I still remember THE day when i decided to attend the Destined Retreat. To be honest I was surprised that i was going because first of all it was initially for the Dallas brothers and sisters and I’m from Houston, TX. And second of all, the retreat was held at Arkansas which is at least a NINE HOUR drive from Houston and i really can’t cope with long car drives especially if I’m driving. However, i had this strong feeling that God was calling me to participate to this retreat and i fought ever negative thought and feeling that would hinder me to say yes and immediately contacted Ate Teny that i would really LOVE to participate!
I also tried to invite as much brothers and sisters from the Houston area to come, however only 2 replied out of 934805909534 people i texted. And i was quite surprised again on who replied to me; one brother who hasn’t been involved with the community for a very looooooooooooong time and another brother who has never been involved with the community. When it came to my attention that these 2 brothers were coming with me, I had another “strong” feeling that the 3 of us were DESTINED to go to this retreat and God has something to show and tell us that weekend.
The journey to Arkansas was not easy because I faced so many difficulties on the way. It’s as if the evil one was attacking my heart and mind and making me doubt my “yes” for going to this retreat. ONLY on the first 15 minutes of our car drive, i immediately felt sick and i wanted to throw up. THEN after 2 hours of driving, we realized we were driving towards Dallas instead or Arkansas. ALSO, the brother who was driving had to listen to techno music to keep him awake so i had a hard time being patient with listening to techno music for almost 5 hours straight non-stop. My Journey to Arkansas was HARD.
However, I reminded myself that all the simple things that i was blessed with. Praise God that the brother was willing to drive 9 hours. Praise God that we have transportation to Arkansas. Praise God that the us 3 stayed awake for the whole trip. AND even though we arrived at the venue at past midnight, Praise God we arrived safely.
On the first session “Destined to Worship” that was led by Jeff Jose, his words of wisdom about the session reminded me of how much i TRULY LOVE to give all my glories and praise to our Heavenly Father through music. Every worship i attend, i ALWAYS give my all. I dont care how i look like when i worship God. I dont care what i sound like when i sing. i dont care if i end up crying throughout the whole worship. All i know and what’s more important is that i ALWAYS GIVE MY ALL TO HIM AND ONLY HIM.
Then Ate Sarah led us to the second session which was “Destined to Serve.” Through this session, the memory that came into my mind was my very first time serving though this ministry which was serving a Campus-Based camp at Austin, TX on 2006. I still remembered when i said yes to God that day my heart was full of joy and excitement. And my service for Him still continues to grow especially ever since i served for Conference for the very first time at Dallas. I especially noticed myself that my service continued to grow every week, LITERALLY. The following week after conference, i helped my brother serve his college retreat back at my hometown. The week after that, i attended a KFL leaders training. The week after that, i helped my parents sing for mass and sing for my fathers retreat. The week after that, i’ve noticed myself helping ALOT of the brothers and sisters by keeping them accountable. My heart was on fire each week when i continued to give my yes for Him. Even though i still faced several difficulties each week, i still continued to give my all for Him through service.
Finally on the last day of the retreat, Ate Teny gave the last session which was “Destined to Witness.” During this session, God has truly opened up my heart to what he’s been telling me ever since the preparation of Dallas CFC YFL and SFL Conference. Since conference, i’ve been discerning about how to make my service for God to grow even more and the idea of Mission Work came into my mind. When God placed that idea into my mind, at first i was scared but then at the same time i felt joyful and peaceful about it. Everytime i tried to brush off that idea of mission work, God continued to reaffirm me each week on how much me serving Him and being his witness is so BEAUTIFUL!!!!! To show the brothers and sisters inside and ALSO outside of the community that im a witness for God brings me joy and fire in my heart. I remembered Ate Teny sharing with us a music video towards the end of the session “While I’m Waiting” by John Muller and i was in tears because it was such a big affirmation for me on how much being a Witness for God is my calling.
It has been at least a month since the “Destined Retreat” that i attended at Arkansas with 16 brothers and sisters from Dallas and Houston. And still to this day I continue to reflect on what happened to me that weekend especially receiving so many affirmations through the sessions that was led by Jeff Jose, Sarah Ignacio and Teny Mardo.
I will continue to give my all through worship. I will continue to give my all through service. I will continue to give all as a witness. Whether it’s through becoming a mission volunteer; Whether it’s becoming a full time worker; Whether it’s through serving my brothers and sisters in Christ; Whether it’s through my family; Whether it’s through work, I am DESTINED to give my all for HIM and only HIM.