Tag Archive | gratitude

Longest Post-party Hangover Ever

Candlelight, cadena de amor, and frangipani. A pink cake and colorful decorations. Phone calls and video messages from Palawan and Manila. And best of all, the love and laughter of friends.

It’s February already but I’m still not over the surprise. You guys just blew me away.  Let me just say thank you to these wonderful people once again:

TO MY FAMILY: For everything. Especially for muddling your way through the complexities of cyber technology so that you could send those videos to Dumaguete. I love you, technological cluelessness and all. I am so proud of you. You are the most amazing people in my universe.

SHANE, CANDY CANE, JUNIE, & JANINE: For making that night a perfect ten.  For knowing exactly what makes me happy. For getting in touch with the important people in my life and making them part of that night. For willingly going through the stress of keeping major secrets from someone you live with and talk to everyday. You shouldn’t have worried that I’d suspect anything – I was as clueless about your plans as my mom is about the internet. 😉 Thank you so much, anak, apo, and apo sa tuhod. You made me really happy. (Here I go again – I must have told you that a hundred times already. Sensya, major party hangover syndrome yan.)

ROO:   For producing that video presentation. Shane can tell you how many nights I played it before going to bed. You’ll get that academy award someday.

RAPSQUARED & KANGA: For literally running around trying to make everything all right. Nganong nagdagan-dagan man mo? Nasamad hinuon si Kanga. But on RapSquared’s part, ok ra because he got to stay in the “hotel,” otherwise known as the Silliman University Medical Center. 😉 But seriously, thank you, tall people.

KIM:   For making the day wonderful even before the party. For showing me the rainbows. For allowing me to add a new word into my vocabulary: “perfect-est”. For indulgently listening to me say over and over again that I’m really happy. And for a successful mission in keeping me distracted while the others were setting up the surprise. Best actor lage ka, Luwag…hehehe…

K.A. & MAAN: For doing the festive interior decoration. K.A., thanks so much for being there despite such a short acquaintance. Bunso, I delight in you. You both made the night really colorful.

PSALM PALAWAN: For your love that knows no limits. For your prayers and friendship. I miss you, mga palangga, now more than ever. Thank you for the messages, comments, and videos!

KUYA & CAZ: For not letting mere distance stop you from being with me that night. Wow, iba na talaga ang may superpowers. Caz, your secret identity is safe with me (and the approximately 30 other people who saw that video). Kuya ko, you will always be my personal superhero. I love you both. You really know how to make me feel special.

GARY V.: Of course I’ll marry you. Let’s do it next week.

SOLID ROCKERS: For being there. For the successful pretension that nothing out of the ordinary was afoot. Either I’m really dense, or you’re all very good actors. I prefer to believe the latter.

ORENZ: For the video. For wishing me a lifetime free of orcs. For the tour of your room. For the greeting from Kimura. For being who you are to me. Hanon le, Legolas. I am so glad I’m not the only Elf left in Middle Earth. I miss you.

WEN: For climbing that tree just to pick flowers for me. Bilib na jud ko nimo.

NIŇO: For being there. For the amazing pictures you took (I’m using one as my wallpaper for Trans). For being such a sweet friend. Thanks, Nin!

PATRICK: For that gift that took you so long to choose. For your presence that night. For being such a wonderful brother. I know that day in the Hibalag when we first met was one of the best parts of God’s plan for my life. You are such a blessing. Thanks, bro.

ANGEL & SOULMATE: For those unexpected phone calls that really took my breath away. It’s been so long. I miss you, girls. You still have the place in my heart that I gave to you, and you always will. There are so many stories waiting to be told, and I’m looking forward to the time when we can do so. I love you both so much. Forever.

PASTOR NITZ: For the most profound birthday message I have ever heard from a pastor. I will always remember to “go, grow, and glow.”

PASTOR ALONG: For planning that second surprise. It’s not your fault the weather did not cooperate. I really appreciate your thoughtfulness. Balik na lang ka next year diri sa Dumaguete. 😉

NINUNO & NINUNA BERS: For making me feel like I was a guest on Boy & Kris. For being my kuya and ate ate here in Dumaguete. The Lord knew that I would need people like you even before we met.

PSALM BERS & BER FRIENDS: For being both the coolest and the hottest people I know not only in here in Dumaguete but everywhere. You guys are amazing. Thank you for being more than just friends, but my family. I love you, I love you, I love you – to infinity and beyond. You are so precious to me.

There are so many others who were not part of the surprise but nevertheless made my birthday special through their greetings. The Psychz. PSU and SU Psych people. PSALMists from everywhere. Friendster friends. Past and present churchmates. Thank you so much. You made me feel so loved. Hanon le.


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one spectacular summer

Whew… I don’t know where to start. Once again, I find words so empty when trying to describe this joy I have inside. God has been so faithful, so good, and it always takes my breath away when I think of all He has done for me this summer. He never fails to amaze, and as usual, all that I expected fell short of what He had in store for me. I do not deserve to be loved this way, but His grace makes it possible.

First of all, the NLTI. It was wonderful! How can I describe the joy of worshipping God with His people? How can I put into words the thrill of learning things that will be vital in my ministry, or the sweetness of finding encouragement in the lives of His children? I had no idea just how much I needed those experiences until God gave them to me. The new things I tried, the friends I met, the inspiration I found in the lives of His servants – all these refueled the fire in me and refreshed my desire to serve Him better, love Him deeper and enjoy Him more. It was over too quickly. I will always treasure every memory, I will hide in my heart everything that I have learned. Next year, God willing, I will again be in Cebu. I need more training, I want to be better equipped, and I want to once again enjoy the company of those who share the same passion and serve the same God. Ten more months to go. I can hardly wait. (“,)

And then the church anniversary. God has been so faithful in providing the strength, creativity and talent we needed to help make the program a joyful celebration of His seventh year of faithfulness to the Christian Community Fellowship. But more than the success of the presentations, what I really treasure are the closer friendships that formed within the young people. We have a new youth pastor, Pastor Marvin Lachica, and it was his first time to lead the youth in any activity. Praise God for the smooth transition, I especially enjoy seeing the boys treat him as a friend. My prayer is that God will use him as the mentor they need and bless him as he continues to adjust to his new environment.

And then more recently, the CCF summer youth camp, dubbed Rescue 113 (from Colossians 1:13). It was designed for evangelism, and it was also the first major activity of the new core group. The youth leaders were hesitant at first, doubting their ability to lead small groups and facilitate programs. But God is so faithful, and my heart just overflows with joy when I think of how He has worked not only for the salvation of the non-Christian campers but also for the growth of our core leaders and the revival of other church youth. He truly makes everything beautiful in His time. I can’t stop praising God when I recall how responsible, confident and mature our core group turned out to be, thanks to His grace.  I feel so fulfilled, so blessed and so thankful that all the tears, prayers and effort spent in caring for them were not in vain. (Leah, Jocelyn, Vanessa, Inggo, Lisa and Rhyme, I am so very proud of you. You just don’t know how happy I am that you trusted God despite your fears. I feel so honored and humbled at the same time to be your ate, and I will always, always be praying for you. I love you so much.) The Sunday after the camp was a wonderful, happy experience. The new believers came to church and kept asking about when the next camp would take place. They have already spread the word in their community about what God has done in their lives, and are excited about bringing their friends. God willing, we will be ready to facilitate an Encounter God Retreat in October. Again, I can hardly wait.

The summer is not yet over. There are still two True Love Waits lectures and one wedding on the schedule before the sem begins. And when it does, the campus ministry will once again be in full swing. Oh, I am so excited. I know God will be faithful, and I know He will always take my breath away with His grace. It is such a joy to serve Him, I wouldn’t trade this priviledge for anything else. I could sing of His love forever!!!

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At a loss for words

When you have a Friend that holds you close despite your glaring imperfections, when you have a Saviour who forgives over and over again, when you have a God who somehow chooses to use the flawed vessel that is your life, can there be any words of praise and thanksgiving joyful enough to express your heart?

There are none.

And yet, I have to try. If only I can translate my tears to words…but surely He knows, and He sees how grateful I am.

He is wonderful. No, He is so much more than that. These past few weeks…I do not know how to recount them, I do not know how to tell the story of how He moved in the way it deserves to be told. All I know is, the Encounter God Retreat camp is an amazing testimony of His power, and I am humbled to have witnessed how He changed lives. The first night of the retreat was a discouraging sight. The hall was filled with around 200 young people who did not know how to worship God, who did not even desire to do so… And yet, when the last day came, the building shook with the shouts and jumps of His praising children who have been redeemed, purified, embraced. The God who hears. That is our God.

It was incredible. To witness how young people finally learned to look inside their own hearts and recognize their need, to see how hearts were broken with repentance, and to watch as those broken hearts were made whole by Love. I can only ask, Why, Lord? Why this grace, why this unmerited favor? Who are we, that You would love us so stubbornly?

But I know. It is not because of who we are, but because of who He is. There is nothing I can ever do to deserve this.

All I can do is to thank Him. For the victory. For the power. For the amazing, breathtaking grace. Over and over again, I thank Him.

Teach me, Lord, how to love You the way You want me to…

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Special ang summer ko

This is the busiest summer I’ve ever had, grabe! And daming activities, one after the other. Katatapos lang ng DVBS Camp tsaka retreat and seminar ng youth, so area summer youth camps na naman ang pinaghahandaan. I’m new at this, I’ve never had this much responsibility before. Right now puro kanta ang nasa isip ko, kasi we’re also preparing dance and drama presentations for our church anniversary next month. Pero despite the hectic schedule, ang saya! I’m learning so much and stepping out of my comfort zone, nakakatakot na nakaka-excite.

Ngayon ko lang talaga nakikita yung purpose ni God in keeping me here in Palawan. Although I miss summer life in Diliman (especially my friends there!), I feel like this is right where I’m meant to be. I would never have grown this much in my Christian life without the experiences I’m having this summer. God is good, He has worked wonderfully through my mistakes and wrong decisions to bring me to this point. I have never been this fulfilled, but I know that I still have a long way to go. I hope I travel far this summer. ; )

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