by RJ Reyes as told by Patrick Tan
In this article we are featuring the testimony of RJ Reyes. RJ is currently the president of Chi Alpha in University of Perpetual Help Calamba Campus Laguna. I remember back in 2009 when their church sent some of their leaders at the Chi Alpha Summit in Tagaytay to learn about starting a church-based student ministry (also back in 2008 their youth pastor attended the XA summit). And it was a few weeks ago that we have heard great things about what God is doing in XA-Perps that they pioneered in the nearby university. This just proves that our young people CAN be mobilized to become agents of reconciliation in their campuses. Listen to his story …
Chi Alpha in University of Perpetual Help—System DALTA Calamba Campus, Laguna or XA-Perps became an official school organization last February 11, 2009. In June 2009, we held our first “bridging” event through a seminar called “How to Succeed in College” where we were able to connect with students in the campus. It was a successful bridge event, however we were not able to follow-up on the student participants to join in our small groups. Despite XA-Perps existence in our school, it went on for days, weeks, months and even a whole school year without movement. When we started our small group, we were only three, and after a year, we were down to two! We don’t know what to do or what is wrong. We asked ourselves if we were on the right track where the Lord wants us to be. By the end of the school year, Kuya Carlo, our outgoing XA leader, turned over the responsibility of leading Chi Alpha Perps to me. And I took it because frankly there weren’t any responsibility at all! There was no student to be led, be trained, and be discipled. By the end of the school year Chi Alpha Perps existed for a year but there were no students being saved.
First day of school year 2010-11, I was desperate. I was already thinking of quitting because I wasn’t sure if the Lord gave this responsibility to me. I began crying out to God. I prayed and asked the Lord for confirmation if He really chose me for this kind of ministry. And if it was so, I needed to know what I was supposed to do. What were the steps in turning my vision for XA-Perps into a reality? I was reading Day 37 of the Purpose Driven Life about How to Share My Life Message and God spoke to me:
My child, you are unique, and I made you for a purpose and that purpose is to go to the lost! This is what you must do. As long as you know one person who does not know Me, ou must keep praying for them, serving them in love, and sharing to them the Good News. Pray! Pray for them every day until they are saved. Your mission field is all around you! Don’t miss this opportunity that I have given you. When you are afraid to share the Good News with the people around you, ask Me to fill your heart with My love for them. I never made a person that I did not love. Remember, everyone matters to me. Go! Don’t be afraid for I am with you always. Go! I am sending you!
God’s message has removed any doubts that I had. I was so excited! But I knew that there is still something missing in me. I go to school and I pray for my classmates’ salvation, but why am I not able to start a small group in our university.
A few weeks after, Ate Shiela, our youth pastor told us that there was an upcoming youth revival in Manila (Southern Tagalog District Council Youth Revival held at Bethel Bible College). So I decided to join them. And on August 21, after his message the speaker made an altar call, I responded and for the first time in my life, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
But when the HOLY SPIRIT comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses from me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. / Acts 1:8
When our speaker Ptr. Alvin (Tud) quoted to us that verse, that’s the time I decided to commit myself in reaching my classmates for Jesus!
Six days after the event (August 27), while I was in campus with six of my classmates waiting for our last subject, we began to share stories about our lives. And as I listen to their story the Lord started to speak to me. “My child, they need me, they need salvation.” I asked the Holy Spirit to teach me what to say. The Lord reminded me of the Bridge Man, the story about a father who sacrificed the life of his own son for the sake of the lives of the passengers on the train. After that I asked my classmates if they wanted to have a true relationship with Jesus Christ. And they agreed! I noticed that they were crying while I share to them about Christ. So then and there I led them in a prayer, a prayer to accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior! I also prayed for them. After class I invited them to our Youth Night at church and they decided to go with me! The next day another two accepted Jesus in their hearts. Then a few weeks after (Sep 17) another 11 of my classmates received Jesus Christ in their lives as personal Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit helped me to say the right things when I share Jesus to my classmates.
These series of events started the change in the lives of my classmates. I would follow up on them, and they would attend our Youth Night and also our Sunday service. We have a small group sharing in our campus during vacant times. And if there is an opportunity we would hold our small group sharing in our church together with our youth pastor.
One example of how God changed the lives of my classmates was Mary Rose. Mary Rose was a mystic. Before, she didn’t believe that Christ existed. She also rejected the Bible. The only thing she believed that somehow there is a God. One time I asked her if she knew what a person must do to go to heaven and be saved. She said that if a person did good things for others and had communication with God they could go to heaven. Two days later, I invited her to Youth Night and she went with me. After the fellowship she told me that she felt something different during worship. I told her that it was the Holy Spirit speaking to her. Then I noticed she was crying. She told me that she wanted to know Jesus and have the assurance of eternal life. So that night I prayed with her to receive Jesus in her life. Today we would laugh every time we remember that night when she gave her life to Christ. She always thanked me for that encounter with Christ. God has indeed a wonderful purpose for her life!
Today 21 students are experiencing the life-changing process of knowing Christ through Chi Alpha Perps. We meet every week in our small groups. Their perspective in life has changed, as well as their lifestyles. Now they understand that being a born-again Christian is not just religion, but a real relationship with Jesus Christ. And every time I hear my classmates testify what God has done in their lives, it encourages me to go on and reach more souls in our campus.