All of the Above Retreat (Rewind)

I’m dedicating this blog to all All of the Above campers.

Last weekend, I attended a 3-day retreat for college students of Taft schools. It’s called All of the Above, and it was held at the Rizal Re-creation Center, Rizal, Laguna.

The Lord was gracious to me. I was again given an opportunity to serve Him and His people in this retreat. Together with a faithful intern whom I was assigned to train, I facilitated a group of five college men. I took this moment to remind them of the gospel message and to plead with them that they give their lives to the word of God. It was our goal that by the end of the retreat, we will be able to say:

8Taste and see that the LORD is good. (Psalm 34:8a)

Like before, the Lord blessed me with new friends and I even had meaningful conversations with some of them. But unlike other retreats, I know all of their names…I guess.

This retreat is special to me. The ministry team that organized this event is the very ministry where I’ve been pouring my life into in the past three years. Since the start of the year, I find it challenging to serve the team and with the team. This is due to my academic requirements and schedule. I also had the desire to see younger leaders step up, so I decided to lessen my involvement as well.

Given my situation, I chose to focus on my teaching and disciple-making ministries, speaking for different youth groups, sharing the gospel in youth services, and mentoring disciples in my small group. And the Lord had blessed my ministries.

However, I realized something: That wherever youth group or circle I go, I still (and will always) find myself longing for “home”. I believe that “home” is where the heart is. And the ministry team and the community it is serving (we call it the Jzone Taft District) will always be my “home”; it is where my heart is.

I’m bursting with joy serving in my “home”. That’s why I can’t help but thank God for the retreat.

My Prayer

Lord,

I want to thank You for the retreat. Your Name was lifted high in the lives of the people who went, campers and volunteers alike. You are exalted!

I ask that You continue Your work in and through us. Help us to love You with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. And as we love You, help us to love the people around us.

I want to thank for the five college men (Andre, Gelo, Mark, Miggs, and Tim) and the intern (Matt) that you have assigned to my care. It’s my prayer that they will always love You with all of themselves. May they continue to remind themselves of the gospel message. May they give their lives to Your word. May they be able to say, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.”

I also want to thank You for my beloved disciple Darren. It was his first time to facilitate a breakout group. Thank You for using Him mightily. Thank You for using me, a claypot, as Your instrument to him.

And I want to thank You for the new friendships You have given me. May I not take them for granted; help me treasure them forever.

I now ask that You continue to bless Your ministry in Taft. Raise up godly leaders in this ministry, leaders who are passionate for the gospel, lovers of people, and devoted to make Jesus famous! Again, I ask that You bless Your ministry. This is Your ministry, not ours.

To God be all the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Photos by Darren Soriano

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About Enzo Cortes

Enzo Cortes is the Youth Coordinator of Jzone Makati, the youth ministry of Christ's Commission Fellowship (CCF) Makati. He also speaks for various youth and young adult groups, including CCF Makati's young singles ministry, Friday Night Light. He loves to write, read books and blogs, drink coffee, and watch MMA fights.

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