With or Without Ondoy, we have our retreat at Alfonso, Cavite. I felt really lucky because I did not experience to be stranded or walked in a dirty, eeky and muddy flood of Metro Manila. FYI, almost 200 students of St. Paul Manila were stranded and slept in the campus. I'm not one of them. I'm just one of the concerned students, who wants to know if they are doing good or whatever. Lucky in a sense that we arrived safe and early at St. Paul Renewal Center.
*emergency exit - me@ room 218*
I spend my 3days and 2night dedicated for the Lord. I'm very fortunate. Others maybe panicking or hungry by that time, I was praying for them with my classmates and schoolmates. On the other hand, I felt a little guilty because we have a lot of foods to eat. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner that was our great sacrifice to eat and eat. Compare to the past retreat, this one is a life changing retreat. I learned many good thing about God.
Bro. Roland, the retreat master, a person full of energy in his body. A man who has inspires us to be different and to be a better person. (I hope) He made us laugh but his words are very striking it can hit and open ones eyes for the truth. Every words, every phrases and every sentences are important to dwell into the God's love.
The first night, he made us cry because he told us a sad story from a boy. I really controlled my tears not to fall but I can't. Before tears fall into my eyes, I was saying to myself, "Oh noo.. *sakit na ng lalamunan* hind ko na kaya, magkakaheart attack na yata ako." hahaha Suddenly,I can hear some people crying. Gez! that's hard. It made me felt more uneasy, I accidentally looked at my seatmate, who is crying already, that was the time i released my tears slowly and lost my focus from the story. With a mellow background music and a story like Bro. Roland told us I thought no one can help but to shed tears also. Afterwards, we had a sharing with my groupmates, they were teary eyes while telling the story mostly about parents, being alone and financial problems. Mine was different, second life and rebellious thoughts. It was fun. I shared a part of me to them.
*taken @ the prayer room*
The second day and night, another brother arrived it was Bro. Odey, who facilitated some activities. He made us draw a pictures in our traced hands and every finger represents something. Index finger- a word or phrase that can describe myself. Middle finger- draw greatest growth experience. Ring finger - Bad or negative attitude. Pinky finger - God's greatest gift not a person. Palm - What keeps you going in life? Wrist - name or nickname. Of course, sharing again with another set of group mates, this time with accounting or fma students. We met new friends, I again shared a part of me thru that sharing. I felt loved from God from the stories of people around me. The last session for the night was unforgettable experience. A time alone for God. It was like close encounter with God. I felt his presence. A feeling I wish lasted for long. I cried. Hagulgol to max. I tried to be quiet but there were times I can not. It ended with more hugs from my friends, my classmates and my group mates. Affection, I need it once in a while. All the burden was released. I like it.
*Last day, barkada picture*
The last day, confession and sang songs of praises. Deep inside, I don't want to end my retreat. I want to stay there. Peace of mind, tranquility are words can describe my stay in that retreat. Now, it's back to reality. Living a life with worldly temptation again but I will avoid it. God is in my heart.
Lesson in Life: "We can't have every thing we desire, but we have everything we need."