A New Way of Looking at Life after Every Nation World Conference 2016
As some of you might not know, I majored in Sociology earning a degree in Social Planning and development. It has always interested me to study and observe culture – whether it is a culture of a nation or a culture of an organization like the church.
One of my year’s highlight was our trip to Capetown South Africa for the Every Nation World Conference 2016. There were 58 nations represented in the conference, and everywhere you go – you see people from every tribe, language, and nation. It was a little glimpse of how heaven would look. The experience of going to the world conference has dramatically changed how I see life, how I will now lead and build my family and the church that God has entrusted me.
South African Anglican Minister Desmond Tutu coined a term that would perfectly fit the lesson I learned in the conference – UBUNTU. It means people – and it represents a theology of community that is expressed in this sentence, “WE ARE. Therefore I AM.”
Whether it is raising my kids, leading the church, developing a friendship, doing strategic planning – we have to understand that a lot of who we are, is because of the community. Who I am today – as a child of God and as a Filipino-Chinese was shaped by my exposure in the business sector where my dad exposed us. When our parents decided to bring us to church – it exposed us to a Christ-centered loving community that also shaped how we now live. Victory – my home church, is the place where my vision was enlarged on a global platform. The men who disciplined me since I was twelve, made me the man, husband, father I am today. You can’t take the influence of community out of me.
When I saw on stage a multi-ethnic worship team, a multi-ethnic roster of speakers -both young and old, and I scan through the crowd of my fellow brother and sister in the faith of different colors – I knew that what we are doing here in Manila, or what our missionary is doing somewhere in Europe, or what the church planter is doing in a restricted nation is somewhat connected. And the effect of this connection would not stop for me – but would profoundly affect how my kids would grow up, the friendships they would develop and the leadership platform that we are going to prepare for them.
I would also like to honor the leaders of our movement for working through the differences, knowing what battles to fight and keeping everybody on one page. It requires hard work, dedication and the love for the community.
We (that includes me) have to let go of our individualistic tendencies and live out the #bettertogether principle that we hear often preached. Building deeper friendship, dreaming big together, changing the world together is made possible.
I am excited for the days ahead. The best is yet to come when we live and do life together!