The 17th APBY Conference - Conference Reflection

After more than a year of prayers and preparations, Asia Pacific Baptist Youth Conference 2019 has ended. The Lord has allowed me to witness Him at work in so many ways during the conference that I find it difficult to put it in words. I have considered giving up writing about it, then I read Psalm 77:12-14.

“I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.”

This encouraged me so here I am, 5 days after, attempting to pen my thoughts.

APBYCon2019 happened in Baguio from May 21-24. The theme is Making and Multiplying Disciples. “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2

Here are some of the things I’ve seen and experienced:

God at Work # 1
I volunteered to work as staff and I was assigned in the Program Committee. I was blessed to serve alongside men and women who love the Lord and who joyfully serve God’s people even if it meant making sacrifices, losing sleep, getting physically exhausted, etc. It is God who put together these people from different places and churches and seeing them united in Christ is just amazing. One can’t help but praise God who orchestrated everything.

God at Work # 2
People from 19 different nations came to attend the conference. It is such an encouragement to see people from different parts of the globe, with different cultural backgrounds, who speak different languages, come together to worship the one true living God. Despite barriers, a strong fellowship was formed because we are one in Christ. Seeing them and talking to them (specially people in my family group) allowed me to go beyond my restricted perspective which is focused on my own circumstances and my immediate surroundings and see God’s work on a global scale. I learned about the circumstances of my brothers and sisters outside the Philippines. We were able to pray for one another and encourage one another and show our love for one another which is a rare opportunity. For this, I am very thankful.

God at Work #3
As part of the program, some of the delegates were able to perform and share some of their culture. I didn’t get to see the dance performances because I was stationed in the chapel where choral and instrumental performances were done. I was struggling to hold back tears the whole time. The delegates sang and played instruments beautifully. They were soooo good. You can see their heart in their performance. At that time, I was thinking, “If they are this good, how much more awesome is the Giver of all these gifts and talents?” I was in awe.

God at Work #4
God’s Word was proclaimed. The gospel was preached. Our hearts were pierced and convicted. I need not say more. I can only say praise God for His powerful Word that transforms hearts, ignites God-directed passion, builds faith, enables trust and obedience, and propels people to let go and go!

God at Work #5
The Lord was working in my heart during the whole conference. He was developing in me a heart that looks to Him alone and is dependent on Him alone. As stage director, I was constantly running around, communicating instructions to other people, checking the time and program flow throughout the plenary sessions. During that whole time, I was fighting to make sure that while I do my tasks, I do not miss the opportunity to sing praises and to hear God’s Word. He keeps telling me that more than my service, He values my heart that beholds Him. He was also dealing with my self-reliance and pride. When performing my tasks, I was constantly checking my heart and battling with the urge to rely on what I know and what I can do, overuse the authority that goes with the task that was given me, and take pride in what was accomplished. At the last minute, I was given the task to read the scripture and lead the prayer. I was hesitant at first because I did not want to add to my battles the pride that comes when you are placed under the spotlight. But God is good and merciful to me. He corrects me and despite my weaknesses, He uses me. He puts me in situations that allow me to act according to my faith, looking unto Jesus, and not be dictated by my fears, worries, and weaknesses. My prayer is that I will grow in my love for the Lord, joy and satisfaction in Him, and that I will go and obey, by God’s grace, not in my 
terms but in His terms.   

These items don’t cover everything. God is also seen at work in the approval of visas by foreign delegates, safe travels, safety during the conference, financial provision, and grace in the lives of people who went through something very difficult during the conference.

Thank you, Lord and praise you, Lord! You are so so good!

by Jarrie Ann Roman