Was Lost And Has Been Found

It was May 6, 2018 when my first Feast’ testimony was published at The Feast Mall Of Asia‘s bulletin
The Feast is a weekly prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Family, a Catholic – Charismatic community.

A Wandering Sheep. That was me. Did I find my way or I was found?

I’m an introvert. So mysterious, boring to be with, always alone, and aloof – these were the common first impression about me. The truth was, I was just afraid to be judged, criticized, and be rejected. 

Then I realized that I was afraid of my own shadow. The dark side of me was I easily judge and criticize others. I argues on anything that against my belief. I’m proud and full of pride. Close minded. Have a tough personality. I had trust issues and prefer keeping problems by myself. And because of this, I always been on my own.

I’ve been attending the Feast since July 2016 – I was always alone. Not until I decided to join the Love Life Retreat (LLR) Batch 22 on March of 2017. That retreat changed a lot of things in me. Particularly my personal, social, and spiritual beliefs.

After the retreat, my facilitator from the LLR, Bro Mark Tejares, invited me to join his Light Group (LG) at Bonifacio Global City (BGC). That time, I had no idea what a LG was. 

I was kind of cynical. I thought it was just another venue  where I would be offered business opportunities with typical punch line, “open-minded ka ba“? I thought it’s another network marketing. So I turned down Bro Mark’s invitation twice. 

He didn’t give up though. On his third invitation, I decided to give it a try.

But I wasn’t putting my guards down. I was cold on him at first. I thought to myself while he’s talking, “You can’t fool me. Don’t waste my time and just go directly to the point! Show me that business opportunity of your network marketing!”

But I was wrong. To my surprise, we had a very casual one-on-one sharing of our opinions and beliefs about life and our faith. 

Joining The Flock
After a while, his other LG members arrived. I was intimidated – there is a doctor, a supervisor, a manager, an IT specialist, a real estate leasing agent, an artist, an accountant, an engineer, and entrepreneurs. And there was me – a mere call center agent. 
I will never tell anyone my life stories if I’m sober. I’m a heavy drinker and was an alcoholic. So there should be a beer or any alcoholic drink on the table if you want to talk to me and to get to know me.
I don’t know how but God truly works in mysterious ways. For some reason, I allowed myself to put my guards down and freely shared my life story, especially my dark past, with these godly professionals
Without the beer on the table by the way. Just coffee and juices.
The more I opened myself freely, the less I felt the fear of being judged. They merely listens and never preached nor gave advice. I felt welcomed. And slowly, I was turning into a more honest, open, and trusting person that I never was. 
In our LG, I felt a certain sense of belongingness, acceptance, and a certain degree of intimacy. They have the attitude of gratitude. We prayed for each other’s petitions. And ever since, I have always looked forward to Thursday nights – my moment of fellowship with my God-given family. The Big God Champions (BGC) Squad. Finally, the wandering sheep found his flock.

“…he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'”– Luke 15:6 (NRSV)

There’s a saying that you become like the people you spend the most time with. Being surrounded with people who inspire me with their enthusiasm, their positive outlook on life, their boundless faith, and their trust in my capabilities transformed me. 

Becoming A Shepherd 
When Bro Mark got married, there were times when he could not meet up with us. So we started delegating members who would facilitate our LG sessions. The experience, apparently, was God’s way of preparing us for His greater plans. Eventually, most of us, including myself, have been called to lead and facilitate our own Light Groups.
I believe that nothing happens by accident; we just have to trust God’s process. I saw myself like Saul of Tarsus who once persecuted Christians and eventually became an important figure of the Apostolic age. I never thought that a lost sheep like me would be called to lead my own flock. I was lost but now found; was wounded but now healed; was unloved but now overflowing with love. It’s my time to pay it forward and tell the world how God changed my life through The Feast and through the light group.

“for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found…”-Luke 15:24 (NASB)

Like Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, I’ve found my way back home to our Father God when I joined a Light Group (LG). If you are a wanderer – black sheep, you are welcome home. We mend each others’ brokenness. Journey with each other. Make others feel loved and be loved. This is the core of being a true Christian – for us to live a life with a goal of being like Jesus; to think, do and love as He did. Light Groups are exactly like this, to be Jesus to our brothers and sisters. Where others see wounded, we see mended.

My friend, find your Light Group and let your healing begin.

Ask any servants of The Feast near you. Or you can join mine, the SIGA (Strong, Intelligent, Godly Alliance) Light Group, every Thursday 7-10 pm within or near Mall Of Asia area for males aged 22-37 years old. 

Isang Taas Kamaong Nagpupugay sa’yo Kaybigan,
Mark-Lee Tupas Isidro

Kaagapay mo sa Mapagpala at 
Isang Taas Kamaong Tagumpay!!!

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