Wednesday, January 16, 2019

2019 Will Be Great! Thank You, Jesus For 2018

Happy New Year!

I am full of optimism for 2019! I believe with all my heart that this will be a great year for our family. 2018 was a turning point in our lives that, I know, prepared us for bigger blessings that are coming this year.

Let me honor Jesus for all the good things that He has done for us by listing some of the surprising  highlights that happened last year.

February 2018: We got the results of the ALS Accreditation and Equivalency Test that Theo took in November 2017. He passed and was the Top 1 among all the examinees in Bulacan (Elementary and High School)!

March 7 2018: We attended The Feast Light in our town for the very first time. I learned later on that it was launched only in November 2017.

May 2 2018: Our Feast Light's Music Ministry held its very first practice. Theo played the bass guitar which was given to him by his Tito Polo just a few days before. Theo learned to play the instrument in less than a week! This day also marks the beginning of Theo's service to God, making use of the many talents that God has given him for the glory of His Kingdom.

June 6 2018: I filled in for the Feast Light's keyboardist (not the one in the photo) who was absent that night. God was starting to call me back to service. I was a church organist for about 20 years and served the parish in so many other functions. I stopped serving, I think, in 2003, not to turn away from God. On the contrary, I turned away from too many distractions in the parish and sought God more by being more prayerful and by focusing more on simple blessings that I might have ignored when I was too busy with parish work. In 2005, God answered our 11-year-long prayer to have a child. I focused on taking care of this wonderful gift that God has blessed us with. I knew in my heart that the time would come when I would hear God's call for me to serve Him again. Now that Theo is 13, it's like God is saying, "It's time!"

The original keyboardist did not return anymore. She and her whole family formally bid goodbye to our Feast Light on July 5 2018, citing school and work (for the mom) as their reasons for leaving.

Unknown to our family, there were already conflicts that were happening between our Feast Light (formerly called Feast Video) and the bigger Feast (from another town) that helped form our small group.

The number of attendees started to dwindle. It turned out, most of the ones who were there came from the bigger Feast and some were just students who had already completed their OJT at the restaurant owned by our leader.

The few remaining attendees, including our family, were all at a crossroads if we would still continue doing Feast Light or not. At this point, we were still clueless about existing conflicts. There were too many questions in our minds.

Problems started to come up, one after another, as a result of the conflict.  One example was the laptop that was needed to show the video of the Feast Talk for the night (our sessions were held at 7 to 9 PM) was always either late or unavailable. I found out that the laptop still had to be borrowed from one of the attendees from the bigger Feast.  This was a major problem.

Without being told, I took it upon myself to download the video needed for the next Feast Light session and  made a mental note to bring our old laptop the following week (July 11), just in case the same problem arose again. And it did.

One Bible verse immediately popped up in my mind when this happened: "... As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)  From this point on, I have fully committed myself and my family to give our time, talent and treasure to the Lord, through this small weekly prayer gathering. Little did we know that He had bigger plans for us.

I had since been downloading the weekly video and bringing our old, slow and buggy but still reliable laptop to our Feast Light.

July 18 2018: Papa Bong became the emissary for our Feast Light. No one wanted to take the position and the previous emissaries (a couple who came from the bigger Feast) just resigned.

August 15 2018: Theo replaced me on the keyboards. As weeks passed, I realized I had to do more and more tasks, like preparing the lyrics for the PowerPoint (we now use EasyWorship) that had to be shown on the screen. Learning and practicing the songs that I needed to play on the keyboards already took a lot of my time. I felt I needed help. Casually, I told Theo, perhaps he could try playing the keyboards, instead of the bass guitar. He did, and from what I've heard, I was confident he could do it. At this point, Theo and I were the only instrumentalists left. Now, there was only him.

When a seminar was held at our Feast Light's venue that aimed to encourage more emissaries to build more Feast Lights, our family was not able to attend. I also thought this wasn't for us. But later on, God showed me His bigger plan.

August 20 2018: With the full support of our council, our family opened a Feast Light for Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners at the school where Theo registered for his Accreditation and Equivalency Test. Papa Bong and I presented the plan to the teacher and she welcomed the Feast with open arms. There are about 30 to 40 learners who are now able to listen to God's word through our Feast talk videos.

October 17 2018:  Another Feast Light opened for ALS learners in another school. The teacher here is actually the boss of the other (first) teacher. She requested us to do for her class (about 50 learners),  what we did for the other ALS class.

Now, every week, we attend four Feast Lights: (1) our main Feast Light, (2) the first ALS class, (3) the second ALS class and (4) one that was formed by two (a married couple) of our co-servants who asked for our help to facilitate their Light Groups.

Through the Feast, we have gained new friends. Most of my close friends live in Metro Manila and since we've moved to Bulacan, we very seldom see them.

November 22 2018: We were able to attend the Kerygma Conference for the very first time! The couple who also formed their Feast Light (composed of their employees) sponsored us for the event. They are the perfect example of irrational generosity. Not only did they buy the tickets for the three of us (me, Papa Bong and Theo) but they also gave us a ride to and from SMX Convention Center and provided for our food for four straight days! The wife even gave me one of her scarves because it was too cold at the venue.

We are very grateful, indeed, to this couple for the wonderful KCon experience, but we are more grateful for the priceless gift of friendship and for showing us what successful people are truly made of.

I pray that God will continue to bless them because I know, they are a blessing, not only to our family, but to many other people.


Another turning point during 2018 was that my son had entered his teen years. Theo is now a teenager and has started to have crushes! Oh well, it was expected to happen sooner or later. But still, I got caught by surprise that it was that soon. It even came to a point when he and his "crush" put "in a relationship" as their status on Facebook! They removed it after a few days because the girl said there were people who said bad things about her because of it. They have, since, laid low and labelled their "relationship" as a "mutual understanding."

Witnessing this young love story right in front of me, it was like reading a romance novel that could make me fall in love, root for the main character (who happens to be my son), get hurt and disappointed when conflicts arise yet, secretly hope that the story does not make so much progress YET in the succeeding pages and the characters take their sweet time to grow some more.

Financial Blessings

With our sudden change of lifestyle, from mostly staying at home to having quite a hectic schedule, a big percentage of which now goes to Feast activities, it is a miracle how we have managed to survive financially. 

Our main source of income for the past four years comes from one of my online endeavors. It is amazing how it has become like a passive income. It continuously earns even if I do not really produce as much as I should.

Papa Bong's delayed real estate commissions, that he had worked for several months ago, some even years ago, are usually released just at the right time. That is, they come out just when we are running out of funds.

Whenever I am faced with the dilemma of whether to serve at the Feast Light or to work, this verse has always been my guide:

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."  - Matthew 6:33
Truly, God has never failed us. He takes good care of us and provides for everything that we need.

Thank You, Lord for all the lessons, experiences, new friends, blessings and turning points of 2018. But most of all, thank You, Lord for the privilege to serve You again.

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About the Author

Our Family | mamagoals.comJust call me MamaFel. I'm from the Philippines and I'm a work-at-home mom, homeschooling my 15-year-old son. I've been married to a faithful husband for 26 years now. This is my story.