The 3rd World Conference on Youth and Community Service (WCYCS) has officially started.
It doesn't matter how it started... but this day truly marks the beginning of the REAL Impact South Africa...
The day started very early but one could feel that things would be done very differently today.
Got to the UP cafeteria at 6:10am... had to line up... got food only to be told that we had to leave in 5 min...
Got to St Georges.... hang out at the lounge coz it was too early for sound check... met Annie Lust... discovered that Nicola and Marcel Weiland was a common friend with Simone Thiel (our flutist from Germany)...
Sang for the morning devotional... then went to breakfast with Arnolds Arins where we met Auntie Cherry Negre...she was very nice to take us to Pick n Pay when we told her we needed to buy some stuff...
Manned the AIIAS booth that morning... had rehearals at 12:30-2:00pm... attended 2 sessions that afternoon... then headed back to the Marble Arch (main auditorium) for sound check.
That night... I felt and saw the Spirit of the Lord move through the auditorium of more than a thousand youth leaders... and the sight brought me to tears... and I praise You Lord for allowing me to be able to personally witness it.
Allelujah! Allelujah! For the Lord God Almighty rains...Holy.... Holy.... are You, Lord God Almighty... Worthy is the Lamb... Amen.
David Assherick reminded us tonight that " Love is NOT what you can GET... but what you can GIVE". And THAT should be the CONSTANT on the TABLE of TRUTH.
Am back at UP... and I can still hear some people singing "Worthy is the Lamb" here in the dorm.
Lord, let this spirit permeate through the next couple of days... and Impact a generation that will finish the work You have commissioned them to do.
WATCH IMPACT SA LIVE AT
Every night from Monday, July 8 at 7-9 pm, Tuesday to Sabbath evening 7:30-9:00 pm (South African time), live from the St. George Hotel. Pass the information on to your family, friends, and networks.
Philippine Time: 1:00-3:00am
Day 8 (Sunday)
Was finally able to meet and rehearse with the Praise and Worship team from 10am to 5pm.
Those members of the musicians who were staying in University of Pretoria were all loaded into a bus at around 7:30pm and transported to UP to get registered and get some rest.
Of the 6 vocalists, only me and Arnold were staying in UP, and when we found out that we were supposed to drag our luggage to the next block where our dorm was, I'm sooooo thankful that Arnold helped me with my luggage (grabe, hingal to the max).
I got a single room in the 10th floor of a dorm and I'm relieved that tomorrow we're getting picked up at 10am (6:30am will be our pick-up everyday starting Tuesday). I can sleep in and rest, hopefully taking away the remnants of the cold and cough that has refused to go away all of last week.
Rehearsals all of tomorrow and Grand Opening Ceremony on Monday night.
Some members of the praise and worship team
Porshe - leader
Hsalisha - soprano
Estelle - alto
Aimee - alto
Hans - tenor
Arnold - tenor / bass
Nikki - piano and music arranger
Albert - keyboard
Tochi - guitar
Day 5 (Thursday)
The day was pretty short.
The children of Nokuphila were celebrating their country's Freedom Day by organizing a concert, and our group presented some songs and a dance (by Ate Bongga) from the Philippines. We were brought back home at around 4pm.
Me and Ate Bongga got the idea to walk to Checkers (aka supermarket) and somehow took the LOONG way (took a wrong turn somewhere). We reached our destination and I bought 2 bottles of Nandos Extra Extra Hot Sauce to take home (for the brothers) and Ate Bongga bought some detergent to do her laundry. We walked back using the shorter route.
On Friday, we were brought to Bruma Lake to buy some authentic South African products (the stuff that I saw reminded me of the souvenir stalls in Baguio). I didnt want to buy anything so i decided to hang out at McDonalds (and see if they had some Happy Meal Minions available, unfortunately they had none) while waiting for the others to finish. We got back home at around 4:30pm.
The past couple of nights, the families hosting 6 of us would serve dinner. And that night it was our turn. So when we got home we helped clean the house while Auntie Gift, her sister, and her bestfriend, cooked in the kitchen. People began arriving at around 7:30pm and by 9:30pm, we were cleaning up. It was my last night in Auntie Gift's house.
Saturday (All Access Pass to South Africa)
The Lord is so good.
Last November, 2012, Pastor Jobbie Yabut asked me if I was going to South Africa and if I was, did I want to be part of the praise team that was being formed for the World Youth Conference. I gave an ecstatic "YES" to both questions. Since then, I had been in contact with the music coordinators for the whole event and we had been informed to be in St Georges by July 6 (Saturday) afternoon.
That Sabbath morning, I asked Auntie Gift and Bontshi if it was possible to ask someone to drive me to St Georges (w/c was around 60km away) and I'll just pay for the gas. They said we could most likely find someone from church to drive me, so it was suggested that I bring my luggage to church, so from there, I could go straight to St Georges.
During the lesson study in Kwa-Thema SDA church, we were told that the Cherry Negre and her family (Filipinos who were working in South Africa) had come to visit us. I asked if they were headed to Pretoria, and if yes, could get a ride with them to St Georges, and they agreed (found out that they were actually very good friends with my parents) but told me they were going to visit Wintervield, the site where Pastor Jobbie and the other group were staying, first.
So I went on an amazing ride with them, and was given an opportunity to see parts of South Africa that I hadnt seen before, and I was given a safe mode of transportation to St Georges.
That night, I got to meet Porshe, Nikki, and Albert from the Praise Team and got instructions for rehearsals the next day. I also was able to help out (with ALOT of others) in organizing the materials for registration. I was supposed to stay in Altelleker Camp that night but unfortunately, it seemed they didnt know where to place me, so the Negre(s) were sooo kind to let me stay with them for the night in Johannesburg.
Looking back over the 1st Week:
Over-all, this whole week has been filled with adventures and discoveries.
1. Poverty - its always present in ANY country
2. Temperature - 6 degrees is really COLD
3. South Africa - is NOT the land of Simba, the Lion King (he he)...
4. Medication - have cough, colds, and fever medicine at all times... and water.
5. Family - the Seventh-day Adventist world church family is BIG... and it is an AMAZING feeling to be able to discover that despite the obvious differences... our core values and beliefs are the same.
6. God - REALLY LOVES and takes CARE of YOU.