Experience


"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!
(Psalm 133:1)"

THE VISION

In January 1, 2012 on New Year's Eve in Cebu, a vision of people marching, bringing banners of the name of the town they represent, streamers that has the attributes of God with no emphasis of any church, denomination and establishment, and a helicopter hovering around the sky bannering the name of Jesus, were revealed by God to a lady in the Lord (whose name she wants to keep anonymous), while she was pondering on the Lord. The vision revealed a grand worship concert and a fireworks display showing the names of God capping the event, and also November 30, 2012 as the date of when the vision should take place.

THE AFFIRMATIONS

She shared it then to her husband on the same day she got the revelation and he was dumbfounded, not only to the magnitude of the event pictured to him, but also to the needed finances it will require, since they believe in doing things by faith (no giving out of solicitation letters). But believing in the Lord so much and having a big faith that it is from Him, she, with her husband's support, was positive that God would carry it through and that God will make all things possible for His Name. True enough, confirmations from the Lord followed after a certain period of time since the vision was birthed to her. One of these was the affirmation of her pastor and confirmations from pastors in Cebu. With much prayer then, she took a step of obedience to the call of God.

God proved it was His event as He also provided for the title. Initially, different titles popped out to name the event when suddenly the name "JESUS REIGNS" came through. The lady asked for a verse from the Lord to confirm if the said title comes from Him. She was able to read the verses in Psalm 47: 8- 9 which says, "God reigns over the nations; God sits upon His holy throne. The princes and nobles of the peoples are gathered together, a [united] people for the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted."(AMP) Indeed, the title is a declaration that Jesus reigns in Cebu and in the Philippines!

With the title provided, the vision and the different affirmations on the call of God, next thing He did was to give specific instructions to the lady she entrusted the vision to, on the preparations to do for the scheduled celebration. God impressed it to her to pour oil around Cebu province for 7 days up in the sky, in cooperation of all the pastors/town coordinators in every town representing the 47 municipalities and cities in the province to pray and fast simultaneously, starting at 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., for Cebu. Not only that, intercessors and prayer warriors also adjoined in the airport and seaport areas.

THE DAY - November 30, 2012


A point of view and testimony from two of the participants of the JESUS REIGNS 2012 celebration is found in the article below. This was published in the Evangelicals Today magazine, January to February issue.
"Cebuanos Worship King Jesus!"
~ By Socorro B. Varela
The day has finally come: November 30, 2012. A historic event for Biblical Christianity in Cebu, a gathering of an estimated crowd of fifteen to twenty thousand evangelical Christians for a day of worship and intercession. What was unique about the celebration was the fact that believers in Christ came without their denominational or local church identities. People were organized according to their geographic location, and for the first time in history, every single municipality and city of the province of Cebu - was represented by a group of born again Christians who were willing to stand in the gap as we declared the Lordship of Jesus over the entire province. Yes, the day marked the "Jesus Reigns Festival".

For months we have been praying for this ambitious vision that God laid upon the heart of a devoted Christian lady in Cebu while watching the fireworks on New Year's Eve - January 1, 2012. As the Lord confirmed upon her heart that lifting up His name the same way the fireworks are seen by everyone was what He wanted for His people in Cebu to do, this lady began sharing the vision to others especially to the pastors and churches. As J. Hudson Taylor had said, "God's work done God's way will never lack God's supply." Looking back, I can see that this was clearly God's work - how He has provided in every way, how it has united a big part of the body of Christ in Cebu province, and how tens of thousands were drawn to it without the attraction of any celebrity or famous speaker! What a sight to see the simplicity of devotion to Christ - each one showing up with a T-shirt and/or yellow cap with the words Jesus Reigns. I actually woke up that morning with a very bad cold, feeling feverish, but I prayed that God will give me enough strength even just to join the prayer march.

So there I was, walking (with a mask covering my runny nose) with Danny on my right, and my good friend Sally Alba from OM Phils. on my left, along with about 100 of us (including children) from our local church. Some rode on the PCEC bus which served as a float for the Cebu City contingent. The best way I can share about what happened is through the testimony of one of the participants, Faith Macabenta, who was so touched by the Lord, she wrote an article about her own experience of the event. I have decided to publish it as part of my column in the issue of the Evangelicals Today hoping that it will give you a taste of the glorious experience God gave us. Faith is a practicing nurse, and she is one of the young leaders in our local church.

Faith's Testimony
"How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1)" the announcer shouted at the top of her voice to start the event addressing the crowd at the Quimonda IT Park which is as big as a football field. It was quite hot (actually, very hot) at 1:00 p.m. The festival started with a corporate praise and worship. "Praise the Lord. How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise Him!" the worship leader quoted Psalm 147. "Our God reigns! Jesus reigns over Cebu, the Visayas, over the Philippines, and over all the earth!" she shouted. The congregation joined her passion with songs of proclamation to the lordship of Christ. "Let us claim Cebu back to the Lord!" she incited.

A red helicopter with a yellow "Jesus-Reigns-crown-design" flew in the air. A flock of birds soared above in unison. Their noise harmonized the flying engine. The crowd then proceeded to the next agenda: the Jesus march! Carrying banners of the titles of Jesus, marchers who came all the way to the place of assembly in the North Reclamation Area of Cebu were organized as contingents of the 53 towns and cities walking an almost four-kilometer route. Young and old, even parents with small children, joined the prayer march. Some sang along praise and worship songs. Others exchanged chitchats amid the long journey. All had smiles under the extreme heat of the sun. "Jesus reigns! Jesus reigns!" a cluster of youth chanted. Praise God, the church survived the more than one-hour afternoon procession! Back to Quimonda, as hunger, thirst, and sore legs resulted, a rest period was given. People ate snacks, but most became busy with picture-taking. Who can resist taking remembrance of the grand float with a large green crown and yellow "Jesus Reigns" words? It easily became the star of the photo shoots. Pastors then commanded the crowd to bend their knees and lift their heads. It was time for intercession to the Great I Am. "Out of this city, we ask You to raise up missionaries who will declare Your light to this dark world," a pastor prayed. "Empower us to stand in the gap on behalf of our land," the intercessors cried. After all the towns and cities were represented in intercessory prayers, the announcer then told the group to have their dinner break and return by 7:00 pm. The nearest mall became packed with the children of God. The other flocks stayed in the vicinity where booths of foods arrayed. At exactly 7:00 pm the show started. It was different from what you see on TV. It was made not to entertain the people, but to honor and worship King Jesus. After corporate singing of the Philippine National Anthem, the female vocalists of the Paglaum band sang Cebuano worship songs. Their fairy-like attires of red, blue and yellow matched our country's flag. Their joyful faces blended the beauty of their voices. The crowd worshipped not the performers on stage. Everyone raised their hearts in praise to Jehovah. Myriad Cebuano talents followed. A man mimed skilfully (better than Michael-Jackson-moves, I believe), a group of men dramatized the passion of Christ, a cluster of youth danced in cheerful reggae, and a choir of young people sang such pleasant melodies. "I never thought I have these brothers and sisters in Cebu," I mused. For all I know, they are the strangers I meet in my daily jeepney rides! "Lord, You have blessed our city with many worshippers. I praise You that I am a Cebuano!" my heart cried out to my Maker. But what made me cry literally is the wife of the ex-lead vocalist of Paglaum band. Her husband died a year ago. Now, she sang the Cebuano worship song her partner composed. With utmost courage, she shared their story. She told the audience that her husband was invited to work abroad for bigger income. He was greatly tempted. Yet, his love for ministry in the Philippines prevailed (I'm crying again upon writing this). He chose to serve in his country. The wife said that she learned that it is only God who satisfies our restlessness. Money is not the answer to unhappiness. Rather, it is having a close relationship with Jesus. She challenged the listeners to follow the passion of her beloved.

There is also a young man who shared the testimony of his faith. Without shame, he confessed that he was once a drug pusher for two years before he knew the Lord. He sang a song that spurred the crowd to let God cleanse their sins. I felt so overwhelmed by the goodness of God in our city! But there were still more. After the challenge to surrender our lives to God's control, a gust of fireworks soared up in the air. Maybe, this was the celebration of the lost sheep returning to the Shepherd of our souls! Grand and colourful lights adorned the dark sky. Shooting blasts became music to the ears. Extremely unique were the fireworks forming big words. They were descriptions about Jesus: Redeemer, Protector, Savior, Love, Miraculous, Lord of Lords. The lights quickly disappear for every word that is highlighted. I did my best to take a shot of each scene. The program ended with a 500-member choir singing "God of this City". Everyone stood up with open hearts. All hungered for justice, peace and God's Spirit to move in Cebu. It was one-of-a-kind scene! The huge choir wearing white Jesus Reigns t-shirts and the congregation wearing the same white shirts raised up their hands toward the heaven. The projector screen in front showed the video-faces of the crowd. The group of white-shirted people looked like angels praising God! Their silhouette moved gracefully. They seemed to be enriched with a golden light. I felt like I was in heaven worshipping God with the thousands upon thousands. Yet, I was in Cebu City.

Reign, reign Lord Jesus! Cebu is for Christ! The Philippines is for Christ!

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