18 (Part 1)

‘There’s no place like home!’ – Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

About a month ago, I watched Mad Max: Fury Road on the same laptop I’m typing this in. You might have read me rave about how beautifully made the film is. One of its plot points is Imperator Furiosa’s homecoming. This movie is just one among a long list of stories about people journeying back home. It’s a concept deeply embedded in the nature of man.

In honor of Destiny Church – Manila’s 18th Anniversary which is dubbed as a grand homecoming for everyone who has been a part of it, let me count 18 moments that have stayed with me over the years.

1.) Bacolod Chicken Inasal
This is where I attended my first Sunday service. I was invited by a couple of my high school batchmates because I unexpectedly said, ‘Ipag-pray natin ‘yan!’ to one of them. The rest, as they say, is history.

2.) Born From Above
June 26-28, 2002 is the date of my Encounter. It’s not like how we do it these days. But that was my first taste of what real Christianity is like. I was a nominal youth leader in our church in Davao City and these few days Bretsch and Barrie in Antipolo, Rizal paved the way for me to live my call and fulfill my destiny.

3.) Quarantine
Several years ago, Ps Carlo had chicken pox. Julia was just a child and Sam was a baby. He and Ps Zhaleen decided that she and the kids should stay with his parents in Project 2. Guess who took care of our pastor. That’s right, it was me and Kuya Rick. During those days, I learned how to cook breakfast for the first time! It was a great privilege to serve our spiritual father.

4.) Daddy Perry’s House
I’ve been part of the Worship Team ever since I joined Destiny. We used to hold our rehearsals at one of the leader’s home where all of our equipment are stored. Before, I was just learning the ropes from people I looked up to. Now, I’m passing everything I learned to other faithful men and women. I miss Mommy Nori’s cooking, though.

5.) Romance & Rhythm
The first installment of the innovative post-Valentine event happened when I was still a student. There was a night for young professionals but, the day before, there was also another one for students. I dated the girl I was closest with and the evening didn’t really go as planned. But everybody had a good time and we were all enlightened about how God wants us to relate with others. The subsequent R&R’s were also memorable but those deserve another telling.

6.) Knees To The Earth
Carillon Tower is drenched with the tears of every Students of Destiny member who came to the prayer meetings. With everything going on for a UP student, you would expect us to try to get as much sleep as we can. However, SOD’s were willing to sacrifice a few precious hours to soak the campus in prayer. Rain or shine, we were there praying for people and the school itself.

Watch out for Part 2 tomorrow!


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