by: Rosella Abenio

Two thousand years ago, God sent a gift wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. He sent the best that He had – His one and only Son—the Lord Jesus Christ. The amazing thing is that not only we are to receive this gift, but we are to share it with others on Christmas and every other day of the year.

In this light, a blissful day happened last December 27, 2017 when JECPP Northern Mindanao Church planters and volunteers from Bukidnon, particularly from Malaybalay and Lala; from Misamamis Orriental -Manticao, Naawan, Balingasag and Mambayaan; and from Cagayan de Oro City gathered together with their respective families for a Christmas gathering at EFC-CDO.

The get-together activity culminates the whole year of serving the Kingdom of God. It was a physical and spiritual refreshment to all outstation pastors and volunteers who committed their lives faithfully in church planting. It was a time of strengthening, sharing, unloading of burdens, and giving comfort among themselves as well.

Pastor Andrew Kwong, Regional Director for JECPP Northern Mindanao welcomed all attendees. He expressed his gratefulness to all the church planters and outstation volunteers who sacrificially go to various places where God sent them to minister. He further shared with them a message about “When evil does its worst, God does His best.” He stated that Jesus sends us into the world—a world from which evil has not yet been vanquished. He added that at times, we can encounter all sorts of problems, some of which are wrapped up with evil. Sometimes we can get discouraged and bogged down by circumstances. However, it is comforting to know that we are not alone because God is always on our side and that when evil does its worst, we need to watch for new opportunities and for what God has in store for us. He concluded that upon doing this, the Gospel message increases and prevails in remarkable ways.

Noting that Pastor Andrew and his wife Pastor Rowena were one of those who were affected by the recent flood incident that swept CDO. His message became a great encouragement to the hearers who experienced the same devastation. It was uplifting to see the servants of God, who despite challenging situations still have the strength and joy to share and celebrate Christmas.

Indeed, each one enjoyed the time of fellowship, the attendees appreciated the well prepared group activities and games. After the sumptuous dinner, the pastors and volunteers received a gift, given by JECPP and EFC-CDO.

A message of hope was all over the faces of everyone as they bid farewell to each other after the program. Their smiles were a reminder that behind Christmas stands a God of great wonder.