As somebody who has been part of the church since 2002, I can’t help but be excited for our biggest move yet.
I’ve seen our services grow from a handful of people to around 80. My first encounter with Destiny Church – Manila began at an upstairs function room at Quezon City Memorial Circle’s Bacolod Chicken Inasal. I even arrived late, missing a song or two of the Praise and Worship. Afterwards, Ps Carlo Panlilio shared a message that I could not remember for the life of me. However, what I found in this group is somewhere I belong. These are my kind of people! The University of the Philippines – Students of Destiny (UP – SOD) sponsored a camp around that time and I was able to attend despite my father being reluctant about it. On the 30th day of June 2002, I committed to becoming part of SOD which meant that I was also a part of the organization behind it. Nearly fourteen years later, I’m still glad I made that choice.
The worship services had several venue changes during my early years – University Hotel, Consunji Room at Bahay ng Alumni, Camelot Hotel – before settling in the first Destiny Center at AVECSS Building along the corner of Kamias Road and K-J Street. It was a memorable time for me because that was when I first became part of the pastoral staff. That was also the time that the church started to catch the G12 Vision. From 80 people, the congregation swelled to 200. Transferring here was a huge leap of faith for us. But because of the growth, we needed to find another place that could accommodate more people. We looked towards SM North EDSA and their cinemas as a possible location. However, that didn’t pan out as an order from the owner forbade religious institutions from conducting services in all SM Cinemas. It was a setback but we didn’t shrink back.
People of Grace opened their doors for us. It was there that we grew some more – from 200 to 500. The place was not even air-conditioned and yet people still came. But, in order to expand further, we needed to find a new home and a new venue for our Sunday Services. Then, we met Mr. and Mrs. Raymund Catabijan who owned a warehouse on Maginhawa Street and a commercial building along Anonas Street. Coincidence? We didn’t think so. A short while after, Destiny Center relocated to 178 Maginhawa Street in Sikatuna Village and the services shifted to the 3rd Floor of RVC Building. A lot of people got saved and were added to the church during those times. However, it was also during this time (May 2010) that circumstances forced me to live in Camiling, Tarlac for almost two years.
When I came back in January of 2012, Destiny Church – Manila had already been doing its services at UP Diliman’s Film Center, Cine Adarna. The venue can hold around 700-1,000 people. More and more people came to hear God’s Word and experience the church that, eventually, a fourth time slot was opened. Then, a fifth. We also had a brief stint at the UP Theater but that door closed when problems arose with the management. We were really hopeful that the theater would become our new home but it was not meant to be. To add to our woes, Cine Adarna needed to undergo renovations. The church has been eager to get its own building for a long time. Maybe that was where God was leading us.
There are miracles you just can’t explain. I don’t know how everything happened (you can listen to the story in this podcast) but we will be holding our first service at Christ’s Commission Fellowship old place in St. Francis Square. It’s just at the back of SM Megamall. When I saw the venue with my own eyes, there was a tug in my heart. This was not a Destiny-story, it was a God-story. Only He can do something like this. I’m glad He’s always in control.
This year, our theme is about growing deeper, going wider, and soaring higher. Preparations are being made for the transfer and we’ve never been stretched like this before. But like Peter heeded Jesus’ command even if it didn’t make any sense, we’re just here to trust and obey His Word.