August 22, 2020
SYFOF HANGOUT IS UNSTOPPABLE
Last August 22, 2020, over 500 young people came together to join the most awaited hangout of the year- the Singles and Youth Faith on Fire (SYFOF) HANGOUT. Amidst the pandemic, they were UNSTOPPABLE in praising God and getting to know more about God through the different service ministries in SYFOF. One of the goals of SYFOF, as mentioned by Sis. Mik Flores – TLF Executive Head Servant, is “to help young minds have a life-changing encounter with God; may the spark that this makes in your hearts be ignited as fire, and then be kept burning especially in these trying times”.
This event was organized by The Lord’s Flock Catholic Charismatic Community’s Pastor Ministry – Youth and Singles. For the first time in the SYFOF History, we used technology to be virtually present for the event; thus, SYFOF became global! Excited participants came from different dioceses and provinces in the Philippines, from as far as Cagayan, Palawan, Cebu, Iloilo, Surigao Del Norte and Zamboanga; furthermore, this excitement has spread to our Chapters in the USA, UK, UAE, Canada, and even South Africa.
As soon as the zoom event was activated online, enthusiastic participants started ‘shouting out’ their different dioceses, groups and provinces in the chatbox. Our ever-lively moderators, Justin Pacquing and Emman Almendrala, eagerly guided everyone through the SYFOF Hangout program. A “Praise and Worship Concert” kicked-off the event, which was led by Bro. Kent Galido and the PSALM Ministry. The simple yet touching set of songs touched the participants deeply, and their faces showed how they missed SYFOF and how excited they were to be in a communal worship.
The next phase was the first ever Breakout Session! All participants were given the chance to interact with the people behind the scenes of the successful SYFOF Conferences (Relentless, Relentless 2, A Name Like No Other): Dance Team, Media Team, Production Team, and Worship Team. The attendees were divided into 4 “rooms” to meet and chat with representatives of the teams for about 20 minutes.
The Media Team shared their challenging yet fulfilling experience from the planning stage up to the creation of all the media materials for promotion, production, and post-production. Since technology keeps on evolving, they disclosed that they have never stopped learning new skills, discovering new software to help them create visually pleasing materials. They also revealed that when it’s ‘crunch time’, when stress and emotions were intense, they gave instant support and encouragement to lift each other.
Time’s up! On to the next hangout…
Most participants wanted to know the Worship Team’s advice to aspiring worship leaders. The Worship leaders passionately answered that above anything else, “we have to make sure that we have experienced the Lord and should have a solid relationship with Him.” Commitment to the Lord translated into the service is extremely important. Finally, we must always have a humble heart and to always remember that, the Lord must increase and we must decrease.”
Time’s up! On to the next hangout….
The Dance Team talked about their struggles during practices and in the actual performances. When they were asked how they were able to pull off their production numbers, they said that “commitment to enhance skills and to perfect a dance for the Lord entails a lot of practice, sweat, and openness to learn new genres, dance styles; we also need to love and support our co-dancers”.
Time’s up! On to the next hangout…
The Production Team acknowledged that as soon as the program started, they surrendered everything to the Lord, who has been THE Director. They believed that He would take control of the flow, the production, and everything. They also revealed that physical and spiritual preparation were important. The community prayed for the success of the event before and while the program was ongoing. One curious participant asked how the stage was designed during worship as he was always amazed during the concert. The design was really made simple, focusing more on the Lord and the participants, rather than on the people on stage. The atmosphere should come from each other’s heart, genuinely crying out to God.
After about 90 minutes of Q&A and hanging-out with the various teams, Sis. Mik Flores, gave the key message “to keep our fire burning in these trying times: 1) Just believe in God’s promise. 2) Keep the faith. 3) Keep worshipping God”.
And so, truly, everyone online was unstoppable believers of God. We have kept the faith. We have kept worshipping God in our own ways. And most definitely, we have kept and believed in God’s promise. Even the pandemic cannot stop us from declaring: MY FAITH IN GOD IS (still) ON FIRE!
By: Sis Regina Baclig (EQUIP Ministry)