Excitement was in the air as two hundred fifty-four members and friends of the Church, most of which were VLBs, gathered just outside of Ixtlahuaca for the Mexico National Youth Camp and Convention held February 5-8, 2015. The camp and convention were both held at a large, beautiful estate originally built in 1718. National VLB Director, Benjamin Calixto, chose “Be the One” for the theme of these events. There were classes taught, devotions given, and messages preached all encouraging the young people to step up and fulfill the opportunity that God has placed before us to “Be the One” He is looking for in this hour to complete the work.
Sleeping in tents and unheated buildings in the cold did not hinder the people from pressing into the Spirit to receive what God had for them over this weekend. Perhaps the physical cold made the hearts even hungrier for the fire of the Holy Ghost to burn in our midst. The camp was opened with a wonderful class by National Overseer Jose Bañuelos regarding the temptations that Jesus experienced in the wilderness and His victory over Satan. During the camp the participants enjoyed relay events, tug of war, soccer, and even a zip line during recreation time. The young people responded well to a class taught by one of the pastors regarding “Eternal Life for the Righteous” and “Eternal Punishment for the Wicked.” On Friday night, to close the camp, everyone gathered around a bonfire, underneath the stars, to worship the Lord. There, a message was shared with the campers regarding the bad and good spiritual uses of fire. God uses fire for both punishment and purification – if we submit to His purifying fire now we will not need to experience His fire of judgment in the future. Following the service seven people testified to having received salvation in the camp!
The convention was highlighted by marches from the VLBs from each region represented in the convention. Each leader gave a report of the work in their area, and many included a devotion during their time on program. On Saturday afternoon there was a baptism with five people being baptized by the National Overseer. On Saturday night all of the young people marched into the building, then out of the building, singing the VLB Fight Song in Spanish. What a wonderful blessing! This march ended with a wonderful time of prayer and worship in the altar.
On Sunday, during a message encouraging the young people to love and support the doctrine of the Church many could be seen with tears streaming down their faces, this was followed by a time of consecrated and earnest prayer. To close the convention Brother Calixto preached an inspired message regarding the suffering of Christ and the victory that He won over all of the sin and suffering.
Thank you to all who labored faithfully to see this camp and convention be a great success. A special thank you to the team of precious sisters who labored tirelessly to keep this large group of people fed throughout the four days. God bless The Church of God and the Victory Leaders Band in Mexico.