CHRIST'S YOUTH IN ACTION
"For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants ... " (II Cor 4:5)
MARCH 1988 DAYS OF RENEWAL
Strengthening Ties By Michele Belmonte
Imagine this scenario: Two friends are talking in a school or office canteen ... "You're free this Sunday? How about coming to our Day of Renewal?" "Your Day of what?" "Renewal. Day of Renewal." ~
"Is that like the prayer meeting you took me to last week, where there was a lot of singing and sharing?" "Umm, something like that, yes, and talks ... and sometimes workshops ... and praying for one another." "You mean like in a recollection?" "A lot like that. Plus some Christian entertainment." "Like in a program? Hrnmm, this Day of Renewal seems to be so many things put together." "Yes it is. But for sure, if you want to grow in your relationship with God, this is for you. And if you're looking for new friends, you'll /~find them there, too!" "OK, I think I'll come." WHAT IS IT? When we speak of the Day of Renewal, so many things come to mind all at the same time. It's really difficult to give it a simple description. Perhaps its name says it all: Renewal. Renewal of our relationship with the Lord and with one another. If a Day of Renewal so closely resembles a recollection, that's
joined CYA through A WIT She is currently employed, and is an active member of our young professionals group, Ang Lingkod ng
because six years ago it started out as one. The first "Day of Renewal" was a whole-day affair (as it still is now) at the UST Education Auditorium. Through the years, as CYA grew, the event became more than a recollection. Rather, it has served to renew our vision, sharpen our focus, so easily lost in our everyday cares. I t has also served to remind us of the call the Lord has given us; the heroic life of discipleship he has called us to live. FOUR ELEMENTS One Day of Renewal is different from another, but four factors remain constant: First, prayer. Coming together before the Lord as one family in worship and thanksgiving. Second, listening to God, to his instructions and will being made known to us. The Lord speaks to us through prophecy, teachings and sharings. Third, our love and service for one another. We pray for one another, attend to each other's needs, entertain and serve one another. Fourth, something not often seen but nonetheless deeply needed and appreciated - the preparation long before a Day of Renewal is held. The CYA Staff and an intercession team pray for the event. Administration goes full swing to meet the practical needs of the day. Being evangelistic in nature, the Day of Renewal is a great event to (turn to page 4)
THE-DIRECTOR Dear Brothers and Sisters, What is going to happen in 1988? As the staff was praying before the end of the year we experienced the Lord promising growth for CYA in three key areas. First, in expressing gratitude to God. The Lord wants our lives to be characterized by a visible joy. He wants us to keep our focus on Him in the midst of trials, difficulties, heat, rain, e:xams, pressure or persecution. In Him we will find the source of our joy. Then we can be led to prayer, worship and thanksgiving. God is lor us, so no matter what the new year brings we can look forward to it with joy because He will face it with us. The second area for growth is in /'atth or utter reliance on God. We've finished our budget for 1988 and we're only assured of half the amount of money that we need. We will be inviting more people to become Partners in Mission with us but we know that ultimately God will provide throught them. and others. Even now we're continuing to learn to rely on Him for our "daily bread". We also know that we can preach, teach, pastor, offer retreats, counsel, give CLP's, set up training programs, etc. but it is God who gives the growth. The Lord will be the one to open hearts and give the grace for radical dedication to Himself The third area we want to grow more in is humility. God wants us to be His obedient servants. We will continue to seek His will for our lives and our work. With gratitude and faith we will grow in the experience of who God is and who we are. He is Almighty and we are loved by Him. Then we can love God more in 1988 by serving Him, His people and His word. Finally, let me leave you with St. Paul's prayer: "May YOll be strengthened with all power, according to his glorioue might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col1:11-12).
12 Where Have All The Young Men Gone? By Ken Noecker young men today. As a matter of fact, through our work with university students, I am seeing young men respond to the call of Jesus Christ and take their place among the Church Militant, God's army upon the earth today. GOD'S POWER IS KEY Do conversations like these sound familiar? "Oh, we have a really strong and active youth group!" "Gee, that's great. How were you able to attract so many young men and women?" "Uh ... well ... we- really don't have many young men, but the girls we have are very dedicated. We are ... uh ... trusting in the Lord to bring us the men." - or how about "Our prayer meeting has one weakness. Very few men attend. You see, we've had a lot of men visit, but they just don't seem to want to come back. We just don't know what the problem is." - or perhaps "We just can't seem to get the men of this parish to take on responsibilities. If it weren't for the women, nothing would happen!" If you haven't encountered these laments, believe me, I have. Over the past ten years of working with Christian organizations, I have heard countless renditions of the 1960's folksong that asks "Where have all the young men gone?" In a world that's roughly 50% male, why is it that our youth groups, prayer meetings, parishes, etc. are so often bereft of their presence? Is it true then, that Christianity is "just for older women and little children"? I don't think so, nor apparently did Jesus Christ. JESUS' EXAMPLE If we look at Jesus, we see that he confidently called young men to "come and follow." He not only extended a call, but also met with remarkable success - to the point that his disciples were willing to forsake relationships, careers, and eventually their own lives, in order to follow him. I believe that same kind of response is possible from
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Ken Noecker, A CYA Senior Staffer, has "- had extensive experience in student evangelism in different localities. His last assignment was with University Christian Outreach at the Eastern Michigan University. Presently assigned to Manila, Ken oversees our work in several universities.
What is the key to bringing young men to that place of radical commitment to Christ and a willingness to serve among God's people? Like in all things, the key is the power of God working to bring others to himself. For this reason we can never cease praying that God will ac in power as he did in bringing about the conversion 0 Saul. Apart from this, however, I think there are a number of other things we can do to aid this work. PRIORITY First of all, we must decide that evangelizing young men is a priority for us and then develop a strategy with that priority in mind. As we observe Jesus, he did not wait for men to come to him; he went out to get them. We see him at the seaside calling forth fishermen, in the streets calling forth tax collectors, and at various kinds of parties and situations where he met men from all kinds of backgrounds. Like Jesus, we too need to be willing to "go out and get" the men. ROLE MODELS Second, we need to present them with men they can look up to and imitate. Jesus said "Come follow me.' Paul said" Imitate me as I imitate Christ." Young people (and especially young men) are looking for role models who function as living proof of the power of God at work in men's lives today. They need to see that a radical Christian life can be (and is being) lived out in the world today. WORTH SELLING ALL? Third, we need to help young men see the primary importance of Jesus Christ, the one who is worth selling all to possess. In the Gospels, we see Jesus standing before a very gifted young man. "Jesus looked on him with compassion" and unhesitatingly called him to sell all he had in order to become a disciple. Jesus could do this, because he was giving in exchange the matchless treasure of a relationship with God the Father. We too must know that and be willing to call others to it. THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENT Finally, we must work to provide an environment where young Christian men are in ongoing contact with
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31 Radical Faithfulness in the Marketplace By Gil Galeste
Being in the professional world can really be a challenge to our decision for Christ. Many of our brothers and sisters who finish school seon discover that this is the place where their commitments are tested: Waiting for board exam results. Finding the right job, adf"""\justing to the work situation. Making new friends, meeting company demands and expectations. Corporate politics. On-the-job peer pressure. The list goes on.
Many of our working brothers and sisters are discovering that the best way to peacefully handle these new job pressures is not to lessen nor compromise their commitment to the Lord but to increase it. They know they need to live in radical faithfulness to the Gospel. This means trusting completely in the Lord who knows our daily needs and who will provide for them if we pu t the concerns of his Kingdom first in our heart (Mt 6:25-34).
un, for example, was being trained for a P.R. job with a prestigious firm. He soon found out that part of his job was to provide important guests with "fleshly" pleasures. He was told it was S.O.P. (standard operating procedure), that everybody did it, and that as an upcoming junior officer trainee he stood to lose his position if he didn't conform.
un started praying for the situation, took counsel with other Christians, and decided to remain faithful to the Lord. He went to his boss and made it clear that he could not compromise his Christian principles. Because of his honesty and faithfulness, he won his supervisor's respect and was told that he wouldn't be asked to handle any of those assignments!
•••••••••••••••••••••••• Gil Galeste is a CYA Senior Staffer. He currently oversees lingkod, our young professionals group. He also serves groups of men at UP PGH and the Ateneo Law School.
AI, when confronted with unrighteous dealings in his company, decided to resign instead of becoming a part of the system. For a number of months he literally inquired at all the companies lining both sides of the South Superhighway, with no success. Some people criticized him for having resigned foolishly, but Al held on faithfully to God. Now he has a job that pays well, and suits him perfectly; a job that wouldn't compromise his loyalty to God.
Another truth learned from the marketplace is that on their own they cannot survive as Christians. God intended us to live and grow as Christians, supported by the strength and care of other Christians. Anne had to let go of her job because of the irregular time demands that drastically affected her health. During her time of recuperation, many brothers and sisters pitched in with muchneeded financial help. Christian love is visible love, service-love! (turn. to page 4)
NEWS ROUND-UP Summer Forecast. Our CYA summer this year will be slightly different. Exit ... Summer Training Courses. Enter ... our first CYA Luzon All· Youth Conference! This conference will be held from May 13-15.The place will be announced later. "We see the importance of strengthening our eYA·Manila affiliates during this time," explains Director Mike Joseph, Jr., pointing out that summer is such a good time to do ongoing campus evangelism. Besides, he says, the Luzon Conference will itself be a time for servicetraining and spiritual renewal for the youth leaders who make it a point to come to Manila every summer for our training programs. The CYA Summer Games wi II push through. It is set on April 30.
Fund·Raising. "God has been good to us ... CYA is expanding ... We need your help!" This, in short, is what we wish to communicate to our friends who will be attending the first CYA Mis· sion Banquet. This is scheduled on March 25, Friday. Venue is at the Sanctuario de San Antonio, Forbes Park. At present, 18 staff workers serve full-time on 13 campuses. We also provide leadership training for similar university outreaches' in Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay, Davao, Iloilo, lIigan, Dagupan, Baguio, and San Fernando, La' Union. But requests for help continue to come in. We also know the Lord wants us to expand our work in Metro Manila. This is the rationale for sponsoring the Banquet, in which we can share with potential donors our call, our action, and our need. For more information about the 'Mission Banquet, please call Andy Juan, #70:80·95.
RENEWAL. . .
(from page 1)
bring our family and friends to. I t is a time to encounter God; a place to witness the love and fellowship of brothers and sisters in Christ.
CHRIST'S YOUTH IN ACTION
BY ITS FRUITS
Life in the marketplace need not be disastrous to our faith. We don't have to sink just because furious waves are rocking the boat! We can call on our Lord who can calm the storm around us.
How do we know that a Day of Renewal has served its purpose? "B y its fruits," says Mike Joseph. If we grew in our knowledge of God, in our relationship with him; if some experience healings, or are brought to a deeper conversion, then we can say that we've renewed our friendship, and strengthened our ties, both with God and one another .•
GOd wants us to live in radical faithfulness to him. In doing so the floodgates of his abundant grace are opened to us. Even in our weakness, we are made strong in the power of our Lord Jesus Christ. In our faithfulness, there is victoryl a
MEN . . .
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other strong men. Young men look for other men they can naturally enjoy being with, and with whom they can readily share their lives. Young men look for others who will help define "what a man should be and how a man should act." When young Christian men link their lives with others of like convictions, there is a multiplying effect for strengthening their own lives and for service in the Church. For me then, the question is not "Where have all the young men gone?" But rather, "Are we taking the necessary steps to bring the men into our groups, joining them with the growing ranks of those marching forth for the sake of the Kingdom of God?" In the words of Jesus, I believe that "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few." I will pray that the Lord of the harvest will "send out laborers into the harvest." How about you?
Mike Joseph, Jr., Director SENIOR STAFF
Ken Noecker, Francis Iturralde Gil Galeste, Rogel Plata, Beth Melchor, Terry Savage, Jake Yap, Andy Juan, Harvey Campos, Renee Punzal STAFF:
Lorna Santiago, Syd Calo, Erwin Navarro, Raoul Roncal, Andrew Guitarte, Jun Cruz, Landa Campos, Tisha Colayco, Tetel Fernandez, Arlene Macalintal, Cynthia Olan AFFILIATE GROUPS
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Ateneo Law School Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila New Creation, FEU Maryknoll Prayer Group UP PGH CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION
Andy Juan, Tetel Fernandez NEWSLETTER EDITOR
Jake Yap PHOTO CREDITS
Jake Yap, John Baron CHRIST'S YOUTH IN ACTION (CYA) is a movement of young .Christian men and women actively engaged in youth evangelism and apostolic service in different campuses in Metro Manila, CYA also serves renewal groups in the Philippines and Asia.
Greetings from the CYA staff" (seated, left to right) Landa Campos, Arlene Macalintal, Tisha Colayco, Tetel Fernandez, Renee Punzal; (standing, left to right) Andrew Guitarte, Harvey Campos, Raoul Roncal; Ken Noecker, Mike Joseph, Jr., Terry Savage, Gil Galeste, Erwin Navarro, Andy Juan, Syd Calo, Jun Cruz, Jake Yap. (Not in picture: Lorna Santiago, Cynthia Olan.)
,I Ancilla Domini, Ateneo Ateneo Christian Brotherhood, . Ateneo AWIT, UST Brotherhood of the Cross, _ De La Salle Diadema, St. Scholastica 1 Don Bosco Christian Brotherhood ~' Don Bosco ./ Ilaw ng Panginoon, UST . Likhang Tulay ng Panginoon, CHS Lingkod ng Panginoon Liwanag ng Diyos, Ateneo ., Salt of the Earth, UP Thomasian Christian Brotherhood,. UST '
For inquiries, call or write us at: 300 P. Guevarra St., San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines Tel. No. 708·095