Single adults from 15 GCI churches in the Philippines gathered recently for a year-end camp that addressed the spiritual, emotional, social and physical needs of young singles. The four-day camp was held at a beautiful seaside resort.
The 56 women and 36 men in attendance at the camp were welcomed with an introductory message followed by lunch. Other presentations during the camp were given by GCI pastors Rex dela Pena, Audie Santibanez, Gil Llaneza and Vergil Bargola. Topics addressed the camp theme of “Living with Abandon,” with messages about God’s love, surrendering to God, living by faith and serving in ministry.
Rex dela Pena spoke about God’s love for us and how we abide in him as we walk with him, trusting in his love. He asked the attendees to surrender to God those things that hinder them from living with abandon for God. On his second talk, Pastor Rex gave five suggestions for how we can give God free reign in our lives: (1) Stand and claim his promises; (2) Operate on faith and choose to worship; (3) Repentance by dependence; (4) Empty yourself for ministry for others; and (5) Recall God’s activity in your life. He ended with an adage from Garth Brooks: “Sometimes God’s greatest gift is an unanswered prayer.”
The singles expressed their thanks to those who subsidized the campers and prayed for the camp’s success. One attendee commented: “Not only did I feel the warmth of the community, I also felt that I belonged there even before I came. It was an experience of God—from meeting extraordinary people, to marveling at God’s creation, to being guided by God’s words through our devotions.” Another commented: “The best thing that happened to me in the camp was that I got to see the people I grew up with, and meet people from other GCI congregations.”