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Sunday afternoons

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I'm asked what I do on Sunday afternoons after worship service. I take a nap, wake up refreshed, catch up on my reading, and work on stuff for Monday. The to-do list is hardly ever empty. Once in a while, I get to experience sweet Christian fellowship, which feels like drinking from a fresh stream after a long journey across the desert. Consider yesterday, for instance, when I ate solo at a restaurant along Timog Avenue. While sipping my americano, which I had ordered in advance, Pastor Caloy, Ate Berns, and their daughter Abby came in, looking for a space to eat. We ended up eating at the same table. The lunch was filled with stories of God's grace and faithfulness, that inexhaustible topic of those who believe and treasure Jesus Christ. We were all too engrossed in our company that we failed to immortalize it with a photo.

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I was headed home for a nap (how much more middle-aged can one sound!) when I saw my dear friends Paul, his wife Jac, and the High King of Wales, Kuya Dave, riding the escalator to the exact restaurant where I had just eaten. They are like family. I joined them but did not order anything else; I was full. By that time my stomach still hadn't churned up the chorizo with glazed onions and fried rice. It was refreshing to be called "Lovely Boy" by Kuya Dave, who was instrumental in my growth as a young Christian. He shared God's Word to Yakal Christian Fellowship faithfully, on Thursday nights, with an emergency lamp and photocopies of his typewritten (with a typewriter) sermon outline. He remains as sharp as ever. He remembers our house in South Cotabato, then still being renovated, where he had stayed a few years ago. I love him dearly.

Jac Paul and Kuya Dave

I finally got my long-awaited shuteye, and I woke up just in time for Kuya Bobby's surprise 60th birthday party. The preparation was elaborate and well-thought out. There were photos of him on every table; at some point in his younger years, he looked like an action star. He never had a clue about the surprise being concocted for him. We from Pilgrim Cell were asked to prepare for a dance for the program. My participation involved horizontal movements, and I couldn't have been more grateful for Marky and Joey who showed their moves in the front row. It was a refreshing time to hear God's transforming grace in the life of Kuya Bobby, who still hadn't fully grasped what was happening in his party. Happy birthday, Kuya Bobby!

Happy 60th, Kuya Bobby.

Happy 60th, Kuya Bobby.
Pilgrim Cell, still incomplete at this time, with Kuya Ilyong, Ogie, Nerwin, Kuya Dean, Marky, and Kuya Ferdie.

Happy 60th, Kuya Bobby.
The theme was vintage cars, Kuya Bobby's favorite hobby.

Happy 60th, Kuya Bobby.
Dance practice, which lasted for two minutes.

Happy 60th, Kuya Bobby.
Kuya Bobby, younger versions. 

Happy 60th, Kuya Bobby.
BJ and Jotham, wonderful emcees last night.

Pilgrim Dance
My Bible study group, Pilgrim, brothers who encourage me with their love for the Lord and His Word. From left: Kuya BJ, Kuya Arnie (back), myself, Kuya Ilyong (back), Kuya Ferdie, Kuya Dean, Kuya Noel (back), Joey, JC, Kuya Vance, Kuya Bobby, Jason , Marky, Kuya Jess (back), Ogie (middle), Kuya Danny (middle), and Kuya Moncie, with his son Teo, who's probably looking for his twin, Rio.

That was how my Sunday went.

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