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We Stand For Jesus!
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

EVEN at their young age, the Kids for Christ already know  the significance  of faith  in their  lives.  They already know how to pray, how to care for others, how to  love  their family.  The sight of young ones rapt in worship, singing and dancing for joy, can give adults goosebumps,  and  maybe even  envy  because  adulthood often brings with it the loss of such spontaneity  in  their relationship with God.


The  more  than  2,000 Kids  for  Christ  members from North Luzon, Metro Manila and some foreign countries  who,  together with  their  families,  gathered  at  the  Baguio Convention Center in Baguio City  last  April  28  to  30 showed this joy in worship. The occasion that brought them all together was the 2017 KFC Family Conference.  The  theme,  taking off  from  the  Couples  for Christ theme for 2017 of “Stand Firm in the Faith,” was “We Stand for Jesus”.


As  with  any  KFC  conference,  the  focus  was  on faith, fun and friendship. The conference  had,  of course,  all  the  elements of any  CFC  conference  – inspiring talks, even more inspiring testimonies, praise  and  worship,  and the  daily  Eucharist. But because  the  participants were children aged 6 to 12, there were also entertainment, sports activities and creative challenges.


Unlike  other  conferences  of  CFC,  this  conference had as focus the family. Thus, throughout the  conference,  entire families  did things  together.  Even  the  talks were delivered  on  stage  by families.


The  three  sessions,  aptly titled  “We  Are  Family”,  We Stand for Jesus”, and “Do Everything  in  Love,”  closely hewed  to  the  CFC theme. Speakers at the sessions, who came  up  on  stage  with their families,  were  Singles  for Christ  International Coordinator  Noli Manuel  for  the first  talk,  Ablaze  President Rommel Ancheta for the second  talk,  and  KFC  fulltime pastoral  worker  Dong  Borja for the third.


The  spiritual  element  was clearly evident in the celebration  of  the Holy  Mass every day of the conference, The first day's  Eucharistic celebration was officiated by Rev. Fr. Benedict Jason Lopez, a former KFC member himself. Fr. Benedict shared that his growth in the community  inspired  him  to serve  the  Lord  as  a  priest. In  his homily,  he  said,  “The Lord reminds us and tests our faith; the difference is within us, on how we see it in every situation. Even if we are rich or poor, we are one in Jesus.”


On  the second  day,  Most Rev. Victor Bendico, Bishop of the Diocese  of  Baguio, officiated at the Mass. Noting that it was the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, Bishop Bendico spoke of the life of St. Catherine and how, despite the struggles she faced within  her family,  her love  and  faith  never  ceased. “There will be difficulties that our family may encounter, but through love and understanding, surely God will not abandon us,” the prelate exhorted.


The  last  day  of  the  conference  saw  Rev.  Fr.  Jeffrey Habalo celebrating  the Mass. Fr.  Jeffrey,in  his  homily,  acknowledged that he  too  had his share of denying his family and  of  making  big mistakes. However, he proclaimed that “along the way these mistakes converted me to someone who is just so proud to present my family to the world”.


The fun part of the conference had all the kids excited. The  creative challenges  featured the family dance showdown and music competitions. For the sports challenges, there was  the  family basketball shootout, family obstacle race, badminton,  both  for men’s and  women’s  divisions,  table tennis,  (men’s  and  women’s divisions), and family relay.


The family praise parade on Day 1 was an exciting spectacle, with families from the different  sectors  and  provinces, dressed  in their Filipiniana attire,  dancing  to  the music of  the  particular Philippine festival assigned to them.


Various  workshops  were  offered  for  the  families  present, ranging  from  baking, how  to achieve a healthy lifestyle, photography,  care  for  the  environment, painting, doing household chores, introduction to the lives of  saints,  calligraphy, public speaking and voice lessons.


Similar conferences will be staged in Tagum City, Davao Del Norte on May 5-7, Kalibo, Aklan  on  May  12  –  14  (Visayas  Islands), and  Legaspi, Albay  for  the  South Luzon delegates  on  May  19  - 21, 2017. (Christina Quiambao)




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