Cebu, Philippines: On April 24 2017, Visayan Nazarene Bible College (VNBC) became the hub for passionate and committed children and youth for Christ, as they hosted iLEAD– a 5-day Children’s Leadership Summit. iLEAD aims to further expose selected emerging leaders among children and youth to leadership principles, equip them to lead, share the gospel, and disciple other children and youth for the glory of His Kingdom.

The event was organized by Philippine-Micronesia Field Office (PMFO,) in partnership with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM,) and led by Jasmine Eugenio, Field Children’s Ministries Coordinator. One hundred thirty children from Child Development Centers and several pastor’s kids across the Philippines gathered together to be part of the summit. The event was also blessed with the presence of Asia-Pacific Regional Director Dr. Mark Louw and all the Field Strategy Coordinators (FSCs) on the Asia-Pacific Region.

The summit was packed with inspiring plenary sessions to include Self-Identity and Our Influence in the Community, Transforming Community through Children and Youth, and Child Participation – Mission with Children and Youth, facilitated by Michelle Tolentino, Co-Founder and President of “Made of Hope.”

Meanwhile, various workshops were also prepared, with a wide range of themes such as “Healthy Youth Leader” by Rhonda Ackerman, “Personality Development and Interpersonal Communication in Leadership” by Regil Michael Pallan, “Children Discipling Children” by Pastor Jackson Natividad, and “Responsible Use of Media and Technology” by Hadassah Gualberto.

There were also daily evening services, with preachings from Rev. Dan Balayo (on Holiness,) Rev. Jackson Natividad (on Being Christian,) and Dr. Louw (on Mission.) Hearts were moved as children and adults alike are reminded of God’s calling for them.

A Cultural Night also took place during the summit, where cultural dances and songs were presented by the children. More than the showcase of talents , Cultural Night also gave ample time for the children to mingle and enjoy each other’s company! The final day of the summit was capped by a city tour for the children, where they were taken to some remarkable places in Cebu City.

But perhaps the culminating event of the summit was empowering the participants to come up with their own plans and ideas on how to be part of God’s greater plan, which led to the creation of the iLEAD Covenant:

We, the delegates of the iLEAD Children’s Leadership Summit 2017, commit to do the following for God’s glory in the next 5 years:

EVANGELISM

To share the Gospel of Christ to all people by means of sports, technology, stories and testimonies, and other Christlike means deemed necessary to win people for Christ.

DISCIPLESHIP

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To nurture the younger generation to be Christlike disciples and be equipped also to intentionally make Christlike disciples, by rooting them in God’s Word – an intentional person to person interaction to reach out the lost, love the least and lead the last.

CHURCHMANSHIP

To fully commit ourselves to God, and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead children and youth in the work of compassion and justice, and other ministries of the Church of the Nazarene in expanding God’s Kingdom.

ADVOCACY

To be an advocate in protecting the rights of a child, and at the same time teaching children and youth about their biblical responsibilities, thus, instilling love, humility, courage, and respect in the hearts of children and adults alike.

iLEAD had truly paved way for the participants to reach out to one another, bridge generational gaps and make long-lasting friendships. Moreover, the summit strengthened the foundation of the children as Christian emerging leaders, whose hearts are rooted in the truth of God’s word, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and released to display the Glory of God in Jesus Christ in their communities.

-Submitted byKhoshiela Susiterin

-Photos by: Dash Gualberto, Patricia Geronimo and Rhonda Ackerman