Meet some of my Elevate friends  + some of them, kimiko(girl in blue) and bea (girl in black), are actually my d-group mates!

The interview

As we were hanging out and just telling each other stories, I started to conduct my interview regarding on how they see Elevate.

"Fun siya and lalo na since busy na tayo sa school, Elevate is the place na nakakarefresh and chill out lang, help others with their problems din, and worship God." says Kimiko when she answered my question of how was her Elevate experience so far.

On the other hand, there's also Bea who answered, "To meet and fellowship with people who share the same faith with me. I go there kasi I also want to have fun with a purpose."

and because I have some insights from people who were first timers during the event of Under the Mistletoe.
"Sobrang feeling loved and welcomed ako agad to the place kahit na i'm new lang tapos lahat ng tao they kept saying hi even if they don't know me na one person pa using ung iPad nag sulat from afar ng 'Hi Jen!'"

The Impact

PictureWhat will your Impact be? Photo courtesy: GHCC Children's Ministry
Looking back to my recent Elevate experience, I can say that this has opened my view towards the world even more in terms of reaching outside of our comfort zones.

An example for that would be the Under the Mistletoe night when we would welcome people even if we don't even know them. We show them how it's like a family in Elevate and would invite them to other Elevate sessions.

But more that stepping out of comfort zones, this project shed light to me of how one person reaching out can change lives.
By serving God and inviting others to come to our gatherings, we were able to save and lead people to come to know Christ. This doesn't only change lives but we show them that we're here for them when life gives them tough trials.

Because of these, I've realized that an impact to help others find hope in their lives can start with one gesture such as inviting them to events, or even just saying hi and making each other welcomed. Other than that, it gives me a view of how life can be more meaningful through reaching out to others than just living it all for myself.

That's me in orange! Photo courtesy: Anita Jordan

Another awesome experience that I've had in Elevate Ateneo is coming to it's another weekly event called meet, greet, eat every Friday just before Live. In this event, I'm so glad to have met many other Elevate-rs and we also got to bond over activities and food! We were also led by our leader, who is an American missionary, Anita. She led us girls to play get to know games like the one true one false game where in the others would guess which description about you is the truth. Other than Anita, there's her husband Randy, who led the boys' group.

This was truly a memorable and fun experience because of how we were able to mee new friends, bond with them, and then go Live together to worship God!

Source: Life Community Church
In Ateneo Elevate, we have this weekly event called the Dig Deeper. In my experience, I've had learned a lot already even if it's just a session of an hour and a half. To me learning isn't just the academic learning of course because we can actually also learn about Jesus and what the future OF the future beholds aka, Eternal Life. Because us humans we're all sinners and are bound for hell. but because of Jesus, we can all be saved from this and have the Future of the future of our ETERNAL LIVES.

and what's a more purposeful way of living than serving and learning about our Savior? Now that's what we do in dig deeper. Plus, not only did I learn more about God, I was also surprised with how welcoming and friendly everyone is. There are even free food like brownies and cookies! It's definitely an experience that I would surely go back to.


Last Friday Night!

Photo courtesy: Elevate Ateneo
As I was saying on my last post, there was an event last Friday which was the Under The Mistletoe event featuring Robi and Gretchen. But that wasn't all! What makes this event even more memorable is because of how many of us get to bond, invite new people to know the God we worship, and also to see how God can also work in our love lives which was proven in Gretchen and Robi's testimony.
And just to share the experience, here's how the event went! It all started when we welcomed our guests and first timers, followed by musical performances from Us Two Plus You and Bowden & Fitzgerald of AMP (Ateneo Musican's Pool)!

Finally, Robi arrived and the talk was on its way!
They started telling their love story until it was time for the question and answer from the audience.

But what made this event extra special?

Other than seeing celebrities and hearing cheesy, funny love stories, I can say that something else made this event more memorable and I think that is because of another thing which is the presence of friends.
So now you may be thinking "huh? so what is elevate really?"

Well, the thing is, Elevate is about relationships. Relationship with God, with friends, family, and others. Here in Elevate, we focus on God for He is the center of our lives. But don't get me wrong, when I say that He's the center of our lives, I don't mean that Jesus is our religion. Like I said, it's not a religion, it's a relationship.

In Elevate, we help each other grow in the Lord, keep the faith, and help each other in times of need. But more than that, we are a family. We may not all be totally close with each there other, but still, everybody's a family for we are all children of God. And that's what makes us all bros and sis.

Elevate's a place where we can all admit our imperfections because our main goal here is to help each other grow in the Lord. Although God is the only one capable of forgiving and saving, our capabilities don't just stop there. We can always help each other. and that my friend is what we do in Elevate. We invite people to join us and experience God for one may not be able to truly understand who Jesus is until one experiences Him himself/herself. Other than that, we have D-groups which can also be called accountability groups where in we can all be ourselves, say what our wrongs are, and nobody's going to judge us.

'Cause in the end, we're all imperfect people and Jesus is our only hope. So let's continue helping one another shall we?
After an Elevate live session! Left to right: Kimiko, Tricia, and Me! :D

More than a student

So other than being Atenean students, for me, we also have this other personality where in we fit into our own orgs. Orgs, to me, are very fun extra curricular activities or groups where in we can be more of ourselves and show off our skills. For example is AMP where people can show off their musical skills while Celadon, an org that I'm also passionate about, is a Filipino-Chinese org where everyone can learn more about the Filipino-Chinese culture.

But other than those cool orgs, I want to share about another awesome org that I really love. it's called Elevate!

Elevate involvement

PictureThe crowd enjoying and worshiping God! Photo courtesy: Elevate Katipunan FB page
First of all, as funny as it may seem so sound, I am an Elevate-er! Being a Christian, I've always dreamed of serving God one day and to be someone to help others. But because of our high school Saturday classes, I couldn't seem to find the time for it. But now that I'm here in Ateneo and thanks to Elevate, I now have the chance to use my skills to serve God. For example is when I got to opportunity to play in the worship band last Friday at Live, our weekly gathering during Fridays. Another is for the upcoming event tomorrow called, The Big Umbrella: Under the Mistletoe. I had the opportunity to design the brochure that's gonna be given out in the event, and I also got the opportunity to help promote the event by taking promos pictures of people. Finally, I get to help during the event as a photographer. BTW if you guys have time, just drop by! It's going to be fun! There will be free food and etc! FUN FUN FUN!

Under the Mistletoe happening tomorrow featuring Gretchen Ho and Robi Domingo! Photo courtesy: Elevate Ateneo