Ever since I became a Christian in 2001, I almost immediately became part of the youth ministry. I attended my first youth camp in my own church Victory Alabang in 2002. I can’t recall anymore if the next one was in 2003 or 2004, but I got married 2004, got pregnant (during which I think I attended another
youth camp) and gave birth to Danae in 2005. When Danae was 6 months old, she attended her first youth camp with us. Her second was when King was already the youth pastor. Noelle attended her first when she was 4 months old. The most recent youth camp, Unleashed, was Danae’s 6th and Noelle’s 3rd. This is the first year that King isn’t the youth pastor anymore, and he was invited to speak. Although honestly, I didn’t even really think of that. I just assumed we would be there regardless, haha.
King spoke about unity, morning of the second day. He encouraged the youth to work together, not competing with but complementing one another. He used 1Corinthians 12:12-31, which we also shared with our girls the night before, though I’m pretty sure only Danae was listening haha. We simplified it, saying that our body can’t be all eyes or all feet or all ears. Each part of the body is valuable and has a purpose, just like the people in church. When we asked her what part she thought she had, she said she wants to be a teacher in Kids Church (which I was too, for about 3 years) when she’s older.
After lunch, the RPG-inspired games began. We were told the week before that we were the King and Queen (though we didn’t really dress the part), the girls the princesses. Danae was going to be kidnapped by bandits and would have to be rescued by the guilds (teams). We told Danae this probably two hours before the games started (my bad), although she wasn’t kidnapped until around 3pm.
By around 4pm, Danae and her captors moved near the King and Queen’s station. I was also walking around a bit to take pictures. I sat beside her at one point, seeing that she was already tired of sitting and waiting to be rescued. She told me she was bored and she didn’t want to be kidnapped anymore, but she didn’t make a big deal out of it when I told her she had to stay. I reminded her of the previous night’s Bible story, that this was her part in church at this particular time. Nobody else could be the kidnapped princess. I encouraged her that her part is important and that she is helping the youth out. She was such a sport, a team player! Good thing she got busy playing with the bows and arrows too haha.
When the games were over, their Kuya Danish asked Noelle if he could kidnap her. She said no. When asked why, she said “because I’m still a baby” haha. She cried too when she thought she was going to be “kidnapped” after Danae was.
We’re grateful that we have had the opportunity to expose our daughters to youth camps, and that we had a great opportunity to teach Danae to serve others in this one. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree anyway. King is a man with a humble servant’s heart. She’s already ten times better than me when I was her age. Hopefully she’ll even be ten times better than her dad when she’s at his.