JD Cruz: JIL millennial, youth leader, legacy-bearer

Born and bred inside the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide, JD Cruz was picked among thousands of possible candidates to represent the student and youth sector in JIL's 40th Anniversary "Grand Homecoming" teaser.

"I didn't expect to be chosen for the anniversary commercial so it is a great honor for me and my family," said JD, whose father, Joel, is the head pastor of JIL Guagua in Pampanga under the supervision of Rev. Alex Garcia, Director for National Operations..

Currently taking up his masters degree in Public Administration, the younger Cruz wears many hats inside his local church, such as Life Group and worship leader.

He admitted that the pressures of being a "pastors' kid" was not easy and for a time, he had serious thoughts of keeping to the "strait and narrow road" when his peers seemingly were having the time of their lives.

"May mga temptations din of being a pastor's kid. Naging mahirap din po ang mga dinaanang pagsubok," said the 23-year-old youth leader. "Pero noong first year college po ako nag-decide po ako maging totally committed kay Lord. Nothing in this world truly matters."

If anything, he added, the outstanding lesson he learned from his father and pastor "was the value of a human soul; that all of us should be active in sharing John 3:16 to others. In the light of eternity, noting else matters. "

Cruz stressed that the grave responsibility of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ was underscored during the message given by Sen. Joel Villanueva during the recent Youth Summit held at the Cuneta Astrome.

"Sen. Joel was right when he challenged the youth present to be the JIL's legacy bearers as we mark our 40th Anniversary, ushering in a new generation of leaders who will carry the Gospel message," he noted. "This is the huge role I and my fellow youth hope to live up to."

Indeed, for JD Cruz and for legions of millennials like him, proud "legacy bearers" of JIL trailblazers, the worldwide mission of evangelizing and discipling people for the next 40 years and beyond is just beginning.

By Bong Pedralvez