I look back on what has happened this year, and all that comes to my mind is the word crazy. So much has happened this year, and there’s so much to be grateful for, the seen and unseen. God has just mind-blowingly showered us with His blessings and continually revolutionize our youth in every moment possible. And what better yet to seal all this with our annual Torch Christmas party?
On Saturday, December 9th, Torch ended off the year with a bang.
With many new faces, surprising news, competitive games and God’s powerful presence, Torch held its third annual Christmas party called Passing on the Torch at the North York Centre.
It almost came as a shock to us to witness the extensive number of new youth who attended our Christmas party, as we never expected it to be the outcome. It’s so awesome to see God use this ministry to bring different people coming from various aspects of life into one building celebrating for one reason, that being Jesus.
The fun started with some icebreakers that released the tension in the room, giving us the opportunity to get to know one another. Some intense reconstructed jenga here, some Christmas-themed forehead tags there, all achieved its goal to make everyone feel welcomed. We then transitioned into an atmosphere of worship, lead by Janna, we were reminded of the love of God. We then slid into the talk, lead by Jann, and we sadly, but excitingly ended off our Patterns series that we had started a few months back. We sought out that Jesus portrayed humility through the foot washing that He had done to His disciples, and with this, it served as an act of love, even if the disciples were undeserving of it. We concluded that as Jesus’ followers we should continually look to Him—His majestic humility and ineffable love—as we commit in doing small and large tasks that are done in love and humility, as this will soon shape us to become more like Him.
As our time closed to an end, we witnessed our first-ever Torch graduation! Our youth that have graduated high school have now transitioned from Torch Youth, to where we now call: Campus. Our new group where young adults after high school, come together with new material that is catered towards this current and crucial period in their lives. It was introduced by our new Campus team: Ate LA, Kuya Miguel R., and Ate Faith who sadly couldn’t make it. Definitely, a must to look forward to as we shift into this new environment with our ministry!
This year was indescribable for our youth, there is honestly so much to be grateful for that I can’t even put a number on it. We started off 2017 with no warnings, just going through fog, trusting in Him. To really see what lies further ahead, we needed to press through and walk forth, and that’s what we did. We held consistent Bible studies, explored and finished three series together (Can I Ask That?, #Happy, and Patterns), produced our own hoodies, held an insane Youth Sunday, raised record-breaking funds, had a life-changing Youth Camp (Unchristian), presented our new strand Campus, and it was all by His grace alone.
Blessings upon blessings, God has poured it all out on us, and it has just been overflowing ever since. We’ve witnessed the most astonishing miracles that some may see as small: youth willingly praying for one another, consistent attendees every Bible study, friends we haven’t seen in awhile coming back, just to name a few.
But as being one of the youths, what’s really insane to me is that I’ve seen God has revolutionized our youth in a way like no other. One of the thoughts that stands out to me from youth camp was that Jesus had come down to this Earth to also be a revolutionist. He came to radically bring change into this world and transform their lives, and that’s what He did. And as being an eyewitness, I know that Jesus had radically transformed our youth. I’ve seen Him soften hearts, humble people, transfigure perspectives. I’ve witnessed Him unexplainably transform our youth to become more like Him in ways that we could never expect. He has done great things, and He won’t stop there.
There’s an evident shift in our atmosphere, not only in our youth, but throughout our whole church, and it’s more of Heaven touching Earth. So much has happened, and we know God doesn’t stop revolutionizing here. Another year has ended, and there’s definitely more fog to go through, and maybe we don’t feel ready for it. But we know God has called us. He has chosen each and every one of us to fulfill His purpose here on Earth, to become active participants of the Great Commision. So in faith, we’re going to get out of our own little boats and strive to walk on shaky water closer to Jesus, together.
“…You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” – Ephesians 2:19-22 MSG
— Micah Ocampo
Torch and Campus thanks you all for your unending support and love! Please continue to pray for our youth ministries as we go further into our calling and lead young people to Jesus. We’re blessed and overjoyed you’re apart of all that we’re doing.
View photos at the Torch Youth Ministry Facebook Page