IF YOU’VE BEEN TO THIS YEAR’S YFC UAE NATIONAL CONFERENCE, YOU ARE PART OF THE WINNING TEAM!

“Out of all the people in the UAE He chose you! Because He doesn’t care where you’re from or what kind of person you are, he doesn’t care if you’re tall or short, if you look good or not, if you’re talented or not. He wants you in this team!” – Jacq Bogal, Praisefest Leader 

Through this year’s national conference (Natcon), we were affirmed of this truth: that we are chosen and loved by God.

Now in its 14th year, the CFC-YFC-UAE Natcon is the biggest conference yet proving the growth of the community through the more than 600 participants who attended. The theme of this year is “Solid Ground” with the anchor verse 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”

The Natcon is much more than an ordinary sit-down conference. It manifests the four attributes of YFC amongst the participants, fun, faith, freedom, and friendship, through the sessions, sharings, and the advocacy parade, portraying the CFC-YFC’s advocacy programs. 

SESSIONS

In the face of trials, we would always seek for a rock to hold on to, a solid ground. We were reminded of the constant solid ground in our lives: God, our family, and our community.

Session 1

Homecourt started through an opening act in which a “Cafeteria Catholic” and a “Pharisee Catholic” were discussing topics such as gender equality and the importance of religion. It mirrored the doubts and misconceptions about the Catholic faith. To clear the misconceptions, we were reminded by the speaker, Sister Alma, of what Catholic faith really is. That above all, the core of our faith is both love and holiness because our faith is more than just doctrines and love is greater than our human emotions.

The sharers, Gied Sarmiento, Ian Zape and Kimberly Concepcion, talked about their struggles in their personal lives and how their faith was shaken. Undeterred by their difficult circumstances, the sharers continued to stand firm in their faith. Consequently, as this session was about being firm in faith, Mark Umayam had done a spoken word performance of the Apostles Creed which ablazed the hearts of the participants and allowed them to recite it with conviction. Following the performance, the participants had Eucharistic Adoration.

Session 2

Squad Goals, started with a contemporary dance that’s similar to the story of a prodigal son but a more modern version of the story as it showed the struggle and pains in a family when one of the sons make the wrong decisions as a youth. At the end of the performance, the family accepted the ‘prodigal’ son and settled their differences. This was conducted by Tito Harold who talked about how the family is an extension of God’s love and is where we first experienced true joy. He had also shared about his family and their realities and how those realities can be the same for the lives of the participants of the Natcon as well.

Through the sharings of the Dubai Area Couple Coordinators, the Virays, and Job Corpuz’s, we have heard of how our family struggle tests our faith. Both the Virays and Job have faced the harsh realities of life and were only able to overcome it by deciding to continue to love their family, no matter what happens and no matter how painful. The session was closed through a reflection and the singing of the song true colors.

Session 3

One Team, One God was designed to remind the members of their mission as YFCs and renew their covenant as YFC members. Led by Sean Septimo, the CFC-YFC Full Time Pastoral Worker of CFC -YFC Middle East, the members were encouraged to continue to build a relationship with God every day.

This session had also tackled the advocacies of YFCs, specifically, being 100% free. He talked about how it is possible to have true fun by being who the Lord wills for us to be. The Missionaries, YFC Couple Coordinators, and Gwen Pamay shared on how the community had helped them accept the difficult situations they have faced. They weren’t alone in their life journey because of the YFC community that had served as instruments so that they may encounter God’s love.

 

Year after year, the Natcon has become a constant reminder of God’s love.  Through “Solid Ground” we are once again affirmed that we will never be alone in our daily struggles. He has blessed us tremendously with our family and community that there is nothing more we can ask for. In fact, we are encouraged to not ask, but act by making Him our solid ground.

We are part of God’s team, the winning team. A team that constantly proves that pureness and love always prevails in any circumstance in life. Since we are already called to be a part of His winning team, let’s commit ourselves to serve Him and continue in our pursuit to holiness, through and despite of all of life’s uncertainties.

By Jetaime Alamo, YFC Dubai