A New Beginning (Part 1)

O my soul, bless God . From head to toe, I’ll bless his holy name! O my soul, bless God , don’t forget a single blessing! Psalm 103:1-2

Last week, Destiny Church – Manila hosted the annual Destiny Network Conference at Cuneta Astrodome. It was our biggest gathering as of yet as almost 10,000 people registered and assembled in Pasay City for the yearly summit. The conference was a huge success! But what I would like to write on today is how I saw the event from my perspective.

August 20 is the day before the conference. Me and the rest of the church staff had rooms at Hotel Jen which was near the venue and I intentionally did not schedule any rehearsals so that I can check-in early and rest my voice. However, there were still a lot of stuff to do at the office so that plan didn’t work. One thing I needed to do was buy shoes. My Rusty Lopez pair has already given up on me and I had nothing to wear that was thematic. Thank God for caring pastors! Ate Zha texted me Thursday morning of several reminders for the Worship Team. Included in her message is a note saying she will sponsor my footwear. I was so relieved! When I received the money, I immediately went to Cubao because it’s my emergency shopping venue. JM (Macapagal) was there and we agreed to meet so he can give me the additional camouflage pants that we ordered from Divisoria. Upon arriving, I asked him if he could help me pick new shoes. He relented and we ended up purchasing two (with my pastor’s approval). It was probably the first time I did last-minute shopping that did not stress me out. I have already contracted JM to join me in my future procurement endeavors.

It was almost evening when I got back to the Destiny Center and it was packed with people from every department – transporters checking the equipment to be brought, greeters fitting their new uniforms, data handlers receiving payments, etc. Since we weren’t leaving anytime soon, I went home to eat dinner and pack my things. We were able to leave Quezon City at around 10pm. I hitched a ride with Rache and Bryan (with Bianca, of course) who borrowed Dennis’ car. When we checked in, I realized that I left my ID’s at home and the receptionist was very strict about needing to see my identification. Fortunately, I was able to call my contact, Kristine Rivera, and she validated my identity so that I can get the room intended for me. I wanted to doze off right away but Jocen went back to QC so I had to wait for him. I just did my devotional for the next day so that I can leave the hotel early (our call-time was 3am). By 1am, I was finally able to sleep.

Fifty minutes later, I woke up and filled the bathtub with lukewarm water. It took a while and, as a result, I was only able to soak myself for a bit before showering and finishing my morning preparations. I was inside Cuneta Astrodome before the clock struck 3 but the Production Team was still setting up. We set up our instruments and got dressed but we were only able to do soundcheck two hours later. A few days before the conference, we had a a few days of prayer and fasting. Since we started that, I just had peace in my heart that God was going to show up for us. There was absolutely no fear or worry in my heart even when set-up was running late.

Everything was set by 7:30am and we were just praying for the conference especially for the people. I was supposed to be focused on leading worship but, even though I temporarily delegated my network coordinator duties to Ate Pau, there were still a few things that called for my attention. One of the things I love about our conferences is how it is able to gather people. I was able to catch up with friends. I also spent time checking on the Destiny Pastors and Kuya Carlo’s National 12. A few minutes before the opening number was slated to start, I went backstage to get ready. At exactly 9am, the program began.

To be continued

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