It was only Thursday last week. I was walking to and fro inside my room, checking in my mental list the things I need to prepare for the awaited Second Quarter International Thanksgiving of the Members Church of God International. Hours have passed, I found myself amidst a queue at a van terminal heading towards Apalit, Pampanga— a place that has continually witnessed how every quarter, thousands would congregate to celebrate that very special occasion.
As I stepped out of the van after a peaceful one-hour ride, the evening breeze accompanied me until I reached the grounds of ADD Convention Center. Seeing my brothers and sisters in faith all set for the next days’ gathering, I cannot help but be exceedingly thankful. I am grateful that they are still there and I am still with them. We are still, under God’s grace, part of the fold who learned through the leadership of Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro.Daniel Razon that it is an obligation to give thanks.
Even before the Friday sun has risen here in the east, the brethren has already started to settle, and the eagerness to witness the commencement of the awaited festivity has filled the atmosphere. Opening the three-day revelry was a congregational singing and a prayer. As soon as the voice of the Bro. Eli was heard, cheers and applause roared from the crowd. I told myself, this is going to be an experience beyond compare.
Photo courtesy of MCGI.org
From learning the deeper meanings of previously taught biblical truths to the unfolding of new wisdom, we, the congregants were surely guaranteed of delicious sets of spiritual dishes meant to edify our faith. And each time the overwhelming sensation brought by understanding a topic heightened, a thrilling drum roll will serve as our cue— we will stand up and rejoice. It is just right to offer songs and dances of praises to translate the gratitude we have in our hearts.
The glow in our smiles and joyous tears, and the twinkle in our eyes were not bound to wane. As more praise songs and dances were presented, they all the more brightened. As the portion where the story of how our faith has started in the humble Philippine islands and how it reached the foreign shores was narrated, they all the more lightened. Until the last minute of Sunday near-the-midnight hour, they remained.
I admit my words cannot capture all the pictures of that memorable celebration. But I do hope that with this small piece of writing, I was able to share even the thinnest slice of it.
Now, a week has swiftly passed and it is Thursday once again. God willing, eleven more Thursdays and I will be waking up once more to that Fridaywhich will mark the start of another three-day International Thanksgiving. Until then, I fervently wish of everyone’s wellbeing. May God bless us all!