Memoirs of a Five-Year Old
On the Occasion of Lingkod QC's Fourth Anniversary
I met a wise old priest who taught us to treasure our memories as they are the scenes we remember because they are the ones that made the most impact in our hearts. Some of my memories might not have significance on the currentstate of the nation, but they have made my heart smile and have surfaced this month on the occasion of our branch anniversary.
I have been around Lingkod QC for five years now, even though during thatfirst year we didn't call ourselves Lingkod yet. I was by invited by Alett,my former AGL, to join a group of fellow UP Christ's Youth In Action (CYA) alumni who loved to come together to pray. It was an answered prayeractually, as being a bar reviewee, I couldn't find the time to attend prayer meetings in the existing Lingkod branches at that time, yet I had a yearning deep within me for God's love in a way I knew could only be experienced through a community.
The leaders in our campus community were the same ones who spearheaded thissmall group so I felt right at home. We sang songs, prayed aloud, and sharedburdens. It was my little piece of heaven every Friday. We celebratedbirthdays and promotions like a family. We prayed over those who wereassigned abroad (we prayed over Rocky a lot then!). We spent Fridayfellowships at Dimsum n' Dumplings for their buy-one-take-one promo and fortheir extensive choices for Lenten fare. We listened to Bobby and Rocky as they led the weekly prayer meetings and hosted the evening entertainmentthrough their alter egos, Kuya Butch and Tito Boy. We had sisters Jeng, Jeni and Ria who played in the music min and a one-woman secretariat in Mirac. We learned from personal testimonies of God's goodness to Tere, Gakky, Jun M.,Pom, and other brothers and sisters. Rommel, Tess and Liz became MusicMinisters One, Two and Three. These people taught me much of what I know nowabout building community.
Back when driving was just a dream for me, brothers Hanzel and JunMangalindan alternated in bringing me and the other sisters home. The community's unconditional love helped me survive bar failure and its consequences. At the close of 1999, Bobby led us into a period ofdiscernment about God's plans. If it were up to us, we would probably have enjoyed the familiar and the comfortable, flip-flopping as friends and lovers of prayer. God's call to become Lingkod QC became clear after a talk with Francis at McDonald's, and we tried to find out what this creature called Lingkod was.
We held our first Crossroads and CLP. We took the Way of Life talkstogether, learning the culture of Lingkod from leaders of other branches. Wehad our first Commitment Night at Sterten Rooftop. We sent three delegatesto the NLTC in 2000. We found our identity by reaching out to men and womenwho graduated from different universities and who worked in various officeswithin Metro Manila.
I remember being asked on the spot to be a DGL, and lo and behold the sisterI prayed over lost her father in a few weeks' time. That was Yves, and Iwitnessed through her the support of community through the worst kind of pain.
We noticed how talent seemed to grow on trees, with the likes of Sunday, AlanSilayan, Nik, Karreen, Ria, Mercy, and every QT being able to sing, dance,and/or play a musical instrument. Lingkod QC Exposed! was born, the firsttalents night that saw boy bands and guitar solos mixed with funny skits and sensational dances. There was something vibrant and special in the air andit was infectious! Lingkod QC continued to soar on eagle's wings.
I could detail the past years of our existence and use up your time, but everything boils down to one thing – God's Amazing Grace. Throughfour (or five) years of such seemingly insurmountable challenges in family,career, service and lovelife, we saw God's victorious right hand. We not only survived, we triumphed. Evangelistic activities increased our number. Integration Days and parties brought us closer than ever. Kapit kapatid, wesaid. We saw old members moving forward and new leaders stepping up. We were officially installed as a branch. We could not have done anything had the Lord not been there with us with every step.
The latest testimony of the Lord's faithfulness summarizes it all – the Unity Games, where we as children were made strong in Christ Jesus, and relied onGod for everything. Creativity was squeezed, relationships were tested, and our commitment was challenged yet through it all we saw our Father's love, not just for us but for the entire Lingkod in Luzon.
As the reading for today goes, "What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lordrescued me from all of them." (2 Tim 3:11b)
Happy, happy anniversary, brothers and sisters in Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon-Quezon City. May we all rejoice in Stepping Fourward to the land that God has promised us. See you tonight as we celebrate our First Friday and Anniversary Mass.