Six members of the CFC-FFL Hong Kong and Shanghai community joined the ‘A Heart Empowered to Witness’ World Handmaids Congress held April 26-27 at Mandarin Hotel, Cebu City.
Hong Kong delegates include Ellen Isip, Beth Chung, Gina Damulo, Miriam Soliva and Mj Daluz and Nimfa Rulite from Shanghai. Marilyn Lopez-Tan, wife of Northeast Asia Country Servant, Pancho Lopez-Tan, joined the Hong Kong delegation.
More than 800 local and international delegates converged in the annual gathering of Handmaids for Family and Life (HFL) members and guests that included delegates from Austria, United States, Singapore, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea who sent the biggest number of international delegates. Local delegates came from Metro Manila, Antipolo, Cebu, Bohol, Laguna, Paranaque, Pasig, among others.
The number of delegates could have been higher had the original venue of the 2014 WHC not moved from the Cebu International convention Center which suffered structural damage by the earthquake that hit the Visayan area last year. The new venue was smaller but nonetheless accommodated participants from all invited districts.
The first night showcased a “Girls Wanna Have Fun” fellowship among participants as Hong Kong / China delegation rendered the classic retro number “Build Me Up Buttercup,” to the applause and cheers of the audience. The group were treated with adulation and experienced flattering scenes reserved to celebrities — getting asked for photographs with adoring “fans”.
Saturday night featured “Hairspray,” a Broadway theme which featured eclectic mix of costumes and hairstyles, whose popular music resonated all night long.
To share their experience in the Cebu conference, an ‘echo’ conference in Hong Kong has been slated on June 15.
And to give you some updates on the experiences of the delegates, I managed to compile words of inspiration from all of us…
First Timer / Extra Miler
I have been through many international conferences of CFC many years back, and I can say that each one of them is totally different, especially the inspiration and wisdom that we usually get from any conferences that I attended. To be with fellow delegates from other parts of the world and other places and provinces from the Philippines is truly a very inspiring, amazing experience.
But it was my first time to see an SFL full-timer (Jo I Villas) gave testimony/sharing for his family/ mom that brought 99% of the crowd in tears. The event was a first time to some of the delegates, and were fondly called them ‘First Timer’ while others were dubbed Extra Miler, for their unwavering support to the HFL ministry.
The final reflection of every talk was offered powerful words to ponder, and as our commitments were renewed, our faith deepened further and our hearts are all fired up, inspired. After all, we all Empowered Women of GOD! Mj Daluz – Wife of a Servant Council/Unit head (Extra Miler)
I have joined many recollections and retreats and every time I come back home, I’ve felt changed and renewed. Having been part of the delegates in WHC this year has given me time to reflect about my relationships with my families, friends and people around me. It reminded me of all the things that are important in my life as well as the difficulties I have faced. The event made me realize that I can be bold and courageous in praising the Lord and expressing what’s in my heart.
More importantly, though this experience, I have become EMPOWERED!! By: Beth Chung – HFL member (First Timer)
It was my first time to join an overseas conference in my almost 12 years as member of the CFC community. I volunteered as part of the HK delegate, and felt excited because the host city was my beloved birthplace: Cebu. Though there were some challenges as worthy handmaid delegate, through prayer and support from the other CFC-FFL wives, my voluntary delegation was approved.
During the conference I was overwhelmed on how God empowered women to be a missionaries. I was touched on all the talks and sharing and even to all the praise and worship. I feel I want to lead a worship if given a chance to glorify the Lord. I also learned the obedience of the CFC-HFL which made everyone happy. The other plus thing in the conference was the celebration of the Holy Mass by Fr. Francis Gustilo. It was the best! Listening to his inspiring homily is a big bonus.
With this experience, I pray that God will allow us to join the future CFC-FFL conferences even if we have to pay the travel expense from our own pocket. God bless us all! By Gina Damulo – Wife of an HH Servant (First timer / Extra Miler)
Witnessing the sisters of CFC-HFL from different countries around the globe who shared their experiences and showed their God-given talents has made me realize that AGE AIN’T NOTHING but a NUMBER! We may mature physically, more so spiritually, but our hearts will remain young forever.
It was a weekend full of fun, excitement and inspiration. I had a great and wonderful experience!
I am an empowered witness of World Handmaid Congress (WHC). By Ellen Isip – Head of CFC-HFL ministry in Hong Kong (First Timer)
The WHC was a great opportunity for me to see more deeper the glory and greatness of God through the event itself, the facilitators, the staff, the priest, and the delegates. Indeed, the CFC-FFL is a wonderful venue of understanding the love, care and mercy of God to His people. The testimonies being shared revitalized my own faith to God, that I should go forward no matter how difficult life can be, for there is God who will always take care of me and my family.
Thank you so much to all! My sisters Ellen, MJ, Miriam, Beth, Gina and Marilyn. You made me feel I truly belong. Special thanks to sis Miriam for all the preps she made for us. Now, I have reason to visit Hong Kong — my CFC-FFL family! By Nimfa Rulite – CFC-HFL Shanghai (First Timer)
Being able to join this year’s WHC is truly a blessing, as I always have very unpredictable and challenging schedule. It was indeed a very inspiring, empowering and spirit-filled weekend.
Being surrounded by talented, gifted and empowered women, God has given me so many affirmations and realizations. Truly, we, women are very special, we are created for a purpose.
We are life givers, physically, spiritually and emotionally. God has given us the heart of love, unconditional self sacrificing and a caring heart. God has given us so many gifts to empower us to fulfill our call and our mission, to bring Christ to as many people as possible.
Lord God, be with me, guide me and empower me as I journey in this call and mission. By Miriam Soliva – Wife of the CFC-FFL Hong Kong Family Ministry head (First Timer / Extra Miler)
It’s always inspiring and uplifting to attend a big conference. But going to a conference in far away Cebu and with “sisters-only” in community is a lot of fun and excitement! Women are so all-out in every way — game na game talaga! Truly females are fabulous! By Marilyn Lopez Tan – Wife of the Northeast Asia Country Servant (First Timer in HFL and Extra Miler)
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