The First Ever Virtual Free to Follow The Lord in Cebu Area
by Sis. Chato Araneta(BCBP Cebu Northeast)
The Cebu BCBP Northeast Chapter held its Free to Follow the Lord Retreat last August 15 – the first ever virtual FTFTL Retreat in the BCBP Cebu Area. It was an afternoon affair attended by a total of 76 participants including 35 from the BCBP Cebu North Chapter and one from the BCBP Jakarta.
The Free to Follow the Lord Retreat is one of the most important programs in the formation life of BCBP members. It covers 4 significant talks touching on the areas on how to manage one’s finances, one’s time and overcoming obstacles that would hinder one from truly following the Lord.
The importance and significance of the FTFTL Retreat, especially the need for spiritual nourishment of its members was the driving force that inspired the Northeast Chapter Governance team headed by Chapter Head Ed Shan to pursue the conduct of the program even during this pandemic. Our leaders were of one mind and one heart that more than ever, the learnings from this retreat would be of utmost value to its members especially in these challenging times of quarantine..
Conducting a virtual retreat is definitely not an easy task. It meant nights of brainstorming and seemingly unending dry runs. It likewise meant being able to master the technique of virtually “transporting” a hundred participants to several breakout rooms for group discussions and for the prayer of deliverance. And to add to all these was the anxiety of unstable net connections in some perceived areas of the participants. But none of these obstacles daunted the servant hearts of those involved in the program. Armed with their complete trust in the Lord, they moved on to more tiring nights of dry runs and rehearsals to make sure that the virtual design of the dynamics of the program would truly simulate the atmosphere of a real retreat. The amazing testimonials of the participants after the retreat said it all.
Thanks to the very efficient and patient technical and service teams and brothers and sisters imbued with a passion to serve, and of course the power of prayers from the Intercessory Group and prayer warriors, the retreat came out a resounding success. The participants did not mind sitting down for straight 7 hours with their devices – truly a manifestation that no obstacle could dampen their enthusiasm in their desire to follow the Lord. We can only attribute this to God’s faithfulness. For being able to hurdle all the challenges, we praise God and give Him all the glory.
We salute all the servants of the FTFTL team for a job well done, led by Bro Mark and Sis Ivy Maniwang, the course leaders of the retreat assisted by Bro Jomar and Sis Kathy Yap.
And we doff our hats to our ever efficient Northeast Virtual Ministry/Technical Team ably led by Bro Lemuel Arrogante, Zoom expert Brothers Minoy Villaruel, Mike Aranas, Ryan Villamor, Marc Rivera and Val Abapo.
The Free to Follow the Lord Retreat is a program under the Formation Ministry of the BCBP Northeast Chapter headed by Director Bro Lemuel Arrogante.