May 20, 2012, our district coordinator texted me if I could go on mission to Gumaca, Quezon from May 23 to 27 with two yfl from nova and two from YFL lucena. Without a doubt, I said yes. So the remaining days before the mission is full of preparations and talking to the people involved. I knew that the coming week would be jam-packed! The first day is workshops, second day is HST, third is YCT and camp until 27. My prayer to God is that may the Lord use the team Gumaca powerfully. I can say that the Lord really used me and the team!
I can summarize the things that I learned into five.
First is being mission ready. There are a lot of situations in the mission wherein God tested us whether we are prepared or not. During the parent’s orientation in talk 5 of YC, I did not expect that I will be the one talking to the parents. I even made a joke that I thought I was in a PTA meeting in school. I personally knew that I should be ready when these things come unexpected because when we work for God, always expect the unexpected.
Second is Humility. God really humbled me in this mission trip. There was a time when we have to go house to house to invite the youth of Gumaca for the YC. We talked to everyone we do not know. We went to a school and talked to the students there. We did all of those things even if we know that the people might reject us, mock us, suspect us, etc. Another thing is that when the parish priest of Gumaca prayed for us after the mass is their parish. It was a humbling experience knowing and accepting that we are nothing without God.
Third, Trust in God and the people chosen by God. YFL Gumaca is young. Even the mission team is also young. Honestly, I doubted at first. But then again, the Lord kept on telling us to trust in Him. And again, I was reminded that our young age cannot stop us from proclaiming God’s word. In five days, I saw the growth of YFL Gumaca. Young people worked together for us to make the Lord known in that place. And I can say that it is still all about trusting God and on what can He do to our lives.
Fourth, Power of the Holy Spirit. I can say that I began the mission spiritually dry. I don’t know why, because even before that mission was assigned to me, it was a hard time for me to pray and I really felt spiritual dryness. But when I entered the Blessed Sacrament on San Diego De Alcala church in Gumaca, I felt renewed. I felt that the Holy Spirit refuelled me and made me on fire in service again. From that moment, I believe that the Lord made me do extraordinary things, the Lord made me do things I’ve never done before. An example is compressing the 5 talks of YCT into 1 talk that is good for 1hr and 20 minutes. Another is teaching three young boys how to lead the worship, and how to speak in front. Another thing that makes our mission spirit-filled is that the last day was the Pentecost day! I believe that the Holy Spirit guided us all throughout the mission. Those are just some of the things that I believe would not happen without the help of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lastly is to Enjoy. For five years in this community, I always put to heart that mission is not a burden nor a problem nor a suffering but a gift from God. And just like any other gift, when we receive it we must be happy and enjoy it. Mission is something that is enjoyed and should be done with love. During the last day of the mission I experienced things I never experienced before; eating toasted siopao, playing ten rounds of bowling, eating chammy (i’m not sure with the spelling), playing Catan, and manymore.
I will never forget this YFL mission. The generosity of the YFL family there, the Cabuena family, the CFC FFL community, even SFL and KFL and their warm welcome to us is so unforgettable and very touching experience. This is why I can truly say that the most addicting part of serving God is the part wherein the Lord allows you to see how great He works in the lives of the people. This is the best life ever. Amen
By: DR Arellano (YFL Mission Volunteer and District Servant, Novaliches)