By Sarah Bahinting
Dumaguete City – one the country’s beautiful and laid-back city, hosted again the GCI Worship Festival here in the Visayas at Bethel Guest House last October 29 to November 2.
The Spring of Grace worship band opened it with wonderful praise songs and Pastor Angelo Ouano welcomed guests coming from Cebu, Bacolod, Kalibo, Tacloban and Pampanga. Over 160 attendees were there to fellowship and enjoy the five days once a year get together.
There was so much fun as people joined the different activities such as the Worship Night, Singles Pool Party, Couples and Seniors Dinner, Dance Night and the best of all was swimming at the cool water springs at Forest Camp for Family Day. Local pastors were also given time to share on what’s going on in their local churches and updating everyone on their church’s journey.
We were blessed to hear messages from two enthusiastic guest speakers – Pt. Rex Dela Pena and Pt. Audie Santibanez who were there with their families. GCI Philippines Media & Communications Coordinator, Ptr. Len Joson also made a short visit as he shared the mission and vision to the members of the newly-formed Visayas Media & Communications group.
What makes this year’s festival different, were the accidents that happened before, and towards the end, of the festival. On their way to attend the first day of the festival, Talisay church’s Pastor Rannie Suan and his wife, Josie met a motor accident. Pt. Rannie suffered an arm injury while his wife suffered minor bruises. (For a personal story about this, please click here.)
And just a day before the closing of the festival, Engr. Presco Erat’s truck fell at the port of Sibulan when the car's engine suddenly went out of control. With the Mactan pastoral member were his wife, Evie and four children. They had planned to go home early as they had work waiting in Cebu. The whole family was shaken and was in shock, but we praised God that none of them had major injuries.
The two accidents allowed God’s people to express love and generosity. The members who were there gave their time, comfort, clothing items and even finances. It gave more sense to what it means to be in Christ’s family – to BE HIS Church.
Photo credit: Pons Lizares, Ayin Visitacion