Last July 13, our CFC-FFL missionaries left for Brazil to attend World Youth Day. For each of them, it was an experience of a lifetime!
I’m Jo-i Villas, a new fulltime missionary for the Live Pure Movement. Last July 14-31, i was blessed to be part of the delegation to Brazil for the World Youth Day. It has been my desire to attend this momentous event since I wasn’t able to attend it in Madrid and I thank God that He has blessed me this year to come and participate.
The World Youth Day had the theme “Go and make disciples of all nations”. Even before i stepped into the airport, the theme was made real for me. Let me share to you my story going to the airport. Whenever I go on mission, I usually go to the airport alone through public transport. But this time I was too excited and eager to arrive earlier than expected, i waited for a taxi that would pass by. There are taxis parked at the nearest gas station but I refused to get their services due to over-priced “kontrata” and negotiating would just ruin my mood so I stayed just beside the national road. Minutes went by and not even one taxi passed. That’s when I prayed, “Lord, please in 5 minutes pahingi ng taxi”. So i waited with hopes held high and after about 5 minutes, still no taxi passed. I was already considering taking the jeep at that time but one car caught my attention, a brand new white car coming from a curve out of our village. A brand-new white Suzuki Swift (my dream car) stopped right in front of me and the driver asked with a smile in his face, “Sir, sa airport po kayo?” I hesitantly said yes because I was puzzled by the circumstance. He offered me a price that was lower than those of the “kontratas” you’d normally get and it was close enough to the budget i was willing to spend. So I said yes and we went on our way to the airport.
Along the way, we talked about a lot of things. We started talking about the car we were riding and how I dreamt of having that. I found myself talking to the driver about deeper and more serious topics such as family and God, so he started sharing about his family and I shared what I do, “kuya, misyonaryo po ako,” i said. The ride was full of affirmations that God is really great and he is faithful. I started sharing about the community we are into, CFC-FFL, and he was interested so i got his number and promised him to let him know if there will be a CLS in our area. But the blessing I cherish the most was before I stepped out of the car the car he was driving, I was able to pray over him for his family, his concerns and his relationship with God. It was indeed a divine appointment. From then on, i knew and i was affirmed that I should be in the World Youth Day and my trip would be heavenly. Praise God for the privilege!
There were countless blessings for me during this World Youth Day. It surprised me in ways I never imagined it would and taught me simple but essential lessons in following God. Allow me to sum it in three major points: Silence, Passion and Love.
- 1. Silence – How ironic that I was affirmed of silence during this festive celebration, right? But yes, God affirmed me that amidst the festive and joyous celebration there was, still the best way to hear Him is to spend time in silence and allow Him to talk to you personally. That is where we find our calling and vocation. It is where we intimately spend our time with God and allow him to speak to us. Not that we did not hear him during the events and activities, of course we heard Him and His messages. But when we go back to our normal lives the best God-encounter is to be with Him in silence. Plus, if our hearts are raging, only in silence that God will be able to calm it because we allow him to. Silence, also allows us to be purified with our intentions and be focused on God alone.
- 2. Passion – This World Youth day has re-ignited my passion for music. I was blessed to witness rock bands and other solo artists perform songs with lyrics that were all about worshipping God. They were mainstream artists. Every time bands would be called, people shouted and celebrated. People sang with them. I was drawn to the influence it can bring to people. I was affirmed that I should go and pursue the passion that I have and make it an instrument of spreading God’s Love. Our passions are here for a reason; it has a purpose. I found the purpose of my passion there in WYD. Now more than ever, I am inspired to improve on my musical skills and let it be a gift to people by influencing them to be closer to God. This passion that we have was placed by God so He can use us by working through us. I was inspired not to hide this passion Everything we do for God should be full of heart. “Hindi pwedeng nahihiya para sa Diyos”
- 3. Love – “The Language of God is Love”. Being around people with different languages made this WYD an experience of a lifetime. It was really hard trying to connect and get your message across but there was something in you that keeps you going; I know that it was Love. Love, that no matter where we came from and what language we speak we were united in the Love given by God. I was moved by the loving nature of the Brazilians, they were so caring and from the get go you are family to them. I was moved to become like that to every person I meet because no matter what, he/she belongs to God. There is this deep longing for us for Love. So whenever we express love to people, we fulfill that longing and in turn we allow them to see God, who is Love. Do everything in Love, because it never gives up. Love is our connection with God. Love is what brings us back to God. In being a disciple, the greatest trait we should try our best learning from Jesus is how He loves.