The sudden rain, though quite unexpected, didn’t dampen the spirit of the delegates and visitors who attended the opening of the 19th International Convention of the Pentecostal Missionary CHURCH of CHRIST (4th Watch). In fact, the rain turned out to be a blessing; for us Christians, nothing can take away our joy in taking part in the Church\'s biggest gathering of believers from around the world in order to commune with God. With Marikina Locale as the host, this year’s opening service used the familiar Marikina Sportscenter to contain the attending brethren, ministers and performers for the event.
Though the open field is quite a wide area, the sound engineering used for the opening service is spectacular, allowing for crisp and quality audio even to bystanders outside the Sportscenter. The seating arrangements, along with the marshals deployed to ensure order, went according to plan. Medical and other disaster teams were stationed appropriately to prevent any undesirable situation.
Colors and sounds flooded the open grounds of the Sportscenter with the parade of the flags, the drum and lyre group, and other musical bands. Marching around, the festive gathering seems to lighten up the place through sheer rejoicing and celebration. One would not think it was nighttime due to the amount of lively activity within.
The special numbers and performances were not short of spectacular; Calamba awed the audience with its number, the Highest Praise Chorale sang hymns that uplifted the souls of the listeners and the Locale of Manila exhibited a performance worthy of such a huge gathering.
Ministers from different parts of the globe expressed their thanks to God through greetings. Micronesia’s greeting was delivered by Ptr. Galli. Sis. Ruth Rosas spoke for the work of God in Japan, while Sis. Tess Salanap drove her testimony in Spanish. Lastly, Sis. Amalia Jetulo of Singapore greet the crowd joyfully.
Bishop Dodoy Ferriol led the opening prayer for the night’s service. With Scripture Reading headed by Ptr. Reynald Sulayao, the Offertory message was delivered by Bishop Osie Quillao. The speaker for the message, the Apostle in the End-Time, was introduced by Ptr. Jonathan Ferriol. The Word of God was elucidated by the Apostle, tackling the theme of the Convention with authority and vigor, encouraging both brethren and minister to leave small acts of faith and service and strive for abundant labors of love. The night ended with a prayer from Ptr. Let Ferriol and with a blessing from the Apostle, echoing the desire of each and every delegate for complete spiritual refreshing in this 2008 International Convention. This opening service showed people that mere rain cannot stop the people of God from congregating, even on open grounds. And God showed us that attending Convention is something that cannot be taken for granted.
A brilliant fireworks display lighted up the night sky, visible clearly in the city of Marikina, symbolizing the delight of God’s people in the opening of the 19th International Convention.