What God did in my life at the ‘Ignite’ and ‘Encounter’ was such that I was healed both physically and emotionally. Before I attended the Encounter, I had my annual physical check up, and to my fear my doctor discovered I had a lump in my Right ovary, I was supposed to be scheduled for surgery, but I Praise God that through the ‘Ignite’ God healed me, I just knew in my heart. I really hungered for His healing touch, and at the altar when someone laid hands on me, I felt an electric current run through my body. I just knew there and then that He had healed me. So just before the Encounter, I went again for an ultrasound, which the doctor refused to perform at first due to my initial findings. I insisted however, as faith prompted me to believe for the impossible. To both my amazement, and the doctor’s surprise the lump was gone, and I needn’t have to go for surgery, hallelujah!
That was my first miracle. I thought that God was already done with me, but at the encounter God once more performed a spiritual healing. I was set free from hatred, bitterness and unforgiveness. I felt His power move so mightily upon me, and I was so set on fire once again, to His Glory and praises!
Before I joined this 3-day encounter camp I would say that my life was truly aimless, hopeless and faithless. It is ironic that situations could turn out that way since I came from such a strong Christian background. But, as what I’ve learned from this encounter, even Christians can be oppressed by the works of the evil one. My life was truly one of almost constant defeat, or loss of zealous living. Faith was nowhere to be found concerning my future and condemnation over my spiritual apathy was rampant.
Thankfully, this Encounter really changed and touched my life and spirit. God has given me the grace and strength to lay down my old life and resurrect a new one. I truly believe that all my sins, hurts, bondages and past are gone, burned and buried. Now, I can feel the Holy Spirit working a new motivation in my heart to live for him, and to live it boldly. I sense new direction and I am beginning to uncover God’s perfect will for my life. The most touching experience is learning to love those who hate and hurt you, all because of the love and forgiveness God demonstrated to us first. I’ am now confident in living a life close to God.
JEAN CLAIRE AGUDO
For 7 years, I have kept my anger and bitterness towards my father. There was an emptiness in me that was left unfilled. I thank God that through this Encounter I was given a new opportunity to release forgiveness towards the people who have hurt me. It felt so good to be set free, I felt so peaceful after I’ve released that unforgiveness. Also through this Encounter, God revealed to me my sins and bondages. I realized that the devil is controlling my life. There was a lot of fear, anger and wrong thoughts in my life. Through this Encounter, I not only Iearned true forgiveness, but I’ve received true forgiveness from God. The guilt is gone and I felt that I’ve become a new person again. The Holy Spirit has given me a new strength and power. Now, that I’ve received this new power, I’m ready to share it to other people despite the opposition. Despite my fear and feelings of uncertainty, through faith, my will is to serve God.
VERONA FAITH GAMBAO
When we are born again, we grow and serve God, yet there are moments when we fall into sin and get discouraged. All the challenges wear you out and we lose hope. So this Encounter really restored me. There was deliverance, inner healing, forgiveness, and an encounter with our Father. I thank God that He has dealt with me, and that there was conviction which brought me to repentance and humility. As I humbled myself under His power, He made me realize how proud I was and I have been delivered and blessed. Free from guilt, God has forgiven me. He really did a new thing which was beyond my expectation.
The experience at the ‘Encounter’ was beyond anything that I’ve ever imagined it would be. I felt so blessed that finally God gave me a most amazing gift, the gift to finally speak in tongues. I’ve been waiting for this day and it finally came. Normally I have a 2 liter mineral water beside me during preaching, but that time I did not drink though it was so hot. I wanted my thirst for the water to embody my thirst for the Spirit, and during the altar call I let that thirst soak through me. I opened myself completely and called on him to come and fill me, He did just that. Intelligible words were replaced by a language that I didn’t understand, trembling overtook my body and there was heat in my belly. It was the most glorious thing that I’ve ever experienced, and I thank God for that touch that changes me forever!
Before, I went for the Women’s Encounter, I was so bitterness and filled with hatred in my heart. Yet, my children encouraged me to attend. I was hesitant at first, because I had hypertension, and during that time I was suffering from severe headache due to this illness.
However, during the encounter he totally set me free from all sins and bitterness. I cried so much at the altar, and God just kept on filling me as I came to His presence just as I am. I was doubly blessed when I felt His Spirit come over me, and I felt a lightness in my head, suddenly that constant ache was gone, and I knew that God had healed me. Hallelujah!
As a result, I made a vow to God to win souls for His Kingdom, and to be a blessing to others, much in the same way that God had blessed me.
I was at first hesitant to attend the Encounter due to financial constraints. Yet, by faith I came, even despite of my ‘bleeding’ condition. Now, I’ am thankful to God for what He had done in my life through this retreat. God just moved in a powerful way, yet there was one session when Pas. Lily laid hands on me and I felt God’s power just flooded my entire body. It was unlike anything I ever experienced, and I was crying and trembling at the same time.
Right after the session when I went to the bathroom, I realized that my bleeding had stopped to my surprise. I was so thankful to God for such a wonderful gift, not only did He heal me physically, but He revived my spirit as well!
I came to the ‘Encounter’ with much expectation in my heart. I had no second thoughts at all, I really wanted God to renew my spirit. Just this year, I quit the EDM department, just because I didn’t want unnecessary pressure upon me. I was constantly being persecuted by my parents, so I just caved in to their desires, and I felt like such a failure.
Yet, at the encounter I heard God’s voice, I even heard the sound of angelic voices praising God, and I just felt His distinct nearness. In His presence I asked God to forgive me of all my sins. I wanted so much to discard the old life, and just wanted to live for Him that moment. It was a renewed spiritual rebirth that God gave me, I felt that I was once more baptized in the Holy Spirit.
It was the first time, that I felt the reality of the Father’s love upon me, when at one session we were asked to embrace our group leaders to actualize God’s love in us. I literally heard Him say He had forgiven me, and that His love is everlasting!
Initially, I had no intention to attend, but it was only upon Yvonne and Charry Juangco’s insistence, that I hesitantly followed. Truth is, I had no desire to be part of Evangel Family Church, and I had decided that long ago.
Yet, by God’s grace He used this retreat to draw me back to Himself. I thank the Lord that despite my carnal and sinful ways, He forgave me and touched me so deeply once more, that I’ am never the same again. I was so deeply entrenched in the ways of the world, yet God wooed me back to Himself. He poured into me a new spirit as well, a desire to walk in His ways. I know now, that I was genuinely born again, and born in the Spirit. I continuously thank God for His grace and undying love towards me, that despite my backslidden state, He restored me back to Himself so powerfully!
Before the ‘Ignite’ and ‘Encounter’ retreats I was just a nominal, Sunday going Christian. My spiritual life was dry, and I was full of bitterness towards my husband. I had been enduring this spiritual state for so long.
So, in this retreat I entreated God to come and touch me once more, and to restore everything that Satan had stolen from me. In the 1st day I asked God to cleanse me and purify me, I also asked for inner healing and deliverance. As God did a deep work in my heart, I felt nauseated and vomited continuously. It was as if God was doing a deep cleansing on my soul. I desperately asked God to forgive me. It was at the last session that I felt the power of God fall upon me. I heard His voice say, ‘I forgive you ,fear not for I’am with you. You have been wasting your time for many years, doing nothing for me. This time, I will use you to bring in a harvest of souls.’ He even showed me through a vision which place to conduct open cells. Immediately, upon Pas. Lily’s invitation, I signed up to be part of the EDM. It was here at the encounter that I realized my true purpose in life, even as a mother!
First, I would like to thank God for accepting me back, despite of the many times I have failed Him. In this ‘encounter’ He gave me the strength and grace to change who I was before, so sinful and worldly. Before, I used to have terrible nightmares, of darkness and evil. I knew these dreams stemmed from my guilt.
Yet, after the encounter, I felt cleansed and whole once more. God has forgiven me. I felt an uplifting of my spirit, as His presence came upon me again and again. He was there all along, He never abandoned me, and in the many times I failed Him, He has never given up hope on me!
CHARIELY ZYRA BALANSAG
Before the encounter, there were so many hindrances. I come from a strict Catholic upbringing, and it was indeed a tussle to attend or not to attend. I knew it was the enemy preventing us from attending the retreat, by instilling fear in our hearts. Yet, we persisted and made a stand.
Praise God that we did, for at the retreat I literally heard the voice of God speak to me
‘ Fear no more, I’ am the Lord you’re God, and I will be with you until the end of the earth.’ His power came upon me so strongly I couldn’t stop shaking. I said to myself and to God, from now on I will be His child and serve Him forever. The message God spoke to me however, that made a lasting impact in my life is ‘go and sin no more, and make disciples of men,’ by God’s grace and strength may I fulfil God’s calling upon my life!
I had been in EFC Iloilo as long as I can remember. Yet, I lived contrary to God’s way. At the back of the church, I was another person, carnal and sinful. I had so many vices: drinking, smoking, foul language, wrong ‘barkadas.’ That was me.
I thought the retreat would be just like another ordinary camp. But, the ‘Encounter’ revolutionized my life in a drastic way. God’s love and forgiveness restored that broken relationship with Him, and despite of what I had done in the past, I discovered that His forgiveness and love was unconditional. As I returned to Him in repentance and humility, I just felt His spirit lift away the layers of grime upon my soul. I felt so renewed, at the second chance God gave me.
I made a vow to use this second chance to live for Him, and to serve Him once more, to return to the right path and take up my cross, no turning back this time. Glory to God!
I attended the ‘Ignite’ expecting something in my heart. And indeed God moved me, but it wasn’t enough, I wanted more of God. I have so much hurts in my life that it makes it so hard for others to understand me. I always rebel. I hate responsibility. I can never accept correction, so I easily get offended. All my life it seems I was locked up in this prison of self.
At the ‘Encounter’ I asked God to change me and touch me, that was my prayer. And little by little God did something deep within me, God spoke to me especially at the session on ‘God the Father’ that even though my earthly father abandoned me, I have Him as my Abba Father. I only have to ask of Him and He will provide all my needs. It broke my heart into pieces, for I realized my negative predisposition was born out of this abandonment. Yet, God healed every hurt, and wiped every tear from my eyes. So much so, that I was able to forgive those who have hurt me the most. So if God is for me, who can be against me. I know the devil has no dominion over me, and I will have victory over the mountains of my life!
I came to this Encounter with an expectant heart. I really wanted God to do something that would change my life and service to Him. I almost wasn’t able to make it as my pre-natal consultation fell on a Saturday. However, at the urging of my pastors to have faith and put God first, I was able to have my check-up ahead of schedule. And God supplied all my needs.
I never regretted coming to the encounter. God revived me in such a powerful way, He restored His promises upon my life, He restores a passion for souls. And now, I just want to do something for the Lord. And I know He is pleased with it!
I felt very renewed as a result of this Encounter. I was very touched when God revealed to me His plans for me. Before the Encounter, I was just a nominal Christian. It was never in my intention to serve Him. But this Encounter, opened my eyes to see my life through God’s perspective. It was the first time, that I personally felt Him, and heard Him speak to me directly.
It was in this atmosphere, that an intense desire to do something for God was wrought within me. Now, I’ am willing to be a ‘leader of leaders,’ and with His Spirit in me, I know that God will help me fulfil His will in my life, as His servant!
JENNILYN DELA CRUZ
At first, I never wanted to join the retreat, as I was busy with work and business. But I realized that I can always have time for business, but why can’t I spare my precious weekend for God. To be honest, my prayer life has been so dry lately, and reading the Bible for me was just like reading a book. Through this encounter, God touched my heart and made me realize that I was always so pre-occupied with what business to franchise, what new business to open, everything was about business, and there was this inner impulse to always want to achieve.
Through the encounter, God spoke to me that I should always seek Him first everyday of my life, and all my desires will have its place and time, provided I should seek Him. Also previous to the retreat, I had hidden bitterness and resentment towards a certain person, but at the altar, I just let go and let God do something in my heart. True enough, I was instantly liberated from bitterness. Presently, I’ am encourage to not only focus on my personal ventures, but to include God in all my plans as well!
FLORIE MAY FRANCISCO
Previous to the Encounter, I was filled with hatred towards my mother, step-sister and most especially my step-father. I wished ill-will for them, as we could never get along. I could not find it in my heart to forgive them.
But the Encounter changed all that, I was not only set free from unforgiveness, but God totally healed and set me free from my sinful ways as well. I realized that my wrong way of life, was a result of so much bondages in my life, brought about by my family. So I not only forgave, but I blessed them in return. I believe God has renewed my life, and I’am never the same again!
Before the encounter, my life was steep in sins and many temptations. I felt so unworthy and unfit to come before God. But Praise God, on the first night as I desperately cried out to God, I saw a light like a fire rest upon my abdomen, after awhile I saw the same light rest upon my head. It was then that I heard God speak ‘My child, I forgive you, and I called you back to fulfil the purpose I have for you.’ I just wept and wept before God’s presence, touched by His grace and His forgiveness.
As the days proceeded, the Holy Spirit just flooded over me again and again. God did not only restore me to Himself, but He restored my vision and calling as well! Now, I’ am set on serving Him with my life, through the power of His Spirit in me!
I never gave much importance to the ‘Encounter’ retreat at first. I even told my mom, why waste money on such an event like this, when we can buy rice instead. Now, I thank God my mom insisted on me going to the retreat. It totally changed my life forever!
Before, I lived aimlessly, I had no purpose nor direction. So I went to the retreat in this condition, expecting nothing good to come out of it. Yet, at every session the Holy Spirit would stir my heart, and I found myself wanting more of His touch. Then, during the last day at the altar, I felt the Holy Spirit fall on me so powerfully. I couldn’t stop jumping and shouting at the same time, it was also there that He baptized me in the Spirit. As the gift of tongues flowed out of my mouth, I felt my Spirit lifted up, and empowered to be what God really intended me to be!