Last Thursday was the first event of our new LifeBox center in University Mall along Taft avenue, beside De La Salle University. With heavy rains the whole day and flooding in many parts of the road, our campus missionaries and students decided to push through with the event, since many students were stranded in the area anyway.
It was the highlight of my week because I got a uniquely Taft experience, with the terrible traffic, gridlocked intersections, and flooding which threatened to stall the taxi. It was also an excellent picture of a healthy thriving campus ministry.
THE LOCATION: Right in the middle of the University Mall where so many students gather. The shops and restaurants obviously cater to students: coffee houses for studying, restaurants that focus on mostly rice meals, billiard halls, and computer gaming places. If you want to reach students, go to where they are.
THE TEAM: It takes more than a few people to do campus ministry, it takes a whole team. And that’s what I saw in the LIVE Event in Malate. I appreciated the welcome they gave me despite being from the rival school. I did my part by making sure I wasn’t wearing anything blue.
- Students involved in the work: students inviting their friends, praying for each other, hosting the event, ushering, documenting with videos and even a Same Day Edit! The key to a successful campus ministry is how do you activate the students to work with you.
- Campus Missionaries: Our campus missionaries planned this event excellently. Even more, it was obvious that this was the fruit of years of discipling them.
- Partnership across centers: It was great seeing the unity of different Victory centers there: Fort, U-Belt, Alabang, Greenhills, and led by Victory Malate. If we want to reach the whole city, we need to work together.
- Local Church Support: There were other people as well who were evidently just as passionate for reaching the campus: Rola Vizmonte and Myla Moran who designed the venue looked just as excited as the students did, Jay Abola former marketing guy for Microsoft/Unilever/San Miguel now working for Victory Malate who thought of the place first, Charles Caballero who was making sure everything ran smoothly, and even the tech team from the main Victory Malate center. Campus ministry isn’t outsourcing; it’s a family thing.
- Great Leadership: I really appreciated Andrew Wee, our campus missionary in La Salle for taking charge of the event. And I’m excited for where this will go. But there were other leaders as well, like Daniel Trinidad, our campus director in Malate, who didn’t need to go on stage but quietly observed the event from the back. He had trained his team and didn’t need to micromanage their every decision. Finally, Pastor Nixon Ng, senior pastor of Malate who clearly supported this event, even though he couldn’t make it. Formerly in campus ministry himself, Pastor Nixon’s priorities didn’t change and his passion didn’t diminish when he became senior pastor. Instead, he uses his new role to continue to inspire healthy campus ministries in his area.
So that’s the highlight of last week for me. I’m excited for this new LifeBox center in University Mall and I’m also praying for more in other university hubs around the Philippines!
UPDATE: Check out the Same Day Edit here