Three events took place for the past month, aside from SSA and CoH HIV workshop, for the first time our team has conducted a team building for the Senior High School teachers of this university in Manila.
Since I have obeyed the Lord in sharing how His grace has been and still keeping me with my SSA struggle in late 2013, this particular workshop I have facilitated for this particular church in Mandaluyong was the best so far. Not only the participants were very engaged from the beginning till the end but also I have noticed how comfortable I have become with being honest and open about realities in this battle. People were so blessed to understand the reality of SSA, however; more and more people are coming to me to reveal that they have known someone close to them, either a family or relative, who is also living with HIV. In my first year of doing this seminar, this has never happened before, only until the last few workshops I have conducted including the latest one in Malate. Truly HIV is getting bigger in this country and is actually inside the church community.
In connection with HIV, four facilitators from the first batch of Channels of Hope, myself included, have conducted a two and a half day workshop at Iloilo City. What so amazing that happened was … two participants who are working already in the advocacy felt blessed and grateful that they were moved to share voluntarily their personal experiences as persons living with HIV to the whole group during the closing ceremony! What a blessing indeed to all of us!
Another wonderful thing that took place was when the Amara team has facilitated for the first time a team building activity for the staff and teachers of the Senior High school department of this university. We have sensed, as a team, that this group just has simply wanted to enjoy this beautiful resort and beach of Laiya, Batangas before the class starts that they have asked us a few times to cut short the program. Although we agreed, we have decided to give our best and make the most of the time allocated to us. However, they were able to enjoy virtually every part of the three activities we have prepared, especially the last one, that they have extended the time and asked for an extra session the following morning! Truly a psycho-spiritual / psycho-social activity never fails to touch a certain part of the hearts of the participants. Moreover, they have expressed their interest of getting us again for the future similar or related activities … what an affirmation of God’s good work through us, and a blessing at the same time!
While these things are personal to me, on the more personal side, I have submitted two book proposals to two publishing companies in the midst of writing the articles I have mentioned from my previous entry. My prayer is that the “Embracing the Pain” would be published first as soon as possible as an introductory book for me as a new writer prior to my first testimonial book and articles. Presently, I am in the midst of writing my fifth of the seven articles so please continue to pray for me as I do all these God-glorifying works, which definitely would make me a “target” of the enemy … as He always do. But no matter what happens, no matter how much I struggle, no matter how many times I fail or got victorious, one thing is for sure …there is no turning back. The more I stay in this journey the more it is becoming clearer that I cannot live without Jesus as I travail the tapestry of this odyssey on earth called life.
Praise the Lord for everything as in everything! Shalom!