CFC OCEANIA CONVENED ARMOR OF GOD WEEKEND Legend Villas, Manila, Phil., June 17-18-19, 2011
(by Josie Pangilinan)
The wait for the arrival of the turn-around PAL aircraft to Sydney signalled the end of our 11-day trip to Manila. But the excitement of it will linger for awhile, I think. It was nearly a year of anticipation for what seemed ambitious – to encourage to have a big delegation to Manila for its pearl anniversary and to dovetail the Oceania conference (OC) to this big event. But as early as January, airline and hotel bookings were made. As the days got closer, discouraging natural events like the airborne Chilean volcanic ashes reached the southern skies and flights were being cancelled in the some border cities. Then tropical storm was also gathering strength. Nevertheless, the would-be army was undeterred. The nearly 100 of us gathered at the gardened Legend Villas. Some travelled as a family (like the 10-strong Osorio family) and as a household. Delegates came from Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australian cities of Darwin, Perth, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney. This unprecedented week-end was teeming with inspiration from all ends – from local service team as well as from participants. We were all soldiers of God in an army hoping to be in full gear to wear the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, helmet of salvation, footwear of peace, shield of faith, sword of spirit. To relate to the Ephesians to be a true army for the Lord was the echoing message. Serving as a family – Hector and Emma Caguin were joined at the registration table by Alison and Joseph who came from Seychelles missions. And how heroic to see the usual wheeling in of wounded soldier Paul Schembri - broken in the physical battlefield yet ready to be in full armour. He came with wife Alida and daughter Christina (ANCOP Young ambassador 2010). We came to thank God, to rekindle the vision and mission of our personal commitment. And we were in for a treat and enjoyed the many luxuries not typical of our past OC’s: Our in-house band of musicionaries 29AD Ever reliable, energetic and experienced local events team headed by our country coordinators, Lito
and Linda Tayag with Bong and Jenny Bernardo, Oceania regional coordinators Hotel courtiers, buffet breakfasts Sumptuous banquet of food, sit down meals a la wedding feast, waiters about Fellowship with brothers and sisters in the International Council and visiting pastors and brethren from around the world Ceremonial wearing of dog tags Seeing and hearing Vilma Santos in the midst of our ANCOP scholars Hearing Christopher West’s Freedom to Love and Theology of the Body talks Witnessing and being part of the CFC 30 th anniversary and parade in colors How awesome! Truly pearls of great prize!!!
See you in Sydney for OC ’12.