All too soon, March 30, our last Sabbath of his time here arrived. It was a bright, sunny day with only a few clouds lazily drifting by. The day started early with our team and us arriving at the Amoranto Sports Complex at 7:15 am. There we joined the many other helpers who were busily preparing for the day's events.
We rented the Sports Complex because we were unable to find anything else available for a good price and that could accommodate the large influx of people we were expecting for that last Sabbath. It was an old stadium that would be able to seat up to 40,000 people, if necessary - though we weren't expecting that many!
I was very surprised at how early the people starting coming! Everyone was running around, doing last-minute things to make sure everything was ready for the starting time of 8:00 am. A number of different choirs were scheduled to sing and they were changing into their choir uniforms and practicing their songs.
|One of the many choirs.|
At last everything was ready and promptly at 8:00, the service began with several beautiful choir pieces. The main part of the Sabbath School program was the PAFCOE promotion led by Kevin, our outreach coordinator.
During this promotion, 3 of our graduates shared their testimonies of how God had blessed them in coming to PAFCOE, how He had provided all their tuition and needs and what they had been doing since their graduation. These are their pictures and a little about them:
Romelyn - she is a current student from this session and yet another of our many students who also came without her own way to pay for her tuition. Yet again, God covered everything she needed while being here. For about a year, she had been wanting to come to PAFCOE and praying about it and finally God worked everything out in His way and currently she is doing her OJT right now.
After their amazing testimonies, the children we had been working with came on stage and sang several of their favorite Scripture songs, including the whole 10 Commandments for the audience. Most of them were just street children, but all knew the songs very well and sang enthusiastically!
Then the Conference President gave a short sermon to close the Sabbath School and the church service started with a mass choir of several churches combining to sing the music. And what lovely music it was! Filipinos really know how to sing!
Before Pastor Doug's sermon, Dad had the privilege of introducing him to the audience.
The stadium was very full! Though we don't know the exact number, most people estimate that around 7,000+ people were there! Several of the churches in the area closed their doors and posted signs that their service would be in the Amoranto Stadium that Sabbath.
To end the Sabbath, Pastor Doug did one last sermon on heaven and inspired everyone to be ready to be taken there with Jesus very soon! After the closing remarks, many hundreds of people came to take pictures with Pastor Doug and his family and our family too.
And about 6:00 pm, everyone was gone, everything was packed up and put away and we praise God for what He did during that memorial Sabbath of March 30!
To see more pictures of Pastor Doug's time here in the Philippines, click here.