By Katherine Apuyan
Last Valentine’s month, our church relived a lesson on love. We remembered what Jesus said that if someone hits you on the cheek, you must offer the other cheek too. We learned that this action can only be truly possible if you have love.
Let me tell you how our love story with our community began. It did not start right. We felt cheated by our neighbors who seemed always annoyed with our Sunday gatherings. One particular cold evening while our pastors and ECME students were sleeping, a thief broke through the church and stole the church petty cash funds and an i3 laptop we used for Sunday services.
Our pastors reported the incident at the office of the barangay captain. Several meetings followed after that, and that’s where we got to know our neighbors more personally. Our pastors did not hold grudge, but were even thankful that the theft incident forced us to mingle with them. As a result, they became more open and friendlier to us.
This was how the church came up with an idea of organizing the “Celebrate Love Sunday” last February 16, 2014 held for the first time at Fairview Barangay Hall. The officer of that Barangay together with her children, were among those who attended. Our speaker, Pastor Jessie Yu, explored the deeper meaning of love by explaining how our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ poured out His unconditional love on us.
After the short sermon, an altar call was called and many came to the front in tears. Our neighbors surrendered their families to God, and committed to love their families and neighbours as well. The message was soon followed by enjoyable presentations of the cell churches such as song, skit, rap and dance numbers. The climax of the presentation was an original MTV entitled “Love will be our Home” which showed the need for love to our family and to our community.
The goodness of the Lord flowed for the entire day. At 3pm in that afternoon, we carried on with our Youth on Fire feeding program where more than 200 children were fed with the delicious food prepared by our church. The youth also prepared some entertainment for the children. Our tiredness was paid by the sweet smiles of our little neighbors.
Evangel Family Church Quezon City was very happy to extend love to the community, doing the works that will not glorify us but glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. This was how our young but growing Evangel Family Church Quezon City performed the two-way traffic of love. We received love from God, and we impart that love to the community.
God blessed us back by opening two Bible studies in the homes of our once-upon-a-time indignant neighbors. Not only that, they started to regularly attend our Sunday services. Indeed, the greatest is love! Glory be to God.