How would you teach a child about fishing if he is not brought to the sea? How would you teach Algebra without his basic skills on arithmetic? Could he pronounce series of words without recognizing single sound? How about forgiving apart from having been forgiven? And loving and caring and praying apart from Christ?
Experience is the best teacher. This is so true when ISCF Condensed Sibol Camp was brought into our school last January 6-8. Forty-eight students were invited and eventually have experienced Christ, His way of reconciliation and salvation. One month had passed now since they professed their faith, and by God’s grace, a number of them are never the same again!
It begins from a genuine encounter of Christ which drives them to pursue more of Him which becomes a special subject to them, the study of God. They become inquisitive about the doctrines along their practiced traditions. Christian disciplines are slowly developed like Quiet time, Bible studies and Prayer time. Stories of doubts and transformation and even rejection in their homes are often shared with tears shed, of joy and fear. While seeing these students growing in His sweet grace, the once cold teacher sitting in a corner has now a soldier in her rising for war. And it is not a comfort! Thanks to the pre-warned of the cost of discipleship in Luke 9:23. As I journey with these students, I understand that we are on the same road to learning- rocky, hilly, narrow.
Keep pressing forward beyond fear. Whenever torn between school priorities and ministry opportunities, I am sometimes tempted to sacrifice the eternal. Sadly, ministering becomes only an option. Yet the Lord has provided ways to manage my responsibilities in both areas. After the Condensed Sibol Camp, request for ‘mentoring’ to the students at-risk of dropping out is granted. Discipleship for the potential student-leaders, without hesitation, is allowed. This one hour of mentoring/discipleship in a day is the most reserved quality time that I could spend with my students who are seeking for truth, if not disrupted by bad weather condition or school activities or meetings. Alone and worn-out, I was not so driven to ministering for the previous two years. However, God is a promise-keeper. He will finish what He has started despite my unfaithfulness. Right now, there are three regular volunteers who are helping for discipleship and a newly hired Christian teacher who has also a passion for students ministry.
His grace richly abounds. When we prayed for Bibles, He provides over our expectation. The Lord gave the students’ needs of Devotional guides (like Our Daily Bread, etc.) which they are now using. And surprisingly, the Lord has also opened opportunity for us to minister outside school, a rehabilitation program (Bahay Pag-Asa) for 15 young men. Our first visit has overwhelmed the students while observing and listening to some of their stories. It was their first outreach visit as new believers. Then followed by another visit which one of my students, Flonie Mae Romulo, Grade 10, delivered for the first time a talk on ‘Waiting upon the Lord’ from the story of David and Saul. Such experience has inspired some other students to share His word and even to volunteer for other works. Praise the Lord for all!
These activities held inside and outside school are just manifestations of the Lord’s finishable work in the lives of the students. All starts from a genuine conversion experience through Christ.
By: Cristy Ann G. Blanco, Chapter Adviser and GT-Volunteer of ISCF-Kao NHS