#sfcPOSTicon2016

We have now hit a week since the end of the 2016 SFC International Conference in Singapore. It’s crazy to think that last year, this was just a dream that we all looked forward to, and now we’re back to reality, and back to our everyday and our own status quo. However, what I have always appreciated about these conferences, this year more so than usual are the things I get to take home, and not just from the speakers, sharers and workshops. So, hopefully without boring too many people, I present to you – several things I learned during the pre-icon and icon journey.

 

1) Music is a universal language –

This is probably more of a reminder than anything else, but Music is one of those things that crosses language barriers, cultural barriers and really brings people together. Actually the first friends I made during preicon was because of music (Shout out to Tricia and Jom). The culture of praise and worship within the CFC Family ministries is always amazing to witness in action. Music, for me, is like any other language. God can use it to speak to use in the most intimate ways. Worship through music is what God used to hook me in this community, and being able to experience it with others from around the globe is very inspiring and amazing. Much like when I was starting out in this culture of praise and worship, experiencing God through music takes a first step, God reaches out through the song it’s up to us to respond by singing it.

2) There’s no place like home –

While a huge part of the icon experience is meeting and interacting with people from all around the world (shout out to the pre-iconers!), one thing I really enjoyed was being with SFC from NZ (BIG SHOUT OUT to SFC NZ). Because at the end of the day, they are the ones I’ll be serving side by side with, so to have the opportunity to strengthen our own faith together, was a huge blessing already. Much like when Jesus said to go from Judea, Samaria and then the ends of the earth, we start in our own Judea, the area closest to us, our own.

3) Your well thought out plans won’t always match what God has planned for you –

Whether it’s a missed train, you’re running late, get stuck somewhere (hello Emmanuel!), someone gets lost (hi Dimple), or someone sleeps in, lots of things feel like they could have gone wrong, especially with our accommodation being a reasonable commute away. Now, for those who know me, I like things to go to plan, however the 10 days in Singapore, instead God was teaching me to trust in Him and follow His plan rather than being caught up in my own.

4) Everyone has an amazing story to tell –

Going back to the other delegates, speaking with them, taking the time to get to know them, listening to their own stories about their journey with God and how He has moved in their lives is always eye opening and inspiring. Sometimes, without realizing it, your own story can be a source of hope to someone else. The shout out here goes to Brenda from Canada and her sharing during pre-icon. You are an amazing young woman and you inspire me.

5) God wants to bless you so you can bless others –

That line I remembered from our workshop, God is Generous. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized, it’s not just a financial thing, but in all areas of your life. So often, we all think that we must just give and give and give, until we have nothing left to give. But it was nice to be reminded that God also has to fill up our cups if we are to fill up the cups of others.

6) Knowing the person you pray to is important –

Shout out here goes to Ate Martha and session 2 of icon. I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes, in my own prayer time, I just go through the motions, especially when I’m tired. But being reminded that to deepen our relationship with God, we must take the time to know who God is in our own life, that was definitely eye opening.

7) Little things can make a huge difference –

The days of outreach during pre-icon were the ones that were quite memorable. The more memorable moments were at the hospice as we served afternoon tea. While there were some funnier moments (Joanne, you know what I’m talking about 😛 ), over all, just being there and spending time with our older uncles and aunties as we called them, and seeing that, even just being there to be with them made all the difference. Sure, some were harder to get through to at times, due to either language barriers, or in some cases, just wanting to sleep, but over all, the experience showed me that everyone just needs someone to talk to from time to time. While it may not seem like a big deal to us, sitting and listening can be a huge thing for the other person. On a side note, they were all expert bingo players.

8) It’s not over yet –

One of the best quotes of the conference was “Everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not yet the end”. As soon as we got back to New Zealand, it was straight back into planning, and households, and work and everything that we’d put on hold when we left. Admittedly, for a moment, there was some anxiety and stress associated, but being reminded that, it’s not yet the end, the best is yet to come, was reassuring. Not just for the tasks at hand, but overall in life, we’ve all had moments where we feel like everything is falling to pieces, but it’s not yet the end.

There they are, a handful of the things I have learned and experienced this past conference. There is a lot more, but those are better left for personal sharing. In the end, all I can do is express feelings of gratitude. I thank God for allowing me to experience another ICON experience.
I thank SFC NZ, Leah, Arnie, Sandro, Ann, Einx, Donna, Iktong, Andrew, Kennedy, Tita Susan, and Tito Essie,

for walking with me on the whole journey. I pray our bonds of friendship continue to grow so we can bring home what we have learned and continue to help our area grow through our service.

To the pre-iconers,

especially our team leads, Kuya Tox and Ate Amor, thank you for being my new family and friends in this community (other pre-iconers, there’s so many to tag hahaha!). I really hope and pray that this is not the last time we see each other, and I really hope that we can serve with each other again soon. Until next time, may God bless each and every one of you and may He live in you and may you serve Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

May God be praised!!
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