I never really got to blog about the True Love Waits Retreat 2010, that was collaborated between SJBCI and OHIC. The two youth groups were present, with a total of 40 registrants, and about 10 teachers/helpers.
We prayed for this retreat, really asking God to speak to these young people, and He didn’t just speak to them, there was a time at that retreat when you could honestly feel the Holy Spirit convicting everyone in the room, even myself. I remember going in the middle of the room taking pictures, and while I was listening to a simple song being sung by just two people on one guitar, I felt the need to get on the floor, stop taking pictures, and just sit down, in awe. I looked up, looked around and realized that I wasn’t the only one. Tears started coming down for these youth. Tears started coming down for Marchesa 12 years ago, and the realization of the person God has raised since then. I honestly struggled within those few minutes, walking to the back so no one would notice. I finally got the strength to pick up my lens and start shooting pictures again, knowing they would be blessed by what I was witnessing.
I believe with my whole heart that all those youth were being broken. I went to the front of the room because I was one of the people to pray over them. As I waited for them to come up one by one, I heard Pstr. Jus give the altar call, and to my surprise, they didn’t come up trickling slowly, but as a herd. They came up, quickly, without hesitance, most ardently! I was in amazement and overwhelmed, wishing there were more leaders who could pray over every individual with a personal prayer. I saw Rogie having to pray for more than one person at a time. I had to try to give time to each person close to me, people who were bawling, crying, uncontrollably weeping, and I felt almost helpless. But I was overjoyed with what God was doing in their lives at that moment, knowing it wasn’t a result, but a pivotal point in their purpose. As I prayed one by one, I felt myself empathizing for them, for each one who had their head bowed down, just weeping. I heard other people praying, Pstr.Justin speaking, and stifled cries.
I closed the altar call in prayer, and was blessed… After everyone dispersed, I hugged a lot of my youth, and felt like a proud mom. We had the bonfire that night, and so many of them really opened up, even the “shy” ones.
I’m really thankful for such a blessed retreat. I could have prayed, planned, and hoped, but God was the only one to bless, convict, change, and deliver. Thank you Lord.
I also need to say thanks to all the leaders and teachers. Their preparation and dedication to follow through to the end was such an encouragement, knowing that the retreat wasn’t just a convenience, but a priority. Ken, Sarah, Genny, Rogie, and Pastor Jus, God bless you for your service and passion for these youth.