By: Bro. Jireh Bautista
There’s no other time of the year as joyous and as celebrative as First Touch Ministry’s month of December. FTM’s series of Christmas celebrations is something to look forward to year after year. With the number of events in queue, the ministry center hall was decorated beautifully by Bro. Edgel Barrientos and his hardworking team.
FTM’s month long Christmas events kicked off with the JCKidz and JCKidz Outreach Christmas celebration on December 8, 2018. At least 153 faithful kids from 6 different outreach centers and Sun Valley Connect Center gathered at the ministry center hall to celebrate Christmas. During the event, those who were attending the outreach Bible Studies regularly were given a reward. The kids delightfully sang Christmas choruses and enjoyed the parlor games, film viewing, and listened to the sharing of the Word of God . Atty. Gail Jane Eviota talked about the timeless story of the birth of Jesus. During the conclusion of the event, each kid was given a bag of goodies and the kids’ all-time fave Jollibee spaghetti meal.
The following day was the first ever Teen Agents Christmas Party. Some 78 excited teens from the different centers joined the momentous event. They had praise and worship time, games, and a by-center caroling contest where team T. Padilla won the first place. It was amazing how each center was able to deliver a wonderful presentation despite the limited preparation time. Pastor Gen Rosal taught everyone a wonderful song with matching steps. Like the kids, each faithful teen also received a box of delicious snacks and a meal. On the same day, some church’s workers went out for the Christmas celebrations of the outreach centers in Pilit, Mandaue and in Jubay, Liloan. Those who were faithful in attending the Bible Studies were rewarded, 23 kids in Pilit and 21 kids in Jubay, respectively.
Moreover, the Transformakers Youth Ministry joined in the Christmas wave on December 14, 2018, wherein a total of 79 Transformakers filled the ministry center hall to celebrate the Youth’s Christmas Celebration dubbed as “Paskong Pinoy”. Everyone enjoyed the Praise and worship followed by the Pinoy-style caroling contest. Each team evidently gave their most creative carols the most Filipino way, the colorful Team Conquerors emerged as champion and runners-up were Team Fearless and Team ARMY. The most important part of the event was Pastor Em Bautista sharing on what Christmas truly is and how should this glorious time be spent. The Transformakers were reminded that Christmas time is more than just a holiday season to wander off but it is the time to honor the Mighty Savior. It was indeed a fun night as the Transformakers exchanged gifts and enjoyed delicious Pinoy delicacies such as sikwati, puto, maja and more. The young ones truly had a great time fellowshipping and serving one another.
The various connect centers had their inspiring Christmas gatherings as well. On December 15, 2018, a group of 21 kids and teens joined the celebration in the connect center in Liloan. Simultaneously, a group of 34 kids and teens in the connect center of Consolacion had a fun celebration, together with the church workers. Both groups enjoyed fellowship time, Christmas games and prizes. After the event, all attendees went home with big smiles, since each of them were given a bag of goodies and snacks.
Furthermore, at least 13 teens who regularly attends the outreach program at the connect center in Toledo were gathered to celebrate Christmas, another group of 74 comprising kids, teens, adults from four different centers in Bantayan Island came together on December 26, 2018 for a Christmas Fellowship.
The grandest event was the FTM Family Christmas Celebration with the theme “Honor the Savior”. A total of 209 worshipers gathered at Bai Hotel last December 16, 2018. A melody of Christmas Carols filled the venue, to the delight of the hearers. Team Conquerors, the winner of the PaskongPinoy Caroling Contest presented their winning piece one more time. The congregation was also blessed with another special number from Sister Cyraj, Jo Hannah, and Oressa. Thereafter, Pastor Jay Bautista preached on “Honoring God with our Minds”. He gave emphasis on how our thinking affects our character and why thinking like how Christ does is highly important. He added that like-mindedness creates unity and unity commands blessings. He ended with a prayer to have a mind submitted to the mind of Christ.