BAGUIO CITY, Philippines “Exciting and life-changing!” This is how youth leaders described the just concluded Philippines-Micronesia Nazarene Youth Congress (PMNYC), held in the Philippines’ summer capital – Baguio City last April 25 – 29, 2016. The theme of the PMNYC was “Emerge: Honoring the past. Shaping the future.” NYC is a quadrennial event of the Nazarene Youth International (NYI) in the Church of the Nazarene. This year’s congress was attended by 190 youth leaders from 12 districts on the Philippines and Micronesia.
The event included workshops, meetings, and plenaries led by Philippine-Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator (FSC) Rev. Stephen Gualberto, Global Nazarene Youth International (NYI) Director Rev. Gary Hartke, Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary Professor Dr. Daniel Behr, APNYI Regional Coordinator Rev. Janary Suyat and other invited guest speakers.Every evening was concluded with moving and powerful services and solemn ceremonies such as foot-washing and candle lighting.
“When my leader knelt in front of me and washed my feet, I was humbled and moved,” said one of the delegates from Southern Tagalog district. It was the first time that I saw him do that and it touched me. I’ve always looked up to him and now I look up to him more.”
Aside from the formal gatherings, the event was filled with fun and fellowship where the delegates got to present their culture and tradition. The participants were also divided into small groups for discussion. It was inspiring to see everyone share their story and encourage one another through prayer. PMNYC was also a venue for the NYI to thank, acknowledge and honor leaders who have shown tremendous support and encouragement.
The event was concluded by a community immersion where delegates went to provincial jails, hospitals and nearby communities to share the gospel and spread the love of Jesus Christ. With the leadership Racquel Valeza, the PMNYC coordinator, together with the Philippine NYI Council and working committee, PMNYC truly was a success.
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“No words can further describe the beauty of what God has done to everyone who attended,” shared Terence Lustaña – APNTS Student. “Everyone went home revived, empowered and amazed by the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. Truly, this was no ordinary event. Everything that happened was part of God’s great plan and the delegates themselves can prove that.”
“I thought I would never join NYC, but God made a way for me to be here and He provided just in time,” said Joemarie Lorono of the Central Visayas District. “Jesus is the best thing that has ever happened in my life and NYC follows.”
Though PMNYC 2016 has ended, everybody’s journey is just beginning. New challenges are about to come and its up to those who attended to respond to the call. Thank you to everyone who supported and prayed for this event. Without you PMNYC will not be a success but most of all, thank you to Jesus who has made all things possible.
— Submitted: Terence Lustaña