It was like any other day, except on this day I was driving on our way to the Ynares Center for the CFCFFL Pearl Anniversary! Let’s celebrate!
All of a sudden the car I was driving with my wife Bing, and 4 of my 5 children, came to a sudden stop which felt like I lost the entire left front tire! I could no longer move the car forward uphill as the left side of the car made loud metal-grinding sounds. We had no choice but to leave the car there, parked at the side of the road (I managed to roll the car down to a parking position).
Surprisingly, I felt calm and peaceful, mainly because of the thought that there were hundreds, even thousands of fellow community members just up the road, or on the way up, who would help us. That’s COMMUNITY. We made a couple of calls: to our fellow members from Bangkok who were already at the venue; and another to our blood brother, actually my brother-in-law. Before they arrived though, a car stopped in front of us; and not surprisingly he was a community brother! He immediately offered to take a few of us up and off they went and soon our brother from Bangkok arrived and he brought the rest of my kids up. My brother-in-law and another brother with him arrived shortly after and before we knew it we were all at the Ynares Center, together with thousands of brothers and sisters from all corners of the Philippines and from all over the world!
Nothing would spoil the party! After I made a few calls to take care of the car (service center and towing), I immersed myself that morning in the celebration taking photos and videos of everything I could from the delicious and crunchy lechon (they don’t quite make it like that in Bangkok!) and the delicacies of the Americas, Africa and Europe (I think I got the last piece of cheese!) and back to Batangas for some excellent native coffee! Lunch was awesome especially since we were treated like princes and princesses with an international spread prepared for the international delegates. My sister-in-law even found her way around the stadium and picked up different foods from the different stations and set it at our table. Yummy!
As the afternoon session was to commence, the stadium was already jam packed. We had such an amazing celebration as we praised and worshiped our God the entire afternoon through song and dance, through exhortation and through sharing; and as I panned my video camera around during the celebration and worship, I was just awed at God’s goodness and His faithfulness to His people, the community of CFCFFL from all over the world, from all walks of life, from little children, to teenagers, to adults and even the elderly; we were all one, with hands upraised, singing and dancing together, giving praise and thanks to God for this wonderful gift of community!
It was truly a most amazing experience that I shall cherish forever. The next few days that followed was equally amazing as we attended the Country Servants meeting where I met with and got close to several country servants as we listened to powerful talks and as we laughed and enjoyed fellowship night! We even bumped into the Peruvians shopping in Greenhills later in the week and I had my children speak to them in Spanish! Well, I will reserve this for another sharing another time!
And my car, it’s still under repair 2 weeks after the celebration, but no worries, God provides! That night after the anniversary celebration, my family and I got our respective rides from community members and we managed to meet at Eastwood with the rest of the Bangkok members for some delicious Filipino delicacies.
The road to Antipolo. What a fascinating Pearl experience. All roads now lead to Gold.
Praise be to our GOD!