Nothing like the specialness of others can bring out the thought of un-specialness in a person. Back in junior high school, Bonnie felt inferior and insecure when he joined IVCF’s high school chapter. “Medyo nahihiya ako that time dahil most of the attendees ay nagmula sa special class habang ako naman ay from regular class (I was shy because most of the attendees belonged to the special class while I was just from the regular class).” Surrounded by the brightest in Sagay National High School in Western Visayas, Bonnie saw himself less than they were. But that was just that: self-view. For when he got to know them, he felt he belonged to the group.
With the help of RJ, a Graduate Team (GT) volunteer, and IVCF staff Eumir, Bonnie slowly learned about Jesus. But his turning point came during a weekend camp. Called Palapnag, the camp included a simulation of the cross. It was then that the salvation story became real to Bonnie. Watching the skit, he felt like Jesus embraced him while he felt shame for his sins and sensed God’s love at the same time. Giving his life to Jesus, Bonnie knew that his life had changed. God’s transforming work continued when he entered senior high. In 2017, he joined East Asia Regional Conference (EARC) in South Korea. He was tasked to lead a small group with other students – a daunting task for anyone, let alone an 11th grader! But the experience taught him to trust in God’s wisdom and grace. “I was able to lead people older than me without being intimidated,” he remembered. It was humbling for him to know that the Lord is also at work in other nations whose students are restricted to show their faith. This and his collective experiences firmed up his decision to pursue an “education course for the sake of reaching more students for Christ.”
Today, Bonnie is a senior Social Science Education student at Philippine Normal University Visayas. And slowly, God strips away layer upon layer of his feeling of un-specialness. From the perspective of the cross, he sees his worth, being God-loved and God-called to special tasks. One such task was as president of his IVCF chapter. As he knew Jesus more, his insecurity gradually faded. He learned to engage with fellow students by finding common grounds and listening to their stories. “Then if the time is right, I will start to invite them to the fellowship,” he said. Recently, his yet another special task is among elementary students. With Mission East Asia National Support (MEANS), he and other IVCF student-leaders participate in the Read to Grow program. They teach some 25 children “basic literacy and numeracy embedded with biblical values.”
“My identity was already established at the cross,” Bonnie declared. With this conviction, he faces his present and future tasks with confidence. Not because he is special. But because his God is great.
- Pray for Bonnie and all the student-leaders. Pray that their identity and their message will center on Christ alone, and that their lives will be a reflection of a Christlike life.
- Pray for the ongoing preparations of National Conference in December, alongside the Balikatan Conference. Pray for God’s provision and wisdom be upon those who are preparing for the two conferences.
- Pray for God’s continued provision for the movement so that we can continue with His call for us among the campuses. For your generosity and prayers, we thank you!
JANUARY IN HINDSIGHT | IVCF Movement in the Regions
In Northern Luzon, Graduate Team (GT) Volunteer Daryl Ventura pioneered a new high school chapter at Pangasinan School of Arts and Trades.
In Metro Manila, IVCF partnered with Don Quintin Paredes High School and Brgy. 23 Youth Center, a civic service program of Xaris-Faith Bible Church.
In Southern Luzon, IVCF students at Polytechnic University of Philippines-Cavite (Kalasag Christian Fellowship) held their first face-to-face large group fellowship.
In Bicol, students and staff from Sorsogon culminated the National Bible Month with a Bible Quiz, Spoken Word Poetry, and Lunch Fellowship, to name a few.
In Central and Eastern Visayas, some 100 students, graduates, and staff attended the Negros Oriental IV Day Celebration.
In Western Visayas, students promoted IVCF and ISCF by putting up a booth at Central Philippine University in Iloilo.
In Northern Mindanao, students and graduates spent their first Saturday morning for an online prayer time.
In Caraga, IVCF staff Glenda Rivas, students, and advisers at Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology (ASSCAT) returned to in-person fellowships every week.
In Southern Mindanao, intentional discipleships through small groups continue, training students to become disciple-makers.