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I had no intentions of making the song.

When Joshua told me all about this project, I knew it was something to forfeit. For one, I had no motivation to write it. It felt like just the passing of the wind. The “station ID” specific wasn’t my thing. I doubted if I can write something upbeat, which is not exactly the reflection of my inner state at that moment. Hint: Spiritual Burnout.

  • J: “Pinagpalang Buhay Mula Kay Kristong Buhay.” (so filipino yung song)
  • Me: Eeeep. Hahaha wow.
  • J: […] ang aim ko sana is ang gagawa nung kanta eh isang taga north, isang taga south. kaya tayong dalawa. hahahaha!
  • Me: […] BUT BUT BUT IF I have nothing by [insert deadline here], I am useless & you go for Plan B?

I was half wishing they have Plan B and that I will slide sweetly out of this project.

Two or three days later, I wrote the song. I was not able to “slide sweetly”. When the melody and words came, everything hits in my heart’s soft spot, and the composing magic began again.

How? Three words: Northfields Mission Church.

That Sunday in August, my dad was invited to speak in an afternoon worship at the newly-formed church in the middle of a subdivision. This humble family was led by Pastora Let, who also served our home church, Atlag United Methodist Church, as a deaconess. Her gray head and her wrinkles showed how much she had aged, but there was fire in her soul. That fire was the first thing we experienced as we parked right in front of her house, where worship ceremonies are held. We heard their voices, praying for us so that we’ll have a safe journey, and that the messenger will be blessed by an out-pour of the Holy Spirit.

Imagine hearing all those wonderful prayers for you, shouted, as you walked by their gate with everyone unaware.

My eyes wandered during worship. Pastora Let began the humble gathering by retelling the story of their church’s persecution: the neighbors around them were trying to kick them out of the subdivision because of their “noise”. Let me just repeat; the worship is done in Pastora Let’s house, a woman in her senior age. The fiery worker who volunteered to lead this ignored flock of sheep decidedly told us, if they’d be kicked out of this place because of worship, if they have to switch to faraway places which are empty and abandoned, she’d rather die.

Strong words. Such strong words.

But there was good news. That morning, she revealed that the homeowners decided to tolerate the noise, they only have to hush it down. So that means no more Praise & Worship. That day, they had hymn books on their palms and the kids were singing a song with less of the upbeat and more of the unknown, strange words.

Pastora Let and Ate Fe were among the few who dedicated their lives in nurturing the lost in an inconvenient place, in a not-so-accepting community. They used their efforts, strength and even money in contributing to the growth of the church. They even shared their own table, their own house, their beds even, to accommodate these people. Despite putting themselves and their livestock at risk, they go back into the war zone with smiles on their faces, well-satisfied that they are doing this for the Lord.

For me, these are unsung heroes who doesn’t need to be highly recognized. They’re the ones who are content with a tap on the back and a word of cheer like, “Keep at it.”

I wrote the song for them. I wrote the song for those who sacrificed their time, their finances, their blood and sweat and tears, for a handful of people they only knew in such a short time. I wrote the song for the people who have given up so many things so that God’s love can be seen and felt by those impoverished, unfortunate and ignored. I feel proud I can mention names who are ready to trudge through the mud, and are not afraid of grief and sorrow knowing that joy arrives, in little drops that are bigger than their hands can carry.

Surprisingly, God pours out His grace whenever I’m lost in my very own desert. Listening to the backtrack was already a gift. Hearing the whole thing sung live, however, just pushed me towards the anticipation of future compositions. I wonder where God will take me to write a few good songs next!