The Refuge Youth Center is a youth ministry center here in Davao. Our awesome neighbors, Matt and Emily Triggs, founded the Refuge as a safe place for youth to come hang out, play music, spend time with other youth, and experience the power of the love of Christ. It’s in the early stages, but the potential is huge! The walls are partially covered with bold, urban graphic art designs, with some currently blank walls to add more down the road. The space is perfect for everything from a coffee shop, a quiet place to study, a place to seek counsel or prayer, to a rock concert hall! We have been praying for God to reveal vision for the leaders of this place, how to use it to glorify God and reach the lost for Christ.
Last night we had a fun opportunity to participate in a rockfest held at The Refuge Youth Center. No, we did not perform, thankfully to all those involved, but we were able to help “behind the scenes” to create an opportunity for local bands to show off their talent. Many of these young people are involved with local churches, however, many churches still have a preconceived idea of what “appropriate” worship music sounds like. The Refuge allows these groups to “be themselves”, and worship the Lord through alternative music. Holding an event like this on a Friday night has it’s risks. Davao is a town that loves to celebrate, cut loose, and have fun, and we were hoping kids would come to The Refuge to do so, while praising God, and they did! Four bands and about 50 spectators showed up to dance, sing, and fellowship. The band styles ranged from the sweet worship of “Karisma”, to the heavy rocking of “The Other Side”, along with catchy alternative beats from “The Suddenlies” and “All Through the Blood”.
In between two of the sets, Casey Sandberg, who is both a DJ at the local Christian radio station The Edge and a youth pastor, got up and gave a compelling, challenging message. He challenged the young audience to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and to allow Him to break the bondage that many of them were experiencing. Now, this is a tough crowd. Casey is also in his early 20’s, so he was preaching to his peers, something a lot of us wrestle with. He spoke with a boldness and authority that can only come from knowing who you are in Christ, and allowing God to use you to reach others. I’ve only known him a short time, but I’m so proud of him, and his willingness to step out on the edge for Christ. Peer pressure, pride, and fear often try to block what the Holy Spirit wants to do. Not this night. When he asked who wanted Jesus in their lives for the first time, or of those already knew Jesus, who wanted Him to break free chains of bondage, 25 or more hands went up. What an exciting way to spend a Friday night! The Refuge has done a few of these events in the past, and we are planning more in the near future.
All Through the Blood
The Other Side
If you live in the Davao area (or anywhere else on this planet!), and want to know what’s going on at The Refuge, yes, they’re on facebook! Like them here! You don’t want to miss the next event!
Yeah, I’m starting to like this place, and I’m starting to love my “job”!