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!!!

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