I give praise and thanks to Yahweh El Shaddai for a very wonderful and memorable experience I had during my holiday and attending the 25th Silver Jubilee celebration in Manila. I said it was a memorable one because it was totally different from all my previous holidays in the Philippines.
First I want to give thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to go on 3 weeks vacation from my work. For those who don’t know me I am a volunteer servant of the Sydney Gospel Choir. In April this year our Ministry Head asked who amongst the choir is attending the Silver Anniversary in Manila. I did not raise my hand as I was so doubtful and thought that it is impossible for me to go as I was just offered a temporary employment in the public sector after being a contractor for more than a year. So meaning I don’t have yet enough leave entitlement to cover my vacation and also thinking my boss might not approve my leave. On the last week of May I was praying to God that if it is His will for me to attend then let it be done for me. So on that same week I had an informal conversation with my boss at work and mentioned to her that I am a member of the El Shaddai Gospel Choir and it is my desire to attend the Silver anniversary in Manila but having uncertainty due to my employment situation. I was so amazed that my boss immediately responded and personally approved my leave. She said “Go have your holiday and visit your family, don’t worry about work we can manage in the office.” She even mentioned that I can accumulate my flex days so I will get paid during my holiday. I thanked the Lord so much that He makes all things possible if He can see the desires of your heart to serve Him. I was so excited and full of joy that Yahweh El Shaddai answered my prayer. On that same day 30th of May I asked my friend and sister in Christ Sis. Leony Palmero who works in a Travel Agency to book my flight even I don’t have yet the paper approval of my leave. It was again a blessing from the Lord that she was able to book me for the last day of cheap fares. For the Lord said “I am the Lord, the God of all people, Nothing is too difficult for me.”
Before my departure to the Philippines the Lord has provided me with additional financial blessings which I received my tax rebate on the right time. Through this I was able to share the blessings to my family and relatives who are in need. I was able to help my Auntie for her hospital bills. I believe Yahweh is our great provider.
Half of my holiday was spent in attending all the activities of our Foundation. On the 15th of August I had a great feeling on the first overnight gathering held in Ambel Park. I met pilgrims from United States, Canada, Taiwan and other countries. I observed the strong faith, unity and commitment of workers into their own ministry. The discipline of our prayer partners is so remarkable considering the big crowd.
The next day was Australia Day combined with Taiwan and some local prayer groups like Panay and Surigao which was again an overnight activity. It was indeed a successful celebration which started from the praise and worship from our delegates from Queensland followed by the Sydney Gospel Choir. Our kids from the Children’s Ministry have done a wonderful praise and worship to Yahweh and everybody was so moved and looking at them with a teary eyed. Some of our prayer partners from different states of Australia testified the goodness of God into their lives. We were so blessed from the healing messages delivered by Bro. Tom Merjudio, Bro. Joe Sabareza and from our servant leader Bro. Mike Z. Velarde. It ended up with a Holy Mass with Bishop Bacani as the celebrant at 7:00 o’clock in the morning. Truly the experience was so great and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit moving amongst us.
On the 20th of August which is the inauguration of the Shrine which they named as “The House of Prayer” was a wonderful celebration. At 10:00am on that day I saw big crowd of local prayer partners gathered outside around the Shrine waiting for the 3:00 o’clock celebration. I just can’t believe the patience and endurance of our local prayer partners waiting there for five hours or even longer in the middle of a very hot day. Might be some of them were not even get the chance to get inside. All the International delegates were given the opportunity to attend the 1st batch to enter the House of Prayer which started at 3:00pm. As we got inside the House of Prayer we said “WOW” what a wonderful place to give praise, worship and thank our God Yahweh El Shaddai. I was so touch during the celebration because I remembered what Bro. Mike have said few years ago that he got a vision to build a shrine of Yahweh El Shaddai and now it all came to reality. The Hon. President Gloria M. Arroyo and the First Gentleman together with some Senators and dignitaries were with us in the celebration. The Holy Mass was celebrated by many Priests. I was so inspired by the angelic voices of the Manila Gospel Choir and wished I could sing like them. Thanks be to God for the gift He has given me that I can use for His own glory and honour.
On the 22nd and 23rd of August was the 25th Silver Jubilee overnight celebration at Quirino Grandstand, Rizal Park in Luneta. It started at 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon with colourful and traditional parade of International delegates followed by the local chapters all over the Philippines. We have heard the inspiring testimonies from our prayer partners with blessings financially, renewal of their lives and miracles they received from God. In spite of the very hot weather I saw their faces full of joy and united in bringing glory and praise to Yahweh El Shaddai. I said to myself, I watched only this celebration on video tapes coming from Manila before but now here I am now one in the big crowd of millions of prayer partners all over the world. The beautiful praise and worship with dancing from the different chapters made the night so awesome and one of the amazing part was, it rained unexpectedly for few minutes at around midnight which everybody believed it was a blessing from Yahweh El Shaddai. I was so curious and looking around if some will leave the place but to my amazement no one did. Instead we all continue praising, dancing and singing under the rain. Some of the International pilgrims were feeling sleepy but everybody were awaken by the rain and also enjoyed the blessing. There was also a special participation from the grandchildren of Bro. Mike. At 3:30 in the morning the Sydney Gospel Choir gave their best for the Lord together with our Children’s Ministry who was so lovable in giving their praise and worship to God. At 4:30 in the morning we listened to the healing message from our servant leader Bro. Mike Z Velarde about clear conscience. The celebration finished at 7:00 o’clock in the morning of August 23rd.
I can say to anyone that I am so blessed to have known Yahweh El Shaddai who changed my life and gave me hope, faith and courage. I give thanks to Yahweh El Shaddai for chosing me to be one of His humble servant. Glory, honour and praise belong to Yahweh El Shaddai.
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