By Roman Cuadro
CFC SFL Batangas
2012 marks the 3rd year after I finally made up my mind to crossover from YFL Ministry to SFL Ministry. My life has never been the same as God continues to surprise me even on times when everything seems so ordinary. He also surprises me on my missions, relationships and now on my service as my home province, Batangas, hosts the South Luzon Committed Servants Weekend. It was held last September 29-30, 2012 at CCT Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center.
It was during our South Luzon MV Coordination Meeting when I received the good news from God about the said event. Even if I know that it is an annual event, it always brings excitement to my heart. I was too excited to accept His invitation not knowing that He would also call me to become the event head of the said weekend retreat. When Bro. Jeff approached me, I said to myself that it would somehow be easy for me since I have been an event head during my YFL days, particularly in a DYC. But then again, God surprised me unexpectedly. As we had our first meeting as a team, everything that needs to be prepared starts to sink into my mind and I started to worry. I worried about a lot of things – logistics, program, people and everything that goes with the event. I found myself talking to Him and eventually surrendering everything to Him. As the host area, we were given the most important assignment – to look for a venue. Tito Ed, our SFL District Coordinator and I helped each other to scout for possible venues that can accommodate at least 300 persons. Unfortunately, none of the prospect venues met our needs. Some are unavailable of our target date, others were already fully booked while some are too small for us. Our last option was to use the same venue that CSW NCR used, but it was also full and unavailable on our target dates. Human in nature, I could not stop worrying, but then again God did not fail me and indeed He did not let me down. As I was surfing the internet, God intervened. I was so desperate that time to look for a venue and to my surprise He provided me with one.
Few days after, I attended the CSW of NCR. I have attended the said event to observe how they would execute the retreat and to focus on our own program. My original plan was to be functional but He changed my heart and He surprised me more than I expected. He also prepared my heart spiritually for I am about to face
When things are not going the way you have planned it, be happy because for sure it will be God’s plan that is working on us.
a battle. It was also a special time to attend CSW NCR, for my God’s gift and I were celebrating our first anniversary on that day. It was an awesome gift from God to be there as we both share the same passion and commitment on serving Him. After the retreat proper, the team decided to conduct an ocular visit for South Luzon’s prospect venue. While we were there, roaming around the venue, God is speaking continuously to my heart, telling me that the whole thing is a surprise to us! It was really a very beautiful place to conduct CSW! The ambiance is very conducive, nature is at its best and Tagaytay’s cold atmosphere adds more beauty to the place. God told me that He would be in-charge of that weekend, not the service team and not even me so I don’t need to worry at all! He has provided us with a beautiful venue and He could provide us with more. However, during the preparation period, too much oppression came – my relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ, meeting our allocations, my workplace and even in the said event , it did not stop. Things are happening not according to how we have planned it, schedules were not met, and some key persons were not coordinated properly. Then I remembered what Bro. Jepoy told us during our recollection held during our the story conference few days before the event: “When things are not going the way you have planned it, be happy because for sure it will be God’s plan that is working on us.” Indeed, everything happened not according to what we have planned but according to God’s plan.
On the first day of CSW, we have met God, where He is truly present during the Exposition. He met me and spoke with me in my heart, assuring me of His unfailing love. I have decided to respond to His love like the song that goes “I now declare my allegiance to You. My life and my will at your service my God” as He called me and gave me the gift of mission. As Rev.Job , our speaker for first session said : “Everything is not an accident”. I do believe that from the time He called me to be part of this community until I decided to become one of His workers; all of it was not merely an accident. It happened because He loved me first more than I have loved Him. The second session made me realized that living for Him reflects not only on the times I am on the community but more importantly on my daily life as a son, a brother, a friend and a Christian. During the praisefest I decided to sit beside my lower household, it was a mountain-top experience for me as their household servant seeing them developing the same passion of worshipping our God. I also had a chance to bond with my co-missionaries of South Luzon.
On the second day of the event, we were all called to share Christ, to evangelize and not to just merely recruit people and that evangelization is very important to Jesus. As we meet and live Christ in our daily lives, it is also important to share Him to others so that they may also experience the same love that we are experiencing in the community.
I have learned to humble myself down, to the point that I have to die spiritually as I try to understand and to share the love God has given us to others. I had my life having the vertical side of the cross as I commit myself and my all to Him. Now, it is the perfect time to have its horizontal side – to have a deep, loving and more personal relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I believe that God has destined me to be here in SFL Ministry. He has entrusted me to shepherd His flock. He has shown me His radical love and now He has called me to live and share Christ to others as I meet Him in my own Galilee.