By Jennifer Castro
CFC SFL Antipolo
“Allow God to surprise you”- Pope Francis
This message would perfectly sum up my World Singles Congress 2015 experience. God spoke to me clearly, made His love felt strongly, and even gave me a gift that was beyond overwhelming.
Days before the WSC, I had two prayers- first was for God to give me an open mind and an open heart so I can fully understand His message for me. I was praying hard for this because I consider WSC as my date with my Lord. My second prayer is that for this weekend to be helpful for my friend. I invited her, a non- SFL member and my teammate at work, to join the WSC as she is undergoing some challenges in her life.
I felt that this WSC will really be a special one since me and my friend were allowed to go on half- day leave so we can start the first day program. And true enough- it was only talk 1 yet I already received God’s message! I had a recurring feeling that I am very undeserving of God’s love because I am a sinner yet talk 1 said that Christ loves us and does not care of our past. I was struck with what Kuya EJ Aguila said when he showed the picture of Jesus Christ having the Last Supper with the street children. He said that “walang pakialam si Kristo kung bago ka kumain kasama Siya ay nagnakaw yung isang bata. Wala siyang pakialam kung un isang bata may ginawang masama.” Indeed, Christ loves us amidst our shortcomings.
For the second day, I gained more insights and reflections. I am thankful for the workshops since it nourished me in the other aspects of my life such as my lovelife and career. Then came talk 2. It was a very “tagos-sa-puso” talk. People around me and even my friend are crying. When the activity on prayer tower started, I was thinking if I should go to a sister to ask her to pray for me since my concerns are not that deep. There are more people in pain and need prayer warriors. Then I decided to go to one sister since I remembered the bible verse from Matthew 18:20 “When two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them”. I shared to a sister to please pray for me that my family will have a harmonious relationship, that God leads me to the right career path He wants for me, and to bless my relationship with my boyfriend. She then placed her one hand in my shoulder then I placed my hand in her shoulder as well. I was repeating on my mind “God I surrender my life to you, ikaw na bahala”. When she started with the Sign of the Cross, I suddenly fell! I got slained in the Spirit! After falling, I was conscious- I was hearing people panicking because of what happened to me. Personally I felt very relaxed as and at peace. That is why I knew it was the Holy Spirit working. I was carried outside the Grand Hall so I can breathe more. When I told those who carried me that I am okay, I am not dizzy but I always experience slain when I am being prayed over, a tito approached me. He told me that the Holy Spirit was with me and that this can eventually be developed to a gift of healing. I was shocked to know this yet humbled. That night, I prayed that if it is God’s will to grant me the gift of healing then so be it.
On day 3 of the WSC, I was so excited for the Praisefest because it has always been one of my favorite parts of every Congress. When the song “How Great is our God” was being sung, I was first taking a video of it because it was such a nice view that everyone was so into singing and raising their hands in worship. Then, when I stopped taking a video then continue raising my hands in worship, I suddenly fell again. It was much unexpected since nobody was praying over me and I was just worshipping. Again people around me came to ask what happened to me but my sisters in SFL Antipolo knew that I just got slained. After a few minutes, I stood up again to continue worshipping. My eyes were closed and my arms are fully stretched as if reaching out to God. Then I heard someone speaking in tongues. I opened my eyes then I saw that my hands are formed like Jesus’ hands in the Resurrection like this:
When I saw my hands formed like this, I understand immediately that God was truly giving me a gift. I got slained again. The people around me decided to get me out of the room. As I was helped to get out of the room, I was crying hard. I do not know why but I just suddenly cried. Outside, the medical team was checking on me, offering me water, offering me a brown bag so I can breathe but I told them I was fine. When I felt that I was okay, I went inside again to join the program. When I went to my District, my bestfriend wore the Christ Is Enough baller in my hand. Again I immediately fell again. I was brought outside again. Then, suddenly something happened-my hands were trembling and it felt as if they had electricity running on my hand! I was crying harder because I knew that it was the experience of those who have the gift of healing. While crying, one of the couple coordinators in SFL Antipolo was praying over me. I cannot hear him while he was praying. I was just speaking a prayer of my own- thanking God for this gift and telling Him that I was unworthy yet he gave this to me. I was asking Him to guide me now that He willed me to have the gift of Healing. One of my sisters who had the gift of Tongues was holding my hand while I was praying on my own and being prayed over. Suddenly I heard that she also fell and was speaking in tongues at the same moment! After her Tongues, she shared that the Spirit was so strong in me that is why it was also channeled to her. One sister also told me that I was also speaking in tongues while I was being prayed over. It was another miracle since I have never experienced speaking in Tongues before!
After some time, my hands were still trembling and the “electricity- feeling” was still there even if the people around me were massaging my hands. Then I saw my friend who was one of the people checking on me and praying for me and telling people that I do get slained a lot of times. I suddenly felt the need to pray for her. I asked her to sit beside me and I hold her hand. I prayed that God heal her from all her hurts. She suddenly cried hard without knowing why. I placed my hands on her and continue praying for Christ to grant her complete and total healing. I felt the electricity moving from my hands and transferring to her. After that, I got slained again while I was sitting. I had to rest for a while. After that, I asked her how she felt. She said she did not know why she was crying and she felt that there was a message for her but she was not fully able to get it. I put my hand on her again and prayed to the Lord to please talk to her and give her His message. After the prayer, she was crying again. She told me that while I was praying for her, she saw something white in her peripheral view and heard a voice saying to her “I am healing you”. The voice said that two times. I was praising God and thanking Him because I know that He is indeed healing my friend for all her hurts.
One day after the WSC yet I am still overwhelmed with my close encounter with the Holy Spirit. And now as I am typing this, I can feel again my hands getting hot and heavy. This is indeed the greatest miracle in my life. I do not know yet what God wants me to do or how I will use this very special gift. I am sometimes afraid too because it is something unknown for me. But whenever fear sets in, I brush it off and tell myself that God gave this to me so I should not be afraid. He is the one in charge. He is in control.
Christ is enough for me. His grace and love is more than enough for me. That is my key message for me not just during the 3- day World Singles Congress but my whole life as well. In you Christ, I am at peace because I know you are the one in control of my life.