The Youth Ministry of the Members Church of God International (MCGI), also known in the vernacular as the Kapisanan ng mga Kabataan Tungo sa Kasakdalan (KKTK), has gathered to mark the 15th International Youth Convention (IYC) last January 7 this year.
The bulk of the nearly 15,000 KKTK members who participated in the event came from Luzon Region.
In addition to delegates from Visayas and Mindanao regions, those from other countries joined the one-day event geared to enrich their spirituality and to get them more involved in the growing ministerial works.
For them who were not physically present at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines, organizers provided a live video streaming via the internet and satellite facilities of the church.
The following day, January 8, the youth members joined the whole congregation in celebrating the Thanksgiving of God’s People, also at the ADD Convention Center.
The inspirational messages from Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon, the Overall Servant and the Assistant Overall Servant to the MCGI, respectively, were the most-awaited portion of the IYC, especially the consultation with Bro. Eli Soriano.
During consultations with Bro. Eli, the youth delegates can seek advice about common problems faced by Christian youth, get answers for doubts and questions of faith, and enlightenment before making crucial decisions in life.
As the most important part of the IYC, the consultation with Bro. Eli could sometimes take the lion’s share of time of the whole day event.
In his opening remarks, Bro. Daniel reminded KKTK to be steadfast in performing their duties, responsibilities and obligations.
The Assistant Overall Servant to MCGI reiterated the importance and the very idea of serving God while young, adding that the youth is called to ‘remember the Creator in the days of their youth before the evil days come.’ He read Ecclesiastes 12:1.
Youth has its advantages, according to Bro. Daniel. “‘Iyong kakayahan ng bata para ipaglingkod ang kanyang kabataan, ang kanyang kasiglahan para igawa ng kabutihan … mayroong advantage ‘yun. Hindi naman sasabihin ng Biblia na “Alalahanin mo ang Maylalang sa iyo sa mga kaarawan ng inyong kabataan, [kung walang advantage yun], ‘yun ang advice eh.”
Bro. Daniel added, “The best years of our lives must be spent rightfully and where it is most needed. As we can see, our zealousness in serving is at its peak when we have consumed the most of our energies.”
Moreover, he urged the youth to continue being part of the peculiar nation, which is the Church of God in the Bible. The nation of God is peculiar because it is comprised of peculiar people, or people who are zealous of good works.
Why peculiar? Bro. Daniel explained that the nation of God upholds a virtue of doing good to all men whether appreciated or not, even if they suffer or receive hatred. These qualities are what make the youth members of the MCGI different from others.
“Even though a Christian does good for others, others hurt or repay them with evil deeds. Be that as it may, for someone who is in the nation of God will be relentless in doing good,” continued Bro. Daniel.
“But there is one thing we can be thankful for to God: first, we are part of His nation, brethren,” he said. “Be thankful also that you have learned the wisdom of our Lord at your young age.”
“Consume your youthfulness, your age, zealousness in doing good deeds before God,” stressed Bro. Daniel, then suggested further to start planning for a two-day and bigger IYC the next time around.
The registration was opened at 5 a.m., followed by a Worship Service at 6:30 a.m. The IYC opening ceremonies kicked off at 8:30 a.m., which included the opening prayer, parade of different divisions, and the opening remarks by Kuya Daniel.
The divisions that participated during the parade of colors include Bulacan, LBMR (Laguna, Batangas, Mindoro, and Romblon), Quezon-Marinduque, National Capital Region, Bataan-Zambales, Pampanga, Cavite, North Luzon 1, North Luzon 2, Rizal, Bicol, and Central Apalit.
Meanwhile, the program proper started at 9 a.m., which included: ASOP (Solo Singing), poster making contest, declamation presentation, Bible preaching, Tunog-Tao, Christian dance, chorale presentation, and news reporting.
Some guest speakers were also present to discuss some important concerns and offer free training, such as the Bill of Rights discussion, barista training and massage training.
Apart from the event’s program, the Church Overall Servants also provided trainings, job opportunities, and medical mission to serve the needs of every Youth Ministry members during the International Youth Convention.
Written by: Gauden Joe Sumayod