Hello there beautiful creature, and thanks for reading! I had a wonderful and blessed experience last Saturday joining the Men and Women Conference 2019.
A few details below:
Men & Women Conference 2019 is a fun and dynamic event for single men and women who want to learn about their true purpose and identity in their singlehood. MWC 2019 is B1G Cebu’s most awaited event happening this October!
When life gets overwhelming, when the pressure becomes too much to handle, who do you run to for help? Who is your lifeline?
Lifeline: Struggle is Real. Hope is Realer.
Date: October 12, 2019 Time: 8:30am-6:30pm (Doors open 8am for registration) Venue: CCF Cebu, Northdrive Mall, Ouano Ave., Mandaue City
Conference Fee: P350.00 (inclusive of lunch & conference kit) Open to all single adults aged 16 years old and above.
Guest Speakers: Bettina Carlos, Mike & Yvette Yap, Ickhoy De Leon
It was a blast! I was freshened up as a female Christian. I met a lot of lovely ladies! I feel so blessed to learn about their lives and their victories. I am very thankful that I am connected to new and wonderful people!
On this blog, I'd like to share the recap, so brace yourself, it's going to be a long "notes" about everything that has happened at the conference. This is good if anyone wants to know what the event is like, and what you can probably expect for next year's conference.
The MWC 2019 is organized by the single's ministry at CCF Cebu. They call it B1G Ministry. It was the second year of the annual conference, and I'm glad to have been a part of it!
I was at table 48, welcomed by a lovely lady named Jelian. I'll share our photo at the end of the blog. :) After a few chika, the other ladies joined in on the table and we had more chika! On to the next part of the conference, we had praise and worship.
Then a video testimony about a girl who's 24 years old, has suffered from many bad relationships, one night stands, and STD. She eventually got interested to learn about God through the Bible after a Yolanda typhoon hit the country. That was the time she started to open and read the Bible for the first time and learned about the Love of God.
The hosts for the day showed up, I'm going to get their names when I have the time. But they are wonderful! They explained why they have the heartbeat logo for the event because it is like a lifeline. Which is then related to the first speaker's topic, about mental health. They were a power couple named Pastor Mike & Yvette Yap.
Understanding Depression - Pastor Mike & Yvette Yap
Mike Yap is a full-time servant in CCF. He is a speaker and Bible teacher. His wife Yvette, she worked at Lazada - head of marketing, she also worked with nestle for 7 years, doing marketing...Their introduction is - they just ate lechon that's why they look so happy!
They started the topic by talking about Mental health and how serious and real the problem is currently. According to many sources about global happiness from all countries, Philippines is at 82 out of 157. 60% of Filipinos are being emotional. 1 out of 5 suffers from mental to a psychiatric disorder. It leads us to the word depression. Many more sources were sited that says many more Filipinos, and people of the world are suffering from depression.
Depression sometimes leads to suicide. 1 female of every 4 male has this issue. 7 Filipinos commit suicide every day. It's disturbing to listen to, but he says that it is something relevant, and something the church should discuss about. In all these issues, I believe there is and will always be hope in Jesus.
Pastor Mike shared 3 Ss:
Break the Silence
Beat the Stigma
Banish the Shame
Break the silence
Pastor Mike shared this verse, and how similar depression sounds like.
Psalm 32:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
What is depression? It's a mood and a disorder, a temperament, medical disorder, which negatively affects how one feels, thinks. It's the opposite of expression.
So more things have been discussed about the meaning of depression and how severe it is. I just don't want to remember those terms, or even imagine it. I am waiting for the good news. But it may be needed for others who are studying depression, or those who are really going through this.
Causes of Depression
Situational - circumstance, family, personal lifestyle, trauma.
Physiological - nature, hormonal imbalance, mental not working properly, hereditary.
Spiritual - sinful stronghold, unconfessed, fallen world.
The important thing to think about is that we are already saved, Jesus has already won the battle!
Pastor Mike's mother is a psychotherapist. His brother had cancer of the tongue.
Pastor Yvette shared how they found out about depression. They had friends who went through it.
Julien - their friend had manic episodes, had a hallucination, was extra hyper, doing self-harm. She starts writing on herself, she was sent to a psych ward.
Phoebe - a pastors kid, 10 years of feeling sad, she stopped eating, sleeping, and is losing weight, she is isolating herself from God and family. Did self-harm, then she went to the doctor, she also had ADHD and is bipolar.
Mike’s disciple, the name was Paul also went through depression. He was a happy, outgoing person. All of a sudden, he has a season that he's so depressed. He tried to commit suicide. He hanged himself. Historically, depression is called melancholia and was dealt with by priests. So we have to beat the stigma, but we cannot heal ourselves. We need Jesus, because by His stripes, we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5 New King James Version (NKJV)
5 But He was wounded[a] for our transgressions, He was [b]bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes[c] we are healed.
How to know if someone is depressed? Diagnose...or pray and ask the Lord for healing in Jesus' name. Surely He will heal, just like in ancient times. He is the same yesterday today and forever.
There is a reason people went thru this:
To warn us, to remind us to develop resilience and have pure joy. To redirect us to God’s Love...to be comforted and comfort others.
How did their depression start?
Julien - the trigger started when she started traveling solo. The Solo Yolo “You only live once” thing.
Phoebe - her close friend committed suicide.
Paul - He was somehow stressed, relationships, church work...almost 1 week of being unconscious. He did not remember what he did, which is strange.
Banish the shame
We are promised a savior! So as Christians, we must remember that we are already saved, and no more condemnation, no more shame. Jesus Christ has already paid the price.
Never to blame people suffering from depression. Do not isolate yourself, but to reach out to them. If you’re a friend, just be present and be with them. This is called the ministry of presence. What helped Phoebe is by working out. Julien found friends, doing hiking, and not isolating oneself...
Pastor Mike shared this as a good thing to do for someone suffering from depression - P.R.A.I.S.E.
Pray and process your feeling
Abide in the Lord and His Word
Instill new life habits
Surrender the struggle
Encircle yourself with Godly people (ungodly people will only point you to the wrong road)
Only Jesus, our superhero and savior can heal, forgive, break mental illness! And Jesus Christ our Lord will surely lead us to the best ways to live without depression.
After the speech, we had snacks! :) And while eating, we are given time to talk about such issues and share our experience and bless others. We had the time to pray and get to know each other. It's refreshing!
Just a few things from me:
"I praise God and am extremely thankful that I have never been depressed and will never be for my entire life. Those issues are serious, and I am not interested to experience it. In fact, I hate depression and I don't want to even think about it. Depression has no right whatsoever to enter my life or my family's! Only Jesus Christ can enter this life! My prayer is for everyone to have a good, peaceful and happy life."
Then we had lunch!
After lunch, we had our second speaker. Bettina Carlos.
Overcoming Struggles in Singlehood - Bettina Carlos
Bettina Carlos is an actress and television host. Her introduction was all about the struggles of singles, and how God sanctifies us. She struggled with being alone. She hates being missed out, not able to hang out. She placed her identity in relationships.
Here's a slide I took:
She struggled with body image and insecurities, perfection for praise. She started acting at age 15, and she said she was "chubby". She must look perfect as an actress but she had lots of baby fats. She worked hard to become fit, it’s so much work it’s exhausting. She thought that looking good will make her better but instead made it worse. She became more insecure.
She was so focused on works and worth. She works for her worth, outperform for praise. Her identity became just her talent as an actress.
Workaholism and worry. Being too centered on what she can do - Self-reliance. Working double time. She feels "sayang" if she declines a project. She relies on her own strength. No rest for the weekend. Lack of trust in God that too much work results in sickness. It’s God’s design for people to rest.
Pride, a coping mechanism. She struggled with pride as a single mother, trying to raise her child on her own. She took pride in what she achieved.
Rejection, shame, and stigma of being a single mom, stained by “may sabit”. BUT she overcame, got over and prevailed because of true Love that only comes from Jesus. At the bottom of it all, she struggled with love. She viewed love as something to earn, working hard to get it.
"All that He does is out of Love. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knows all about you and me. He still chose to love us. Even before we were born, before the foundations of the earth were made, He chose meeeee (you)….and it's unconditional love of Jesus. There is nothing we can do that can make Him not love me. "
We don’t have to be perfect for God to love us. We are bought with a price. God has given His one and only Son to pay for all our sins. Think about it, you are worth a precious Son of God to pay for your ransom. Her (Bettina, and us all Christians) identity is hidden in Christ.
We can rest, and in our rest, God provides. Everything we have, all came from Him. All the achievements, not of our own doing. It's all because of Grace, undeserved. We can only boast in Him as our God, Father, daddy through faith. It is pure Grace alone.
There is no more condemnation. We are a new creation, all our sins He will remember no more. We are like a spec on earth, but He came to rescue us.
Jeremiah 31:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 The Lord has appeared [a]of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. 4 Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, And shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.
Her 3 Ss (Check the 3rd S :D )
Romans 8:28-29 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. We may have struggled, but we are surely victorious. Remember Jacob who wrestles with God the night before he has to face his brother Isau. In the end, Jacob is blesed with a name, Israel.
Men and Women's Forum
After this message, we moved on to the next activity, women's forum! Men also had their own forum in another room. In the women's forum, we have 4 wonderful women to answer the questions. Many questions were raised, like questions about mental illness and how a person can help the one suffering from it, marriage, motherhood and single blessedness.
Someone asked where to find good guys, or how to attract good guys…. All of the 4 women said, "in the church". If you go to the bar, will you find a pastor there?
Right men are not found in the wrong places. Church is the best.
Romans 12:2 New King James Version (NKJV)
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
After the forum, we went to 3 different workshops. I chose "Work to live or live to work" by Pastor Ickhoy de Leon. From the topic itself, we talked a lot about working, being an employee and how to be a good Christian employee that glorifies the name of the Lord.
Pastor Ickhoy has worked for 21 years in the corporate world. 7 years working full time in CCF as a pastor, minister, doing the work of God. So it's about 3 decades of his life spent working full time. He shared awesome new things that help me as a business owner and a former employee in my future plans.
He shared 7 motivations (7Ps or DEMOTIVATION) @ the workplace:
Pera (Your salary)
Perks (bonus, team building)
Potential (for growth)
He says that you look for other options if none of the above happens in your workplace.
There are 3 main points he shared, the first one is:
#1 attitude over aptitude (skillset)
- attitude is something you cannot teach, it's the heart. Attitude is what he focused on, but not forgetting aptitude. These are things that only God can give and perfect.
He studied mechanical engineering for 1 and 1/2 years, but then he realized that math is not his cup of tea so he shifted to HRA(hotel and restaurant administration). After graduating, he asked his family and friends where is the best place to work. They said it's either big hotels or small startup fastfood chains like Jollibee. There are only 3 famous local fastfood chains at that time (1991), and he decided to go to small fast food chains instead of big hotels. He wanted to be promoted quickly, he thought the somehow the smallest of all the companies will give him the quickest promotion, so he worked at Wendy's instead of big hotels. He started as a management trainee, then later became a store manager.
Phil 2:5 (NKJV)
The Humbled and Exalted Christ
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
#2 step backward, 2 steps forward
Philippians 2:3 (NKJV)
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
In other words, be humble in the workplace. If you have many struggles at work, think about Jesus and how He lived. You may know a lot, but you don't know everything.
#3 perspective changes everything
Work means Avodah in Hebrew. In Hebrew, work has the same meaning as worship and service. So think of work as a way to worship the Lord, and serve people or a company. You have to see things from different perspectives to understand what work is about and to see the bigger picture. We're not living only for ourselves and our needs, but also for others.
In the end, I think it still means we have to keep our feet on the ground or stay humble which is really important.
You're unique! Celebrate it!
Give yourself to others
Focus on the things with eternal value (Jesus)
Pastor Ickhoy was a Brand Manager at caltex before, and he realized that many employees are not really into Christian friends because they thought Christians are too dogmatic, serious and no fun at all. What he did was, he hired Christian celebrities as endorsers
for Caltex advertising. This has shocked some employees, and changed their outlook of Christians. There are real Christians living a good life on earth.
After the workshop, we had a short Q and A. Some points below:
LGBT issue, what can you do as a Christian in the workplace if you have an LGBT friend. How can you share the Gospel? - It depends on your deep relationship with the person. You'll have the opportunity to share the truth. It's devisive, they want you to choose a side. You just have to do your role as a friend, and when the time comes that they seek God, you will be there to introduce Jesus to them. The testimony of the people who reach out to them has the biggest impact. We do not condone their acts, but we also cannot reject them.
When is the right time to ask for a raise? - It's really up to you. You know what have you done for a company, and you know your worth. Ladies are encouraged to ask. Men are competitive, and aggressive, they easily ask for a raise. Also, when we ask, we must think of it as a service to the company, just like the Jews. Jews pray that they can serve many, which means they eventually require higher income because they can serve many more people.
Question about when your boss is doing under the table transaction - Just have clean conscience. Do your role, and what you should do, but never compromise.
After this, we had another eating session and discussion with our groups.
Session 3 - Having Real Hope in Real Struggles - Pastor Ickhoy
In a process, there is a start and a finish. We have A to C, but there must be a B, to pause, and to take a rest and think or process.
Pastor Ickhoy said that all the speakers used 3 Ss. So he also made 3 Ss.
Just for laughs. But his point here is that, in order for us to grow, to become closer to God, we should, let me stress it out again, WE SHOULD join small groups of Christian friends where we can share and talk about Jesus and His love all the time. It doesn't mean we should join CCF or any Church or gathering, but any Bible-believing Christian church will do. We have to fellowship, and also have periodical time to meet up with Christians for Bible Study and prayers. This way, we can always be reminded of God's Love, and can even minister to others. He is our lifeline - Jesus!
Hebrews 10:24-25 (NKJV)
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
25 Then, leaning [a]back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
"Example explains everything"
So there, that concludes the conference.
BUT WAIT! There's more!
We had beautiful praise and worship! We had picture taking, and also a same-day edit video presentation of the event. It's fun, very refreshing and I am fired up once again. His mercies are truly new every morning!
Here we are:
Wouldn't it be fun to have more conferences like this? I really want to have more for women my age (around 28-30 years old). It would be fun to have like 3 conferences like this every year, which makes my Christian life always refreshed! Also, I think it would be even better to have the following:
Christian Tech Groups
Queen Esther Young Adult Version
Christian Young Professionals
Same for kids, teens, young adults, adults, men and women, women only, men only, family. Wouldn't that be cool? Hehe, but I know it will be busy and exhausting work for the volunteers. But I would love to organize one or be a part of the organizers someday. What do you think? Share your thoughts below. :)
I hope you have been as blessed as I am. Join me next year!