By ENYA DEVANADERA
ONE day, way back in 2009 in the Philippines, while my daughter Irene and I were at the Festival Mall in Alabang, I noticed there was a “Feast” being held in one of the cinemas.
I asked my daughter, “What is the Feast?”
She replied, “If you want to know, go in.”
Actually, my daughter knows about The Feast and Bro. Bo Sanchez. But she wanted me to see for myself.
As we entered the cinema, greeters, as they were called, warmly welcomed us and escorted us to a couple of comfortable seats.
At once, I enjoyed the lively Praise and Worship. And there was this preacher — funny, witty, inspiring– I would soon know as Bro. Arun Gogna. From then on, I continued attending The Feast which is now known as The Feast Bellevue as its venue is now at the Bellevue Hotel at the Festival Supermall Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila.
It’s at the LOJ that I learned and declared this powerful verse which has become my favorite, John 11:27:
“Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”
I actually have had a good Catholic education as I went to the University of Santo Tomas from elementary, to high school, and to college.
I was blessed to be married to Renato and we’ve been blessed with two daughters. Sadly, my husband passed away in 2006.
Here we are today: Mylene and her husband Jim; Irene; and me.
Sharing the Passion
Now a widow, I’ve been able to give my life entirely in service to our good God.
In the Philippines, I had also attended sessions where the preachers were Bro. James Nicolas and Bro Jay Yogawin. Their talks were so edifying, they stirred a passion in me to deepen my relationship with our Lord Jesus.
Since I’ve been hearing inspiring talks at The Feast, I’ve developed better relationships with my family and friends. And I’ve been able to reach out to more friends and bring them to our faith community that they too may have a deeper relationship with Jesus.
One big blessing is I was able to introduce The Feast Alabang to my neighbors and friends who are now regular attendees.
More so, I encouraged my son-in-law, Jim (extreme left), who plays the electric guitar, to be part of Feast Alabang’s Music Ministry.
Yes, I wanted all my friends to experience the same intense spiritual awakening that simply engulfed me. So, I embarked on bringing The Feast near their homes.
First, I invited my friends for coffee in a place where I knew there would be a Feast in that location.
So, I was able to bring friends to various Feasts in Metro Manila– at the Feast Bay Area at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) where Bro. Bo is the preacher, and Bro. Audee Villaraza is Feast Builder; The Feast Manila on Carriedo street, where Bro. Obet Cabrillas preaches;Feast Quezon City led by Bro. Eng Si as District Builder—which includes Feast Visayas at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management on Visayas Avenue, and Feast Trinoma Mall on EDSACommonwealth led by Bro. Ervine Pangwi; and Feast FairviewTerraces Mall in Fairview Quezon City led by Bro. RJ Si.
I was able to bring the entire family of my nephew Ernesto de Guzman to Feast Fairview Terraces. Now his daughter Kyla serves as member of the Warmth (Ushers) Ministry in Feast Fairview Terraces.
‘Planting’ The Feast
I am now based in Las Vegas, where I joined my three elder sisters in 2013. Here, we are, from left: Me, Novenia, Edita, and Nora.
I was able to bring my three elder sisters to a Living in the Light Seminar. They are now regular attendees and they are even serving at the Feast with me—or even without me.
When we go for a vacation in the Philippines, they come with me when I attend Feast Bellevue. If they can’t come with me to Manila, they continue to attend and serve at Feast Las Vegas.
Yes, I am now with Feast Las Vegas. Since the Light of Jesus is my spiritual family in the Philippines, I wanted to belong to the same faith community here. So, I looked for the LOJ in Las Vegas. By God’s grace, I found Feast Las Vegas, where, at the time, Sis. Vigie Juneau was the Feast Builder.
Our Feast has been blessed with pastoral visits: by Bro. Roy Pasimiio (above right, in plaid shirt) and his wife Sis Rorie (floral blouse); and by Bro. Pio Español (right, in maroon shirt) and his wife Sis. Bebot (gray blouse).
As in every Feast, we have small groups – called Light Groups—like a mini-Light of Jesus Family where we are blessed with pastoral care. Through the years, I’ve belonged to various Light Groups. At right, my Feast Light Northwest Las Vegas Light Group meeting at the home Dino Solis (leaning on the table) and his wife Cathy (in pink, 3rd from right).
At left, my LG meeting at the home of Wally Straub (not in photo) and his wife Araceli (seated, 3rd from left). Above, Cris and Ida San Jose (1st and 2nd from left) hosting our LG meeting at their home.
Above, our Light Group meeting with Cynthia Cinco (standing, 4th from left). At right, our LG hosted by Regina Calara (seated, 3rd from left).
Surviving COVID Quarantine
Today, I am blessed to serve as a Feast Light Planter. That means establishing mini-Light of Jesus Feast—that’s why it’s called Feast Light. I’ve been able to serve at Feast Light Northwest in Las Vegas, Nevada.
My sisters and I continue attending Feast Las Vegas now led by Sis. Cindy Delos Santos. Of late, Feast Las Vegas has transitioned into the Feast Las Vegas District, with four members: Feast Light Northwest, Feast Light Southwest, Feast Light East, and Feast Light Henderson.
Prior to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID) Pandemic, we usually held our gathering at the Pacific Asian Plaza in Spring Mountain, Las Vegas, every fourth Saturday of the month.
Now, amid the Community Quarantine, we hold our gatherings online.
We now have a regular Sunday Bible Study– via the Messenger app– conducted by Bro. Frank dela Vega and Bro. Noel Tamin.
Of late, Bro. Noel has started giving us online free courses via the ZOOM app. The first course, titled Why Be Catholic, went on for six weeks – with open discussion after each lesson. Today, we are enjoying the second free course on the Blessed Mother Mary— her role as the mother of our Redeemer, and as
our first intercessor.
Yes, our Lord Jesus and Mama Mary have always been with me in my exciting faith journey— indeed, since I declared John 11:27, and I repeat: “Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world.”