Just want to share my personal experiences and realizations during our monthly Prison service. I had the thought of reliving the moments inside the Medium Security Camp after our chapter’s first Prison service for this year, 2013. The truth is, it is not only us who are helping them, but the opportunity to serve them is the one that is helping us to grow spiritually and live life with a purpose.
One line struck me when I was reading the book “The Purpose Driven Life” last year, “The fear of what we might discover if we honestly faced our character defects keeps us living in the prison of denial”. I have been in the prison of denial for years. There are things that I do not want to do, change I do not want to try, problems I do not want to solve, and broken relationships that I do not want to fix, all because I have lived in fear. This experience gave me a lot of lessons that can help unleash the “ME”, the “ME” that is hiding.
A friend told me to watch the movie, “The Perks of being a Wallflower”. Well, I haven’t watched that movie, but I remembered my friend telling me about the wallflower, so during our Chapter Prayer Assembly, the design of my guiding star has a flower at the middle. I think I have an idea about that movie, I can sense its story but I’ll reserve the topic until I watch it. Just like any flower, we all want to bloom in life, to serve our highest potential, and just be the best that we can be, not for anyone but for ourselves, and then bringing back to God all the blessings we received.
Here is my guiding star, with things to improve in my spiritual, family, work, health and personal life. 🙂
P.S. I reposted my reflections during our Prison Visit last year, which were from our SFC Chapter’s blog.
I would like to share what happened on the weekend of June 16 to 17, 2012. Upon waking up on June 18, I really felt like a different person. I thought I came from a retreat. The transformation from the inside has been very evident. I’ve learned in the book, The Purpose Driven Life (which I’m reading right now, and yes, only now ), that changes spiritually and emotionally don’t necessarily mean they can only happen on retreat, recollection, powerful talks, seminars and conferences. But also through every day experiences, through a nice conversation with a person, number of persons or a group of people, through watching an inspirational show, through serving and other means.
On June 16, I attended the chapter’s CLP Talk 11 and 12. It was a very rewarding night for the speakers talked about the Mission of the Couples for Christ and the Transformation with Christ. It was also a chance to be with the CLP participants and the service team. After the CLP, Sis Cath, Bro Kimm, Bro Milo and myself headed to the house of Sis Jophine to prepare the things we will be using for the Prison Service the next day. The house was quite far, then we realized distance is not a hindrance to a person who really wants to serve, and I truly honor Sis Jophine for that and the other servants who also live from afar.
It was a nice conversation with the team and with Sis Ipay during the preparation of the things we will use for the service. What’s nice about it is the sense of maturity of everyone. It was evident that we don’t talk as girls and boys, but as young adults, men and women. What I learned from the night is that, life is not really perfect for anyone, but if one understands that life is a blessing and that everything that’s been happening has a good reason, he/she will have an optimism to carry on even if it’s hard. We have our own struggles and questions in our personal lives, in our faith, in our service and in our everyday experiences. As what was stated from The Purpose Driven Life, this life is a test of faith and a test of trust of our Almighty God. And through this, our relationship with Him will grow deeper each day. With our frequent communication with Him, I know He is smiling down on us from heaven.
After the entire tasks were done and some chit chats, we finally slept. We woke up at 5.30am to pack the food that we will serve.
Upon arrival at the entrance of Medium Security Camp, we found out that we will be serving with Singles for Christ from the chapter, West C2-B. Two different chapters but with one desire, and that is to serve, all for the glory of God.
The program for that day was the one-to-ones of the participants and the facilitators from West B1-A and West C2-B. The activity is in preparation for the Baptism the following Sunday. As the one-to-ones was occurring, the Music Ministry of West B1-A sang in one side and became the background music, which helped the participants reflect and think of the areas in their lives they want to be prayed for. The other service team became the prayer warrior and some served the lunch for the participants and service team.
The facilitators were overwhelmed and touched because of the trust given to them by the CLP participants in their one-to-ones. We all know it’s really hard to open-up what’s inside our hearts and mind. It takes guts. But the inmates willingly shared part of their lives to their facilitators which humbled the latter.
The whole service team was much fulfilled and smiles were present in our faces especially during the short sharing outside the Medium Security Camp.
But wait! There’s still more!
Bro Kimm, Bro Berl, Bro Avel, Bro Jherwin and Sis Majane returned to Bilibid the following Sunday, June 24, to serve for the Baptism. I truly honor them for their tireless effort because the night before the service, June 23, was our Chapter’s CLP Lord’s day in St. Jude. As what Sis Majane wrote in the caption of this picture, “Passion for my Mission”.
I’ll forever be grateful to God for all the experiences, realizations and learning He has given me. My life has been unfolding with every second and every minute that’s passing by. And I am just so positive about life.
Thank you SFC community for the tremendous impact in our lives. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, spiritual transformation can be achieved.
It was my first time to attend the service of the Prison Ministry. It was Sunday, Feb 9, 2012. Call time, 7.30am in DLTB Bus Terminal in Buendia.
Being able to serve inside the Bilibid Prison, Medium security camp is something I would never thought as, possible. But God is really great in making things happen.
The highlight of the service was the activity prepared by the West B1 A Prison Ministry head Bro. Kimm. Our fellow SFCs inside the Bilibid were asked to make a dream board of how they would perceive themselves in the future. I saw in their faces the excitement in working with their dream board. One drew a house in a farm, free and living simply with his loved ones. Some made use of the pictures cut from newspapers and magazines.
They shared with their discussion group what were in their dream board. After sharing with one another, the facilitators were asked to collect the dream board per group. Then with the instruction from Bro. Kimm, the facilitators tore all the dream board. Not only the inmates were shocked by the action but also some of us, service team who were not aware that it will be done.
All would like to know the reason why the dream board has to be torn. For sure, there must be a great explanation behind the action. It was disheartening for the inmates to see it torn into pieces.
This was it. The inmates have visions in their mind of a good life in the future. But those dreams were destroyed because of the different circumstances that made them went inside the Bilibid. But being an SFC, and having a deeper relationship with God gave them realizations to put the pieces of their dreams in life back together, and likewise, the pieces of their dream board back together. It was a lesson for everyone. One’s life doesn’t need to stop because he/she has committed a mistake. It is not yet the end and that we can always start from where we are now. Everyone is entitled for that second chance.
Bro. Kimm’s explanation, “Sa pagpasok nyo dito, nasira ang mga pangarap nyo, pero sa pagmamahal sa atin ni God at sa second chance na binigay Nya, buuin nyo ulit ang mga pangarap nyo, at panghawakan hanggang sa paglabas nyo dito”.
The inmates were touched at the moment. That is something that ALL of us will never forget for the rest of our lives. The service team of SFC West B1-A went home inspired and blessed because of another heartfelt service done for the glory of God.
I’ve only come to know of the worship and praise songs through the Christian Life Program. And when I graduated from the CLP, I started listening to these songs. I listen to it everyday, during travel, upon waking up and upon sleeping. And it turned out to be that they’re now my favourite songs. I’ve come to love One way, Still, Through it all, One desire, Now that you’re near, Free to dance, etc. But last Sunday, in our Prison Service, I really felt the song, “By Your side”. As we stood in front as the service team, I was looking at the huge portrait of Jesus at the back. While singing, my eyes were looking at His eyes and at His face. And what I see is a face so kind, so comforting and so forgiving. I was touched at the moment. Here are the lines that struck me.
Oh dear God we asked for Your favour
Come and sweep through this place
Oh we desire You
I just wanna be with You
Be where You are
Dwell in Your presence oh God
Oh I want to walk with You
And I will climb its mountain
And I step off the shore
And I have chosen to follow
And be by Your side forevermore
Tell me what You want me to do Lord God
Tell me what You want for my life
Well it’s Yours
Oh God, it’s Yours
Do Your will
Have your way
Be Lord God in this place
Oh I want your will to be done
-I really felt this song, maybe because I was discerning in one aspect of my life. Since yesterday, I have been repeating this line over and over again, “Tell me what you want me to do Lord God, Tell me what you want for my life, Well it’s yours, Oh God, it’s Yours”. I have plans I’ve been eyeing for, but I know if it’s not God’s will, He’ll replace it with better plans that’s way more than I ever hoped for.
A sister told me that of all, discernment is really the hardest to achieve. Knowing God’s will in our lives. But if we’ll continue to walk with Him, pray in Him and BE BY HIS SIDE FOREVERMORE, there is nothing to worry. He will reveal His plans right in front in of us in His most definite time.