Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Gathering

So I have been lying low in terms of my community service after moving back to Cebu. My community service in Manila through SFC has always been a very pivotal part of my spiritual growth but now, it seems I have belong to nothing.

Thankfully, I am still nourish my spiritual being through personal quiet times with the Lord, lot of inspirational reading, a seasonal attendance to The Feast and weekly event called "The Gathering".

"The Gathering" TG as it suggest is a gathering of Christians united in Jesus name and believe in the Holy Spirit and the glory of God. Irregardless of religious upbringing, we are all trying to be faithful Christians. Everyone is welcome. This is in our workplace, that happens every Thursday lunch break.

I have heard of this while I was still in Manila but had never participated because of my  flexible schedule shifting. When I transferred here, it took me quiet few months before joining merely because, I am shy. It was the ever-friendly Val whom for just a short period of time, I became friends with who took me to my first TG.

From then on, I have been a regular attendee. I attended the 1st year anniversary celebration and through the course of time, I have gained new friends and brought new people to TG too. I even have shared in front once and if asked again, I'd still say yes.

Last week, the sharer had us memorizing 4 basic bible verses. They are crucial bible verses, crucial for my faith as Christians. Now this post, with all honesty is to test myself that after 6 days, I'm still able to say those verses and guess what (no copying or pasting happened here) I am still able to say those verses.

You might as well try memorizing below bible verses and let me know if you've taken them to your heart.

Romans 5:8 But demonstrates His love for us in this, while were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.

John 3:16 For God so love the world that he gave us his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will have eternal life.


Friday, February 24, 2012

GG: Great GOD

Feb 17 - 19: C.P.Garcia Complex, Tagbilaran Bohol
It was the 19th Singles for Christ ICON (International Conference) attended by 6500 SFC and friends while some 4000 are viewing via live streaming on the internet. As SFC, this event is one thing one is looking forward to every 3rd week of February.

As for me, I didn't had that much excitement in this ICON plus the fact that I just went through a lot for me to go with my chapter mates but it was God's great plan for me to be there where I needed the most and thanks to the SFC friends who convinced me to go as it was all worth it.

So let me start my sharing of my experiences while at the conference.

DAY 1.
Our ship was delayed so we reached Bohol via Cebu oceanjet around 9:30 on Friday evening. The first session of talk had started and in it's middle part already but still we were thankful for we reach there safe and sound. The message was simple as delivered by the speaker Bro. Noli Manuel, God is Great. But the challenge or the reflection question left me a pause for some time and some tears "What makes God great for me?"

Then all of a sudden, flashbacks from all the recent events of my life up to the time when I started to understand things in childhood. Tears then started to falling down from my eyes, for it felt like I have a long list of the wonders and blessings he showered me compare to the bad times and trials and I can't complain nor question his will. I was just crying while we were worshiping then i noticed the cross that was formed from the shadow of the tent's stand where I was. Truly God has been great and is great and He was there at my most pressing time that I should not fear and worry.

DAY 2.

I registered in the SFC run early that morning but I had second thought. But God sent me 2 angels (Noel and Jessie) my chapter mates who were running too so I made up my mind and as early as 5am we were at the venue. We had an early morning worship and again, God never fail to let me feel His presence through the songs and through the sunrise. I'm trading  my sorrows, I'm trading my pain, Im laying them down for the joy of the Lord.

We had some few warm up and stretching before we 5K runners head for the starting line and off we go. The 3K runners were started minutes after us. I was just observing my body system as it has been so long ago that I last run. I was listening to a mix of songs from dance to praise songs. Then we I reached the U turn slot of the 3K meaning 1.5K, I started slowing down and felt that I don't have it anymore. So I still continued running but just very small running steps. Then I started walking, jogging, running, jogging and walking until I reached the 2.5K. I said to myself, no I won't give up. So with a smile, my music on and my faith went back running until I reached again that 3K turning point so I had 1.5K to go. Slowly and patiently i helped myself so that I'd reached the finish line. Glad I did.

In the afternoon, I attended a workshop entitled "God via satellite". Fr. Jboy Gonzales was the speaker but because his ship was also late, we started very late. While waiting, the facilitators started calling out sharers for their experiences so far. There were 2 disable brothers who shared how our great God helped them not lose hope and go on with their lives even with the disability. It humbles me. They humbled me.

Fr. Jboy was a jolly priest and a great speaker, there was no dull moment. He was like a part of the young generation and the workshop was basically about the social media like you blogspot. :D and how we as SFCs must use this media to share and allow others to experience Christ just like us and that's why I'm doing this post to share that greatness to all of you.

In the evening, the 2nd session of talk was by Fr. Rap-rap who was the most adored speaker in that ICON I believe. He was very funny but with a sense. His talk was about "There's something about Mary" our mother Blessed Virgin Mary who is beautiful and favored from the beginning. Beauty will save the world. It made me more hold on to Mama Mary whom I take refuge at this point in my life and follow her ways.

Then, the 3rd session was from Tita Rhea Santos "Mary, me?". This is about how the many things in our life came to a down point at times where we started asking why us. It was like a I was facing a big screen with all the aspects of my life being there at its lowest - the loss of a mother, the brokenheart, the uncertain career path and the growth of my service. Everything for me was at low. I was reflecting with all these tings I'm going through, there she was Mama Mary telling me to come to her for I'll be okay and that she'll lead me to Christ.

we came to a moment of reflection where we were asked to write all our prayers in a paper, so I let it out. I wrote all the prayers I could think and then we were given candle and asked to drop our prayers in designated boxes and get inside a pre marked areas with our lighted candle. We started our worship songs and then everyone stopped and were looking as the lanterns one by one flew to the skies.

Everyone was just amazed at how the lanterns go high and far back. Everyone was looking back when the worship leader said "Stop looking back" and everybody immediately look in front. He said, we must stop looking back and start looking at what's in front of us (the projector showing the thousands of us with the lighted candle). The message really struck all of us, it's true we kept holding on the past on what was far back and not on what's coming. Then it was as if God smiled at me telling me that "child, the best is yet to come o brace yourself and stop looking back, move forward".

DAY 3.
It was a really sunny day. We had our early Sunday mass celebrated by the Archbishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran. He hoped that Bohol  had strengthen our faith and it was true. The last talk was by Kuya Shok which was to proclaim the greatness of the Lord and the Magnificat of Mary. Wo-oh-oh-oh Wo-oh-oh-oh wo-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh

Indeed, God made mission ready again. Ready for the big changes!

For that May God be praised!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The number has been significant and meaningful to me as a Single for Christ. I believe in the Holy Trinity with God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit. That's the foundation in me, my faith.

It has been 3 years that I graduated from the Christian Life Program that I attended merely for the reason of having something or somewhere I could spend my time if not at work while away from home. It turned out, God brought me where I am to know my second home - the SFC specifically chapter CC1A.

For the 3 years that past, I have grown as a person and as a Christian. My passion for service has evolved from just a member to one of the leaders. It was bothering at first when some sisters or brothers in the community who are older than me calls me Ate but now I get used to it. Our chapter is serving at the parishes of Nuestra SeƱora de Gracia in Guadalupe Viejo, Our Lady of Guadalupe National Shrine in Guadalupe Nuevo, Saints Peter and Paul parish in Poblacion Makati and Saint Mary john Vianney in Kalayaan. The concentration so far is at NSDG and trying to build connection in SPP and OLG.

Many people had come and go in our chapter including Ate Marian and the other people that had to be in CC1E during the split-up. The chapter has grown a lot too. The ideas, the activities and the resources we have are dynamically changing and continuously a work in progress. This 3rd year of mine, our chapter was put to a very difficult year. It was indeed a battle that God knowingly had let us prepare through the ICON in Feb.

Aside from the chapter which was struggling, I myself was struggling towards the end too. There goes again the feeling of nobody or that I don't belong. Maybe that was just affected by my personal struggles too but then God showed to me and my chapter that He is our Stronghold during the MMC in July. Although I have God and I know He won't forsake me. I've created that detachment in me from the chapter (my second family) because deep inside I'm hurting knowing that someday soon, I'm gonna leave them and no matter what hurt feelings they caused me through out the 3 years, that won't surpass the times they cheered me up, believed in me, trusted me and lean on me. And that just makes me sad leaving what I have in this 3 years.

Truthfully, I'm very happy God give my way the SFC family I have because they are some not-perfect people but totally true friends I'm going to treasure for life.

But this is not goodbye! I just wanted to say that for the many places I've been to, many faces I've seen, many stories that inspired me and many struggles that strengthen me, it is one of the best times in my life. Knowing and having that for 3 God years I have this circle of friends, this family I call CC1A, I just want to THANK YOU.

To the circle of friends: (they know who they are) thank you for standing by me through the good and the bad times in my 3 SFC years.