Shining Forth as Gold in the Hardest of Times Dear friend and Ministry partner, The last quarter of 2013 brought many trials and temptations to many of our students and graduates in the areas severely affected by both the magnitude 7 earthquake in October and super typhoon Yolanda in November. The horrific aftermath makes St. James command for us in his epistle to consider this circumstance as pure joy , seem glib and even callous. (James 1.2) I was struggling hard with this especially after our first visit to typhoon ravaged Tacloban last Nov. 14, 2013, six days after the storm. Littered with debris and dead bodies, the air filled with the suffocating smell of death, the smile and laughter we managed to bring out among ourselves had the twist of despair and the ring of sarcasm. These merely masked the excruciating pain of grief and pity we felt deep inside. December came and death came even closer to me when my older brother Leo and Doray s 20 yr. old nephew Martin suddenly died from heart attack in close succession. Death has been mocking us last year. Starting with our near fatal car accident in January, our dear friend and former staffworker Naome Basilio, our young staff James Roaring and Manong Jesse Alisbo died one after the other before the earthquake and the storm. Lord, I am sick of death , I complained. Is there no let up? The Lord spoke through the turbulence of my thoughts and emotions. He reminded me that it is his command and not St. James to consider these times as pure joy . James only wrote it down for him. The context of the epistle was extreme persecution. The believers then, experienced sudden death, torture and extreme suffering and temptation. As they were tested, their faith, hope and love were refined and came out like pure gold whether in consequent life or death. Only in the crucible of severe trials and temptations and even death, will the dross of our faith, hope and love be removed so that like pure gold, these will attract others to the saving love of Christ for the praise of God s glory. Death will not have the last say, Jesus made sure of that. So we rejoice, becoming more resilient to serve him better. We joined hands together with our ministry partners to bring relief and hope to the survivors through our Operation Ahon (latest update in a separate article). And our ministry among students and graduates continues Below are some of the ministry highlights by regional units thankfully showing our God given, trial forged resilience.
1. Metro Manila a new ISCF chapter was formed in Tandang Sora High School another one is in the making in Sauyo High School, Novaliches in partnership with a local church, Ikthus Christian Fellowship the chapter in the Philippine State College of Aeronautics in Pasay, is now officially recognized by the school administration a core group of committed students is now meeting regularly in FEU, Morayta Philippine State College of Aeronautics Chapter
2. Southern Luzon difficult problems that threatened the unity of the region and the integrity of a university chapter were resolved by God s grace close partnerships between IVCF and alumni founded ministries - Christian Youth Action Network (CYAN) in Calamba, Reaching Hands in Cavite and Common Ground in Batangas
3. Northern Luzon IVCF SLRU Celebrates their 4th Anniversary
4. Bicol second mile and timely efforts by students and grads to help typhoon Yolanda survivors. They symphatize more because they suffered strong typhoons frequently in the past. They hosted a family and a student from Tacloban during the Christmas break. strong grads network even in Metro Manila. They had a well attended Alumni Christmas Party last December. growing and fruitful boarding house bible studies in Legaspi City Sports evangelism (boxing, jogging and Frisbee) every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month Monthly meeting with the Regional Director (every 1st Friday) by chapter Presidents and Vice Presidents for closer mentoring. Jazeer Camp and Retreat Center, their new campsite in Santiago, Iriga, owned by former National Board member Dr. Justin Novela. It was the venue of the Leadership/Discipleship Camp last October and is being jointly developed with other grads. started Read to Grow and Operation Ahon projects with MEANS Connect
IVCF WVRU conduct football clinic in GSFA Guimaras
revived chapters in St. Louis University in Baguio and Virgen Milagrosa University Foundation in San Carlos, Pangasinan mission points in Barangay Namolan, Lingayen Pangasinan by Pangasinan State University IVCF ers and an orphanage in Baguio by UP SVCF ers.
IVCF Bicol hosted a family from Tacloban
5. Western Visayas conducted an ISCF Football Clinic in Good Shepherds Fold Academy, Guimaras in partnership with MEANS Connect appointed student regional missions coordinators Aireen Cadiz and Angelica Pilares conducted relief efforts in Roxas City and Sagay in partnership with MEANS, iBless and others Operation Banca in Estancia, Iloilo led by Christy Jutare and family Pascere et Psyche (feeding the soul) spiritual formation program for student leaders and GTs missions exposures for Iloilo students to Guimaras tree planting, gardening and clean up of Busay Elementary School as part of camp program and Bless the Community program for IVCF s 60th Anniversary the IVCF ers in Riverside College are not officially recognized by the school administration but have found a champion in Ervie Gallespen, their Dean of Arts and Sciences. She happens to be an SVCF alumni and allowed them two rooms to use for their meetings.
6. Central and Eastern Visayas growing chapters in Cebu Technological University (formerly CIT) and Cebu Normal University growing ISCF chapters in Abellana National High School and Opra National High School resumed meetings of IVCF in Eastern Visayas State University, Tanauan, Leyte students and grads involved in relief operations in Bogo, Bohol and Tacloban
7. Northern Mindanao vibrant IV Home ministry in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan reactivation of the Regional Advisory Council
Growing ISCF chapters in IVCF Caraga region
8. Caraga prospects of expanding the ministry to Tandag and Hinatuan cities in Surigao del Sur before the school year ends partnering with OMF (Vernacular Media Network), Care Caravan (a group of concerned Chinese Christian Churches) and TBKK (Taga Butuan Kaw Kung ) a humanitarian friendship group in Butuan City for relief operations for Typhoon Agaton evacuees in Butuan City Capitol covered court and in the Training Center. ASSCAT (Agusan del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology) IVCF ers in Bunawan brought bread and bihon (pancit) for the typhoon Agaton evacuees in their campus. growing college and ISCF chapters in Caraga State University and Laboratory School, Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte
ISCF chapter in Abellana National High School
We praise God for all these exciting developments yet one persistent problem remains. While giving for our Operation Ahon relief efforts has increased, the giving to our General Fund for operations and Staff salaries has been inadequate so that we continue to owe our staff workers more than two months of their salaries. The latest release were for partial December salaries and partial 13th month pay. Please consider to give and help us cover this deficit. Last November 30, 2013, IVCF Phil became a senior citizen. Each region joyfully and gratefully celebrated 60 years of God s faithfulness. Through six long decades and many trials and temptations, we are shining on with our fire tested faith, hope and love, by the grace of God. With your prayers and support we will continue to serve the students and grads of the nation with pure joy , growing together in Christlike maturity. Sincerely in Christ, Ferdi Juni National Director
9. Southern Mindanao increasing graduate support for the ministry SMRU has qualified as a partner institution of Mission Increase Foundation - Mindanao Equipping Program (MIF-MEP). IVCF ers can now avail of their training modules and be recipients of infrastructure or program based projects.
IVCF Philippines 60th Anniversary