By Julai Amper Nogalada
CFC SFL Barcelona, Spain
I just recently ended an almost 5-year relationship; I was financially broke, and was constantly thinking about laying low in the community. My mind was already made up: I’m not attending the family conference in Prague. And the fact that I’ll be the only CFC SFL from Spain wasn’t helping at all. I made other plans. But just like Jonah who refused to go to Nineveh, I was swallowed by the whale and spitted out in Prague (despite two flight delays)!
Few minutes after the first session, CHOSEN, started, I already understood why I made it to the European Family Conference and 20th anniversary of our community in Europe. God reassured me once again that I am hand-picked to be part of our CFC-FFL family. We all are, no matter what reasons we had in the beginning. We and our community are chosen to spread His words and love to the world.
God was talking to me the entire weekend thru the talks and sharings. He explained to me in sessions 2 and 3 why He allowed me to be BROKEN. But He also pointed out that my brokenness is mainly due to my sins! I was reprimanded, but in a loving way (just what I needed). He also reminded me that His invitation for me and us to follow Him is not only up to Calvary, but until His glorious resurrection! It just strengthens my belief that I’ll surely see a beautiful rainbow after all the darkness that I’m experiencing – an assurance that my brokenness will turn into wholeness in His time. In session 4, He told me that He allowed me to be broken, so I can be GIVEN. Given and shared to others, so He can be known.
As the conference ended with a super inspiring and lively praisefest, I thought God was done talking to me. So I already agreed to have about 3 hours of sightseeing before the Holy Mass. But the announcement came that there will be a send-off talk for YFLs and SFLs after lunch. I was torn between the choices (God was already testing me). I decided to stay and super glad I did because He affirmed me during the talk that He loves me and He wants me to bring Him to the ends of the earth. We are modern missionaries and we should start our mission with our family and friends. He also taught me that the only way to grow love is to give it away!
I didn’t see any of the spectacular views in Prague and I lost my conference kit in the airport, but I came home to Barcelona with overflowing happiness, love and hope for the future, just like what He has promised in Jeremiah 29:11.
Whatever brokenness that God will allow me to experience in the future and wherever He will bring me, I will keep serving Him in whatever way I can because: (sing with me) “I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back”.
And it is my prayer and claim that I will no longer be the only CFC SFL from Spain in the next European SFL Congress in Geneva, Switzerland!
Glory be to our AWESOME, OMNIPOTENT and OMNIPRESENT GOD at all times!