“I am the Way…” – Jesus, 1st Century AD
High school friends Wardell and Wendel walked down a destructive path. Both as an escape from their realities and as a curious experimentation, they got into drinking with their friends. Bad-mouthing, disrespecting their parents, and getting into fights shaped their young lives.
This went on for several years since their friendship in 2017. Last year, their paths changed when they met IVCF Bicol’s Regional Director. They just knew him as Kuya Raff. Wardell met Raff in March, and he confided to him the burdens and struggles and darkness that his young shoulders had to bear. At one point he asked himself, “Wala na bang katapusan ‘to? (Is there no end to this?)” Raff’s listening ears and sound advice were what Wardell needed. Raff also introduced Christ to him, and his life slowly changed.
In September, Wardell introduced Wendel to his new friend. Wendel also got to learn about Jesus through his Kuya Raff. But he found it hard to decide after learning of the “Two Ways to Live,” man’s way that leads to death and God’s way that leads to life. His sins were too great an obstacle that it was difficult to comprehend that God loves him in spite of. But Raff didn’t force him. After some time of wrestling, he finally realized that “never kong mapagtatagumpayan ang kasalanan nang mag-isa at wala akong kayang gawin para iligtas ang aking sarili. Wala din akong kayang gawin para maging karapat-dapat sa harapan ng Panginoon. Siya ang gumawa ng paraan… (I can never overcome my sins on my own and I can’t do anything to save myself. I can do nothing to be worthy before God. It was He who made the way…)” It was then that he humbled himself, asked for forgiveness, and surrendered his life to Christ.
With their new-found path in Christ, their hearts and lives are being changed. “Nagkaroon ng maayos na relationship sa aking family, at pinag-iisipan ko na ang mga desisyon na aking gagawin,” Wardell shared. His relationship with his family is slowly restored, and he now thinks through before deciding what to do, which helps him say No when his friends invite him for a drink. Wendel mirrors his friend’s transformations, adding that he has a deeper appreciation of his mother’s care and understanding of their family’s situation.
But this is not to say that they are now leading boring lives. Fueled by their boundless energy and desire for growth, they get involve in different activities. In December, they attended their first IVCF camp, where they met fellow high schoolers and college students in Bicol. And even in the fun of swimming in the sea, hiking, camping, biking, playing basketball, or going to the mall, their faith continues to grow. By choosing this way to live, Wardell and Wendel are not just changing paths. They are living new lives – lives that guarantee a forever in Christ.
Pray for the continued growth of Wardell and Wendel and other Christian high schoolers. Pray that God will continue to protect them from the lures of this world. Pray also for Raff and other field staff who minister to the youth in the nine IVCF Regional Units.
Pray for the IVCF Online National Sibol Camp on May 4-6. It is an evangelistic camp for high school seekers. Pray for provision and the preparation stages led by Overall Director Jackylyn Orlandez. Pray for the participants, that they may be open to the grace and salvation of God made available to them. As the Spirit leads you, please consider giving to the training and transformation of these young minds.