“I will serve the youth all my life.”

(Joji Ibuna, CFC Singles for Family and Life)

“I will serve the youth all my life.” These were the exact words that my dearly departed brother, Kuya Jun-jun, would always say when he was still with us. My Kuya and I have always dreamt to experience and participate together, as delegates of the Diocese of San Pablo, the World Youth Day celebrations held in 2002, 2005 and 2008. Unfortunately, we were not able to attend due to lack of funds then. Still, we both never ceased to dream that someday we will be delegates of the World Youth Day.

With the the World Youth Day 2011 celebration, we both aspired once again to become delegates, but now with different groups: me as a delegate of CFC-FFL, while my Kuya Jun-jun will be a delegate of the Augustinian Youth Movement.

Unfortunately, he passed away last August 11, 2010 — exactly one year before World Youth Day 2011. He is now with our Creator.

As part of the CFC-FFL World Youth Day delegation, I went to Madrid both with great joy in the fulfillment of both our dreams and with a longing heart for my Kuya as I experience it for him. I wanted to see him there, in every youth that I encountered. Indeed, I caught a glimpse of him in every youth I encountered there — in their sociability as they love to be with one another, in their laughter, in their boldness in sharing themselves to others, even in their crazy and carefree attitudes.

My experiences in the recently concluded World Youth Day made me think and question myself: I’m I now ready to give my life to them – the youth? The answer was given to me by Pope Benedict XVI during the last mass held in Cuarto Vientos Air Base. The Holy Father said that he is encouraging us to deepen our faith and have a deeper relationship with Jesus. He added that as we deepen our relationship with Jesus, we have to be a witness to every youth in the world on who Jesus was and what he wants us to be: rooted in love, built in holiness and firm in faith. So as I respond to the call once again, I will continue to say to Jesus, “Here I am Lord, Send Me…to anywhere you want me to become a bearer of your love, your peace and your words. As my Kuya Jun-Jun always says, “I will serve the youth all my life”.

This is now my creed of service to the community! Thank you for all the help and prayers that you have shared with us as delegates of CFC-FFL.