New Project

Minsan Sa May Kalayaan

When Kenneth was in his younger years, the world was his oyster. He has set his eyes on graduating, finding a job, being successful, and getting married. From Laguna province where he grew up, he moved to Quezon City to study in the University of the Philippines, Diliman (UPD).

Kenneth and his classmates

"I was just your average student in the university before I joined the community. I enjoyed my life as a student. I played organized basketball in Kalayaan Hall, the dormitory for freshmen students in UPD where I stayed. I was also part of an organization in the College of Engineering where I was enrolled," Kenneth said.

Kenneth and his classmates

All in God's plan

When God wants to use us for a purpose, he places us right where we should be. He brings the right people in our lives at the right time for His perfect reason.

Like the famous song Minsan by the Eraserheads which says: "Minsan sa may Kalayaan tayo'y nagkatagpuan…" Kalayaan Hall, too, was that place for Kenneth. It was where God's plans for him were to start. There he met Xavier Cruz, a resident assistant in charge of their floor, and one of the leaders in Christ's Youth in Action (CYA) in UPD.

Xavier invited Kenneth and the other freshmen to join CYA prayer meetings, sports events and simple dinner fellowships. What Kenneth didn't know then was that God was already giving him a sneak peek of life in a community - a group of people with different personal stories, experiences and values brought together by faith to give and provide support, and to find common ground in loving and serving God and others.

After a few months in CYA, he was invited to attend the Christian Life Series (CLS) to which he said "Yes!" At the end of the CLS, he made a commitment to follow Christ, and that became the turning point in his faith journey.

You have one life to live and one life to give. Give your life to the One who already gave Himself for you.

As a young Christian, Kenneth admits experiencing distractions and struggling with personal weaknesses. He had inappropriate and unhelpful relationships with women, he drank excessively and uttered obnoxious speech. The support of the brothers and the community through the pastoral system helped him be accountable for his actions, to let go, and eventually overcome his weaknesses.

Kenneth considers Jim Orbe as one of the people who had the greatest influence in his faith and current involvement in CYA and its mother community, Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon.

Jim was the CYA staffer assigned to UPD when he was a student. He was Kenneth's CYA Action Group Leader. Years after, Jim became his Pastoral Leader in Ligaya, and his local formator in The Servants of the Word, a Christian brotherhood of men living single for the Lord.

According to Kenneth, Jim taught him how to be a young Christian disciple by his words and example. Jim witnessed his faith by demonstrating God's mercy and love in his action, and making God present to those he encounters. He was the one who helped Kenneth make the pivotal decisions to follow Christ as a CYA staffer, and as a brother in the Servants of the Word.

Servants of the Word

Onwards for Christ

Armed with God's words, supported by brothers and sisters in the community and fired with a heart and mind for service, Kenneth was set.

"When I decided to anchor my life in Christ, there was a paradigm shift. My life became purposive, simple, peaceful and joyful. My personal relationship with Christ, opened a life of adventure, service, and community. I used to live for myself. I was chasing the riches that this world offered until I met the one true treasure that lasts forever, our Lord Jesus Christ."

Servants of the Word

Drawing from his own journey, Kenneth said living a life grounded in faith makes a person experience true freedom and joy. "It prevents us from being slaves to our own desires. It protects us from many entanglements and sin. Living a life of faith takes the focus away from ourselves and puts the focus on loving and serving God and others."

But the Christian life, Kenneth said, is a life of great adventure.

"There are ups and downs, blind turns and curves and it's possible to get lost. But the beauty lies in the journey where we get to experience a Father who guides us and leads us back to the right path towards our true destination. No matter where we are in the journey, the Lord is always with us past, present and future," he shared.

Kenneth with the participants

Life as a missionary brother

Now deeply-rooted in Christ, Kenneth finds fulfillment in his life as a missionary brother living single for the Lord. He finds great joy in seeing young men and women give their lives to Jesus Christ.

He currently serves as the CYA Unified Manila Chapter (UMC) Leader and is responsible in overseeing the life and direction of the CYA units in the schools and universities along Taft Avenue in Manila. This, he does, in accordance with the overall mission of CYA to evangelize the youth and train leaders for the service of the Church and society.

In the Servants of the Word , Kenneth joins other men in a life of prayer, service, and brotherly love. They order their lives by centering it around daily prayer and a time to seek the Lord through the meditation and the study of His word in the Bible.

Throughout the day, the brothers serve in various outreaches where they disciple young men and support them in their Christian life. The brothers work together with various Christian leaders in building Christian communities all over the Philippines. They also live a common life where they spend time to pray, eat and fellowship together.

Kenneth with the participants

His dream is to see a world or a society where people are transformed in Jesus Christ. He sees families being Christ-centered, living their lives as serious Christians. He sees men being responsible fathers and leaders of their own lives, leading many to know and love Jesus Christ.

Many years after Kalayaan Hall, God continues to call Kenneth to live his life in faithfulness and in fruitfulness to Him. God continues to form and teach him to grow in holiness and kindness.

For all these, he lifts in prayer Psalm 116:12-14 (RSV), a psalm of thanksgiving, worship and commitment for the goodness of the Lord.

Minsan sa may Kalayaan, pinasulyap ng Panginoon kay Kenneth ang isang komunidad kung saan bawa't isa ay may maituturo at matututunan, kung saan ang bawa't isa ay kaibigan na kailangan ng bawa't isa.

Ang komunidad ay nagbibigay-buhay at mahalaga sa pagsunod kay Kristo. Dahil mas malakas at mabuti tayo kung sama-sama kaysa kung tayo ay nag-iisa. At sa paglago ng ating relasyon sa ating kapwa ay lumalago din ang relasyon natin sa Kanya. ###

Servants of the Word

*Kenneth Carlo Sagusara Carandang is a brother in The Servants of the Word, an ecumenical lay missionary brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He serves full time as a youth worker in Christ's Youth in Action, and as a pastoral leader in Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon community. He is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the University of the Philippines Diliman. He grew up in San Pablo City, Laguna.
Follow Us