Mission is Possible Youth Camp 2012 Review
On the 9th until the 11th of May 2012, the AHF Armor Bearers Youth Ministry held Mission is Possible, a joint youth camp with the GGCF Youth Ministry at the Aspen Garden Resort in San Ildefonso, Bulacan. It was indeed a God-focused, Holy Spirit-filled retreat. Our key verse is found in Matthew 19:26 stating: “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with GOD, all things are possible.” And we strongly believe that through God, our mission is possible! Because He who lives in us is much greater than the one who is in the world. Our mission is not only to proclaim the supremacy of Christ to people but also to transform and sanctify them by renewing their minds and by refocusing each other to our Lord Jesus Christ. It was such a wonderful event that was filled with joy and love for Christ; seeing every believer standing firm in the faith and strengthening the unity of the body of Christ.
In the camp, five houses were introduced with their respective counselors from the youth leaders namely: House of David, Nikki Marquez; House of Gideon, Jason Discipulo; House of Caleb, Elaine Villegas; House of Daniel, Anthony Fox; and House of Joshua, Arjelou Dela Cruz.
The Camp Staff:
MIP Camp Director and Project Coordinator: Tania Bernardo, AHF Youth Minister
The Asst. Project Coordinator: Jason Discipulo
Camp Pastors: Pastor Lyle Lopez, AHF Head Pastor
Akeem Lumongsod, AHF Youth Pastor
Program Coordinator: Anthony Fox, AHF Asst. to the Youth Pastor
Logistics and Pre-registration: Nikki Marquez, AHF Asst. to the Youth Minister
Registration and Finance: Joy Aldaba
Publicity and Publications: Winchaell Villarico, AHF Armor Bearers Head Boy
Camp Medic: Akeem Lumongsod
We saw growth in each individual as we prepared for the camp. The preparation had given the Armor Bearer’s leadership not only time to organize the needs for the retreat but also paved the way to fellowship with each other, building trust thus augmenting each other with their individual strengths as they focused on God.
The advance party consisted Pastor Lyle Lopez, Sis. Tania Bernardo, Bro. Jason Discipulo, Bro. Winchaell Villarico, Sis. Nikki Marquez and Ate Rose, arrived in the Aspen Garden Resort at around 7AM and began to set everything needed before the registration process. We rented a bus that would transport the participants from Quezon City to San Ildefonso, Bulacan. When they reached the destination, we began the registration, distributed the MIP manuals and ID’s and assigned their respective rooms. We began with a prayer which was followed by Praise and worship. We were all gathered in the plenary hall and were welcomed by Pastor Lyle Lopez to the Mission is Possible Youth Camp 2012. We greeted each other as excitement filled the air, truly this retreat was different from the rest. Our camp director, Ate Tania, oriented us about the camp rules and commandments and the camp traditions. Each house has 5,000 points initially and we are about to gain merits in everything we do inside the camp; demerits will be given for violations and other misconducts. Our camp song which was sang as one of the praise and worship songs was entitled: Nothing is Impossible by Planetshakers. As part of the whole camp, there were cool rhythms of different clappings. We were taught about the cheers and yells of the camp such as “Amen!” being the Camper’s Creed, the Encouragement cheer, “Kaya mo yan!” and of course our camp yell: POSSIBLE! And yes, indeed, mission is possible!
After the energizing orientation, we had our lunch together and took a rest for a while to prepare for the first Spare Time Activity entitled: “Bombing Run.” We were given limited water balloons and we were supposed to shoot the balloons inside the hula-hoop held by a member of a team at the other side of the pool. This is to test the strategic skills of the team. House of Gideon excelled in their teamwork and thus won the game. Back to the plenary hall, we had our first session entitled: “Mission is Possible” by Youth Pastor Akeem Lumongsod. We underwent a mission briefing to prepare ourselves in facing the mission we are called to do and that is to seek God and glorify Him through Christ, to make Him the center of our focus and the rest, secondary. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, it is possible.
We had our second STA called “Drawing from the Well.” Each member of the house was asked to get water from the pool using a plastic cup and a straw rope and to pour the water into another plastic cup for each respective team. The catch here was that we were not allowed to touch the plastic cup and that the plastic cups had small holes below so our patience and our emulation of Christlikeness should be present in this game. The team who won in this game used its calmness and patience for the activity. Though it was hard and despite the obstacles, they remained strategic and focused. Another round of applause for the House of Gideon for winning the second game. Praise God for team Gideon! After having our STA, we had our team building. Each house prepared for its showcase of talents in the Talent Night that was held after dinner. It was a time given to us to design and make our flags that would represent our house, to prepare our cheer and our main performance for the night, and to tie up bonds to one another. We enjoyed each other’s company and fellowship during our preparation. There were funny, serious, encouraging moments along the way.In the Talent Night, the teams presented and described their fantastic flags. The Talent Night made everyone closer to each other, know more about each other and expose the hidden talents within everyone. We all had fun during the night and no one else could put such joy in our hearts but only God who moves with us in all time. Everybody participated in the program and had a great time watching and discovering the surprising talents of one another. After all, the Whistle Bearer, Ate Tania, signaled Lights Out which is a three long whistle sound denoting bedtime.
We began the day praising and worshipping our God in spirit and in truth. Sis. Joy Aldaba led the devotion in the morning, lifting the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and praising Him for the Holy presence of God in her life and in the lives of everyone.After the devotion, Ate Tania, whistled one long sound calling for a general assembly for the third STA which is the “Eternal Tunnel.” In this activity, each house has two 1-ft. PVC pipes and a marble. It is a relay race that tests the patience, perseverance, teamwork and sensitivity of each member for no one can see the marble inside, rolling to the next pipe; and if the marble drops, members should start over again. And now we have a new 1st placer, the House of Daniel! A message from the counselor of House Daniel, Bro. Anthony Fox: “After seeing the strengths and capabilities among our members, we picked the ones who have steady hands. We just focused on the goal and did it with much patience despite the numerous repetitions we’ve gone through. When we reached the checkpoint, everything went smooth and unexpectedly, we won 1st place. Praise God!” We had our re-energizing breakfast and had a chance to fellowship with each other again before attending the second session entitled: “In His Majesty’s Service” by Pastor Lyle Lopez. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, we are called Ambassadors for Christ as though God makes His plea through us. We plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!” We learned that the greatest calling of man is to worship God and by being transformed, we continue to be set apart – connected to God but disconnected to the lies of the world. And though we claim to be Christians, we lose heart and compromise because we lack the knowledge of the Supremacy of Christ. After breaking bread together, we moved on to the first part of our Deliverance Session which is: “Delivered From Sin” by Pastor Lyle Lopez. We understood that there are people who claim to have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and yet they don’t bear fruit. The Lord wants us to be delivered from the darkness of this world. We are in a spiritual battle where the forces of evil try to overcome people but we have power against such evil in Jesus’ Name. We have power to repent of the sins and to break satanic strongholds. How? By focusing our minds and our hearts to the King of Kings, trusting our lives in Him and live the best life He has given us.
After the session, we were gathered by our camp director for the last STA of our camp. The activity is called, “Extreme Scripture Hunt,” where each house should choose one member who is willing to dive into the swimming pool and collect marbles as many as possible. Each color of the marbles has a corresponding category. The white ones are for the “Paint Me a Picture” where the team has to portray the given scenario, the green ones correspond to the Bible verses recitation, and the blue marbles are for the things found in the Bible that the members should know or answer. We saw the team effort of each house in this activity. Truly God shines His light to everyone. And praise God for the House of David who won 1st place in this activity! Everybody enjoyed and had fun. We had our free time after the last STA. The others went swimming; the others chose to rest and relax.
It rained so hard that we had our dinner in our rooms. We stayed in the veranda of the villa and moved on to the second part of our Deliverance Session with Pastor Lyle. We understood that greater is He who lives in me than the one who is in the world and that we should guard our hearts and our minds against any evil things. We had breakouts and held the discussions in the rooms. We discussed about the satanic strongholds: occult, bondages, immorality and the sins. We should be focused on God, not letting any sin or evil thing overcome us. We shall have NO other gods before Him. We should get rid of all bitterness, wrath, clamor, slander, and malice. Instead, we should be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other as God in Christ forgave us. We learned that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God. God doesn’t want us to be sent in hell. He desires us to make Him the center of our focus, live the life He wants us to live, and surrender ourselves to Him. We confessed our sins and listed them in our Deliverance list together with the list of the people who have done us wrong. We listed also the names of the people we desire to make our relationship restored and those who we wanted to be prayed for that they may receive the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Before we end the deliverance session, Pastor Lyle prayed with us.
Ate Tania called for a general assembly beside the pool. We had a morning exercise to boost one another in facing another day of joy and love. The morning was filled with holiness as we sang praises and worship for our God, led by Pastor Lyle Lopez. We started the Baptism session with Pastor Lyle giving us the proper mindset before baptism. Baptism can only be accomplished through the power and strength of Jesus Christ. As stated in our MIP manuals, it is an outward manifestation of an inward change of belief. Baptism is a public declaration of identification with Christ in which a person is completely immersed in water. It is not a means to salvation; it is a declaration of salvation. After our session, we burned our deliverance lists and prayed over these things. We thoroughly surrendered all things to God and entrusted our lives to Him. And the time has come to be baptized in Jesus’ Name. Praise God for our dear brethren who stood up, renewed their minds and made God the center of their focus! We had our wonderful breakfast and fellowship together. And afterwards, we proceed to our last session entitled: “Mission Accepted: Think Differently.” We accepted our true mission that is to shine God’s light in a world filled with paranoia, depression and despair of each spirit that lacks purpose. We should be set apart, not clinging to the sins we used to do before. Think differently, making God our focus and living a peaceful life with Him. And we believe that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
After having our lunch, the agents who stood out, gave much effort for the glory of God and remained vigorous were recognized in the Awarding Ceremonies. Our Mr. MIP is Bro. Gio Reyes for showing distinct attitudes to be worthy of service for God. On the other hand, our Ms. MIP is Sis. Jayne Caranto. For the flags, House Caleb won for the best explanation about its flag; House Joshua for the standpoint and design of its colorful flag; and House David for the representation of its flag according to its character. And for the MIP House Cup:
1st Place: House of Gideon 4th Place: House of Daniel
2nd Place: House of Joshua 5th Place: House of Caleb
3rd Place: House of David
Our brothers and sisters from GMA 7 visited and covered the last day of our 3-day camp. Despite the presence of cameras in our camp, God is our audience and He is the reason why we were all there. It is He who brought people in and joined the retreat. They also interviewed Pastor Lyle Lopez in the end.
We bid farewell to our dear brothers and sisters who were in the bus as we readied ourselves to carry out our mission to the outside world. We truly had a great time of fellowship and much learning in our MIP youth camp. Indeed, in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Later in the afternoon, Pastor Lyle had a New Creation Session with the adults. We praise and glorify the name of our God and His Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. It was by His power and the Holy Spirit that our dear brothers and sisters in Christ were brought in to the fold and were baptized as Born Again Christians, New Creations in God’s light and power. His faithfulness and love is truly amazing!
Some citations/quotations from our youth leaders, brothers and sisters in Christ:
“In the House of Gideon, at first I feel awkward kasi in our team, 6 boys and 2 girls lang kami. Pero nagbago agad yung feeling ko sa first game kasi ang bilis namin maging close sa isa’t isa. I’m so blessed na sila ang naging teammates ko kasi napakarami kong natutunan sa kanila at isa sila sa mga naging dahilan kung bakit naging meaningful ang Mission is Possible camp experience ko. ☺” –Sis. Maxine Aquino, from the House of Gideon
“Talagang maganda at masaya! Saludo ako sa inyong lahat sa grabeng preparations! Praise God sa ating lahat! ☺ Sa bus pa lang, masaya na at may activities na agad. Maganda talaga yung resort. Panalo rin yung ID’s and camp manuals, naka-ayos talaga ang mga lessons. Magaling din si Ate Tania bilang Camp Director, talagang nadidisiplina yung mga campers. Masaya at bago rin ang mga games, hindi mainstream! Maganda rin yung praise and worship services at mga messages nina Pastor Lyle. Sobrang nakaka-bless na naiiyak nalang ako bigla kasi nararamdaman ko yung presence ni Lord doon sa ating camp. So much win talaga! Tunay nga, with God, all things are possible! ☺” –Sis. Arjelou Dela Cruz, Counselor of House Joshua
“Mission Accomplished!” –Bro. Anthony Fox, Counselor of House Daniel
“Masaya! Marami kaming natutunan. Naroon din yung kahalagahan ng teamwork. Nakaka-bless maging part ng MIP Youth Camp. ☺” –Sis. Pauline Marquez, from the House of Caleb
“Thank You, Lord. I’m glad to say that hindi ako magiging best team leader kung hindi dahil sa cooperation, pagiging disiplinado at masigasig nila for MIP Youth Camp 2012. I learned a lot from the camp lalo na sa teachings ni Pastor Lyle Lopez. Sana maulit! Thank you sa bumubuo ng MIP Youth Camp. Praise God!” –Bro. Emman Sese, House David’s Team Leader
“The camp is an evidence that ALL things are possible through God. Though the team is just a handful, God’s grace and favor were with us. I saw how God sustained us and walked with us from the preparation to the camp. It’s an honor and a great privilege to be used by God to minister the youths. ☺” –Bro. Akeem Lumongsod, AHF Youth Pastor
“I am amazed and overwhelmed as to how God moved in the lives of both the campers and the leaders. From the planning and preparation, fundraising, until the actual camp itself, He has been truly faithful. It is because of God that this camp was made possible and successful. Glory to God!” –Sis. Tania Bernardo, MIP Camp Director; AHF Youth Minister
“I thank and praise God for such a successful, wonderful retreat that moved each youth to stand up for the truth, seek renewal in each heart and mind to invoke a true sacrificial transformation. Glory to God for the team, for the workers who stood their ground and worked diligently to shine God’s light to all. It is an honor to serve with all of you, servants of the Most High God!” –Pastor Lyle Lopez, AHF Philippines Head Pastor
Through You I can do anything, I can do all things ‘cause it’s You who gives me strength, nothing is impossible! Through You, blind eyes are open, strongholds are broken, I am living by faith, nothing is impossible!
Agents. Yes, we are agents indeed; agents of God who are called to shine His light and love to all people and our mission is to glorify Him alone, draw people closer to God, make Him our focal point, and strengthen the unity of the body of Christ. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.Mission is POSSIBLE!
All Glory and Honor to God!