In Gloria Dei: You have chosen me to spread Your love

Just as the countdown reached its end, marked the beginning of a breathtaking praise concert, entitled “In Gloria Dei,” organized by CFC- Youth For Christ for more than 13,500 people gathered to feel blessed and be in God’s presence at SM Mall Of Asia Arena, Pasay City, Metro Manila last May 28, 2016.

As the gates of SM Mall of Asia Arena opened, the sponsors for the event, Smart Communications, Manila Ocean Park, and Ablaze Communications, held mini games for the guests. Each enterprise prepared games, and prizes to be given to the lucky winners. Cheers, loud cries, and words of support can be heard in the arena as they kept the guests happy, excited, and occupied while waiting for the program to start.

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Before starting the praise concert, a mass has been offered celebrated by the Our Lady of Minor and Justice’s Parish Priest, Fr. Joel Jason. He emphasized that we should not live loud for loudness’ sake but because our faith is burning deep within us and we cannot contain it.

The crowd’s excitement and joyfulness can be felt inside the Arena after the mass. As the countdown has ended, Kuya Keken Cabaraban, this year’s worship leader, started the praise concert by reminding everyone that Liveloud is an encounter with the Lord. It is a venue to offer everything to the Lord, go beyond what we feel, and come into His greatness, IN GLORIA DEI.

While Kuya Keken continues to lead us, he invited everyone to raise their hands. As everyone raised their hands so high, he explained that it is a sign of surrendering and acknowledging the Kingship of our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is also a gesture that we are present and we are longing for the presence of our one true God.

“Who longs to be in the presence of the Lord?” he asked. The audience raised their hands with conviction that their hearts long for God’s presence. Kuya Keken started to sing and teach the song entitled “Forever be with You” to the audience. It is one of the three songs to be launched at the event. The other two songs, that may help us achieve unity in the songs we sing as a community, are entitled “You have chosen me” and “You alone.” These songs remind everyone of how the Lord wants us to bring towards God’s glorious presence and encounter Him.

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The first sharer for that night was Kuya David Quiambao, YFC Mission Worker. He shared that he became attached to studying God and not with God Himself. He became self-righteous and Reasoning became his god; He became an atheist. But God moves in mysterious ways. His friends talked to him and convinced him how God is visible in their lives. He was amazed of how God is present in their lives. “Kahit tinalikuran ko Sya ay Sya mismo ang humahabol sa’kin,” he said. He proved that God’s mercy is boundless; God never ceases to draw us to Himself.

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The second sharer was Tita Charina Pinto, who shared how the death of her son became an inspiration for all of us to bring people closer to God. Through the death of her son, she learned the value and the meaning of life. Tita Charina became more alive. They saw God in their relatives, friends, in people they don’t even know. Everyone was a face of God. And they felt the peace of God that surpasses all understanding that guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Kuya Keken told us that being on a mission manifests God’s glory and it leads us to be in God’s glory.  After we experience God’s victory in our lives, it is our mission to let other people encounter the Lord.  And in this mission, we are not alone. We have our family, household, friends, and our one true God to support and guide us in each step of the way.

As the worship continues, everyone received a sticker. Each sticker has its own message that serves as an affirmation to us by the Lord. The whole arena felt warm as the love of God overflows to each other through hugs, kisses, and prayers. Also, words of affirmation can be heard inside the Arena as everybody embraced their households, friends, and family with the promise to be with them in their journey of being and bringing God closer everyone.

Kuya Keken ended the worship by praying to God that He may grant everyone the courage to spread His love to others so other people may encounter Him in their lives. He also asked the audience to shout that they will live their lives in the Glory of God. Everyone shouted it so many times with conviction. And as the shout fades, smile were visibly seen on each other’s faces. Smiles so pure that you can feel that God is within and are ready to give their all for God.

 The concert may have ended in SM Mall Of Asia Arena, but Liveloud is not just a concert. 8 years ago, Liveloud was just a spring board program with one goal of sharing new original songs to the whole of YFC, striving and hoping to achieve unity in the songs we sing as a community. Now, Liveloud has become a beautiful advocacy to proclaim the greatness of God through its anchor verse “You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance; you have taken away my sorrow and surrounded me with joy. So I will not be silent; I will sing praise to you. Lord You are my God; I will give you thanks forever.” from Psalm 30: 11-12. May God be praised!

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