Thank You, Legazpi!

May 18-21, 2017

We traveled for almost 12 hours from Cavite to Albay just to attend our 2nd Family COnference: We Stand For Jesus.  And if you ask me how did I managed it? Of course, I have my pain reliever ready with with me.

We Stand For Jesus is something so personal for me. Something that came up to: How long could I stand for Jesus? How much strength could I give to Jesus? And in the whole conference, Jesus just reminded me to I am not standing alone, I stand with Him and also for Him.

As I stand for Jesus, I also knew that I am with my family, my Kids For Christ Family. I thank God for their humble hearts and everything feels so easy for me because of them.

Right after the conference we had the chance to stroll Legazpi. And here are some photos I wanted to share. ❤

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The 156-meter high Ligñon Hill (also spelled Lingñon, pronounced as /li-NYON/) is one of Legazpi’s most famous landmarks. For years, Ligñon Hill is known only for the PHIVOLCS observatory located in its flanks and an old lighthouse on its summit. Today, it has become one of the city’s prime destinations for sightseers, adventurers and even fitness buffs.

Because we have our van with us, it was easy for us to reach the top. And there, you would see the breath-taking views of Mayon, perfect for photo-op. YOu can also see the city view from the top.

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We also entered the Japanese Tunnel. But there’s nothing in there, honestly.

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At the top of the hill, there are also Sili Ice Cream.

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It is one of the must-try in Bicol!

Of course, we can’t go home with out visitng the famous Cagsawa Church.

Here are some photo ops, again.

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This trip wouldn’t be fun without these brothers!

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and have you ever experienced this, you wanted a photo of you, but your team doesn’t know how to use your camera. so here’s the output. huhu.

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Nevertheless, from the whole Cavite Team,

THANK YOU, LEGAZPI!!

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Matthew 19:14 : Life of a ROCK Ate

“Let the children come to Me, do not prevent them for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these”

Matthew 19:14

 

That is the verse that would be forever tattooed in my heart. Have you ever wonder what is your purpose here in Earth? Have you found or knew it already? Because for me, I think I found it, and the verse indicates it all.

I may not have an Ate, but I grew up in the community I am serving now, the Kids For Christ. I actively participated in our monthly session until I was 11 years old. I am grateful for this community as well as for the ates and kuyas who guided me along my way to Youth For Christ.

When I was still a Kids For Christ, all I wanted is to be like my ates and kuyas, or what we call, ROCK Ate. I want to inspire Kids, talk to them about Jesus, I want to play with them, be creative with them, I want to hear their laugh, cry to the Lord, I want them to grow on the way how I grew. In short, I love them.

Year 2009 when I started sharing my life to the kids, first times are so memorable to me that I feel the need to share this to you.

Our couple coordinator called me to serve for the kids, when I was still a KFC, all I know is that the couple coordinator are the one who teach all through out the session, but when I came to the chapel, my couple coordinator just said, “Okay Ate Ara, lead the session” and I wasw like, WOAAH! I AM NOT READY FOR THIS!! But I believe, through prayers, I can do it. I was too shy, I can’t believe that a 13 year old girl will be leading the whole session. My voice back then was still tiny as the ant, I am not that creative for the activities, I am shy to dance in front of them, but Praise God! I survived my first Kids Session!!

Next first time is my first talk. While planning for our Kids camp, my coordinator told me, “Ara, you do the talk 4, since you came from KFC, it will be easy for you”, I just say YES, all I was expecting is that it is the life as a Kids For Christ. But when I saw the talk outline, it is THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL HELP ME TO BE GOOD. What could be my reaction?? Of course, WAIT!! HOW AM I ABLE TO LET THE KIDS UNDERSTAND ABOUT HOLY SPIRIT??!!

It was a reflection talk, reflection of the good things we need to do as a child of God. Upon reflection, I saw kids crying, saying sorry to the Lord, saying sorry for their parents, wishing their parents are there not knowing, after the reflection, their parents are standing at their back. They were surprised, and as an Ate, it is the greatest feeling ever, to see the parent and child, saying the power words to each other, “I love you, Thank you, Sorry“.

I’ve been doing that for almost 8 years now, and it feels like always the first time. The goosebumps feels was always there. I always thank the Lord for using me as His instrument!

I am overwhelmed with these experience, but since this is about my life as an Ate to the kids, let me share to you my funny experiences.

Not all the times, kids are behave, I am sure you knew that. There are times that they are totally unstoppable.

A kid wants a piggy back to you, another one wants to hug your leg, I was like in the zoo, and animals are keep hugging me.

There was a time when we want to begin the session, but they are still unstoppable, a kid hides under the table. And I have no choice but to chase him.

If you serve the kids, regardless of what ministry you are, for sure, you knew that there is a need to dance. And to dance with 8 songs continuously, IT IS NOT A JOKE. But when the kids shouts for MORE, IT IS NOT REALLY A JOKE, FOR THE SECOND TIME!! But because they are kids, enjoying dancing for the Lord, you will dance, (also because you have no choice).

Another thing, is taking care of them, helping them to take a bath, to pee and poop (YES, IT IS A NEED), to listen in their endless stories, to always get their water, to always hug them, it is all part of this service. But when you received their priceless smile, all of these things seems to be so fun doing!

At the end of every session and camp, the would say goodbye to you with a big smile full of joy, and you would know that they are talking to their parents how good ate you are to them.

Fun, exciting, challenging, heart melting, these are the words that I can describe in serving God’s little children. I always pray for them, for their future, for their family, for their education and future career, but most importantly, I always pray that they grew loving and God-fearing person.

With my 8 years as an Ate, I never came to the point that I was tired mentally in serving the kids, but physically? ALWAYS. Never came to the point that I served them without being tired after. But it’s always worth it.

I found my joy and purpose in serving God’s little angels. ❤

To you who are reading this, try to serve, even with the kids you do not know. They can help brighten your life and make it more meaningful! I pray for you and your heart!

 

 

KFC Cavite goes to IKV Iloilo!!

PS: This is an old post. Retrieving from by blogspot account. But the feels are still there! 🙂

First of all, para sa mga nagsabing “Uy, bigtime! IKV Iloilo!”, this is all I have to say, “No, hindi kami bigtime, hindi biro ang ginawa naming pagiipon para sa IKV Iloilo. Hindi biro ang gumawa ng sandamakmak na articles para lang may pang plane fare. And mas lalong hindi biro ang magpaalam sa magulang ko para sa first airplane experience ko. hahaha.” We are all just driven by our passion for our service. We just felt God’s grace by making this IKV Iloilo experince possible. It took a lot of faith struggles before we finally come up with “Yes! nakabook na tayo! g na talaga!”

December pa lang, pinaghandaan ko na to. Niregaluhan ko pa nga si Joyce ng alkansya para makapagipon na kami. Naka ilang “Ano, magkano pa kulang natin?”, “Abang pa tayo ng murang fare” at “pano na tayo?” hahaha. Indeed, God never left our side.

So here goes our journey.

I have my two very mission buddies, A and Joyce. May 1, Friday lumipad na kami paIloilo. Yes! haha.

From Iloilo Airport, ang tagal pa pala ng byahe para makarating sa mismong venue. pero ayos lang. It is all worth it. Pagkarating namin, kinuha lang namin yung ID namin then punta na kami to respective committees namin. And as usual, nasa Docu Team ako. haha.

And since wala pa din naman masyadong ginagawa, chill muna with my docu buddies.

Finally, I had my photo with this Love Project drop. yey!!

Sorry not sorry, but kids’ faces are my fave subject! These are all mine. And I am so honored that these photos are posted in KFC Page. First time ko lang kasi magDocu sa International event. hahaha. Kaya tuwang tuwa pa ako.

Docu buddies!

Second Day! Para makapunta sa venue galing sa accomodation namin, kelangan muna namin mag trisikad. hahaha. tricycle na side car!

Relaxing with Docu buddies. haha. Sobrang epic, kasi tumakas kami since workshop time pa naman and wala masyadong idodocu, so nagMoonleaf Tea muna kami. Dahil takas lang kami, we didn’t expect na makakasalubong din namin dun ang program team. haha. IN short we all had a sweet escape. I also think that we deserve a short relaxing moment. haha.

Wait, syempre. Paselfie muna akoooo!

Highlights of the IKV magazine! Proud photog here! yey!!

KFC ROCK Cavite Team!!

Before bidding goodbyes to my docu buddies!!

Sisters trip! hahaha. Hi JOyce and ate Wating!

Birthday ng loving coordinator ng Cavite. ❤

Hello from KFC Cavite!!!

This is just few of my IKV experience.

Not just the IKV but also God’s messages from each and every one of us. We are moved. We are pumped to love more! Horay for this mission! Thank You Lord for the gift of mission, friends, family and LOVE!!!

I love You, Lord!!!

Pampangga Trip 2017

Hello! It’s been long since I wrote something about travels. I occassionaly write before, but during my tumblr and blogspot days. And since I have my wordpress account already, I might as well write often, I do hope I had tone of time to do it.

So, for years I always wanted to watch the Hot Air Balloon Festival. I guess, God really delayed it so I can go there with my love.

Me and my workmates planned everything but as usual travel, not everything that was planned happened.

We arranged it thru travel agency, it was cheap, for only PHP 800, we can avail, Van for roundtrip to Pampangga + Entrance Fee to Hot Air Balloon and Sandbox + Side trip to Sky Ranch.

The original IT was, meet at SM Bacoor by 11pm. But the agency failed to meet us and said that the van they rented has back out. So thankfully, our officemate had a contact for a van rental, so we proceed. Also thankfully, we had our tickets by us already a week before.

We arrived Pampangga by 2am. It was a quick travel, but the gate was still closed. By 3am, we were lined up. And believe me, if you are trying to go there with a baby, or child, back out from that plan. There were too many people, it was almost stampede. We get in by 4am, and the show starts by 5:30, sunrise. So we had the chance to sleep first.

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Since we were too early, we got the front seat and we really enjoy the watch because it was too close.

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There was a DJ announcing of what is happening there, I learned that Hot Air Ballons really depends on the air, the best time to take off is before sunrise, wind is calm and everything is perfect for the hot air. But some hot air balloons didn’t have the chance to take off, they encountered problems because of the wind. There are international hot air balloons that came to PH just for this festival.

The whole festival was fun, you can really enjoy it if you have long patience because of too many people.

I hope I can show you all the photos, but I can just upload my phone and action cam photos. Photos from my Nikon cam were not still copied.

After the balloons had been take off, we decided to go out and proceed to the next stop, the Sandbox. But I am really telling you, our path to exit was not easy. Dust. Stampede. Shoulder to shoulder. It came to the point that I don’t need to walk anymore, I can just go on with flow. Plus, portalets are horrible. My officemate took 45mins in line just to pee.

So there, on our way to Sandbox, we were exhausted. We are about to eat lunch, but we don’t want to end up by eating at Jollibee, so we decided to find something else while on our way to Sandbox.

S-A-N-D–B-O-X

A place of people fallung in line for everything. We fall in line for the entrance, for the CR, for food, and all.

And here, we end up going back, retreating from Sandbox. And eat in a Korean Restaurant.

I am not a fan of Kfood, but yes, it became my favorite now.

SAMGYUPSAL.

We had it for only 250php, unli samgyupsal already. Unli pork, unli sidedish, unli icetea, plus an icecream for dessert. It’s all worth it.

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I thank my boyfriend for being expert in these kind of food. He was born in Japan, and learned for to use chopstick first before spoon and fork.

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A shot of soju, of course. You wouldn’t want to eat in Krestau without trying their drink. This thing has been my favorite since then.

And this, this was my sight after soju drink. Hahaha. Kidding. It was just blur from the camera.

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And we went home already.

If you think this was a boring trip, NO.
All may not happened according to the plan, buuuut, I enjoyed it with good collegues and with my love. It was memorable because February was love month, and our anniversary month.

That’s it!!!

I will surely upload all for photo dump of the Pampangga Trip 2017!!

How selfless can we be?

I am a woman with dreams, hmm. No, let me rephrase it with: I am a woman with many dreams!

All of us dreamt of finishing college, going to the city, save money, live independent, marry the one you love, have a family, be happy and have a simple life. And all of us knows the reality that IT IS NOT THAT EASY AS WE THOUGHT.

When I finished college, I was like, “Finally! I can have my own life! Yes! Thank you Lord! I can move out to the city, I can buy and do whatever I want, I can go wherever I want, I want to travel more often!” But the reality hits me.

I applied for jobs, been rejected, been hired, but at the end, when I was about to move to BGC, I knew, my family needs me. I can’t move out.

So I decided to go back to Cavite, salary was fine. I can provide myself anything I need and want. For my first salary, I was able to buy my camera. I was able to have my savings fund, while still eating everywhere I want.

Until one tragic moment when I received the news that our business is about to close. Down. And my parents didn’t have any savings at all.

Obligations, responsibilities, here they are now. Welcoming me with a warm embrace when my mother said, “Ara, ikaw nang bahala sa kapatid mo. Ikaw na magpaaral”

I am happy, yes. One of my dream is to help my brother in his studies until he graduate. But this dream, I really didn’t thought that it will be this hard.

I never really imagined that I can be this selfless for my family. One of my goal is to take my masteral degree, can you realize how hurt am I when I was about to enroll, but then my brother needs money for his thesis, and I can’t say no. I gave it to him. On the second semester, again, I tried to enroll on my masteral degree. But my mother was sick, I told her to go to the doctor and have a check up, she answered me with “Next time na, kapag may pera na ako”, so there it is again. I gave her money, and didn’t continue my  masteral enrollment again. I get it, I can’t continue my masteral degree while I am obliged for my brother. SO all I am asking is to open an account, another savings account for me. Yesterday, I scheduled myself to go to the bank the next day, but then, my little brother asked if I had money because it is his defense already, and he needs to pay for the panelists. So instead of opening my account, I gave him the money.

 

FOr those who now me, YES, I may not be the one who has financial problem in your eyes, but deep inside, I have.

But here goes the blessing, how come I was able to provide my brother education, provide my mother’s need and still go to conferences, still travel?

I, too, can’t believe it. I don’t know how it happened, but one thing is for sure, IT IS THE LORD!

There are times when I cry out to the Lord, questioning Him, He just let me receive the blessings to share it to others. Can’t I have a blessing of my own? Something I can freely receive, and not obliged to give it to others.

To you who read this with no obligation than yourself, be grateful! Plan for your future. You can have all you wanted in life. Never waste it.

 

To you who has obligations to others, I salute you! These obligations can determine how selfless can we be. We can now understand the Filipino sayings : Isusubo mo na lang, ibibigay mo pa sa iba.

But makes me wonder, if I can be this selfless for my family, what more when I am given with my own family?

As I reflect, I remember praying to the Lord for a selfless heart, so I can go on thru my service, but the Lord made me selfless my serving my family.

I am not here to rant how much I am spending for them, nor to say that I quit with these obligations, I am here to honor all of those selfless heart out there, loving and taking the obligations bravely enough. I honor you!

Stay Alert and Grounded.

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong” 1 Corinthians 16:13, NIV.

As you grow and become stronger in your faith walk, you will start to take over territory that the enemy has held for way too long! He doesn’t want you to make any advancements, and so he will do whatever he can to steal, kill and destroy any progress you make! He’ll do it by whispering lies into your spiritual ears to try and get you to quit the journey. Or he’ll attack in one way or another. He’ll even use people to push your buttons so that you fall into frustration or discouragement. Those are just a few of his tricks. So watch out for them, and if you sense he’s trying to mess you up, then draw even closer to Jesus. Jesus is your protection and your power. The enemy can’t be in the same place with your Lord. Use your weapons of God’s Word. Take your authority in Christ and order that defeated enemy back to his pit and out of your life.

There will be forces that will want to take you off the course and detour you. But God has a destination for you. He wants to lead you, direct you and reveal His truths to you, but to receive what He has; you need to stay on the path, walking forward with Him one step at a time.Take His hand and let Him lead you, and leave all the forces that are trying to hinder you behind. When you walk hand in hand with Jesus, those hindrances will weaken and become tiny objects in your rear-view mirror. Greater is the One within you, than the one who is coming against you.

Don’t give in and don’t give up. Nothing worth having is going to come without a fight. Maybe you’re fighting for your health, for your finances, for your spouse, for your kids, etc. It sure is easier to give up, but is it worth it? No, it’s not! Staying on the narrow road is worth it, and only when you get to the very end will you appreciate it’s worthiness.

Prayer: King Jesus, I ask that You intercede for me today and that You keep me guarded, firm and courageous. Renew my strength and keep me determined to stand on the rock of Your Word all the days of my life. Amen!

 

Pls see linked, sharing you my devotional site.:

http://www.dot-k.com/stay-alert-and-grounded/

If He called you, He is sure of it.

“Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began” 2 Timothy 1:9, NKJV.

One day a friend came to me and said, “You need to start a daily devotional”. To say I was hesitant is an understatement. As a matter of fact, I laughed and said, “No one reads devotionals these days.” But lo and behold, I began to pray and God began to deal with my heart about writing a devotional for women. He gave me the name, the look, the message, and I started the very next day. The response was almost instant and we give God the glory!

So many times we think, “Lord, are You sure this is what You want me to do?” “Are you sure people will be blessed by this?” “Are You sure You called the right persont?” We question His choosing, we question His assignment, not understanding His sovereignty and wisdom. If He called you, He’s sure. If He gave you a purpose, He’s sure. “I am sure.” God says, “I am sure about many things regarding you. I am sure about My purpose and plan for your life. I am sure about My divine power to see you to the end of it. I am sure about you moving forward in it. I am sure of the fruit that will be produced from it. Yes, I am sure.” Be sure as He is sure.

There are several things you must know when you are seeking to fulfill God’s purpose for your life:

  • Understand your purpose will always agree with the Word of God
  • Know that if God called you to do anything, He will equip you with the wisdom, grace and heart to do it.
  • Understand that a God-given purpose won’t stop when you stop. It will continue because He’s at the helm
  • Pray about timing. If God can show you the “what”, He can show you the “when”
  • Pray for God to do the impossible, then go and do the impossible through Him

Prayer: Yes God. I humble Myself under Your mighty hand. Thank You for the purpose and calling You have given me. You have ordered my steps right. And even when I don’t understand fully, help me continue to trust and obey Your leading. Help me to be confident and sure. I receive Your grace to do what You’ve called me to do. Help me fulfill every detail of Your purpose for my life. Be glorified in me. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

http://www.dot-k.com/page/9/

 

DISCLAIMER: I have inserted the link for this devotion, all credits to Daughters of the King Daily Devotional.

Let us talk about relationships.

Life has thought me so many things, and still teaching me a lot.

Today, I read an article about relationships, and realized this one.

As an Ate to all, the thing I mostly avoid to talk is about relationships. Because I wanted to share that Love can really wait, that we should not pursue romantic love since we are still young.

But as life goes on, as my age goes higher, I realized that maybe, it is now alright to speak up about relationships.

I used to say, “Don’t follow your heart, follow your mind.”, for following our heart may lead us to uncontrollable emotions, we just have to follow our minds, because our minds will lead us to our dreams. Our minds will help us focus on our goals, our priorities and success.

But I was wrong.

Then I said “Follow your heart, at all cost.“, because Love is the greatest of all. Because we all deserved to be loved. Because we need to love and to be loved. No matter what happens, our heart knows where we will be happy.

But I was wrong, again.

Now I say, “Don’t follow your heart. Follow Jesus.” Because no matter what happens, Jesus could remind us the good and bad, Jesus could guide us in every decision we make.

My dear, if you are one of my little sisters who I told, “Guard that relationship of yours.” or, “You are still young, relationships can wait.”, I guess, you are now at your right age (for it has been a long time since someone called me Ate). As for me, I am now also at the right age.

Because of our community was really careful about relationships, it cam e to the point that I have no one to talked to, to asked for advice, and a shoulder to cry on. But I understand, and here are just some thoughts in my mind to remind me that relationships are okay.

1 Embrace relationships.

Relationship is a gift from God. Embrace it with both hands. Invest in it. Spend time with it, entrust our emotions, do not let fear hold us back. Love conquers all, enjoy the relationship.

Go and say whatever you want to say, don’t be shy to say, “Hey, I miss you!”, or “I am so proud of you!!”

It is a gift. Do all you can do while you still can. Show the love. Spread the love.

 

2 No to blame game.

Whenever you had a fight, always remember to find solution, that you should talk for a solution and not to blame each other. Common issue in a relationship is, “You love me right? then accept me.”, You both enter the relationship in order to grow more for a better person. Accepting, Yes. We should accept them, but don’t tolerate them. There could be the bad traits, this is fact. But both of you should be open-minded that you are in a relationship in order to grow.

The Lord sent your other half to help you become a better person. So listen, and reflect everything on what your partner say.

 

3 Say even if … instead of what if …

The hurting part of a relationship is saying , “What if …” “What if, we didn’t break?”What if, I gave all to him?” “What if, I didn’t give up on us? … Maybe I am not this miserable right now.”

Today, I realized that I wanted to stop those “What ifs” in my mind, and start with “Even if”, and ends with I’ll stay.

 

Even if it takes a 3-hour travel to their house, I’ll stay.

Even if time is always our problem, I’ll stay.

Even if we often see each other now, I’ll stay.

I’ll stay, because I choose to.

 

Enjoy relationships. Be a better version of yourself. Love wins.

But above all, pray about everything. 🙂

 

 

You Matter and You are Valued

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“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:16 NLT

Let this scripture minister deeply to your heart today. No matter how you may feel, you matter a great deal in God’s Kingdom. You are an instrument in His symphony and a beautiful expression of Him in the earth. No more valuable than any other part, but valuable nonetheless. To the Lord you are very special and when you obey Him by doing your part you cause a tremendous amount of strength to flow throughout the body of Christ. Your obedience blesses and inspires others. Your obedience causes the whole body to be healthy, to grow and to be full of love. You are vitally important to your brothers and sisters in Christ whether they realize it or even acknowledge it.

God is affirming you today: “You matter to Me. Don’t you see? I called you for such a time as this. Walk not with your head hung low as if you have nothing to give. I have filled you with My Spirit and grace. I have given you My all. Give your all to Me. Give your all. Let Me use you to the fullest extent. Let me be glorified in you. For you matter and you are valuable to Me.”

(Daughters of the King, Devotion)

You are my only HOPE.

The Pain is slowly killing me.

I started to stop doing things I used to do, because I already can’t.

Pain visits me a lot.

 

This is the time when I don’t know how to keep the faith anymore.

I don’t know if Miracle still exists.

I don’t know where my Faith will lead me.

The pain is killing me softly …

Physically and Spiritually …

 

Sometimes, I wanted to ask the Lord, “Where did I go wrong? I have been serving you wholeheartedly. why?”

Then as I type this, the story of Job just appeared in my mind.

Job was tested, but never questioned the Lord.

Who am I to question the Lord?

The one who gave me the life I have now.

 

This article was intended for me to question the Lord, because of the pain.

But I really can’t.

I can’t question You.

I will never question You.

For You are my only hope.