For the first time in Jubilee Evangelical Church's history, Powercamp - a camp once for yuppies, but now for all ages - was scheduled in the third quarter of the year. The big jump from the hot summer days to a rainy, potentially typhoon-filled August was considered a big risk, yet I think it was a risk worth taking.
Even though the powercampers had met (typhoon) Mina in Hotel Kimberly, Tagaytay, the camp was as my cousin says, "rebuking, refreshing and renewing." It was fully-packed with faith-invigorating messages and fun bonding activities. And in between those two were three buffet meals, two snacks and loads of laughter and heart-felt kwentuhan.
The first night was all about make-up and make-believe. We all got dressed up in classic storybook outfits. I was Nancy Drew for a night.
L-R: Wendy, Alice, Snow White, Nancy Drew, Maid Marian, Another Detective
I was invited to solve a mystery in an old English library. Believe it or not, someone had the guts to kill/kidnap King Henry VIII! I quickly dressed up in my black trench coat, cowboy cap, tights and long socks and brought with me my handy-dandy magnifying glass. There in the crime scene, I met Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and her three bear friends, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and many more!
I was surprised to find Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland and also Crocodile from Peter Pan too. Oddly, they were not included in the prime list of suspects.
The Alice in Wonderland Cast
The next day, we started the morning with a devotion. I loved my counseling group of three ladies. Not only did they come prepared, they were also very open and honest about everything. The make-up and make-believe ended the same night when the mystery was solved (Cinderella burned the king by the way. Gasp!). They also understood my indecisiveness and my inability to expound on the word, "generative." There was a time I had felt that I was not worthy to be their counselors. I was not mature enough, knowledgeable enough, nor experienced enough. But praise God for making me realize that this drowning thought came from Satan. As a counselor, I can't change lives, nor can I make them grow in their faith. I could only listen and encourage them through God's word. The time and ability to listen as well as the words and ability to speak all come from God.
The praise and worship made jumping to the beat very tempting. I could see our praise and worship leader's and the band's passion in leading the campers to sing praises to the Lord. The success was apparent 12 hours later, when I caught myself still singing, "Home is heaven, one day Lord I will live in your courts.." I hope in the next Powercamp, there would be more slower, reflective songs in the though.
The messages in one word was, POWERFUL. Perfect for POWERcamp. We toured the ancient days when Noah and his family were the only people in the world. Followed by Abraham's willingness to go out of his homeland.. travel to wherever God leads him.. and give up his "one and only, beloved" Isaac. Then came Joseph who had undergone severe trials in His life, being sold by his brothers, being accused for something he did not do and yet remaining faithful to the Lord. These biblical characters were not perfect like you and me, but they were faithful. It was their faith in the Lord that had counted them as righteous. (I haven't actually touched the gist of the messages yet. This is simply a minute tip of the iceberg that killed Titanic.)
"Are you willing to commit to be semper fidelis?" That was asked of us. Many of us said yes, yet we knew at the back of our minds that it's not possible, especially to do it 100%. This made me appreciate God even more, that no matter how unable we are, God is and will forever be faithful. Although Noah got drunk and lay naked and Abraham knowing full well God's promise still agreed to sleep with Sarah's servant, Hagar, God was faithful to them. He did not forsake them. Instead, He still fulfilled His promises.
The highlights of the camp for me were the heartfelt sharings and teary prayers. Those were the times of sincerely lifting "Isaacs" up to God. Another were the sudden commitments to do something for the Lord (which I hope and pray will not die down). There were also springing up of accountability partners and prayer partners. There was the sudden surge of love for the brothers and sisters in Christ. There were biblically-guided decisions made, i.e. to forgive and to accept, to be still and wait for the Lord. There were those who acknowledged and appreciated God leading them through a painful, yet wisdom-filled, journey.
All these only God can do. All the praises and glory be to God indeed.
Semper fidelis, because God is Faithful!