If there was anything that saved this awful, awful weekend, it was that Ian has convinced himself to join the performance (and did amazing), Mahal sang her lines perfectly, Cashmere lent us her baby doll and pitched in for Avril when she was absent during practice afternoons, Brent was a stunner and volunteered to be Jesus should we ever have an Easter musical, Iya was nervous but did her lines well, and Evo did double duty as Joseph and one of the 3 Kings. Avril came on the show late; she had the flu, but she did her role nicely. The angels’ wings stayed on their backs, luckily, until the presentation ended, and they earned the applause given to them.
Jonalyn did not sing. The older girls helped the last minute. I was already feeling bad since the morning, but Ate Sheba massaging me with a bubblegum-smelling rub helped. It did not take away this heaviness I had; why people in SIUMC would easily ditch us even when we asked them for help; how it was easy for Jona to just not appear when she was needed, and for the rest of the girls to make excuses of not coming to the practice and then ask me if all things in the presentation were prepared. I hope these girls would realize how I have always, always been holding out and waiting for them and how I am eager to share them everything I have learned in my what, 2 decades of ministry?
I realized this: we’ve been here for 2 years. 2 years. And in the beginning, I was so excited to share them everything I’ve learned. I mean, Atlag was a rich, solid ground where we were nurtured in all aspects of serving. And until now, the doors of this hundred-old church is still closed. Everyone is busy. Some only come to church (they and their whole family), when they’re the ones to serve.
But the kids. The kids!
I’ve been carrying this repressed dismay, mixed with the high-rising flu until we went home. GROSS ALERT. Just as when we were heading out of Iba Ibayo, my stomach churned, my throat swiveled upside down, and the car stopped, but it was too late for me to open the door. I vomited in the car. FOR REAL. And even though it felt like the heavy feeling somehow left me, it wasn’t too easy for the rest of my family to press on to the ride with the car smelling like puke.
“It’s alright. It’s alright,” they said, cancelling the rest of the nights plans.
If there were people who really helped me make this program ~survive~, it was them. My brother helped me put up the backdrop and was very patient with me even though nag-iinarte ako. He also handed out the mics and played out the music for us. Mama helped arranging the simple backdrop by using the flowers at the altar. And papa was there to oversee us, although he did hold back the program 30 minutes later because he wanted more people to see it.
Ah, SIUMC. Maybe my hopes for you is far different than the hopes you have for yourself. I hope you don’t stay complacent. I hope you grab every opportunity for change and new things given to you, instead of just ignoring it.
This is just one program. One weekend. And Papa has been with them for so, so long. I couldn’t imagine how much it weighed on him. And to think that he celebrates every small change, as if SIUMC is a young church learning how to walk on its own! It must have been really heavy.
Seeing all these now made me realize how important it is to be behind his back too, because tilling this now-hard soil is definitely a struggle. But I know, someday, somehow, this church will bloom. I hope we see it. x