Cavite, Philippines: NYI Metro Manila District held its annual youth camp on 24-27 July 2023 at Agape Life Camp. Over 160 campers and staff gathered together for this highly anticipated event. This year’s theme “DESERVE” is taken from Romans 3:24. Since the Covid-19 pandemic struck, most young people have left the church. That is why the District NYI Council focused on the importance of ministry and the involvement of young people in the church.
The topic of the first night was “Gaano kita kamahal?” (How much I love you?). Rev. Jem Mortega from Bicol District emphasized Christ’s love for everyone and why everyone deserves His love. The second night’s theme was “Mahal kita, pero…” (I love you, but…). Pastor Jopel Bargan from Taytay First Church of the Nazarene shared about the love of Christ and how people should love the Lord. “God loves us, but we must work out our relationship with Him. This means that as His sons and daughters, we should reject sin and do what pleases God. God loves us, but we must let go of our old selfish desires and be renewed by His Spirit.” Shared Pastor Jopel.
During the third night, Rev. Jem Mortega talked about, “Saan na ‘to patungo?” (Where is this going?). He emphasized, “After receiving God’s forgiveness, we should pursue God’s will and plan for our lives. We must be involved in any ministry and be excited to know God more through His Word.”
Besides the plenary sessions, the participants had age-specific breakout groups and workshops on different ministries in the church. One of the highlights of the camp was a session about Nazarene Identity and History led by Ptr. Jopel. This session hopes to give the Nazarene youths a broader understanding of the Church of the Nazarene. Metro Manila District Superintendent, Rev. Ryan Cardinal was also instrumental as he led the commissioning service for our campers as they went back to their churches and ministries, and communities.
The camp was memorable, not only because it was the first camp after the Covid-19 pandemic but also because it happened during Typhoon Egay’s devastation in the Luzon area. In spite of the rainy weather, the Holy Spirit is present and all the campers are left with the challenge to serve and impact other young people in their communities.