Category Archives: Ministry

Bookworm Challenge: Book Channeling


Contemplating on the main objective of my main blog, I realized that I rarely publish book reviews. Curly Bookworm was conceptualized and conceived on August 2011. While having a quest with insurmountable queries of life during our family’s great crucibles, I found most of my comfort reading the Holy Writ and inspirational books. But naturally, I love books, and as much as I’m obsessed with reading, I’m fascinated and fond of writing and blogging.

When at times, friends aren’t enough to share burdens with, instead of sulking, I would spill my thoughts on the blogosphere. But of course, when answers to life’s trying trials and questions aren’t enough, there is Jesus. He is more than just an answer to my prayer. I have kept a journal as well to savor sanity.

Confessions of a Bookaholic

hahaI have bad habits to confess. I don’t know if many of bookworms out there can relate. As much as I want to hoard books for good reasons, often I compromise with ‘tsundoku’. Even tight of budget, if I would wander in a book store, especially with a book sale, I would end up buying books and later on wonder if it’s really a need. “Buy the NEEDS, not WANTS” I would always remind myself, but most of the times rationalize when the charm of books would take their spell.

While I wanted to uproot my old and bad habits, I am grateful that God inspired me some ways to replace them. Negative thoughts can only be overcome with positive ones, and so bad habits are replaced with good ones.

Thus actions repeated form habits, habits form character, and by the character our destiny for time and for eternity is decided. Christ’s Object Lesson, p.356

For several months, my new acquired books from a book sale (I occasionally buy 4-10 books on sale, 1-2 books on regular) have stood unmoved on the bookshelf, teasing me as they gather dusts. I would sometimes skim and scan them. But there are times, I would read books and don’t stop until I devoured the last page. No matter how blessed or entertained I am, I would think of blogging a review; then procrastination kills the initiative. No wonder you wouldn’t find much here. But I’ve written memoirs and musings. My life has been an open book after all.

No Greater Love

I skimmed and scanned them at the book sale. Having the aspiration to help establish and run an orphanage some day, I was thrilled to have found “No Greater Love” and “In a Heartbeat.” They are wonderful books about unconditional love and the memoirs about adopting African and Afro-American kids, and yeah, about orphanage! So, without an ‘if’, I secured them.

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

But they’ve waited long enough on my bookshelf. I started reading “In a Heartbeat” last week, but when I am at the middle, I started reading “No Greater Love” and I didn’t stop until I finish the latter. Actually, my sister Zola read “No Greater Love” first. I’ve focus more on this life-changing book. I’ll tell about the other book next review.

Throughout the roller-coaster ride of emotions, vividly imagining the thrill, triumph, tears and trials of Benkert’s sojourn at Ethiopia, which are unfathomable, I reflected on my own life’s purpose. I tried to fit my feet in the missionary couples’ shoes, but I know I would never fully understand until I go to Ethiopia and experience their plight. To leave all things behind and be out of comfort zone to face the challenges of the unknown, has been the great leap of faith which Levi and Jessie Benkert. They’re unsung heroes, they are selfless champions for children. I believe, they were called to be world changers, and with God by their side, they turned the world of ‘mingi’ kids upside down, and so the orphans and widows of Addis, Ababa.

As much as I want to spill the beans, and to spoil the reader, I want this book review to be enticing. I wouldn’t. I personally challenge you guys to grab a copy of “No Greater Love” (check it out in their website) or be part of my challenge: book channeling. This one is too precious to be missed. Imagine a mysterious and ancestral practice of parents killing their own babies with the fear for superstitious beliefs of spirits getting angry at them if they keep their baby born out of wedlock, or if they conceive a child without telling the tribal elders beforehand. Or worse, if the baby’s top teeth grow first instead of the bottom teeth. They call the babies with such circumstances, ‘mingi’ (cursed). If they keep the baby alive, living in their village, the Kara tribe believed for generations that it can drive the spirits to fury. As a consequence, the spirits might kill all their family, causing disasters like drought and plagues, to name a few. That kind of practice was drastically discovered and stopped, through God’s miraculous working and providence. They had a great role in the lives of the ‘mingi’ kids and tribes of Jinka.

God has a greater purpose of sending Benkert family to Ethiopia, to be beacons of light at its darkest nights.

God has a greater purpose of sending Benkert family to Ethiopia, to be beacons of light at its darkest nights.

Who would have thought that God can use a MESS and turn it into a MESSAGE! Levi’s life was totally in a mess, especially financially and spiritually, before God called him to serve full-time with his family in Ethiopia, rescuing mingi kids. But the Living Messenger had done a great deal in his life. I can relate in some lil’ ways. When our family was in the fiery furnace of tribulation, the pain of losing three family members in quick succession was too much to bear. But then, we’ve received the best spiritual gains despite our great loss. Our trials turned out to be triumph. I was inspired to write a tribute to my late father, “Pain: A Blessing Not Everyone Appreciates” and testimony about my late older sister and younger brother, “When SOON Lingers”.

“No Greater Love” is truly a wonderful testimony of God’s redemptive discipline, God’s rescue and His wondrous grace. The book was not just well-written by Candy Churd. Behind its process was a Divine Wordsmith who carefully and creatively guided the gifted hands. This life-transforming story should be channeled to many people.

Words can change. The WORD changes, yet His love knows no change. (John 1:1-4, John 3:16). I praise the LOVE that makes me whole again – No Greater Love indeed!

Kindly read the news re mingi children and their rescue: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/11/05/world/africa/mingi-ethiopia/

Whatsoever is done out of pure love, be it ever so little or contemptible in the sight of men, is wholly fruitful; for God measures more with how much love one worketh, than the amount he doeth. ~ Ellen G. White

Bring Love In

The Benkert’s high hope to establish not just an orphanage, but a community of loving people (orphans, widows, less fortunate, collaborating with missionaries and sponsors) was finally made into a reality. I was thrilled browsing the website! I had a regret of not having it read or discovered earlier. But God has a perfect timing! So true with “Bring Love In” as well.

The family who serves and prays together stays happily together. Levi and Jessie, with their lovely children, Nickoli, Luella, Ruth and Edalawit (Everly).

The family who serves and prays together stays happily together.
Levi and Jessie, with their lovely children, Nickoli, Edalawit (Everly), Luella and Ruth.

“Bring Love In is a community (not just an organization) that exists to show the love of God by giving families to children who have none.  We are based out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where we couple orphans who are given to us by local authorities, and widows from within local Christian church communities, to create new forever families here in Ethiopia.” ~ Levi & Jessie

Check their website: http://bringlove.in/about/

Yesterday, after feasting on the last page of the book, I was moved to utter a sincere prayer of empowering my eye of faith so I could be more sensitive in helping others, especially those beyond my reach. I let go of some emotions that I’ve been harboring on the past months, struggling with the reality, my identity and ministry. I thought my tear ducts were drained already then, but a good cry is healthy.

I was a missionary for many years then, and I always wanted to be one. “You don’t need to go across the sea to be a missionary” was the lyrics from the song, my youngest brother used to sing then. That’s so true! I dreamed of going to Africa, Cambodia or India, to be a medical missionary or missionary teacher there. I still don’t let go of that aspiration. But how can I be a missionary in a faraway place if I don’t live by it at home and within the sphere of my influence? Yesteryears have a history. My future would be more of HIStory.

Inspired by the efforts of Levi and Jessie Benkert, I wanted to adopt the inspiration to ‘bring love in’ wherever I go. Be a missionary anywhere, everywhere. Nothing is impossible as long as self is submitted to Christ.

I’ve enjoyed publishing ministry during high school years, and I have always believed in the power of printed pages. With this in mind, I’m moved to have a book challenge (especially for myself): to share to as much as many people I can about a book that made a lasting impact in my life. My vision is to inspire people to read memoirs of unsung heroes, exceptional people like the Benkert family. To transpire the blessing of being changed for the better. Those who are willing to join the challenge could be a channel of change.

  • Share a wonderful book by lending it for a specific period of time (at least a week).
  • The next person would lend it to the person who is willing to read it. It would be tracked (then goes the same cycle).

For example: I finished reading NO GREATER LOVE. The first 10 people who would e-mail me: lafronda7@gmail.com (subject: Bookworm Challenge: Book Channeling) with the intention to join the challenge will be accommodated. Let’s consider extending the list later.

  • This chain of book channeling would create a bond among readers, passing the book to one another, until it return to me.
  • A personal book review is encouraged to be done. I will feature it here in my blog as a part of the series about this book challenge.
  • It isn’t compulsory, but I encourage you to donate to BRING LOVE IN, or encourage others to do so by sharing this blog post. Learn about donation and how to donate: http://bringlove.in/needs/

Book Channeling: A Book Travel

Literally, the book travels too as the bookworm pass the book for challenge to another bookworm. So let’s see how far “No Greater Love” could go and how far its influence could reach. You can also do the same challenge, choosing a wonderful memoir or inspirational book. Just follow my steps: make a book review, encourage readers to join the challenge, lend the book and let it travel. Certainly, we could create a book club with a cause.

I found out a greater purpose for my blog. I would be glad if you’re willing to join force; so together, we could change the world, one bookworm and blogger at a time.

Find out my first step to financially help “Bring Love In”. Bookworm Craze: Curly Bookworm’s books on sale. (Click the title to read about the book sale). The proceeds will go to this wonderful organization. I’m saving a particular amount to donate. This could be small to jump start. But great things start from small beginnings right? Any creative idea to share how to raise funds for the orphans and widows? You can leave a comment, or write an e-mail to me: lafronda7@gmail.com (subject: Creative Ideas for Bring Love In).

If you aren’t a subscriber yet to this blog, I encourage you to enlist at the bottom left corner of this blog for you to keep updated.

Let’s keep the book rolling. Join the Bookworm Challenge!

© 2015 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Levi Benkert, CNN and Google. Videos credit to (Bring Love In) YouTube and Vimeo . This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Attitude of Gratitude, Bespectacled Books, Life story, Ministry, NaBloPoMo GROW 2015, Superb Authors

PYC 2014: Experience


The faith-strengthening, four years have been gone with the wind. Time really flies! It’s been almost four years since the last time Philippine Youth for Christ was held at AUP campus.

For the two consecutive years, 2009 & 2010, there had been a lot of exquisite experiences gained through this meaningful event. I was personally blessed beyond compare!

The music and messages during PYC, especially on 2010’s EMPOWERED were remarkable and unforgettable! I’m privileged having been given a part to render special music, be in the choir, to share the joy of music ministry with the music committee. Hence, the theme song, sang by the choir and the congregation sets ablaze my desire to serve the soon-coming King, every time I hear it.

Do you still memorize it by heart, or at least know any part of the lyrics and its melody?

"We are empowered by the Spirit of God..." the ember is set ablaze every time the song plays in the mind. A remarkable music of my soul.

“We are empowered by the Spirit of God…”
The ember is set ablaze every time the song plays in the mind. A remarkable music of my soul.

For sure, for those who’ve experienced the PYC 2009 and PYC 2010 have memorable experiences to share.

Were you there? Were you blessed? What did you do with your experience?

Were you there?
Were you blessed?
What did you do with your experience?

How about making new memories, being part of PYC 2014: EXPERIENCE? More likely, most of you have been praying for a meaningful memoir to carry on and to share in 2015. Here’s a very meaningful experience that would revive, revitalize and refresh the spirit.

Channels of blessings and messages

Channels of blessings and messages.

It’s not yet late to register, if you haven’t secured a slot yet. Hurry! It’s only 11 days before the big day!

Registration update, three days ago.

Registration update, three days ago.

For more queries, visit the FB page of PYC, and contact the registration committee through the numbers included in the poster:

Philippine Youth for Christ “Experience” 2014

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Philippine-Youth-for-Christ-Experience-2014/860049960692655

© 2014 LAF

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Triumphant at Three!


Thrilled to post again after three months of blog sulking, I was surprised to receive a notification few minutes ago! It’s my blog’s 3rd Anniversary! Actually, my first blog post was on August 9. So, I badly missed it!

Happy Anniversary! August 15, 2014 gleeful greetings from WP

Happy Anniversary!
August 15, 2014
gleeful greetings from WP

I’ve got my favorite devotional from my bookshelf earlier, only to realize that it’s what I’ve featured more than three years ago. *click the title, Terse Soliloquy to read my first blog post ever!

To read last year’s anniversary feature, read Transformed at Two!

 

More Than a Conqueror

The Vespers worship at Philippine International Church was graced with the Communion, or the Last Supper. The Week of Prayer is dubbed “More than Conquerors”. A student speaker delivered an inspiring the message. Sis. Jenny, a Dentistry student (Malaysian), emphasized about moral integrity, and how we could keep the purity thru God’s grace.

“Will there be a Mary among us who could bear Jesus?” was her query to the ladies.

“If you have been courting, or you have a girlfriend, what is your intention? Is her integrity and purity your priority?” she asked the gentlemen, as he emphasized Joseph’s characteristics.

2 Tim. 2:22 has been more personal to me, as I listen to Paul’s admonition to Timothy to:

  • Flee from youthful passions
  • Pursue righteousness, faith, love & peace
  • Have a pure heart

While contemplating on these as we’re about to begin foot washing, I wondered who would be my partner, I came late, and sat on the left wing (quite so behind), most of my friends used to sit at the right wing, front pews (where I used to sit too). People rushed out to get small basins of water and small towel, and to my surprise, Jenny Amurao approached me.

I was so delighted to see my former AUP Academy student, beaming with her lovely smile. She didn’t have a partner, and I’m grateful she came, she’s an answered prayer. “Ma’am Fronda, may partner ka na po?” she asked. I was quite hesitant at first, I was not ready for communion, but I wanted to have it. But it’s been a humbling experience to have her as a partner for the foot washing. It’s simply unforgettable! Jenny has grown a lot; graceful & lovely lady, a gifted singer.

When the emblems were distributed, I saw Klyde Carpizo, another former student (Jenny’s batch mate). He’s a deacon since last year, but I didn’t know that until his mom told me after worship. I even asked his dad, another deacon to confirm, “Is that your son Klyde, Sir?”, when he was giving the grape juice and the unleavened bread.

Life is indeed full of surprises! Last night was a blast of blessings! I also met & greeted Keanu Lee, Chill Orbe, saw Yesha Ilagan (Jenny’s batch mates). Two JENNYs made an impact in my life. I was tremendously inspired as I contemplate on God’s unfathomable love and unlimited grace. I’ll be more than a conqueror, coz Jesus has conquered the Arch Enemy even before I was conceived.

III-Gemini

As you can see my students' artwork, the first picture at the pink corner was Jenny's. She's the homeroom leader. :) They gave me this memento with their appreciation.

As you can see my students’ artwork, the first picture at the pink corner was Jenny’s. She’s the homeroom leader. 🙂
They gave me this memento with their appreciation.

They surprised me! They're dearly beloved and loved!

They surprised me! They’re dearly beloved and loved!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39, NIV (my favorite verses) 🙂

In Remembrance of Me

Full-packed PIC during communion service.

Full-packed PIC during communion service.

These are the quotations from Ellen G. White (The Desire of Ages pages 656-659) which the Senior Pastor read during the Communion. It challenged me more:

“None should exclude themselves from the Communion because some who are unworthy may be present. Every disciple is called upon to participate publicly, and thus bear witness that he accepts Christ as a personal Saviour. It is at these, His own appointments, that Christ meets His people, and energizes them by His presence. Hearts and hands that are unworthy may even administer the ordinance, yet Christ is there to minister to His children. All who come with their faith fixed upon Him will be greatly blessed. All who neglect these seasons of divine privilege will suffer loss. Of them it may appropriately be said, “Ye are not all clean.”

Our Lord says, Under conviction of sin, remember that I died for you. When oppressed and persecuted and afflicted for My sake and the gospel’s, remember My love, so great that for you I gave My life. When your duties appear stern and severe, and your burdens too heavy to bear, remember that for your sake I endured the cross, despising the shame. When your heart shrinks from the trying ordeal, remember that your Redeemer liveth to make intercession for you.

The Communion service points to Christ’s second coming. It was designed to keep this hope vivid in the minds of the disciples. Whenever they met together to commemorate His death, they recounted how “He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.” In their tribulation they found comfort in the hope of their Lord’s return. Unspeakably precious to them was the thought, “As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord’s death till He come.” 1 Cor. 11:26.”

Streams of teaching memories flooded, as I left the portals of AUP last night. I’m beyond grateful! My cup overflows! It really matters a lot to sit at the feet of Jesus, the Master Teacher!

“He who co-operates with the divine purpose in imparting to the youth a knowledge of God, and molding the character into harmony with His, does a high and noble work.” EGW, Education

I missed my former students big time, and as well as teaching! But definitely, I missed blogging so much!

I’m definitely triumphant at three! 🙂

© 2014 LAF

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Filed under Exciting Event, Friendship, Life story, Ministry, Teaching Adventures, Vicissitudes

PAIN: A Blessing Not Everyone Appreciates


“God wants us to choose to love Him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to Him, not to our own good feelings and rewards…Job did not seek the Giver because of His gifts; when all gifts were removed He still sought the Giver.”
~Philip Yancey, Where is God When it Hurts?

Today’s supposed to be Papa Benny’s 59th birthday. He peacefully slept in the Lord without bidding goodbye, in the loving arms of his Beloved, my Mama Belinda. He passed away 2 months and 25 days ago, to be exact.

Remembering my friend’s statement after his burial, “I thought you’ll sulk, …good thing you don’t. Take time to grieve for your sudden loss, you’ve been through a lot!”

Healing Amid Hurting

The dawn of December 1, 2013 was still vivid! The night of  November 31st was full of fun and laughter since we’ve been visited by family friends and lingered until almost midnight. Only to be awakened by a call that chilled my spine and gave me a shock. “Ate, wala na si Papa…”, my brother Franz tearfully uttered.

That devastating news was another nightmare, it petrified me. It didn’t sink in, until I received a call from our family friend neighbor who assisted my mother in our province. If only I could fly and attend to my mother’s dire need of our presence. But how can I? when I felt so helpless, as if my wings were utterly broken. I was torn. Then after several minutes, I was able to bitterly cry.

During the five-day wake, I never cried. Even during the internment, I didn’t shed a tear. The excruciating pain almost benumbed me. Maybe because I’ve been through major heartaches with the quick successions of death of my younger brother BJ (March 2011), and eldest sister Leah (12.12.12), and then my father’s.

I never forced myself to cry, though I was greatly hurt within. Now that the grievances resurfaced, I could cry and I’m grateful for the gift of pain and tears.

“Our sufferings are not for nothing.
NEVER…
The trial of faith is a thing worth much more than gold.”
~Elisabeth Elliot

Family Day Out the day after ate Leah's cremation. (Dec. 12th her death was Franz's birthday, Dec. 15th was JR's birthday). Sort of celebrating despite the great loss.

Family Day Out on Dec. 17th, the day after ate Leah’s cremation. (Dec. 12th her death was Franz’s birthday, Dec. 15th was JR’s birthday). Sort of celebrating despite the great loss.

 

Legacy of Love Lives On

During his last week at the church, he had a special funeral service at our home church, Pinamalayan SDA Church where he also served. I was spontaneous in updating my Facebook timeline for the sake of friends and relatives who weren’t able to come to our province. I thought of blogging about it, but soon lingered.

tough guy at tough times, he's got a tough FAITH!

tough guy at tough times, he’s got a tough FAITH!

Here’s the caption of this old photo which I made my DP (display photo).

I bid my first love, my father, good bye.

He’s the man who introduced me to the Redeemer, Restorer, and Returning King; one who reminded me to make Him the first and last, and best in everything.

The fight of faith of this brave and brilliant man might have come to its end, but its legacy would last in my heart until we meet again on that grand & glorious day.

I would surely miss his baritone voice, his mega-watt smile, his warm embrace, his corny yet entertaining jokes, his intuitive advises, his never-ending tales, and his high hopes for our future.

I can’t thank God’s unconditional love that was channeled through him.

At a very young age of 8, he was an orphan. Lola Indalecia died after giving birth to their youngest sibling who died right after too! At 21, Lolo Blas died too, leaving him with all the responsibilities as the first-born, a quasi- mom and dad to his brother Wency and sister Ercie.

At early 20’s he received his black belt in martial arts, Judo Karate. He won tournaments and even survived fights, defending others and himself.

But when he got to know Jesus as his personal Redeemer and Defender, his outlook in life drastically changed.

Down memory lane, I saw myself begging him to train me (Judo Karate) for self defense. He never did, he even discouraged us to learn. He taught us to have full trust in God instead; advised us never to repay evil for evil, for “vengeance is mine, says the Lord” (favorite verse). For him, that’s the true measure of a man.

He’s a faithful husband to mama, and a friend to us. Despite some flaws and shortcomings as a hubby and a father, he’s still the BEST for us.

Til then Papa Benifredo Geronimo Fronda, Sr.
March 26, 1955 – December 1, 2013

*This photo was taken on December 9, 1978. (He’s 23 yrs.old)

She's an epitome of love, faith, patience & prudence. She's my unsung heroine and wingless angel. She brought me in her womb for 9 months and took care of me since then. Without her, I won't be here. I'm more than blessed having mama Belinda.

She’s an epitome of love, faith, patience & prudence. She’s my unsung heroine and wingless angel. She brought me in her womb for 9 months and took care of me since then.
Without her, I won’t be here. I’m more than blessed having mama Belinda.

Bravery During Bereavement & Beyond
Here’s my musing on the day Papa’s death sank in (Dec.1):
On November 15th, my beloved parents celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary with us beyond the distance.

On Nov. 21st, we celebrated again for mama’s birthday; and on 23rd, for Zola’s birthday.

This month was full of mirth and memories, not knowing that December would come with another cry-clad crucible for our family.

We’re never aware that it would be the last November with Papa.

With all the terrifying trials we’ve met, I’ve learned and unlearned a lot of things in the vicissitudes of life.


With my parents’ inspiration, especially Papa’s, I’ve scrutinized life and learned to focus on a query “how will I maximize the abundant grace provided?”, rather than wallow, asking “how come Lord?, why?”.

I may never fully grasp God’s purpose, yet I’m hopeful of that glorious day I would be able to sit at Jesus’ feet and find the right answers to my wondering.

 Christmas Selfie with photobomber sweetums! Who would have thought that this pic was taken 24 days after my father's death? We have a gracious God, our true source of happiness. *Dec. 25th


Christmas Selfie with photobomber sweetums, Who would have thought that this pic was taken 24 days after my father’s death?
We have a gracious God, our true source of happiness. *Dec. 25th

Miracle, Mirth and Misery

During my recent vacation at home last Oct. 28 – Nov. 10, I’ve witnessed how papa struggled with difficulty of breathing. Almost everyday, he’s got asthma attack; oftentimes, mild, sometimes, severe.

Aside from natural means to help him ease the pain & hardship, he’s been dependent with the use of nebulizer.

I had my worst dilemma when super typhoon Yolanda struck our province, Oriental Mindoro @ signal #4. We’ve got block-out, and we’d been praying for him to be spared of possible severe attack. He had on that Friday night, but God intervened. He wasn’t brought to the hospital.

For him, being confined in the hospital was a nightmare. He told me he doesn’t want if ever he gets really worse.

Actually, he had the worst attack on May this year, and was brought at the ER with only a lil’ chance of survival. He almost died, but praise God he was revived! He no longer has BP and very low respiratory rate, he’s already turned blue-black. Grateful, my bro. Ifo was there to rush him to the nearby hospital.

We’re so shocked that after 6 months of survival (with another confinement on July), he would give up the fight. He told mama that he’s so tired already on the wee hour of December 1. He had a severe attack and when my mother told him he should be brought to the hospital, he told her, “wag mo na ako dalhin, bukas na lang, pagod na ako, yapusin mo na lang ako at haplusan” (don’t bring me there, let’s go there for check-up tomorrow, I’m tired already. Just hug me and apply vapor rub at my back).

My mother developed calmness and constant reliance upon God since my younger brother died in her arms on March 31, 2011 (sudden death due to typhoid encephalitis), few days after Papa’s birthday on March 26th.

So my mama just did what he requested, few moments later, he’s lifeless. However heart-breaking the scenario was, mama said, papa was peaceful as if he’s just deeply sleeping. He was declared expired soon after, due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), he didn’t have any vice, but during earlier years, he was exposed to many strong chemicals due to work and our own Nata de Coco business (we used strong chemical which is harmful to health, esp. to the lungs), air pollution in the city where he stayed for many years, etc.

He died at mama’s loving arms. I admire our wonder woman more! God is indeed merciful.

Too ironic, mama and some brethren told me, he was at the wake in our neighborhood and was so lively, cracking jokes to the bereaved family friends earlier that night. Not knowing that it’s the last time he’ll laugh and would be emotionally stressed.

Even us, with my friends who visited at home in Cavite, we were laughing a lot as we bonded that Sat. night, only to receive the horrible news few hours after.

Life is fragile and temporary indeed! Our only surety is God’s will and the Blessed Hope.

 

Hearing My Last Sermon

During my vacation before his death, I was requested to speak in our church on November 1, 2013, focusing on the State of the Dead. I shared our family crucibles, the terror and trauma of death among family members and how we had “Healing Amid Hurting”.
Who would have thought that after exactly one month, December 1, Papa would be in the state of the dead! My mom even sang before I spoke! She sang “Keep Looking Up”. My parents used to sing duet when we were at an early age, and I found them very lovely singing together.
Here’s the second stanza and chorus of the song my mom sang:
So when your faith is sorely tried
And earnest pray’rs have been denied
Whene’er you need a faithful guide
There’s just one thing to do.

Keep looking up, Thy God is still the same today
Keep looking up He will not fail thee
Come what may, keep looking up
The darkest night will roll away
So do not doubt, but keep on looking up.

I actually made a blog in Tumblr, dedicated to my mom’s exquisite faith and bravery. The first entry, “Looking Down is Never an Option” is all about her and Papa’s sudden death. Here’s the link:
http://curlywittywordsmith.tumblr.com/post/70765941446/looking-down-isnt-an-option
Just keep on looking up. There is where God paints a rainbow after the rain!

Just keep on looking up. There is where God paints a rainbow after the rain!

The Last Song
For many people, both related by blood and not, they considered me a very strong person. “I can’t imagine myself if I were on your shoes Lanie, you’re so strong! I admire you! God is with you!” utterance of the former principal of AUP Academy told me. Aside from a strong and supportive family, we’re blessed with awesome family friends and prayer warriors!
Here’s my simple secret:
With Christ, I’M POSSIBLE!
Without Him, IMPOSSIBLE!
Here’s my post on Dec. 6, after the internment of my father.
Since last night during tribute until necrological service this morning, I talked much. I have no choice, since I’d love to and I am expected too! Sharing papa’s epic conversion story was a delight!
But to sing those three songs were offerings of a broken, yet grateful heart.I never thought it would be that rewarding to serve my family, relatives & brethren through music ministry. Coz to sing to my own papa’s funeral was a big, different story. Gone were the days when I rendered songs to other people’s funeral services, and to my sibling’s too. It’s just so special.After all, speaking and singing are the most obvious talents I’ve got from my father, according to my mother and other people.
Here’s the last song I rendered during the necrological service.  (please click the link, This Day if you want to watch the video)
Friendship Lives Beyond the Grave
Papa’s misconstrued as a politician in our place, he’s been known throughout our province having myriad of friends throughout the country and abroad. But he’s just a simple person, rich with friendships. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable and annoyed having many visitors coming almost everyday at home.
On his last night of wake, the number of friends who gave testimonials surpassed the number of family members and relatives who did.
Best Friends Beyond the Grave

Best Friends Beyond the Grave

During the first night, his best friend who came from the U.S., delivered the message. It was a blessing  because we longed to share to our relatives our faith and the HOPE of Jesus’ soon coming. Though it wasn’t a good reunion to gather with, all things work together for good! (Romans 8:28).

“Mahal ko po ang taong ito, sya ay isang tapat at tunay na kaibigan.
Mapagbigay, matulungin, (Para sa kanya, ibibigay pa sa iba),
masayahin…Nanghihinayang po ako!
Pero ito ay niloob ng Diyos na may kadahilanan…”

Tito Jerson Camposano highly regarded papa not because he’s his best friend since early 90’s, but because they’ve understood, accepting each others’ flaws & shortcomings; and help build each others’ faith. A true unconditional friendship indeed!


They’ve been brother-like buddies since he was assigned as our district pastor in early 90’s, according to him. He delivered the message on the state of the dead and the end-times, emphasizing the Blessed Hope of Jesus’ soon return.

I’m super grateful! It seemed a family reunion with a crusade. Most of our relatives aren’t SDAs yet. Our deepest desire is to reach out to them and uphold Jesus, our Wounded Healer.

Thank You Jesus isn't enough. Because You live, we can face tomorrow although we no longer have Papa Benny. You renewed that blessed Hope again and again. *Ate Leah's urn was finally buried with Papa's remains. Six days before ate's death anniversary.

Thank You Jesus isn’t enough.
Because You live, we can face tomorrow although we no longer have Papa Benny. You renewed that blessed Hope again and again.
*Ate Leah’s urn was finally buried with Papa’s remains.
Six days before ate’s death anniversary.

Our loved ones, Papa, ate Leah and BJ (Ben Jathniel), left our presence, but never our hearts. They've gone asleep in the Lord and we long for that blessed resurrection morn. We simply miss them. Yet that doesn't lessen our reason to celebrate God's greatness!

Our loved ones, Papa, ate Leah and BJ, left our presence, but never our hearts.
They’ve gone asleep in the Lord and we long for that blessed resurrection morn.
We simply miss them. Yet that doesn’t lessen our reason to celebrate God’s greatness!

“The very trials that test our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are designed to lead us nearer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at his feet, and receive the peace he will give us in exchange.
When you surrender yourself entirely to God, you fall all broken upon Jesus, you will be rewarded by a victory, the joy of which you have never realized.

As you review the past with a clear vision, you will see that at the very time when life seemed to you only a perplexity and a burden Jesus Himself was near you, seeking to lead you into the light.

Your Father was by your side, bending over you with unutterable love, afflicting you for your good, as the Refiner purifies the precious ore.”
~EGW, Gospel Workers p.372-373

 

“The TRIUMPH of Christian FAITH is
to SUFFER, and be STRONG;
to SUBMIT, and thus CONQUER;
to BE KILLED all day long, and yet to LIVE;
to BEAR the CROSS, and thus WIN the CROWN of IMMORTAL GLORY.”
~EGW, Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 300

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” Job 13:15  *with Lolo Urbano Castillo, an evangelist whom God used to channel bring Papa in the faith and helped build our home church, Pinamalayan SDA Church taken in early 90's. I'll post his conversion story later on.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” Job 13:15
*with Lolo Urbano Castillo, an evangelist whom God used to channel bring Papa in the faith and helped build our home church, Pinamalayan SDA Church taken in early 90’s. I’ll post his conversion story later on.

 

My father’s epitaph:

Benifredo G. Fronda, Sr.

March 26, 1955 – Dec. 1, 2013

“For to me, to live is Christ 
and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

This is a blog tribute for my father. I longed to blog about him, but today is the right time. I pray that as you read this affirmation of God’s faithfulness in our family’s life, may you be strengthened in whatever storms you’re going through.

And if you’re plagued with pain, remember, the Wounded Healer is ever near!

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Zola, and Google Image. Video credit to Zola and You Tube. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Health & Healing, Heath & Healing, Life story, Love, Ministry, Vicissitudes

AmBAG Dazzles at DZMM TeleRadyo


On Saturday night, I posted AmBAG Shines at the FilAm Star. It’s an update about AmBAG’s Friendly Challenge, and how the simple ‘kulitan’ made an impact to the netizens. It even created a big wave and reached the Bay Area.

Surprisingly, an article featuring the AmBAG campaign, “Dual Voice: Ambag of Kindness”  by Sir Federico Espiritu was published in FilAm Star. Aside from featuring it, he also purchased a BAG943 backpack, promoted it, in support of Team Doc Anton. It’s overwhelming how this endeavor caught the attention of the Fil-Am community in the US.

Mirthful Morning

Meanwhile, Team Josh remarkably made a sprint to catch up with the fast-paced Team Doc Anton. Moreover, Josh Mahinay’s interview yesterday (6:00am-7am) at “MAGANDANG MORNING with Julius Babao and Niña Corpuz”, DZMM Radyo Patrol 630 garnered a surprising response from the social media and listeners. This interview was done through the superb support and initiative of Team Josh’s major supporters, the celebrity couple, Christine and Julius Babao. Kindly read Trending for Tacloban Kids for more details.

Overjoyed sharing the joy of BAG943's journey in helping impoverished children be empowered in reaching their dreams.

Overjoyed sharing the joy of BAG943’s journey in helping impoverished children to be empowered in reaching their dreams.

You are never TOO POOR to GIVE, never TOO ORDINARY to DO GREAT things. ~Josh Mahinay

“You are never TOO POOR to GIVE, never TOO ORDINARY to DO GREAT things.”

Jubilant Julius Babao facilitates the interview with co-host Ms. Niña Corpuz

Jubilant Julius Babao facilitates the interview with co-host Ms. Niña Corpuz

Nostalgic and euphoric experience for Josh.

Nostalgic and euphoric experience for Josh.

United colors of BAG943. Quality backpacks promoted by generous Magandang Morning hosts and Ms. Mayette Alita

United colors of BAG943. Quality backpacks promoted by generous Magandang Morning hosts, with Ms. Mayette Alita.

certified Team Josh

certified Team Josh

Ms. Christine is not just an a new angel to Josh, she's more of a big sister.  "Josh, You are a blessing to so many. We will support you all the way!" she assured.

Ms. Christine is not just an a new angel to Josh, she’s more of a big sister.
“Josh, You are a blessing to so many. We will support you all the way!” she assured.

Humility Before Honor

On February 28, I posted An Encounter with a Bayaning Pilipino. It’s a feature about Dr. Anton Mari Lim, the recent recipient of Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. BAYANING PILIPINO award. It’s a story of how a lowly volunteer was recognized for his compassion and generosity. It also tells about the God’s providential workings, how he was able to connect with Josh through a Rappler article and work closely with Josh and BAG943.

Here’s his heartfelt response:

“Thank you Lailanie Antonio Fronda and Josh Mahinay for this nice blog. I almost did not recognize myself in the blog. I am just a volunteer trying to make the world a little brighter for the kids wherever I am! You guys give meaning to the word AFFIRMATION and I thank God for the honor of having crossed path and now work together in His name! Thank you…the honor is definitely mine! See you in the trenches!!!”

It's more than an encounter with Dr. Anton Lim, a modern Bayaning Pilipino

It’s more than just a mere encounter with Dr. Anton. To him, it is a divine appointment how we met as well.

Unsung Hero Next Door

“Heroes are people who decide to make extraordinary things out of their ordinary lives.

Some of them willingly offer their lives so that others may live with dignity, and free as a people.

Some of them, still live to fight the many challenges of today. But many of them are heroes undiscovered and undeveloped.”

~ Dr. Anton Mari H. Lim (acceptance speech excerpt)

The ripple effect of the Rappler article written by BAG943’s founder & prime mover,“Leaving Los Angeles to Pursue Greener Pastures” is immeasurable. Who would have thought how far the ripples of his pebble of influence could reach?

This is the same article shared by Ms. Christine Babao in her Twitter and Facebook accounts, in awe of how God used Josh to be a blessing to many people. Through this, she also channel the inspiring story of BAG943. Josh is indeed an unsung hero for the impoverished kids and other people whom BAG943 has touched.

Ripple Effect through Rappler

It’s barely seven months ago (Aug.9, 2013) when it was published, and I’ve got to read it. Exactly one month ago (Feb.9) when Josh invited me in Life Church Makati (5th Floor, Holiday Inn & Suites, Glorietta 1) for their re-launch and for a meeting/interview. I could never have imagined the difference that my creative craft made. I can’t thank God’s providential workings enough for this, and how he channeled this blessing of writing ministry to others.

“Lanie, just want you to know that you are very effective in what you do. Please keep that fire burning inside you. I personally declare, you are the official creative writer of BAG943.

Doc Anton and I were talking about you today, how blessed BAG943 is to have you, and how efficient you are as a supporter blogger.”

I am humbled and privileged to be part of this advocacy and for this affirmation. I remembered that day, seven months ago how I got acquainted with Josh. I have no idea that by responding to the call to volunteer would give this outcome. I’ve been able to connect with great people with same passion!

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

~Benjamin Franklin

Curly Bookworm and BAG943′s Servant Leader believe in the power of trust and affirmation.

Curly Bookworm and BAG943′s Servant Leader believe in the power of trust and affirmation.

With my visit at Life Church Makati, I’ve got acquainted and befriended awesome people, mentors, friends and BAG943 staff and volunteers who served as the wind beneath Josh’s wings.

“I’m actually really amazed that we’ve known you through a different connection — through Josh. It’s normally through a common AUP friend. You’ll definitely be a great contribution to Josh’ organization. He’s a great guy with a big vision.” ~Arnold Gamboa

LC Makati Lead Pastor, Arnold and wife Joyce is a family to Josh

LC Makati Lead Pastor, Arnold and wife Joyce is a family to Josh

Joyful in service

Joyful in service.

Ever supportive Pastor Bill Wilson, Metro World Founder, and Pastor Prudy Mopera in a recent event with BAG943

Ever supportive Pastor Bill Wilson, Metro World Child Founder, and Pastor Prudy Mopera in a recent Metro World Child event with BAG943

“I’ll do it with that compliment or without…I’m honored always to be with your great movement!”

Pastor Prudy responded when Josh complimented with his willingness to represent BAG943 in the said event.

“Speechless in a close encounter and chat with the founder of the biggest Sunday School in the world (Metro World Child), BILL WILSON! He was abandoned by his alcoholic mother on a street corner of New York. He was stabbed, thrown out of a building, threatened, had malaria, dengue, shot on the face, had his jaw broken. But because someone cared for him as an abandoned child, his passion for children all over the world is very contagious!!! He got me sponsor a Filipino child to school.” ~ Ptr. Prudy Mopera

Kids, residents of Himlayan Cemetery in Parañaque City, who received their BAG943 backpack during one of the Sidewalk weekly activity of Metro World Child.  Josh, thanks for asking me to represent you!

Kids, residents of Himlayan Cemetery in Parañaque City, who received their BAG943 backpack during one of the Sidewalk weekly activity of Metro World Child.
Josh, thanks for asking me to represent you!

BAG943 is going to New York. Thanks to Metro World for this opportunity! They are carrying our products in their store in New York and online. ~Josh

BAG943 is going to New York. Thanks to Metro World for this opportunity!
They are carrying our products in their store in New York and online. ~Josh

Journey with Bag of Dreams

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

From the day I read the article, I followed the journey of BAG943. This is the remarkable recognition this social enterprise received.

Malacañang Palace, Kalayaan Hall – Sheena, on behalf of BAG943, accepts a certificate of recognition from the Edsa People Power Commission, being admitted to the ‘network of changers’ and ‘nation builders’ in the Philippines.

We would like to offer this to all our supporters, customer-givers, and to the kids whom we committed to serve and dedicated our lives and service to. (photo and caption by Josh Mahinay)

 At BAG943, we do not only lead. We help ordinary people grow to be future leaders. "Actually a conforming fact that as young as this generation is, we can already make a change." Sheena Camille Gepilano


At BAG943, we do not only lead. We help ordinary people grow to be future leaders.
“Actually a conforming fact that as young as this generation is, we can already make a change.” Sheena Camille Gepilano

BAG943 is blessed having very dedicated, determined and supportive mentors, staff and volunteer’s team.

One of the country’s top-ranked speakers and trainers for leadership programs and other soft skills, he is a Master Trainer and Accredited Facilitator for Servant Leadership, Leading Without the Title, Power to Persuade, Moving into Management among others.

Boris Joaquin’s fun moments with the kids. He is one of the country’s top-ranked speakers and trainers for leadership programs and other soft skills, he is a Master Trainer and Accredited Facilitator for Servant Leadership, Leading Without the Title, Power to Persuade, Moving into Management among others. ~ http://borisjoaquin.com

Overjoyed at the site during a bag drive.

Overjoyed at the site during a SUN LIFE FINANCIAL CEDAR NBO-SPONSORED Bag Drive

Josh's voice coach and friend, Jonathan Badon (world-class artist) supports BAG943. This Prince of Pop Opera is known not only for his musical gift, but also for his gift of generosity.

Josh’s voice coach and friend, Jonathan Badon (world-class artist) supports BAG943. This “Prince of Pop Opera” is known not only for his musical gift, but also for his gift of generosity.

His Bidding is Enabling

I read another awesome article from Rappler, published on January 12, 2014. It was written by Sir Ezra Ferraz, a expert business columnist of Executive Edge. In an interview on “How businesses can best give back in 2014”, Josh emphasized his insight on a good campaign.

“For me, a good campaign and networking are equally important. If your campaign is weak, you will not likely get support, even from your closest networks. On the other hand, meeting the right people to accelerate and sustain a strong campaign is critical. Your networks are your catalyst for success.”

In his recent introspection, he said:

“It is not only about God sending you these people, it is about you intentionally choosing to have the right people to influence your life.

Speaking from personal experience, there were moments when I had to cut my self off from people who were hindering me to be what God really wanted me to become.

By doing so, it gives lots of rooms for people who’ll help you and journey with you towards your rightful destination or place.”

Here’s an excerpt from Sir Ezra’s article. Prior to this blog entry, I was able to connect with him through Facebook. I appreciate his quick and kind response.

Rappler business columnist Ezra Ferraz graduated from UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California, where he taught writing for 3 years. He now consults full-time for educational companies in the United States. He brings you Philippine business leaders, their insights, and their secrets via Executive Edge.

Rappler business columnist Ezra Ferraz graduated from UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California, where he taught writing for 3 years. He now consults full-time for educational companies in the United States. He brings you Philippine business leaders, their insights, and their secrets via Executive Edge.

Build trust through transparency

One way to create a great campaign is to earn the good faith of your network through complete transparency. Mahinay put it simply: “People support you inasmuch as they trust you. It is important that you commit to deliver your brand’s promise. You don’t make promises that you are not hundred-percent sure that you can deliver. A system that will show transparency must also be in place.”

Mahinay goes to great lengths to accomplish this in BAG943. “After every bag drive, we send a thank you note and an email update to each of our customers, along with a picture and biographical information of the beneficiary school child. The bag of each child also carries a tag that has the name of the customer-giver. This not only gives assurance, but it also allows the customer-giver and the beneficiary child to share a special bond and connection.” ~Ezra Ferraz, “How businesses can best give back in 2014”

“You can’t change the world but certainly, you can change “a world”. The people I met during my journey changed mine. Now, it’s time to change someone else’s.” ~Josh Mahinay (A Gift Set in Motion: The Story of BAG943)

The crisis in central visayas is not yet over. With survivor kids living with whatever typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) left them, let's let them know that it is okay to dream again.

The crisis in central visayas is not yet over. With survivor kids living with whatever typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) left them, let’s let them know that it is okay to dream again.

Would you also dare change someone’s world?

The bag you wear can make a difference!

Ano amBAG mo?

 

Worth reading:

http://www.rappler.com/business/170-features/47766-executive-edge-how-businesses-can-best-give-back-in-2014

http://positivelypinoy.com/a-gift-set-in-motion-the-story-of-bag-943/

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/balikbayan/36006-los-angeles-greener-pastures

 

Worth watching:

 

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Josh Mahinay, Dr. Anton Mari Lim, Arnold Gamboa & Prudy Mopera. Rappler article credits to Ezra Ferraz (used with permission). Videos credit to You Tube and BAG943. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Exciting Event, Friendship, Life story, Ministry, Object Lessons, Vicissitudes

AmBAG Shines at the FilAm Star


“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” 

John Bunyan

Several weeks have passed since  the Friendly Challenge started between the BAG943 Founder and Prime Mover, Josh Mahinay, and Doc Anton Mari Lim, Co-Founder of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation and Major Supporter of BAG943.

In case you haven’t got any idea about it, please take time to read Trending for Tacloban Kids first. You’ll fully grasp the goal of this attempt, much more a fun challenge which started from a mere “kulitan” between the two.

Ripple Reaches the Western Shores

Have you ever thrown a pebble on a lake or on the sea?

Were you able to see the ripples it created? Have you estimated how far  the ripples have reached?

Surprisingly, an article featuring the AmBAG campaign, particularly the friendly challenge was published in FilAm Star. It’s overwhelming how this endeavor catches the attention of FilAm community in the US.

Click on the link and scroll down to page (A4) to read the article written by Sir Federico Espiritu.

http://www.filamstar.net/images/stories/pdf/263.pdf

Thank you FilAm Star for this very nice feature about #amBAG campaign. ~Josh Mahinay

Thank you FilAm Star for this very nice feature about #amBAG campaign. ~Josh Mahinay

Game Changers at their best, Josh & Doc Anton give new meaning to a typical "crab mentality" among Filipinos. :)

Game Changers at their best, Josh & Doc Anton give new meaning to a typical “crab mentality” among Filipinos. 🙂

I’m humbled to get connected also to Sir Federico who respond right away to my request when I added him in Facebook. He told me how he was able to connect with the two when I shared this blog, informing that I featured his article. I also appreciated his wonderful craft.

Josh and Doc Anton, amBag ang BAG943 are great stories to tell for our Kababayans, and to support, Lailanie.

I came to know first Doc Anton when I wrote about Kabang and then he led me to Josh. All tiles fell into the right places as arranged by the Lord and now you’re picking up “Dual Voice”. Great providential handiwork.

The Thrilling Tandem

No matter what would be the outcome of this friendly challenge, Josh and Doc Anton would always be a great and thrilling tandem for the cause of impoverished people. Their priority is to serve God, and to make their territory more sunshiny, radiating the sunlight from the Sun of Righteousness. 🙂

For the passed few days, the race to 100 sales made a big difference among the lives of many people in diverse walks of life.

A FRIENDLY CHALLENGE-turned-into friends, families, public figures and celebrities coming together to support either #teamJosh Josh Mahinay or #teamDocAnton Anton Mari H. Lim to win the 100-sales challenge before March 15, 2014 #amBAG bag drive in Samar.

In the end, it is going to be the Yolanda affected school children who will be real winners.

Friendly Challenge is more of fun and a call to generosity.  #teamJosh + #teamDocAnton = #teamJesus For they are His volunteers, seeing Jesus in every child with an eye of faith.

Friendly Challenge is more of fun and a call to generosity.
#teamJosh + #teamDocAnton = #teamJesus
For they are His volunteers, seeing Jesus in every child with an eye of faith.

Follow this thread and pick a team to support :

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152571999708776&set=a.10150414843208776.465182.524173775&type=1&theater&notif_t=like

As an outcome, more and more sales rose to this statistics:

*Fast-Paced Team Doc Anton: 38 (March 6th), 63 (March 7th)

*Teams Josh’s Sprinting Spree: 25 (March 6th), 50 (March 7th)

This morning, I was notified about the surprising news. Yesterday morning, #teamJosh had 25 sales still. But this testimonial shows how God works in mysterious ways. What a leap of faith! 🙂

#teamJosh thank God! Last night I closed a deal (25 sales) so we are catching up. Few more sales and we can close the gap. ~Josh

Contagious Compassion

Compassion is indeed contagious! I am amazed how  people converge despite the distances, even beyond the borders of our country. Love knows no economic and political status, cultural differences and personality uniqueness! Love could unite in spite of diversity.

“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

You are never TOO POOR to GIVE, never TOO ORDINARY to DO GREAT things. ~Josh Mahinay

Would you dare to live compassionately today?

An invitation from Josh:

I got invited to guest tomorrow at 6:00am-7am, “MAGANDANG MORNING with Julius Babao and Niña Corpuz”, DZMM Radyo Patrol 630.
If you are a morning person and would like to join our conversation about BAG943 and #amBAG which will have its first project installment on March 15, 2014, tune in

Link for audio streaming here:

http://dzmm.abs-cbnnews.com/page/audiostreaming.html

It is simultaneously airing on cable channels. For cable channel assignments in your areas, click here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DZMM_TeleRadyo

Gracias Ms. Christine Babao for working this out for BAG94!

*More updates will be posted tomorrow. Keep posted! 🙂

Watch these Videos

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Josh Mahinay and Dr. Anton Mari Lim. Videos credit to You Tube and BAG943. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Exciting Event, Friendship, Life story, Love, Ministry

Affirmation of God’s Faithfulness


This morning, upon reading a Facebook message from Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso, I wasn’t able to hold my tears. With mixed emotions, I praised God for both good news and sad news. I cried because I was so blessed and touched of how God works in mysterious ways.

This experience is nostalgic, I reminisce the times my family and I were in the same predicament, a life and death situation of my late ate Leah. I remembered how brethren from far and near, friends and family, and even strangers were able to unite to support not only through fervent prayers and encouragements, but in various ways (especially financial support).

This post is another way of helping Ma’am Lalaine in her endeavors to help her dear friend. She’s always there encouraging, and her trust with my love for service made me more inspired to do what I can to help others. Prior to her invitation, I was with her and the rest of medical missionaries and medical professionals at the Heritage Center, 28th Floor, Raffles Tower at Ortigas, Pasig City. It’s a Health Professionals Sabbath Convocation dubbed as “Called and Revived for Mission: Medical Missionary Work”. This event was organized by the Health Ministries Department of North Philippine Union Conference where Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso serves as the Health Ministries Director.

Called and revived Medical Missionaries for the Master Physician

Called and revived Medical Missionaries for the Master Physician (some attendees left earlier, photo credit: Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso)

It was an inspiring fellowship attended by health professionals and graced by the topnotch SDAs of the recent PLE and other top notchers in the earlier years — MedTech Exam, NLE. Inspiring testimonies were given too! It’s a musical Sabbath as well, I am humbled and blessed to have given a part to render “I will Stand as a Witness of Christ”, with Weanne Myrrh Estrada (Top 1 of NLE 2010) in keyboard accompaniment. *I have a blog entry for this convocation. Keep posted!

Wordsmith with a Mission

Aside from being in a family crucible who dealt with three severe health cases with three family members (younger brother, eldest sister and father), and three successive deaths in three consecutive years (March 2011, December 2012, December 2013), I also experienced being a medical missionary in the field in my late teens and early 20s. With this, I am grateful of the Wounded Healer’s ministry channeled in amazing ways. Involving in this endeavor is a way to pay it forward to others in need.

Last night, around past 10:00 PM, I was in a hurry finishing some blogs. But when Ma’am Lalaine sent me a message, I paid attention with an impression that my help is needed. She requested me to write a letter of request for a helicopter, while she deals with other arrangements and other concerns related to Ma’am Gladdens Zamora Azuprado’s critical medical condition.

I was quite shocked and I pity the patient for the unimaginable condition she is going through. I requested Ma’am Lalaine to pray for me, because I don’t know what to say, she gave me the details. With prayerful thoughts, this letter was done in a few minutes. I felt the urgency due to the emergency. To God be the glory for the thoughts impressed!

Please read the letter’s content to know the case of the patient. They need more support, especially in prayers.

May heaven’s riches blessings pour upon you and abound!

We beseech your good office to allow us to use one of your helicopters to transport a very critical patient. Gladdens Zamora Azuprado, the 40-year old patient, is a high school teacher on health subject at Naga View Adventist College. She suffered from a severe headache and profuse vomiting early Monday morning. She was rushed to Naga City Doctors Hospital.

The doctors discovered that one of her blood vessels ruptured in the brain, but they can’t locate where particularly the hemorrhage occurred. With this, the blood spread all over her brain which causes excruciating pain. This life-threatening condition prompted the doctors to do the medical procedures needed, but their facilities are not sufficient. The doctors mandated an urgent transfer to Manila, where state-of-the-art hospitals and medical centers could facilitate the dire need of the patient.

However, her critical case doesn’t allow her to be transported by land. She will have a hard time dealing with long and rough travel. She can’t be transferred via commercial plane either, because the abrupt flight and pressure on air might cause further rupture of her brain vessels. On the other hand, with a helicopter, her transfer would be well managed and would be less hazardous.

We hope and pray that you’ll give an attention to this request. Your kind consideration for the critical patient’s case is much appreciated! We look forward to receiving your apt response.

Alfanoso family, working closely in the furtherance of God's work.

Alfanoso family, working closely in the furtherance of God’s work.

Wonderful Wounded Healer

According to Ma’am Lalaine, she sent the letter right away to the respective personnel that gave a positive response to help. Her update this morning made me cry with gratitude, although I am sad at the same time, knowing that the patient’s case got more severe.

Because of your letter, we were able to facilitate two choppers to airlift the patient. The Philippine Air Force, the Philippine Navy in Sangley Point. Ang problem ngayon hindi pwede e-airlift ang patient kasi very critical kaya stand by ngayon ang mga choppers–isn’t God amazing? It’s a mission impossible but you know what, I never doubted God.

My son thought that I was just joking that I need a helicopter last night. He showed me his toy chopper (big one for big boys), sabi ko hindi yan anak, tunay na helicopter that will transport your ate Gladz.

Sabi ng son ko, that’s a mission impossible mommy. Pero after the hardwork, and people working together to request for a helicopter, the lord provided us! Not only ONE helicopter, but TWO! WOW! I cannot contain my happiness for the answered prayer. I just would like to share to you my happiness.

Thanks so much po sa help. I also had an experience with my mom when she was hospitalized. Then, ang dami rin tao naghelp and it’s overwhelming. Kaya nga po parang pay it forward and nangyari.

Sabi nga po ng husband ko, gusto na niya mag give up pero kapag nakikita niya ang mga tao sa palibot niya, at kahit na yung hindi niya kilala gumagawa para matulungan sila, that keeps him going.

I’m glad about the answered prayer! Very unsuspecting…unassuming…nakaka suspense!

I don’t know how to react, but PRAISE the LORD! I am nothing, but I am grateful! I never knew that even a very simple way of responding to a call to help would be a means of hastening the process, and God blessed and answered our prayers! Isn’t our Wounded Healer wonderful?

The patient, Ma'am Gladdens Zamora Azuprado with her loving family, Jun (Abraham), her hubby and son.

The patient, Ma’am Gladdens Zamora Azuprado with her loving family, Jun (Abraham), her hubby and son.

His Helping Hands

On behalf of the family and support group of Ma’am Gladdens,  Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso acknowledges her heartfelt gratitude to the following persons who kindheartedly extended help

  • Promise Joy De Castro
  • Rose Olarte Orbita
  • Rico Ricamata
  • The pilot in Sangley Point (I will withhold his name upon request)
  • The Headquarters of the Philippine Navy
  • Philippine Air Force (National) and Region V
  • My top 1, Daniel Alfanoso III (Dr. Lalaine’s hubby)
  • the people who fervently pray and encourage
As of this morning, the patient’s airlift transfer was suspended due to her worsened situation. She’s more critical and the doctors advised her to stay.
She will undergo CT Angiogram today.
Kindly keep her and her medical support group in your prayers. I initiated to blog this in support of Ma’am Gladdens. I may not fully understand how horrible her condition is, and how her family and friends are going through, but I empathize because I’d been in a similar situation before. May this inspire the family more. Kindly hold on to your faith. Jesus is ever near. Remember,  someone praying for you!
Nothing amazes me more than seeing a miracle happen. A miracle is simply an affirmation of God’s faithfulness!
Blog post about my sister Leah

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Dr. Lalaine Alfanoso. Videos credit to You Tube, Hope Channel, and Eliezer Vida (Miracles). This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Trending for Tacloban Kids


In my first two blog posts, amBAG: Dare to Make a Difference and An Encounter with a Bayaning Pilipino, I wrote about the AmBAG Campaign, the story behind BAG943, and how Doc Anton of YBH became a partner with Josh Mahinay. You would know also how and why I’ve got involved in this great cause (click the titles to read the posts, better to read them first to better understand this entry).

Friendly Challenge is more of fun and a call to generosity.  #teamJosh + #teamDocAnton = #teamJesus For they are His volunteers, seeing Jesus in every child with an eye of faith.

Friendly Challenge is more of fun and a call to generosity.
#teamJosh + #teamDocAnton = #teamJesus
For they are His volunteers, seeing Jesus in every child with an eye of faith.

Friendly Challenge Accepted

Doc Anton Mari Lim (mentor & partner in advocacy) challenged Josh Mahinay (founder BAG943 and prime mover of AmBAG Campaign) to a race to 100 sales for one month. Josh’s team is aiming for 943 bags for #amBAG’s first bag drive in Tacloban on March 15th. He accepted the challenge after a short silence. He said that the true winners of this challenge are the Tacloban kids.

“As the founder of BAG943, I obviously can’t say no to the challenge. Second, it is really challenging to be challenged to sell your own product. Doc Anton, you are a great friend. But I’ll take this win home. Good luck to both of us!”

Josh emphasized that it was a fun challenge and yet a very challenging one. “The Tacloban kids are the true winners of this challenge”, he uttered.

“Whoever will cross the finish line first…IT’S THE SCHOOL KIDS who will win!!! Thanks!” was Doc Anton’s response when I teased him that I believe Josh could bag the laurel of the friendly challenge.

Catching Up with the Babao Couple

Here’s a blurb from Josh himself, doing his best to catch up with the fast-paced Doc Anton. Aside from many friends and connections, the latter was able to advance. As of the moment (upon posting), the number of sales is 25 -38, in favor of Doc Anton (he’s always leading since 🙂 ).

As of today, 3.7.14 (updated) Latest count:

#teamDocAnton = 63
#teamJosh =25

“TeamDocAnton or a TeamJosh? Does not really matter Basta mag-AMBAGAN TAYO for TEAM YOLANDA KIDS!!!” ~Doc Anton’s recent response.

A FRIENDLY CHALLENGE-turned-into friends, families, public figures and celebrities coming together to support either #teamJosh Josh Mahinay or #teamDocAnton Anton Mari H. Lim to win the 100-sales challenge before March 15, 2014 #amBAG bag drive in Samar.

In the end, it is going to be the Yolanda affected school children who will be real winners.

Follow this thread and pick a team to support :

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152571999708776&set=a.10150414843208776.465182.524173775&type=1&theater&notif_t=like

Behind the scenes, different strategies were made to rally more supporters for  amBAG . Surprisingly, Josh Mahinay was able to get connected with the celebrity couple who showed great support by promoting this advocacy, not just merely purchasing bags.

“BAG943’s first celebrity supporters. The admirable couple, top tv hosts/journalists in the country, kind & generous people, Ms. Christine Babao and Sir Julius Babao. Thank you so much to both of you!

Di lang ako nagpahalata, but na starstruck ako sa kanila coz i never thought that I’ll get to meet them. Beautiful people inside and out. 
So humbling to sit down with them and talk about poverty and children.” ~Josh Mahinay

This is just the beginning Josh! God has a reason for making us meet. ~ Babao Couple

This is just the beginning Josh! God has a reason for making us meet. ~ Babao Couple

Josh Mahinay , You are a blessing to so many. We will support you all the way! ~ Christine Babao

Josh Mahinay , You are a blessing to so many. We will support you all the way! ~ Christine Babao

There have been a lot of other supporters since this friendly challenge started.

CBS and CCTV Correspondent Barnaby Lo with youngest #teamDocAnton supporter Danielle Savannah Lo!

CBS and CCTV Correspondent Barnaby Lo with youngest #teamDocAnton supporter Danielle Savannah Lo!

Cheery Mae Lim

A BAG943 receiver turned GIVER Eileen Tan from the USA – one of the many supporter of TeamDocAnton #amBAG challenge

Thank you Tzu Chi volunteer Jessica RUILAN for supporting #teamDocAnton with your purchase.

Thank you Tzu Chi volunteer Jessica RUILAN for supporting #teamDocAnton with your purchase.

Maria Ressa

Blogger Raisa Robles the Great is a #teamDocAnton supporter

Thank you Apple Pia Peji for purchasing 2 bags from #teamDocAnton!

Thank you Apple Pia Peji for purchasing 2 bags from #teamDocAnton!

Tita EMILY ABRERA got 3 bags for #teamDocAnton!

Tita EMILY ABRERA got 3 bags from #teamDocAnton!

#teamDocAnton welcomes the great ace photographer a John Chua to the team!

#teamDocAnton welcomes the great ace photographer a John Chua to the team!

Thank you a HOPE PADDLER Edessa Santos for supporting #teamDocAnton RACE TO 100. See you at the finish line!

Thank you a HOPE PADDLER Edessa Santos for supporting #teamDocAnton RACE TO 100. See you at the finish line!

Ann Nicole Louise Ang, uma-ambag para sa kanyang henerasyon! BAG943 #amBAG campaign

Ann Nicole Louise Ang, uma-ambag para sa kanyang henerasyon!
BAG943 #amBAG campaign

Dr. Ronald Go uma -ambag para sa Bayan! BAG943 #amBAG campaign.

Dr. Ronald Go uma -ambag para sa Bayan!
BAG943 #amBAG campaign.

Thank you Dexter Tsang! AMBAGan Na!!!

Thank you Dexter Tsang! AMBAGan Na!!!

Be a Giver supporter in Canada, Jacob Ong.

Be a Giver supporter in Canada, Jacob Ong.

The god daughter of Doc Anton Lim Jacqui Ong is now officially a GIVER! All the way from Canada. #teamDocAnton

The god daughter of Doc Anton Lim Jacqui Ong is now officially a GIVER! All the way from
Canada. #teamDocAnton

CJ Tan, the youngest from #teamJosh. His t-shirt said it well, STOP EVIL, do GOOD. Mag #amBAG tayo! Thanks mommy Apple J Ay for purchasing a bag for CJ :)

CJ Tan, the youngest from #teamJosh. His t-shirt said it well, STOP EVIL, do GOOD. Mag #amBAG tayo!
Thanks mommy Apple J Ay for purchasing a bag for CJ 🙂

Another young from #teamDocAnton DIWA! Teaching them the culture of generosity at a very young age! Thank Diwa Diwata Dianne! Thank you God Bless you! May you grow up like your mom! :)

Another young from #teamDocAnton DIWA! Teaching them the culture of generosity at a very young age! Thank Diwa Diwata Dianne! Thank you God Bless you! May you grow up like your mom! 🙂

Thank you Uncle Elson Monterola for helping #Ambag and #TeamDocAnton RACE TO 100! God bless you and your family!

Thank you Uncle Elson Monterola for helping #Ambag and #TeamDocAnton RACE TO 100! God bless you and your family!

Thank you Lester Uy Ong, you are a true GIVER in every sense of the word! Proud yo have you on #amBAG TeamDocAnton!

Thank you Lester Uy Ong, you are a true GIVER in every sense of the word! Proud yo have you on #amBAG TeamDocAnton!

If the thread of this friendly challenge has gone viral, make it even more! This deserves to be spread.  For generosity is a seed! It could be cultured, it could be cultivated. You just need to start planting and cultivating!

The crisis in central visayas is not yet over. With survivor kids living with whatever typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) left them, let's let them know that it is okay to dream again.

The crisis in central visayas is not yet over. With survivor kids living with whatever typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) left them, let’s let them know that it is okay to dream again.

Ambag is a Filipino word, which means contribution. In reference to this particular campaign, ambag is also short for ‘ang bag.’ Putting it in perspective, we ask the question, ano amBAG mo?, which means, what is your contribution to the rehabilitation effort in Yolanda ravaged areas?” –http://bag943.com/ambag/

I’ve got my own BAG943. It’s red, and it means compassion for the impoverished kids. 🙂 I’ve been so grateful and gleeful to take part!

An ordinary bookworm and wordsmith with an extraordinary Author & Finisher of Faith. :)

An ordinary bookworm and wordsmith with an extraordinary Author & Finisher of Faith. 🙂

The Babao couple and other generous and supportive people chose BAG943 for a great cause.

BAG943 #amBAG namin!

Ano #amBAG mo? 🙂

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Josh Mahinay and Dr. Anton Mari Lim. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Exciting Event, Friendship, Ministry, Object Lessons

UNSCRIPTED


Every sunset promises a sunrise of hope.

Dusk’s ambiance might be a bit depressing, but after midnight’s darkness is a splendid dawn!

How God transforms a life of a person constantly astonishes me. It’s just unfathomable! I’ve likened it to dusk until the deep darkness of midnight which beckons a glorious dawn.

I’ve also associated that to the mysterious metamorphosis. I may not fully understand how a butterfly would freely flutter its fragile wings out a dark cocoon after an alteration of a caterpillar into another winged creature, but I can just gaze it with amazement.

Nature truly testifies to our Creator’s unchanging love that can change! The growth and development of each creature is unscripted.

When life's at its ebb, the Sun of Righteousness is there to brighten and to bring beaming back.

When life’s at its ebb, the Sun of Righteousness is there to brighten and to bring beaming back.
Photo Credit: Jed Donaire

Behind the Scenes: When God Directs

It was never an accident for Bro. Cesar Montano to be among more than 20 thousand people (police’s crowd estimate) who converged at Liwasang Bonifacio on February 22, 2014 for Hope Manila 2014: iCare, a praise and thanksgiving fellowship. I deemed it was long planned by the Scriptwriter and Director of his life, before he was invited to take part in “Love in Action” victory celebration for free (it’s a protocol to pay for an actor’s appearance, but he never asked for it). It was a divine appointment, and we’re grateful for Bro. Jerry Sevilla who introduced him before his rendition.

Brethren welcomes Bro. Buboy

Brethren welcomes Bro. Buboy. He came to praise God and not to be praised.

Gracing the event, the world-renowned actor, director, scriptwriter, producer, singer and composer offered heartwarming songs. He sang with all his heart under the scorching sun. I felt the solemn presence amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. He sang “How Great is our God”, “Sa Awit Kong Ito”, his noteworthy composition of gratitude and God’s transforming grace, and another composition about love for our country (I forgot the title).

heartfelt gratitude of praise

heartfelt gratitude of praise (Photo by Jed Donaire)

Giving back the glory to the Master Musician

Giving back the glory to the Master Musician

gleeful and full of gaiety

gleeful and full of gaiety

Sa awit kong ito idaraan ang pagpupuri na walang hanggan!

Sa awit kong ito idaraan ang pagpupuri na walang hanggan!

He seemed not to be the famous person thousands are idolizing. With humility, he emphasized that he is nothing before God. He’s there not just as the typical Cesar Montano, but as a child of the Author and Finisher of his faith. He testified of how he grew up in a Seventh-day Adventist community. He related his childhood memories in Sta. Ana SDA church, the pioneer SDA church in the Philippines. He acknowledged God’s goodness, that despite the times he chose his own path and has gone far from Him, He never left him; He even came closer and rescued him.

Bro. “Buboy” was overflowing with gratefulness having a very devoted mother, Sis Erma Manghilot for her inspiring influence. She would always encourage her children to have family worship, that even though he’s still sleepy for a morning devotional, he would sing along: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saves a wretched like me…” (He sang the stanza with the crowd).

Bro. Buboy singing at Love in Action Victory Celebration, Feb.22, 2014, Liwasang Bonifacio, Lawton, Manila

 “Sa Awit Kong Ito”: A Privilege of Praise

Listening intently to Bro. Buboy’s first composition, I was moved and inspired by the lyrics and harmony. It’s an offering of a contrite heart, as he bore witness of God’s matchless love and mercy. He’s more than grateful to God for being patient with him, for his guidance and grace that led him on track. A week after, a family friend, Errand Ong shared a music video of the song interpreted at UNTV ASOP Music Festival.

Three years ago, Bro. Cesar started composing the song after praying so hard to God to use Him for His purpose. “Before God I am nothing, I am here not for competition…I just need to share it, motivated by the Holy Spirit”, he uttered in an interview (ASOP Music Festival). The song was interpreted by Mcoy Fundales (lead singer of KENYO, and of Orange and Lemon). Mcoy shared his experience how he prepared and the reaction of his mom, “I was practicing it with a guitar last night, nagulat ako matapos magpractice, yung nanay ko, nakikinig. Pagkatapos, lumapit at maluha-luha sinabi, ‘Anak, nagbago ka na nga!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Bro. Cesar continued: “Isa pong karangalan ang makapiling po kayo lahat…It is my honor to praise God! Sinong ayaw sumama magpuri sa ating Panginoon? I am nothing, I’m nobody before God. Lahat ay pahiram lang ng Panginoon. It is a song of God, every word came from God. Wala akong maipagmamalaki. ” He also mentioned that his kids, especially Cheska (the youngest) used to sing this song during their Bible studies at home. They’re the first judges and interpreters of his compositions.

“Sa Awit Kong Ito”

Nandito ako nagpupuri sa’Yo oh Panginoon

Sa’Yong kabutihan at katapatan na walang katulad

 

Kalungkutan na dati ‘di maalis

Sa puso kong lagging mapagnais

Ngayong natagpuan ang pag-ibig Mo

Salamat buhay ko’y binago Mo.

 

Purihin, purihin ka Panginoon!

 

Koro

Pinagkakaloob ko sa’Yo aking Ama

Buong buhay ko puso’t kaluluwa

Sa awit kong ito dinaraan

Ang pagpupuri na walang hanggan.

 

Kalungkutan na dati ‘di maalis

Sa puso kong lagging mapagnais

Ngayon natagpuan ang pag-ibig Mo

Salamat buhay ko’y binago Mo.

 

Purihin, purihin ka Panginoon!

Reading the citation of the plaque of recognition/appreciation for Hon. 'Pangulong' Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, one of the guests of honor for Hope Metro Manila 2014: iCare, "Love in Action" victory celebration of the Central Luzon Conference. Photo Credit: Rudolph Albert Eser Masinas

Reading the citation of the plaque of recognition/appreciation for Hon. ‘Pangulong’ Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, one of the guests of honor for Hope Metro Manila 2014: iCare, “Love in Action” victory celebration of the Central Luzon Conference.
Photo Credit: Rudolph Albert Eser Masinas

It's about God's providential workings how   I was able to host. I was sick on Friday night, the Lord sustained my health. He also provided Anthony Esguerra as a co-host, in a short notice.

It’s about God’s providential workings how I was able to host. I was sick on Friday night, the Lord sustained my health. He also provided Anthony Esguerra as a co-host, in a short notice. (Photo by Jed Donaire)

Sunshiny Sunset

After his rendition, I was prompted to hand him the tissue. As a host of the event, I didn’t hesitate to come up on stage, gave him tissue to wipe his beads of sweat. He was beaming and his exceptional humor made the congregation applaud with laughter.

“Andito pala si Sunshine! …Joke lang, si SUNSET pala! Salamat Sunset! Sunset, kasi magsusunset na”, Bro. Cesar teasingly said. It was a mixed euphoria of delight and surprise on my part. (Like any normal woman, I’ve got KILIGayahan haha! I’ve been a fan of this gifted and transformed actor/director since I was a child).

I’ve been grateful for the new nickname he’s given. After the event, many people, friends and acquaintances used to call me “Sunset”. I preferred sunshiny ‘Sunset’. I would never forget that event, not only because of this, but for the transforming experience in that event.

A living legacy of God's unchanging love.

A living legacy of God’s unchanging love. (Photo by Hope Channel Philippines)

Bro. Cesar Montano is a legacy of God’s faithfulness. His heartfelt musical renditions and his participation in the victory celebration were well appreciated by everyone who saw and took part in the Hope Manila 2014: iCare fellowship. Sealing his musical testimony, Pastor Nepthali Manez, President of the North Philippine Union Conference, offered a special prayer for Bro. Buboy, his family and ministry.

"Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God." ~Steps to Christ, ch. 11, p. 98

“Unceasing PRAYER is the unbroken union of the soul with God, so that life from God flows into our life; and from our life, purity and holiness flow back to God.” ~Steps to Christ, ch. 11, p. 98

Bowing before God, a prayerful person is uplifted to the throne of grace. :)

Bowing before God, a prayerful person is uplifted to the throne of grace. 🙂 (Photo by Hope Channel Philippines)

Both Bro. Buboy and Pastor Neph Manez are grateful for the privilege of praise & prayer

Both Bro. Buboy and Pastor Neph Manez are grateful for the privilege of praise & prayer. (Photo by Hope Channel Philippines)

“In watchfulness and prayer is the only safety for both young and old. In the battle with inward sin and outward temptation, even the wise and powerful Solomon was vanquished. His failure teaches us that, whatever a man’s intellectual qualities may be, and however faithfully he may have served God in the past, he can never with safety trust in his own wisdom and integrity.”

~Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings p. 82

Superb serenity scene of Manila Bay sunset Photo Credit: Jed Donaire

Superb serenity scene of Manila Bay sunset
Photo Credit: Jed Donaire

Every sunset reminds me of the funny encounter with Bro. Buboy, and every sunrise reminds of how great is our God who is worthy to be praised, worthy to be served. It’s a joy to keep him and his entire family in my prayers, knowing that God has greater plans for their lives. About a decade ago, I used to worship with his younger brother, Rommel Manhilot (real family name) with his wife Cathy, children, and other relatives at Quezon City. Those times are also memorable and meaningful.

I look forward to having more worship with these loving brethren and the rest of those who attended Hope Manila 2014: iCare victory celebration. Until the new Heaven and new Earth comes, where sunset and sunrise won’t be experienced anymore; for the Sun of Righteousness’ glory alone would illuminate forever.

Singing the closing song, 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' with Friends for Life singers, and the Manila City Hall Band gave me goosebumps. It was a foretaste of heavenly praises in the world to come when all God's children gathered home!

Singing the closing song, ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ with Friends for Life singers, and the Manila City Hall Band gave me goosebumps. It was a foretaste of heavenly praises in the world to come when all God’s children are gathered home!

Watch the coverage of Hope Channel (this event was covered by ABS-CBN News Network too)

Caravan of Hope “Love in Action” Victory Celebration

More about Cesar Montano & Mcoy Funtales “Sa Awit Kong Ito”

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Jed Donaire, Rudolph Albert Masinas & Hope Channel Philippines. Videos credit: You Tube, UNTV, Hope Channel Philippines. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

This is the 1st part of the series of blog post for the Hope Manila 2014; iCare “Love in Action” Victory Celebration. Keep posted!

 

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Filed under Exciting Event, Life story, Ministry, Object Lessons

Compassion and Courage


too cute and cuddly :) I wish I could just bring him home

Too cute and cuddly 🙂 I wish I could just bring him home. We’re sandwiched by Janath  Dananjana and Roanne Stanyer

This lil’ boy is so cuddly & cute despite the blemishes, dirty & quite stinky clothes. We saw him roaming around the small part of Luneta Park while we’re having an outreach, “Festival of Love”.

My heart skipped a beat upon seeing him. We gave him a heart with mini bear stuff which made him overjoyed! We pity him ‘coz he’s not well taken care of. His tiny feet were covered with hardened dust. He doesn’t have a pair of slippers. I wanted to give him a bath & new clothes, cuddle & tell him stories.

We wondered why he’s there. Thought he might be an orphan, but he isn’t. We found his sibling, he’s also clad in dirty clothing and with a lot of dust & dirt all over his body. Seeing them rekindled that fire of my dream — one day, I could build an orphanage-school for impoverished kids like them.

for the L ve of Christ constrains me, I CAN'T SAY NO TO HIM!

For the love of Christ constrains me,
I CAN’T SAY NO TO HIM!

Courageous Compassion

It wasn’t part of my plan, but I was persuaded by that longing to share God’s love. So I joined the One Year in Mission team with their outreach activities.

We went to Manila Adventist Medical Center at past 1:00 PM. Serenading and praying for the sick were a dose of healing to me as well. Seeing the sick people smiling even for awhile, brought indescribable joy. Instead of focusing to what would make me happy that day, it helped me be selfless, although I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.

An exceptional date with God, spent in spreading platonic love among His people.

An exceptional date with God, spent in spreading platonic love among His people.

Then we went to Luneta Park at almost 4:00 PM for the other activities. Free hugs (captured by TV5), free serenade (my first time to sing to stranger couples in a crowd: Panalangin, Kahit Maputi na ang Buhok, I Promise) with Channell, Vian (guitar) & new found friends Patrick & Joemer (beat box & guitar). We gave love cards & heart stuff & greeted people. Make new friends, pray for the couples. OYiM team gave food to street kids & people on the way home.  ‘Twas an extraordinary day overflowing with joy & love!

Instead of a serenade booth, we roamed around to look for couples. Singing our hearts out, serenading a couple :D

Instead of a serenade booth, we roamed around to look for couples.
Singing our hearts out loud, serenading a couple 😀

This man, beaming with joy held his head while we're singing "Kahit Maupti na Ang Buhok Ko". Before the song fades, he was given a token to give to his lover.

This man, beaming with joy held his head while we’re singing “Kahit Maupti na Ang Buhok Ko”. Before the song fades, he was given a token to give to his lover.

On lookers enjoy watching the serenading and giving of flowers to lovers in Luneta Park.

On lookers enjoy watching the serenading and giving of flowers to lovers.

Sealing the serenade with prayer for the couple.

Sealing the serenade with prayer for the couple.

Anthony Stanyer, the Lead Coordinator at One Year In Mission SSD, and SSD Representative at One Year in Mission, New York, shared the warmth of compassion.

Anthony Stanyer, the Lead Coordinator at One Year In Mission SSD, and SSD Representative at One Year in Mission, New York, shared the warmth of compassion.

free and unconditional love: freely received, freely given

free and unconditional love: freely received, freely given

love begets love a note given by one of the recipients of compassion :)

love begets love
a note given by one of the recipients of compassion 🙂

I was tired and exhausted at the end of the day, but invigorated in a special way.

I was tired and exhausted at the end of the day, but invigorated in a special way.

Making a Difference in Places Filled with Indifference

OYiM Task Force

OYiM Task Force

One Year In Mission SSD Task Force is ready to serve Jesus Christ! OYIM-SSD is lead by Anthony Stanyer and directed by Pastor Jobbie Yabut and Gilbert Cangy. One Year in Mission Phase Two runs from December 2, 2013 to May 17, 2014 as a youth initiative to run side by side with the Mission to the Cities event in Manila called Hope Manila 14 (iCARE14) to share the Hope of Jesus Christ to the City of Manila.
Here are the 13 representatives of Southern Asia-Pacific Division’s One Year in Mission (OYiM Phase 2):
Keiko Le_SAUM (Vietnam)
Alvianus Saleppang_EIUM (East Indonesia)
Lokash Ridoy Gabil_BAUM (Bangladesh)
Mariano da Cruz_TLA (Timor-Leste)
Zaw Min Htike_MYUM (Myanmar)
Kham Phouliphan_SAUM (Laos)
Sophal Sen_SAUM (Cambodia)
Deonnel Peren_SPUC (Southern Philippines)
Junianson Siagian_WIUC (West Indonesia)
John Michael Docot_NPUC (Northern Philippines)
Ephraim ArriesgadoCPUC (Central Philippines)
Atif Arif PKUM (Pakistan)
Janath Dananjana_SLM (Sri Lanka)
OYiM-SSD is harmonizing through 13 people in 3 teams. Learn more about each team and their projects at www.oyimssd.org/projects

OYiM-SSD is harmonizing through 13 people in 3 teams.

It takes a lot of courage and faith to step out of your comfort zone and go to places that are unfamiliar and dangerous. And yet, if Christ’s compassion constrains you to do whatever possible ways to help humankind, you can make a big difference.

And the love you spread will grow bountifully and yield a harvest unexpectedly. In God’s time.

Learn more about each team and their projects at http://www.oyimssd.org/

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Aiz Barcelo and OYiM Documentation Team. This blog has a copyright . The photos and article should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Exciting Event, Friendship, Love, Ministry