part…
“I’ll never know how much it costs
To see my sins upon that cross…
Call upon the name of the Lord, and be saved.
Call upon the name of the Lord, and be saved…”
I seriously gave me chills. It was surreal.
After the worship, we went somewhere to dry our things and ourselves up. After a few minutes, I noticed that, MY FEVER IS GONE. It was the love of the Lord that poured upon us, and swept my sickness away. <3
But this conference, the last one, which is held her in Manila, it’s now the BEST CONFERENCE I EVER ATTENDED IN YFC. (Can’t emphasize it more!) I’ll share my experience along with some pictures. :D
1st day. April 5, 2013
The conference started with me still on the office. It was fine with me, since there’s not much to do in the morning, just sports and creative competitions. I planned of going after work, (my shift is 10AM – 7PM) just in time for the first session which is the Liveloud Concert (Liveloud is kind of like “the Hillsong” of YFC).
While in the office, I was browsing posts on Tumblr and Twitter (thru my phone) of delegates that are already in the venue. It was heartwarming to see posts of YFC’s from all over the country, and some are from the other parts of the world. Naexcite lang ako lalo! :P
I got out of the office about 7:05 PM, and took 1 jeepney ride to MRT. I really want to arrive on time for the first session. Unfortunately, the traffic was so heavy that time, and MRT cabs are all full (it took me 5-7 trains before I was able to squeeze myself inside an MRT cab. Geez!). Roxanne and Dennis were texting me that the concert has already started, and I’m still at the MRT. Huhu.
I was able to reach the venue, at about the 3rd sharer. I was overwhelmed when I saw how many young people are worshiping all at the same time. It was worth the rush. :)
There are a lot of NEW YFC songs. Can’t wait to learn them all! :)
After the Liveloud concert, THE PARTY STARTED. Every first night of any ILC, the first night would be like the “welcome night“. Last year in Aklan, Aklanos welcomed us with a festive Ati-Atihan dance. This year, Manileños welcomed everyone with the biggest YFC Dance Party ever! Everyone was dancing!
They played lots of dance songs, like Gangnam Style, Harlem Shake, Titanium, and a lot more! Everyone was having the time of their lives! :)
Just before midnight, everyone is set to go to our quarters where we can rest and spend 2 nights to sleep at. Since I came from work, I really wanted to just rest and sleep. Here’s a goodnight picture. :P
That’s me, Maricel, Roxanne and Angel :)
2nd day. April 6, 2013
The next day, which is a Saturday (usually, mornings are dedicated for workshops), we didn’t have the chance to sign up to any workshop so we just had lunch at the venue then stayed at the quarters til afternoon. Waited for the heat of the sun to go. We played Uno Cards and slept, so that we’ll have energy for tonight.
At the sisters’ quarters with Rox, Angel, Kat & Cheng
Cheng, Maricel, Angela, Angel and Me
Rey, Kat, Carlo, Rox and Me
By 3:30PM, we went back to the venue, we’re just in time for the Holy Mass.
After mass, the Coordinator’s Got Talent competition started while we had dinner. Then after dinner, the second session started. It was given by Fr. Dave Concepcion. He made the first part very light. He gave us things that Filipinos are known around the world.
1. We always smile. We always smile regardless if we’re happy or not. Foreign friends see pictures of us in a flood, but still smiling, photo in a relative’s wake, and still we’re smiling! True, right?
2. We love to eat. In every occasion that there’s food for the guests, we tend to take a little bit of everything! At hindi tayo papayag na meron tayong hindi nakuha. Hahaha.
3. Whenever we hear someone go “Pssssssst” (or sitsit in Tagalog), we look back. Totoo naman diba? Even though we are at some place that we know no one we know is there, whenever we hear a “psssst”, we look for who made it. May pagka-chismosa ba. :P
Another surprise this night is a presentation from El Gamma Penumbra. They are I think a finalist of Pilipinas Got Talent. They gave a performance that gave chills to everyone. (I’ll post the video later.)
The 3rd Session started and was led by Kuya Gelo Saludo. There was a short skit performed by the conference’s production team.
The session was quite long but we learned a LOT. There was a lot of sharers. We are definitely WATER TURNED INTO PRECIOUS WINE.
After a reflection, we were then led to a Praisefest by Kuya Dillon Naicker. Throughout the praisefest, we learned he is from South Africa, and was an actor and singer well-known in his country. He gave up all of his dreams, and chose to be a Full time Pastoral Worker of YFC, and he’s now training here in Manila for almost a year.
The worship was sooooo great! And was really heartwarming! Kuya Dillon really delivered God’s words very good. Everyone was inspired. It was the best worship ever! Also, event staffs distributed candles to everyone. We lit it up. 7,000 candles lit up for the Lord. It was the symbol of God’s love blazing in our hearts.
We felt God’s presence that time, he was gazing down at us, in merciful eyes. I’m sure He was so happy to see His children praising Him. :’) Also, while our candles are still lit, EVERYONE KNELT DOWN IN WORSHIP. *Goosebumps*
We are also surprised after fireworks started to pop on the night sky. We screamed, “HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY YFC!!“.
Here are some more photos from the 2nd night :)
Those streamers/posters at the back are photos from previous ILCs
We went back to our quarters with burning hearts and a smile on our faces given by the Lord. <3
3rd day. April 7, 2013
The 3rd day started with a mass. And since the sun’s heat is blazing on us, strong, we positioned ourselves somewhere with shade. We were kinda far from the stage but we still tried to listen to the talk at sulitin ang last day ng ILC. :)
The last session was delivered by Kuya Julius Comia.
My favorite part of the session was when he asked us to write on a colored piece of paper how our lives are before and after we knew and grew closer with Christ.
After a few minutes, he asked us to fold our papers as airplanes and asked us to fly our airplanes simultaneously. Nakakakilabot (in a good way). :”>
It’s a wonderful sight to see a lot of paper airplanes flying, but if it’s colored? Even more wonderful. <3
That’s Cheng and Me Looking for airplanes to release in the air!
After a few minutes, we’re down to the last praisefest of the conference. This time, I felt how warm God’s love is through the heat of the sun.
After the worship, eto na yung inaabangan namin… Announcement of the venue of the next ILC. :D Of course it took a few minutes (which felt like hours, for us. haha) for them to finally announce where it is. And when they finally did, WE ALL JUMPED IN JOY!
It will be in PALAWAN! :D ILC 2014 will be in Palawan! YEY!
The last part of the last day of every ILC is always the craziest. Haha everyone is soooo hyper. :)
With my ILC Aklan buddies! Ate Nabie and Roxie. <3
“Free HUGS!”, as the sign on this brother’s chest says. Haha. So that’s Ferdie, Tatum and Karel with us.
A2 <3 A4! :)
With North A! :D
With brothers and sisters from other sectors! :) I love how we meet new friends at ILCs.
Over-all, I had a really great time experiencing God’s love. I couldn’t be any more proud that I’m a YFC member. Joining YFC was one of the best decisions I made in my whole life. Every moment I spent while serving this community will be forever treasured in my heart. Love na love ko si Lord, at siguradong love na love din niya ko. <3
I might have bombarded this post with a lot of photos, but it’s just that words (and photos) are never enough to explain how fulfilling God’s love and being a YFC is.
I will always be one proud daughter of Christ. <3
– Hao nia morris ba ita, hao nai! (I live for You, my God!)