The Road to ILC Aklan: “MALAKAS ANG LOOB” (Strong of Will)
(My prayer here…)
After I say all the contents of my day’s prayer, I usually tend to end it with something like…
P.S.: “Lord, Please send some cash. Hehe. Yung ILC registration 1k, yung pamasahe mga 2k. Plus a little allowance na kahit 500 lang (pangsnacks and tshirt). Basta Lord, please grant me the permission to be there. And I know you will. So may your will be done. AMEN!” (sign of the cross and ends with a trusting smile)
ILC! ILC! ILC! It sounds so sweet. It really doesn’t bother me much if I can go or not. Truth is I always know I can and that the good Lord will allow me, eventually. “MALAKAS ANG LOOB.” Approximately six years ago, I joined Youth for Christ. And for the past six years of my life, the Lord has allowed me to experience the International Leaders’ Conference in those stirring months of April, not missing a single ILC for whatever reason. I didn’t have enough money to spend for all the fare and the registrations. I swear I didn’t. And even though my parents may understand my cry for financial help for ILC or other conferences, they just couldn’t let me rely on them during those months. A solid rule was clearly established at home: That I have to raise funds out of my own efforts to bring myself to the conferences. If I couldn’t register for myself, no permission would be granted by my parents. If I couldn’t pay for my fare, then I couldn’t go. It was a challenge accepted. I accepted it with grace and reliance on my Lord.
However, the first ILC I experienced was filled with so many doubts. The thought of saving money became a burden and I didn’t know what else to do. I was desperately hoping and “worrying” about how I could fix things for ILC. Yet, six years ago, I was granted a good favor. The Lord probably made arrangements for me, so I was there on my first ILC. Then, maybe the Lord made good arrangements again for me, so I was there and had my 2nd ILC. From then on, I declared that I would be among the thousands of youths declaring the glory of the Lord in every ILC that I would be granted. I could not set limits for a very great GOD. And maybe I was really favored to go; but if I was, then maybe you too.
By now, the magic of His grace soothes my soul. It was magical as to lose all the doubts. It was more than magical to be granted too many favors. The Lord has taught me to trust in His ways and be manipulated by Him, constantly. I permanently have forgotten my doubtful questions. I permanently have gained confidence in the Lord, too much confidence that my heart can perhaps easily let go of all the negativity that I may encounter. For me, there is no bigger problem than forgetting our heavenly Father, and so I will stick with Him like a leech.
The prayer I shared above was my way of teasing my Lord about the event that most YFCs are craving to experience. But have I done my part? Have you? I don’t want to end up dealing only 80% for the Lord during ILC, with the 10% to meet new friends, and the other 10% for fun and the travel experience. I am always reminded to assure a 100% allotment for the Lord and the rest should be bonuses or blessings. The 40% happiness, 30% gratitude, 10% inspiration, etc. are bonuses already. Have you realized that? If we really, really want to experience the Almighty, then we need to prepare. It isn’t about the cash anymore, or the clothes we have to bring or anything else, but our faith and our yearnings for repentance.
This year, I will be at ILC’Aklan. “MALAKAS NGA ANG LOOB”. And if by any chance my physical countenance won’t be spotted there, it is rest assured that my heart and soul will be. For “MY SOUL PROCLAIMS THE GREATNESS OF THE LORD; MY SPIRIT REJOICES IN GOD MY SAVIOR”.
This article is part of “The Road to ILC Aklan” series and was written by Rouella Cinco, YFC Web Contributor.