I would like to share with you some of the innovations that IVCF staff have done to meet the challenges we face in the ministry as new student generations come and the educational landscape in the Philippines change (K-12 and stricter regulations in high schools, schedule changes from June to August in universities). With these seeming difficulties, how do we continue to bring the gospel to high school and university students, using these roadblocks as stepping stones to innovating new ways? I am thankful for creative and innovative staff, who think outside the box so that they can help bring students closer to God and train them to be servant-leaders.
Bringing the Sibol Camp (evangelistic) program to high school campuses. Sibol is usually a four or five-day evangelistic camp. Started by the Western Visayas team because it was harder for their high schoolers to be allowed by parents to go to camps, they thought of having a 2 to 3-day campus-based Sibol Camp/Retreat. In partnership with some teachers, the initiative proved to be successful and has allowed good relationship to develop between IVCF and the school. This campus-based Sibol program was adapted by the other regions, with teachers serving as cooks, facilitators and even helping fundraise for the event. This is also a good avenue for partnership with other organizations (e.g. MEANS) and local churches.
Two shortened Kawayan Camps (KC). As has already been announced, instead of the usual one month, there are now two 15-day KCs: a summer one (April 16-30) and a mid-year one (June 25-July 9) to accommodate students from the two different university schedules. The curriculum is similar to the ALT (Advanced Leadership Training) program which was piloted two years ago. The program has an e-learning component – modules which the students need to accomplish with mentoring, before the actual face-to-face camptime. This year’s KC program has more activities geared towards formation of the heart and exercises in integrating knowledge. Students are practicing a contemplative approach during morning Quiet Times and every night before going to sleep, they do the Ignatian Exemen of Consciousness.
Do continue praying for and with us that these camps would be transformative for all – the students, staff, counselors and speakers.
PRAISE GOD FOR THESE CONCLUDED CAMPS
CENTRAL & EASTERN VISAYAS REGION
The Evangelistic Retreat in Seguinon National High School held last March 29-31 was attended by 42 students, 7 student counselors, 1 graduate counselor and 4 staff. The retreat was in partnership with MEANS USA and Ormoc City Baptist Church. Click the link to see the retreat video and more photos.
Below are snippets of some Grade 8 students’ testimonies (translated from the local dialect):
I’ve learned that God is holy. No one is above Him. He is righteous and deserves to be praised by His people because He is the King. I’ve also learned that we are sinners. I am so sinful and dirty. God loves me very much and because of His love for me, He gave His only begotten Son to be crucified, to be hanged on the cross when in fact it should have been me there. We are not deserving of this sacrifice but because of His love, He paid for my sin. I also learned that family is very important. Family is our home. Family comforts us when we have problems. And as a daughter, I have to obey my parents. Our families need to be united and understand each other.Faith S. Toledo -
I learned about God’s holiness, sin, spiritual disciplines and Christ’s work on the cross and how to be close to Him. I realized that God is not only Lord but also a Father. He sacrificed His life for our sins. In this retreat, I learned the value of the Bible.
Yuchi Ortega -
I learned that God is very compassionate and merciful from His Word, the Bible. I pray that what I learned, I can put into practice. Lord God, thank you that You are with us always, even if we sin you still give us a chance. Thank you because if it is not because of you, I would not be here now. Thank you for changing my life.
Alma Diaz Pana -
The Metro Manila ISCF (High School) Sibol Camp on April 9-13 was attended by 32 campers, 6 staff and 15 counselors.
Testimonies (translated from Tagalog):
My life before was so full of sin. I did not obey my parents and I did those things which were not pleasing to God. I came to the point when I wanted to run away from home, forget my family and live by myself. When I got to know the Lord, I turned my back on many things and my sins. He showed me how sinful and dirty I was and yet how He loved me. There were many things that changed since I got to know Him. One of those is the way I look at my family, I realized how important they are. I thank the Lord because I see how he moves in my life, and how little by little he is changing me through His mercy and love.
Michael Angelo P. Epros - Xaris Faith Baptist Church
I learned a lot in this camp and am very thankful to God for always giving me a chance to know Him better. One thing that He really stuck to my mind that He said to me was about my sins. Here, I was reminded of His holiness. He is the only one who can cleanse and forgive us through Christ. There are are really many ups and down but I am thankful to God because He never gets tired of reminding me that I only need to trust in Him because He is merciful, loving and patient. With theses learnings, I will let God to continue to rule over my life, body, mind and soul.Elisha Adela B. Delmo - Quezon City Science High School
The first ever ISCF Sibol Camp in Caraga (the youngest region) was held on April 11-15 with 27 high schoolers and 17 counselors.
PALAWAN, SOUTHERN LUZON REGION
The first IVCF-Palawan Discipleship Camp! 💕We praise the Lord sending 5 students who shared that their relationship with the Lord is like a:
~ wifi signal: 2bars na lang (2 bars left)
~ gold bar: alam kong precious pero di ko hinuhukay (I know it’s precious but I don’t dig it)
~ tree pero hindi malago (not lush/fertile tree)
~ ballpen na nawawalan ng tinta (a pen that’s losing ink)
~ parang hagdan, may kulang (stairs, with incomplete steps)
Pray for these students, 4 of them are freshmen who are also babies in the faith.
KAWAYAN CAMP 209
The Summer KC is ongoing! Here is an update from Di Fernandez, IVCF Field Ministry Director:
Greetings from scorching hot Davao City! Today is Day3 of KC. We praise God for 18 ladies and 15 men who want to know God deeper and to be equipped.
Praise God all seems to be well! The staff have recovered from being overly tired [from other regional camps]. The students are participative. Wala namang pasaway.
The staff here are practicing another way of contributing to the transformative work of God. We are all used to teaching and facilitating/giving skills training. This time, staff practice storytelling. Every breakfast, one us shares a short (max 5 minutes) personal story related to the Quiet Time (QT) topic. Just one story – concluded by reiteration of the topic title. A story not to add to knowledge, but to move knowledge (I know) to motivation (I want to / I can). It’s such a blessing to hear stories of fellow staff. Praise God!
Continue to pray for us:
- Sustained physical, emotional, spiritual strength for staff, counselors and students.
- Ability of staff/counselors to build trust more quickly since we only have 15 days.
- Students to really practice the new things being taught here – being more responsible for their own learning, increased awareness of who they are now and in which ways God is changing them. Specifically, that when they do their QT they will learn how to do it contemplatively and that they will be consistent with their nightly bedtime examen.
That none will get sick or distracted.
- Pray for the staff teaching sessions. Today we start with the Scripture Engagement workshops: Leading Discourse Bible Studies (Eumir), Expository Preaching (Di/Jonah) and Orality (Raff). Tomorrow: Personhood series: Mizpah, Lala, Eumir. Gender Cluster: Jon and Jonah.
Click here for a glimpse of what transpired during the pre-camp of Summer KC2019. 11 IVCF staff, 9 counselors, 3 kitchen staff, & 4 kids arrived 2 days and a half early to prepare for the campers’ arrival. 📹 by Ian Alcantara Gabriz
We still have a few upcoming camps. The last one would be the Mid-year KC (ending July 9). Please continue praying for us!
- strength, perseverance and patience as we serve in different ways, joyfully.
- wisdom and His anointing as speakers, volunteers and staff prepare their talks.
- God-ordained conversations that will lead to deeper love and understanding of God.
- safety in travel for staff, volunteers, speakers and students.
- God’s provision for each of the camps – it is an opportunity for us to see how God will provide as we continue to trust Him. both for the staff and students.
Partner with us and share in the joy of seeing young lives transformed by and for God this summer: Pray. Give. Send.
With you in His kingdom-building,