Last April 13-14, we had a camping encounter for the young people of Malaybalay, Bukidnon held at the Cinchona Forest Reserve, in Lantapan. Eleven young people and four lay members of the Verbum Dei Missionary Family (Dee Ann, Aila, Rey, Jay-anne) formed the group for a two-days-one-night encounter.
The place itself, full of pine trees and 16°C at night, helped us greatly to encounter God who speaks loudly in the Word and in nature. With the theme “Only Love is the Answer,” the talks Your Life is for Love and To be Christ invited all of us to know God as who he truly is—LOVE. This activity was a foretaste of the Verbum Dei spirituality and charism for the people of Malaybalay which we will offer to them.
Below are photos of some of the moments we had and also the experience of some of the participants.
(Photos and article c/o Jay Anne)
Some experiences from the camp
April 13-14, 2018 was not just an ordinary youth encampment. It was my first time and I still didn’t know what will happen or what to expect in the end. On the first day, you can really feel the good vibes flowing down your veins; after we had our lunch, Jay-anne then now discusses about what will happen and what it will be all about. It was quite exciting because it was all about seeking how God loves you so much. I’m lucky enough to join this youth encounter. We had done a lot of activities—we prayed, we shared, we laughed, we sang together, and we went for an adventure to the waterfalls. It was really an extraordinary moment in my eighteen years of existence. For just two days I realized how lucky I am to have God in my life; how amazing it feels when you allow God to stay in your life. Those moments we had for those two days were for keeps and I want to share it to other people how daebak (amazing) it is to serve God.
—Early Joy Chavez
I was so amazed at how different the camp was compared to the other camps I’ve joined before. There I felt all the more the call of God for me because there I experienced so much joy, so blessed because most of my questions in life I was able to share to the others and to God. I also felt so free to express myself, even if it was nonsense at times. In the trek to the waterfalls, realizing how good God is in all that he created was also one of the things that made me happy. I also learned a lot in the prayers, I learned more and more what prayer should be. From the talks I understood a lot about God. There in that camp I experienced so much joy that even after I arrived at home I didn’t feel any tiredness, I only felt very light as if I am floating. I didn’t want to go home, I would have wanted to extend the camp because I felt so strongly the presence of God as if he is constantly hugging me and he’s always on my side. I was so happy that the smile on my face when I was on the camp was the same smile I had when I arrived home. I feel so much that God is with me, it is unexplainable. I feel so blessed until now.
—Darwin Jay Jumawan