YFC Global Leaders Summit 2011
“The Lord said to me, I have a greater task for you, my servant. Not only will you restore to greatness the people of Israel who have survived, but I will also make you a light to the nations so that all the world may be saved.”
– Isaiah 49:6
This was the carrier verse for the first ever YFC Global Leaders Summit, where youth leaders and couple coordinators from all over the world gathered last August 12 to 14, 2011. Held at 1 Esplanade inPasayCity, Metro Manila, Philippines, the summit was attended by over 200 delegates from Manila, Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Singapore, the Middle East, Australia, Canada, and Africa.
The summit began on Friday afternoon with Holy Mass presided by Fr. Albert Orillo. Afterwards, a Global Festival was held to welcome all the delegates, wherein the YFC leaders from the various areas, regions, and countries paraded their flags while the Believe Dance Company reinterpreted the different countries’ national dances.
This was followed by YFC trivia games, with the different mission areas sending their best bets onstage to answer the different questions. Soon after, one of the most awaited activities began—the Taste of the World segment, wherein the delegates would go around the event hall distributing generous samplings of their local delicacies! It was a good kind of pandemonium, as the delegates and service team alike scrambled to get up from their seats and try all that the others offered. Chicharon, dried mangoes, a wide variety of kakanin, lechon—name it, and the delegates had it!
Later that evening, the emcees led the crowd in singing “Glory Glory Lord” in various languages—English, Tagalog, Ilonggo, Chavacano, and such. After that, the CFC International Missions Office coordinator, Kirby Llaban, with the help of the band, proceeded to give the first session of the summit, entitled “The Great Adventure”. He highlighted the history of YFC with his own experiences and that of the community, and punctuated each important chapter with a corresponding song. He summarized the blessed history of this young community with 5 F’s: Fervor to conquer the world, Fearlessness, Faithfulness in difficult times, Fullness of hearts, and being on Fire with the Holy Spirit. He then led the entire delegation into worshipping the God of the impossible, and asking Him to bless the new generation of missionaries as they continue to glorify the Lord. After the praisefest, the delegates trooped back to their hosts to get some rest for the big day that lay ahead.
The second day of the summit was jam-packed with workshops, starting with the plenary on YFC Program updates that was facilitated by the FTPW assigned in Singapore, Mike Ybiernas. Following a talk show format, each program was briefly explained by Goi Villegas (Community-Based), Jueren Nabua (High School-Based), Jep Calumag (Campus-Based), Kevin Muico (YFC Communications), and Ghamay Pepito (TORCH). Each of the guests highlighted the vision-mission of their programs, its history, best practices, how it can be applied to the various international mission areas, and what to expect from each in the future. The second part of the workshop followed, wherein Dana Flores, Raymond Ibarrientos, and Sheh de Leon proceeded to update the delegation regarding YFC’s Pastoral Formation Office, Clergy Relations, and Work with the Poor, respectively. After the updates were given to the leaders and couple coordinators, they were given a chance to ask their queries through the open forum and the help desk.
In the afternoon, various YFC advocacies were launched in the second workshop—Greeneration, ANCOP, the YFC website, Count Me In, Beyond Borders/Cross Culture Program, and Liveloud. Jeremy Quimpang got the crowd laughing with his comedic spiels for Greeneration and G-Project, while Sheh de Leon explained the difference that each youth can make through ANCOP (Answering the Cry Of the Poor), especially through the $1 campaign and the Global Walk. Kat Martin presented the newly re-launched international YFC website (http://cfcyouthforchrist.net), which is on its way to becoming the central information hub for all things YFC, all over the world, while Ghamay Pepito presented plans and developments on the YFC database, Count Me In. Regina Luy hyped up the crowd for the possibility of going on Cross Culture mission trips, while Goi Villegas and DessieBrazil excited everyone through their presentation of Liveloud, which enjoins the community members to write and sing praise songs based on their own encounters with God. The workshop proper followed the advocacy launching, with the delegates discussing in groups their best practices for the advocacies, as well as plans for such, especially those who haven’t launched them in their own areas.
After a short break and a Bible segment, the Social Media workshop, which was given by Kids for Christ International Coordinator Voltz Lizardo, followed. In his workshop, he related basic marketing principles to the task of Promoting Jesus Christ, and reminded everyone that sometimes, even the best plans don’t work out because God was not invited in the endeavour. He emphasized the need to believe in the “product” we are promoting, in Jesus Christ Himself, and the need to bring him to all.
The evening proceeded with the second session, entitled “The Lord Said To Me”, and given by Kat Viacrusis, the overall sector youth head (OSYH) of East B in Metro Manla. Throughout the session, she relayed her life story and also asked the delegation to reflect on the time when they first met God or what mission He is giving each and every one of them. During the session, the speaker, with the assistance of the sharers, spoke of God’s greatness in their lives, regardless of the various struggles they faced. The session ended with a challenge for the delegates to deepen their relationships with God, that they may bring Him closer to others as well. Afterwards, Ryan Las Pinas led the closing worship for the evening, exhorting the crowd in saying that if they loved His message, it would become them, regardless of the different journeys and experiences each one has and will face.
The last day of the Global Leaders Summit started with Sunday Mass presided by Fr. Stephen Cuyos, who in his lively Homily reminded everyone to be persistent in their faith, knowing that God is with them no matter what happens. After Mass, Mannix Ocampo, the Family Ministries Coordinator, addressed the youth leaders and couple coordinators, reminding everyone of the great task given to all family ministries, including YFC, and relating that they all were the people in the desert, declaring the Word of the Lord. He instructed the delegation to “be a light to the nations” and to “never be fearless, for the Lord Himself rides with us and leads us in battle”.
The opening worship soon followed, and the crowd was led in praising the Lord by Gerald Ondari, an African national and YFC Mission Volunteer inKenya. He exhorted the crowd in reminding them of the unique joy and happiness in serving the Lord, and prayed for each and every one as they continued the mission in their own areas.
During the third session, YFC International Coordinator Lawrence Quintero spoke of the new YFC Vision: “Young people being and bringing Christ wherever they are.” He identified the YFC Mission Focus as thus: personal holiness grounded in Catholic faith, evangelization as a lifestyle, relevant to society, and strength through life and mission in the community. During the session, youth heads presented each of the delegates with a special bookmark bearing the new vision statement of YFC, and the speaker encouraged each one to write down their specific badges at the back of the bookmarks as a reminder of the things they needed to commit to or to sacrifice for the sake of the vision. He led everyone into prayer, and the summit thanked the Lord as one for His grace that will make even the most impossible things happen. Everyone prayed for the vision that unites YFC, so that the time may come when the vision, which comes from the Father, will be realized. “We are men and women, children of god. Our heart trusts in the lord, not in our own understanding. We are meant to conquer, we are meant to win. We are meant for victory!”
After the reflection ceremony, the delegation gave praise and worship to the Lord once again. The worship leader, FTPW Raymond Ibarrientos, exhorted everyone in his prayer, claiming that not a spare inch of the Earth will escape from God’s love. Thus, the first YFC Global Leaders Summit ended, and all the delegates looked forward to returning to their own mission areas, bringing not just the new directions and manuals, but Christ himself.
This article was written by Kat Martin, YCOM Mission Volunteer and EIC of the International YFC Website.