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by Claire Antoinnette S. Evangelista, age 10
Who will not be tempted to eat during the day of fasting? I was 7 years old when I first observed the Day of Atonement. I was able to endure hunger the first two meals that passed, but during lunch time, my stomach was complaining of hunger that I really wanted to eat but my grandma encouraged me not to eat, that God would be happy if I will continue to observe God’s Holy Day, and I did!
Our Lord Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days. That time, Satan saw Him totally weak! He laughed quietly because His once Almighty enemy is so weak. He could easily win this time. In a flash, he appeared before Jesus in his brightest form. He immediately said to Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, change this stones to bread.” The first strategy of Satan in tempting Jesus was by appetite. He knew that Jesus will do Satan’s command but he was wrong! Jesus said to him it is written: Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from His mouth (Deut. 8:3).
Satan turned away to hide his angry form from Jesus. Satan is now ready for another test for Jesus. This time his second strategy was presumption. With the wave of his powerful arm he transported Jesus to the top of the temple and said to Him, “If You be the Son of God, cast Yourself down for it is written He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in their hands for they protect You from even hurting stones in Your feet (Ps. 91:11-12). Jesus recognized quickly this temptation just as quickly as He recognized the first one! Jumping off the cliff as if to dare God the Father to catch Him would be a terrible sin. Jesus said to Satan, “Do not tempt the Lord your God (Deut. 6:16).
The Devil losing again, he wanted Jesus to see him as a powerful mighty being. This time his third strategy was wealth. Another wave of his arm, he and Jesus were on the peak of a very high mountain. Satan showed Jesus all the nations of the world with their riches and glory. “These will all be yours,” he whispered in his very convincing tone. “Just kneel down and worship me. The world belongs to me by right, I will give it all to You.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get out of here Satan! You must worship the Lord your God and serve Him only (Deut. 1:13, 10:20).
Claire is a member of the youth of UCG-Manila and is one of the granddaughters of Cora Evangelista (who has been in the Church since 1965).
by Toti Carlotta
It was an early Sunday morning, April 29, at a nearby hotel to the airport that I excitedly got ready for my first trip to Davao City. The previous day, a Sabbath, I excused myself from our regular Spokesman & Graduate Club meeting scheduled after sunset. I was sick and not too well prior to that Sabbath and I needed to get additional rest so I checked in to the hotel that Saturday evening. I thanked God for answering my prayers to be well and fit for the trip that day. Looking back to a few months earlier, I remember being so thrilled to finally get accepted as a staff member for the 2014 United Youth Camp.
It was going to be a long hot day! I got to the airport at 9 a.m. and noticed the long lines of passengers at the air terminal. Inside there were passengers everywhere waiting and queuing for their flights. Nothing would dampen my spirit, I said to myself. Having been sick, the crowds at the air terminal and the long delay seemed a small price to pay for having the opportunity to serve at camp. Little did I realize that what was to follow was one delay after another till I was to finally be in the air at 5 p.m.
6:45 p.m. Davao, finally!
I determined to be ready for any task other than the swimming activity which I was to conduct. So I volunteered and generally served as dishwasher. Loved every minute being around the kitchen staff doing my part in assisting them with the needs of the kitchen, especially in the sampling of food.
One very important characteristic of the camp was that we were functioning as a large family with everyone doing their part (emphasis mine). The theme was “Your Time Is Now!”. It was a lesson to making each moment count and I remember the book of John 21:15-17 (mentioned in one of the Christian Living Classes). It was the reason that we the older youth were there, to tend to the “lambs”, our youth. Not only for the physical lessons that they were to learn and experience but more importantly the spiritual lessons that they would carry with them in life. A big responsibility that we counselors and staffers alike had to teach by our attitude and behavior because it also was “Our Time.”
I also accepted the tasks of conducting the automotive and rifle-shooting workshops. It was also a privilege to help the mini-campers with their swimming. My goal was to make everyone participating in the activities have fun and enjoy learning some new things. The joy that comes from seeing each of their faces aglow with a degree of accomplishment is something that can’t be measured. It surprised me that I was drawing energy from their enthusiasm and the genuine love that everyone expressed for one another. Being a bit older than the older youth, I found myself with the same enthusiasm to get up early in the morning to get to do my kitchen duties, teaching, sharing,serving, learning, forming and establishing new friendships towards the day we had to break camp. Time prevents me from wanting to say more about my first UYC experience, my many new friends,the laughter, the lessons, the time spent with each other, a kaleidoscope of experiences.
So it is that as I write this article and bring it to a close, it was indeed a “wonderful experience at the United Youth Camp 2014”. I remember the faces, the names, the experience and the time I was given privilege to participate in. I wanted to mention a few of my camp family but then I would be hard pressed not to mention everyone who participated as a body of one family. I look forward to the next UYC and God willing, to once again be given the privilege to serve.
God speed that day when the world will be a wonderful camp filled with youth!