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beyond critical level

Youth Revive Leadership Retreat 12th Anniversary Celebration La Trinidad, Benguet December 26-28-2013

A mountaintop experience, and we have the pictures to prove it.

ack to the steep slopes, winding roads, and chilly air of La Trinidad, Benguet, more than 200 young people gathered together last December 26 to 28, 2013 to participate on a leadership retreat in celebration of Youth Revives 12th anniversary. It was the second straight year that Youth Revive held an anniversary event in the mountains of Benguet, and yet, as always, God moved in a wonderfully different way.
Bearing the theme, Beyond Critical Level, the retreat featured an intensive series of lecture-workshops facilitated by pastors and leaders of various churches under the Fellowship of Ministers and Christian Churches (FMCC). Youth and young adults signed up for one of the 22 available lecture workshops focused on various topics such as Integrity, Excellence, and Biblical Foundations. Young people were limited in the selection of lecture topic based on whether they

are new believers, young people, or young adults and professionals. As such, the facilitators were able to prepare lectures and activities that are befitting to a particular group. The lecture workshops proved to be a hit as the young people poured in their testimonies of how they were spiritually strengthened and equipped during the sessions. Packed with powerful discussions and lively activities, the meetings challenged the young people into fruitfulness in all aspects of their lives, much like the life of Joseph who was described as a fruitful vine whose branches ran over the wall. Even though a heavy 90 minutes was allotted for each session, the young people cant get enough of what they learned and experienced during the meetings. The lessons learned during the lecture workshops were reinforced during the revival nights, as Rev. John Fianza and Rev. Amie Valle delivered timely messages which prompted passionate response from the young people. Songs of surrender and rededication echoed throughout the multi-purpose hall of Living Hope School. Pastors and ministers, headed by FMCC overseer Rev. Edwin Abisado, encouraged the young people by laying on of hands, praying, and prophesying. Ptr. Edwin also pressed the importance of praying for the nation in light of recent disasters that happened in the country. A time of intercession followed his exhortation, and young people huddled into small groups to ask for forgiveness and mercy, even as prophecies concerning the Philippines lean towards judgment. Times of worship were equally refreshing, and the unity of the brethren was evident among the churches. The Youth Revive worship team assembled a list of original songs and introduced them during the worship services. As part of this years momentous event, Youth Revive released a song album entitled,

Vessels and Wineskins, which compiled, in audio CD format, seven original songs that were recorded in an acoustic setup. To build on this initial release, donations were gathered to be used for purchase of audio equipment which will be used by the worship team for future recordings. Aside from the audio CD, YR Coordinator Rev. Rossanna Relucio and the organizing committee prepared a heap of personalized event memorabilia, such as shirts, notebooks, and shoe bags, for all the retreat participants. Youth Revive momentarily swapped its trademark red shirt with black round necks printed with the theme logo. The event souvenirs were made available even without an increase in the registration fee due to subsidies given by the Youth Revive organization. The three-day-two-night event seemed too quick, as young people shrugged off the freezing December breeze to have fellowship with the other churches during joint activities, rest periods, and even meal times. In between plenary sessions and group activities, the participants enjoyed lots of rest and recreation playing basketball and table tennis, exploring the foggy mountainside, snuggling down with thick blankets in the quarters. On the second night, a bonfire was prepared after the revival service, where young people gathered together to sing songs and tell stories, and they could only lament for a formal program around the bonfire that will make the evening more memorable. Participants were particularly delighted with the food prepared by brethren from churches in Baguio, headed by Sis. Emma Fianza. Three queues were set up for faster service, and the kitchen crew efficiently prepared a variety of dishes, along with unlimited soya coffee, so much so that young people always left the dining area with full stomachs. Last years difficulties in the sleeping

quarters were effectively addressed this year as ample number of beddings was provided for each room. Organizers also assured the availability of rest rooms, which has always been a challenge in every youth camp or retreat; however, concerns involving consistent access to tap water remain an issue. Notwithstanding minor glitches in minor areas of concern, in the eyes of the all the participants, YRs 12th anniversary retreat showcased a unique all-around experience for everyone. This years leadership retreat was a treat for the body, mind, and spirit. New believers, regular youth attendees, young adults and professionals, and even the ministers, all agreed that something wonderful happened during the whole three days. Participants were all challenged to go beyond the critical level, to press on towards full maturity, not contented with their current experience, but strive to become 100-fold fruitful Christians, extending their branches over the wall, enriched with the blessings of God, enriching others by being a blessing as well.

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