The Every Nation Asia Campus Conference is a three-day gathering of student leaders and campus volunteers from all over the Philippines and Asia. We look forward to rally students from different campuses, and have a greater passion to pursue God’s holiness and be salt and light in their campuses!
For more information, please like the Ignite 2013 Facebook page or follow them on Twitter. You may also coordinate with your local church youth pastors and campus missionaries. See you at our conference!
Joan Tabino (left) of Bacolod City wanted to take part in the LifeBox VisMin Convergence—however, she faced a few roadblocks along the way. “I had some trouble with my finances at first,” she recounts. She lived with her mother and did not receive full financial support from her father. Neither of her parents also shared her faith.
In spite of that, Joan believed God for the impossible. “He provided (for) everything—not just the finances, but even the favor of my parents.” Her father gave her enough money for airfare and allowances. To Joan’s surprise, her mother also readily agreed for her to go to Cebu. “I was amazed with how God provided with what I needed!”
Joan was one of the 400 student leaders from the Visayas and Mindanao region that took part in the LifeBox VisMin Convergence held in Cebu City last October. These convergences are held in different regions in the Philippines to encourage, equip, and empower our student leaders to reach their campuses for Jesus, and in turn disciple others to do the same.
What happened before the VisMin Convergence wasn’t the only takeaway Joan had. “It’s my first time to be part of a conference like this,” she shares, “and we were really equipped (to make disciples)! I wanted to go home right after the conference and do LIFE group in my campus!”
One of the most memorable lessons Joan learned was the idea of engaging others. “Fishing for people is an overflow of my relationship with God. I believe that in order to have a strong relationship with God, discipleship and fellowship (are) very important.” Now, Joan is back in her campus at La Salle Bacolod, in her second year as a Psychology major. She is living a life of leadership, integrity, faith, and excellence—and sharing the gospel to her classmates and friends.
“My convergence experience really strengthened my walk with God. I went out of my comfort zone. I will never forget this experience, ever!”
Joan’s story is just one of the many stories we’ve heard from LifeBox’s VisMin Convergence. We believe that as we reach more students and campuses for Jesus, more and more lives will be changed and we are set to see our nation transform!
Kathrine Napolitano shares how being part of a LIFE group in her campus drew her closer to God. Read more of her story here!
When I was a freshman in school, a close friend of mine invited me to a LIFE group. At first, I was hesitant to join, because I knew most of the group members were guys. I didn’t want them to know about the intimate details of my life! Later on, I discovered that there were girls who were part of the group, and I then became more comfortable being part of it.
Being part of a LIFE group in my campus helped me in a lot of ways. I saw how God worked uniquely and differently in everyone’s lives. This was possible because of their relationship with Him, through Jesus Christ. I became a witness of God’s faithfulness not just in my own life, but in the lives of others.
I also realized the importance of walking with others in our relationship with God. My LIFE group-mates, who I now call my friends, would encourage me every time I faced challenges. What they did helped me draw closer to God and hold on to Him even more.
Eventually, I had the desire to share what God gave me to the other students in my campus—especially to those from different colleges! At first, I was afraid of doing it, but I was confident that God would help me and give me courage—and He did!
It is only through the grace of God that I’ve been changed, and am now experiencing the life He wanted for me. The gospel transformed me in every aspect of my life: from being rebellious and rejected, He has made me into a woman of victory. I am now secure with my identity in Christ. He never left me when I was helpless and hopeless. Now, I want to share the same with more people, because with Jesus, we are more than conquerors and victors!
Kathrine graduated from the Technological Institute of the Philippines this year. Because of her passion to share the gospel, she went on to lead four LIFE groups in her campus. She is an active Victory group leader at Victory Greenhills, her local church.
Young women from different Every Nation Campus centers took part in their “Modest is Hottest” event held at the Victory Quezon City center.
Jaime Jamgochian, a singer-songwriter from our Every Nation church in Nashville, spent the evening sharing about modesty, purity, and most importantly, about women’s identity in Christ. More than sharing do’s and don’ts to the ladies in the audience, Jaime imparted a message on honoring God and living a life that pleases Him, through our words, actions, and clothing.
Here’s a testimony from Coleen Santos, a high school student from St. Paul College-Pasig. May you be inspired and encouraged!
Today’s fashion has been influencing teenagers greatly on how they dress. I’m aware of that all too well, being in an exclusive all-girls school and having a great number of girl friends. Whenever my friends and I would talk about what we’re going to wear for a particular event, we would really take time to plan outfits that would be “fabulous.” A mindset that I used to have whenever dressing myself was ‘We don’t dress for boys, we dress for ourselves’. While that may seem harmless, still there is an underlying ill motive for such behavior.
A few days back, I attended a seminar called Modest is Hottest and it was then and there that my long-time perception about dressing up was reset. My eyes were opened concerning how we should dress and carry ourselves. Singer Jaime Jamgochian spoke of our identity in Christ. The Bible tells us that God tells us that He created us and we are important to Him. We are also reassured us that we are priceless and precious in His eyes, that He sees us as beautiful no matter what the world may say. I sat in that seminar in awe of the love and acceptance God gave me.
Two reasons why we should dress modestly are to honor God and help the brothas out! Now that I understand what Jesus did on the cross, what else could I ask for now that He has set me free? The Bible encourages us to live in order to please God. Now that we have a relationship with Jesus, do we consider Him in every step we make? Since we surrendered everything to Jesus, doesn’t that include our closets, too? I realized that double-checking what I will wear won’t hurt. Will a low neckline and short shorts reflect the pure life God called me to have? Will my brothers see the joy and love Jesus instilled in my heart rather than the skin or the price tag on them?
Though it is challenging to put pieces of clothing together without being immodest, Jaime didn’t leave us empty-handed. She gave us Fab Five Fashion tips which helped us how to dress modestly and yet remain fashionable. Her helpful hints allowed us to double check the reasons why we should dress modestly. We can dress modestly all throughout and still reflect God’s love with our eyes, which can show our love and concern to people we interact with.
Of all the things Jaime discussed, I think what’s most important is we see ourselves as how Jesus sees us. The more we know of Him, the more we know ourselves in Him and it will just be amazing if all the beautiful ladies out there know that. In line with this, I’d like to join the movement by applying what I learned from this seminar. Not only will I set an example by dressing modestly, but I will share it with my Victory group, friends, and with my classmates as well.
Summer 2012 was surely an exciting season for Every Nation Campus! Not only were youth camps held in various Every Nation Campus centers all over the Philippines—they also held Regional Convergences in Every Nation Campus centers outside Metro Manila.
Earlier this year, Every Nation Campus conducted a North and Central Luzon Convergence and a South Luzon Convergence, gathering high school and college students from different campuses in these regions. These convergences were designed to encourage, equip, and empower LIFE group leaders to reach more of their classmates and friends for Jesus.
We’ve had the privilege of hearing a few testimonies from some of the students who took part in these events. Young as they are, they’re making an impact by sharing the gospel in their campuses!
“I thought that to effectively invite someone to a LIFE Group, I should be good in talking or conversing with people. Then it just hit me! It’s not about what we do but what God will do. There’s no technique or formula! Our job is to introduce them to Jesus and God will do the rest.”
BS Psychology student
De La Salle Lipa
“Hindi lang tayo basta students—tayo ang students na kayang gumawa ng pagbabago, tayo yung students na hindi ikakahiya si God at kayang ishare ang Word niya sa iba . . . Ready na ako bumalik sa campus namin at mag reach out, ready na ako na ipakilala si God sa (iba), ready na ako sa plans ni God para sa akin. Excited na akong mag inform ng tao at si God ang mag ta-transform sa kanila. Ready na talaga ako! (We’re not just students—we’re students that can make a change. We’re students that won’t be ashamed of God, and be able to share His Word to others . . . I’m ready to go back to my campus and reach out (to students). I’m ready to introduce God (to others). I’m ready for God’s plans for me. I’m excited to inform people about God, and He’ll take care of transforming them. I’m ready!)”
4th year high school student
St. Paul College Island Park
“Every Nation Campus Regional Convergence made a big impact in my life. It’s not an accident that I was there. I realized that I have a purpose and God put me where I am right now because He has (great) plans for me. I want to leave a legacy in my campus . . . I want to share the word of God to the next generation.”
Mass Communications student
St. Louis University, Baguio City
We’re excited to hear great news about more Every Nation Campus centers opening in more campuses all over the Philippines! With that, more of the future leaders of our nation would be honoring God and making disciples, and in turn, reaching more campuses for Jesus!
Bad food, late nights, crazy games, friendships established, encounters with God—it’s youth camp season again. All over the Philippines, our campus ministries are utilizing the summer season to hold these pivotal events that seal the previous school year and jumpstart the next one. Here are some reasons why they’re so important:
1. Strong Relationships
Whether it’s a camp that’s open to all or specifically focused on the leaders of the campus ministry, one major upside are the relationships developed by the end. There’s just something about staying in the same place, going through those embarrassing games, and worshiping God together that brings young people together.
People who used to feel out of place in the youth service now come alive. Teenagers who were brought reluctantly by their parents leave the camp feeling quite at home. It isn’t uncommon to see people exchanging contact information, writing each other dedications on their notebooks, and promising to meet up soon – even though they’ll see each other within a few days in Manila. Childish sentimentalism? Maybe. Useful for ministry? You bet.
2. Encounters with God
This is a no-brainer, but it should be mentioned anyway. I’m not saying we can’t encounter God anywhere else but there’s something about being out of your usual habit, being in nature, and worshipping God that seems to break through the usual noise of every day life.
I remember being 16 years old, singing a worship song when I suddenly felt a compulsion to get on my knees and cry out to God for the nations. I think I knew then that I would be doing this for the rest of my life. Many people in the Bible, in history, and in our movement have received their calling in similar encounters with God. Church kids who saw Victory as “my parents’ church” now see it as “my church” because of their encounter with God.
3. Faith Building
Camps cost money and one must walk the fine balance of helping out when possible but also encouraging the students to believe God for provision. Many students work, sell, save, and ask to raise the money. In fact, seeing God provide is like the opening salvo to a powerful encounter with God.
Dan Monterde, our campus director and youth pastor in Metro East, had one such encounter. He was new in church and wasn’t sure if he could make it to the camp. He thought, “Pangmayaman lang yan,” until a random church member went up to him and gave him money for registration saying God had led him to do so. That was a powerful lesson for Dan that God was his Father and this Father’s resources were unlimited. There are so many more stories like that and it compounds even more as these recipients of generosity gratefully pass on what they received to another generation.
4. Leadership Development
Running a camp is hard! Securing the venue must be done months in advance—it has to be nearby, affordable, securable, and conducive to all the events. Planning it can be a fruit-testing process because you have to deal with students who change their minds, parents with weird special requests, money concerns, weather changes, bus drivers who are uncooperative, health precautions, etc. And this is all a great time to develop new leaders.
For many student leaders, running a camp is a time when they can get a taste of real campus ministry. We will not shrink back from asking the students to carry heavy loads of responsibility because a.) we really need the help (at least honest), b.) this will propel them to greater maturity, and c.) God has promised to pour out His spirit on them so they can do it!
5. Vision for their Campus
No matter the specific purpose of the camp, when you combine the above elements you have a recipe for a passionate campus ministry ready to make disciples in the coming school year. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling used to have us go outside the meeting hall in Caliraya and lie down on the (wet) grass looking up at the stars. He said, “That’s how many people you can disciple, just like God promised Abraham.”
Maybe it’s the “mountain-top experience” where people come from the mountain to go back to the world. Or maybe it’s the company of brothers and sisters encouraging each other that we can go and reach our campuses for Jesus. Or maybe it’s because the stars are just brighter outside of Manila. For whatever reason, when these students have that powerful time with God in the camps they go back to their homes and schools ready to advance God’s kingdom there.
Joseph Bonifacio is the Executive Director of Every Nation Campus, a nationwide campus organization passionate about preparing students for LIFE. He also serves as a volunteer pastor in Victory Fort Bonifacio.
LifeBox had the privilege to sponsor a one-day equipping event for the different youth ministries in the Body of Christ. Entitled the “LifeBox Summer Class,” over 250 campus ministers, youth pastors, and youth leaders from different churches took part in this event last April 18.
Joseph Bonifacio, LifeBox Executive Director, emphasized the importance of our standing with God. We often think that the gospel—the good news of our salvation—is merely the ABCs of our faith. However, it’s more than that. “The gospel is the A to Z of our faith,” he shares.
Patrick Mercado, one of the youth pastors of LifeBox Fort Bonifacio, shared a simple and straightforward message on discipleship. He encouraged young leaders that it is not about bringing in crowds of people to their services, but helping them to have a relationship with Jesus.
The importance of team leadership was what CJ Nunag, National Coordinator for LifeBox, shared with the participants of the summer class. Sharing important principles on character, competence, and team chemistry, CJ stressed the value of working together as a team. According to him, “Your calling in life is always intertwined with another person’s call. God wants you to (partner) with other people.”
Finally, Ryan Tan of LifeBox U-Belt taught about culture and shared some experiences of how LifeBox considers the culture factor in its respective campus ministries.
One of the highlights of the summer class was a testimony from Timothy Firwelo of Life Church. Tim enrolled in our School of Campus Ministry in 2011, and currently leads a thriving campus ministry in his home church. He shared this short message that later summarized the entire class:
“Whether you’re a leader or an aspiring leader, the only thing that will sustain you is deep, undivided, (and) devoted love for God. Next to (that), the people following him must do the same. The only way we can do that is to make disciples.”
Tim also shared that it was not Victory nor Every Nation that invented discipleship—and that it was found in the Bible, initiated by Jesus’s disciples. Truly, as Jesus made relationships happen and showed love and compassion to others, we can follow His example and bring others to Him!
LifeBox is honored not just in preparing students for LIFE, but also partnering with our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ! They are excited to equip the next generation, and to see more and more young people—and their families—experience the joy of having a relationship with Jesus.
A new batch of campus missionaries were once again launched into the mission field last September 29, 2011 as the School of Campus Ministry held its sixth Commencement Exercises.
For the past three months, the Every Nation Building had become the training ground of the twenty-three individuals from all over the country who have come together to be equipped and empowered as the newest batch of campus missionaries.
Calling themselves the Frontliners, they are ready to stand front and center in reaching the campuses for Christ. In fact, the local churches of San Carlos, Legazpi, and Imus have sent their first ever campus missionaries to be formally trained in campus ministry.
As the time has come for these campus missionaries to leave the halls of Every Nation Building that have sheltered them for the three-month long training, these campus missionaries are now armored to stand in the frontlines and face the battle of winning the next generation for Jesus.
Fiona Alvero is the Communications and Special Events Coordinator of Every Nation Campus. She’s also a Victory group leader in Victory Quezon City reaching out to the campus of Miriam College.