We celebrated 30 years of God’s faithfulness in Victory (the spiritual family and workplace I am in) along with 1,100 plus pastors, staff, campus missionaries together with their wives and children last Wednesday at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel.
Attending this event reminded me of just how privileged I am to receive such a precious calling from God and that is to serve in the full time ministry (not that other callings are not precious because all calling that comes from God is precious.) I’ve been serving for three years as a campus missionary already but has been part of Victory since 2007 and looking back with just how God has proved and shown Himself faithful for the past 30 years ever since our founding pastors started in the dilapidated basement of Tandem Cinema in the middle of riots and national political turmoil in the year 1984 here in the Philippines, I can’t help but tear up and respond in gratitude and awe to God for we know without Him as the cornerstone of this ministry, we will surely be nothing…and I also can’t help but to be filled with excitement for what is in store for the next 30 years…hundred years and beyond for this spiritual family as we continue to be faithful in honoring Him and making disciples for Him.
Let me share more some of the things that I got as my take home from that momentous night:
1. Don’t do things alone. I can’t imagine how different would it be if our leaders did things by themselves and didn’t do things together. I just really can’t. I have a feeling our spiritual family wouldn’t be where it is today if we didn’t learn the value of being united together. And this is a lesson I have a lot to learn about…because doing things with other people needs humility and patience and love and supernatural grace from God. Because other people can irritate you, hurt you, disappoint you at times but they are also the people that God will use to rebuke you and tell you the things you don’t only want to hear but also need to hear even it it will hurt you, because doing things with other people who loves God and more passionate for His kingdom more than you do will not only spur you but will also make you want to grow more and more each day, and because when you feel like you can’t do it anymore you can be sure that they will be there who would push you beyond your breaking point and be assured that they truly got your back no matter what.
The greatest thing in the world is when your best friends with the people you work with every single day for a long long time. :)
2. Don’t give up because a day or a week or a season got so hard. Celebrating 30 years of doing ministry made me at one point think those years went by in a snap but of course that’s not true…i’m sure there were a lot of times when the times got so rough, when prayers seemed unanswered and trials just kept coming and we all know when days or weeks or even years get endless like this, the seemingly way out is well, getting out–throwing the towel in the bucket and turning your back from everything and this is,yes the easy way out but never the way to getting to celebrate nights like what happened last Wednesday. And dear Lord, I pray to get to celebrate more nights like these…when I get to thank You for sustaining me to hold on and not let go of the great destiny you have for me even when my eyes faithlessly see only the things that are making it hard for me.
My heroes in the faith. Pastor Steve and his wife Deborah became accidental missionaries 30 years ago when they decided to be left behind by their team of American missionaries after a supposed two month summer mission trip here in the Philippines to lead the church that was birthed. Their life testimony is something I always thank God for. I honor them for the faithful and empowering leadership they displayed and for how they selflessly obeyed God’s call in their lives that made it possible for countless lives just like mine to be radically changed for eternity.
3. Live a life your children would want to live too. One of my favorite part of the night was the video presentation of the children of some of our pastors saying what they think about their dads&moms. And their testimonies were priceless. They talked about how their parents valued time with them even when they were busy with what they do and how they did ministry so passionately and fun that they too if called by God would love to do what their parents do. What a legacy to leave to your children, right?
Photos via Anson Yu and awesome friends. :)
Happy weekend, everyone! :)