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Youth Camp 2012: A Week of Renewed Dedication

The Pentecostal Missionary Church of Christ (4th Watch) held its Youth Camp from April 9-13, 2012 in the AATF Sports Complex in Imus, Cavite. Themed “Boldly Proclaiming the Gospel Daily” (Acts 5:42), the focal point of the annual event is the commitment to take part in personal evangelism and share the Word of God daily to those in need of salvation. Thousands of youth from the numerous local churches in Luzon made the journey to Cavite in order to take part in the weeklong prayer and meditation of the Word of God.

The Welcome Night signalled the beginning of the Youth Camp. It featured the restaging of Mega Senakulo 2012 which was held during Holy Week. The campers who were not able to watch it before, especially those from distant provinces, were glad to have witnessed the performance of the Alpha-Omega Theatrical Production cast. There was also a short film featuring Abraham and Isaac as well as the sacrifice asked of Abraham serving as a test of faith. Apostle Arsenio Ferriol afterwards delivered the first message in the camp. He discussed the significance of Abraham's obedience. He also asked those present what will separate them from the love of God. He encouraged the campers to remain steadfast in the faith for the sufferings in this life will not compare to the future that awaits.

Tuesday early morning found the campers returning to the service hall to take part in the morning devotion. As last night's event ended near midnight, they had to overcome the lack of sleep. After breakfast, three seminars were in store for the campers. The first speaker, Apostle Arsenio Ferriol, challenged the campers to desire the things that are of God's, which are eternal and far greater than material and temporal things. He described the ministry as a global opportunity offering the best chance of success for the sincere, kind, and industrious youth.

Bishop Domingo Ferriol followed with a discussion on how to create a healthy environment for evangelism and discipleship. He reiterated a point made by Apostle Ferriol by saying that this conducive environment begins with the desire for the things that are of God's. Also related to fostering this environment is having a godly character. In his seminar, he also offered advice and observations to the ministers who were present.

The coordinator in the Middle East, Ptr. Aldrin Palanca, was present to serve as the third speaker. His ministry in the Arab countries provided a wealth of insight and experience which he shared to the audience. His message outlined the ways on how to carry out evangelical work in hostile territory. One practical way is by simply finding time to evangelize. He also shared how they coped with the different persecutions and challenges one of which is the implementation of measures restricting Christianity and its practice.

The afternoon's youth fellowship featured a discussion of the program adopted by the National Young Watchers Officers. Ptr. Emil Reyes served as the speaker, dicussing the camp's theme. Several competitions like spelling, poster making, public speaking and the elimination round of preaching contests were held afterwards. The campers visited the different venues to lend their support for the representatives of their respective local churches.

Later in the evening, Bishop Osinando Quillao stressed the importance of proclaiming the Gospel. He dicussed the various benefits that it brings like how it serves as God's way of meeting the different needs of man, destroying Satan's forces, receiving salvation and inheriting eternal life.

Wednesday began with the campers uniting in prayer during the morning devotion. The morning once again featured a trio of speakers: Apostle Arsenio Ferriol, Bishop Resting Zonio, and Ptr. Polly Mendoza. Another youth fellowship was held in the afternoon. The audience once again listened to inspiring testimonies and the message delivered by Ptr. Dan Perez, the advisor of the officers of the National Young Watchers. After the message, more contests were held: essay writing, Bible quiz, debate, and the final round of the preaching contest.

The evening program's speaker was Ptr. Belle Obsanga, another minister in foreign shores. An epitome of selffless dedication and service, she traced her 30-year ministry. She encouraged the youth to enter the ministry as they now have a better situation compared to the early struggles that she had to endure in the past. She also shared the evangelical mission in Canada, providing inspiration to the audience. She advised the youth to always seek God for whatever path that they may choose, if God is absent, it will not be fruitful.

Thursday's activities began with the morning devotion where the campers once again participated in an hourlong prayer. The seminars scheduled in the morning featured Apostle Arsenio Ferriol, Bishop Osinando Quillao, and Bishop Arturo Ferriol. Apostle Arsenio once again strengthened and inspired the youth with his encouraging words regarding his ministry.

Bishop Osinando Quillao discussed the significance of the salvation of family, relatives, and friends. He provided the scriptural basis for such cause, giving different examples like Mary and Elizabeth who are relatives as well as Jesus and John the Baptist. He then added the ways and means of bringing salvation to the people who are close to us.

Bishop Arturo Ferriol presided over the discussion of evangelism in relation to new forms of media. During this initial portion of a two-part series, the different guidelines regarding the use of social networking and other modern technology was disussed. He was joined by two other panelists in answering the question from the audience.

The afternoon featured the Praise in Motion competition. The participants were divided into three categories based on the number of performers. The crowd responded to the outstanding performances of the different entries. Applause followed the creative display and synchronized movements which was the fruit of weeks of practice.

The evening featured the Bible School Night. The program began with the students of the Maranatha Bible School, dressed in white, in their processional march. Testimonies from two graduates who also served as speakers in the commencement exercises inspired and challenged the audience. Selected Bible students also performed in a brief stage play. Bishop Arturo Ferriol, a faculty member, delivered the Word of God. In his message, he strongly urged the youth to answer God's calling for it is not optional. His message did not remain unanswered for nearly half of the service hall ground was filled by the youth who decided to enter the Bible school.

Friday's morning devotion featured as speaker a preacher who is a long time friend of Apostle Arsenio Ferriol. In his message, he fondly recalled his shared experience with Apostle Ferriol. Next on the schedule are the three seminars that featured Ptr. Reynald Sulayao, Ptr. Let Ferriol, and Bishop Arturo Ferriol. Ptr. Let Ferriol emphasized the relational aspect of evangelism and how establishing a friendly profile would help further evangelism. Bishop Arturo Ferriol and his two fellow panelists continued their discussion of evangelism and the new media which began the previous morning.

The last event of the Youth Camp was the Dedication Service. It began with the lively singing of praise and worship songs. It was also during the evening that the winners of the different contests received their awards on stage as a recognition of their effort and talent. The audience applauded the winners as they were called, especially the winners in the Praise in Motion contest. The evening's speaker, Apostle Arsenio Ferriol once again made the call for the youth to dedicate their lives to the Lord. He called on those who still harbored doubts to decide for the Lord and approach the stage so that he could pray for them.

After the service, the campers then prepared for their journey back to their respective places of origin. As they boarded their vehicles and left the camp site, they carried with them the renewed strength they received and the resolve to do more for the fulfillment of the God-given mission entrusted to them. It was another life changing event where they were able to commune with God and entrust their plans to Him. For those who attended, it was truly a week worth the travel and the time.