Monday, October 1, 2012

Joy... So Much Joy!

Shout for joy to the Lord...
The Toronto Cantata Chorus opened Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy with Psalm 100... beautiful voices lifted up to heaven in praise of The One from whom all blessings flow!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
Come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
As I sat there on the front row, beside Ann Voskamp... I couldn't believe that this evening had finally come! After half a year of planning, this benefit event was indeed happening right before my very eyes! 

Then, my sister's beautiful soprano voice started to fill the sanctuary... she sings the words from Psalm 27 into a song...
The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.
My heart was bursting and overflowing with joy and thanksgiving... I was holding back tears. I thought, "I can't cry now... I'm supposed to do a Welcome on stage in just a few minutes!" My turn came too soon... I stumbled up the stage grasping my cheat sheet... and I looked out into the crowd to welcome everyone.

What I saw still seems so surreal to me... the sea of people right in front of me filling up the whole sanctuary... all of them coming together to make a Compassion project a reality! And God, in His grace, has allowed our family to spear-head this whole thing... that He would choose us to do this, it still bewilders me! Such wild grace. Such crazy love.

Soon, it was time to show this video... though I was the one who made this, watching it for the umpteenth time still chokes me up! God's grace overwhelms me... our family, so undeserving and so unqualified... yet God invites us, over and over again, to be His hands and His feet to a world in need. That just boggles my mind! Really, it does!

During the intermission, joy filled my heart even more as I saw the Compassion Table swarming with people... they were donating more money towards the project... over and above their ticket purchase! It was so heart-warming to see so many so eager to support this project!

Wait... there's more! This is the icing on the cake! Even though child sponsorship wasn't the focus of the evening, five... yes, that's right... five children were sponsored! All from the island of Masbate, and one specifically from Patnubay Child Development Centre!

Soon, it was time for the second part of the evening to start. The Toronto Cantata Chorus opened by singing Revelation 21...

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes...
Then, it came time for Ann Voskamp to speak! Friends, she speaks as beautifully as she writes. What an amazing Christ-centered woman. It was truly a grace-gift to be able to spend an evening with her!

She spoke about overcoming fears by practicing eucharisteo... about grace, thanksgiving, joy... about the joy of compassion... about living thanks! She came because she is passionate about Compassion's ministry... yet she became a blessing to more than just the boys and girls at Patnubay Child Development Centre... God used her words to be a blessing to so many in the audience that night, including myself!

Then there was the finale... none other than the beautiful hymn Amazing Grace...

As my sister's beautiful soprano voice started to fill the sanctuary once again... I sang along quietly... Amazing grace how sweet the sound... and I reflected on how truly amazing His grace has been over these past six months as our family said "Yes!" to joining God in making this project happen.

Friends, God's grace is enough!
It truly is. These past six months have been a testament to that. Many times, it was His grace that kept me going... it was His grace that kept me hopeful... it was His grace that increased my faith... and He has shown Himself, as always, to be faithful and true.

{Side Note: For more photos from the event, please click here to hop over to an album on Facebook.}

As I continue to count grace-gifts, with unending thanks... to The One from whom all blessing flow, our loving Heavenly Father who delights in giving good gifts to us, His children... these are the things I am thankful for this week... #1570 - #1587:
:: HE who promised is indeed faithful. All glory to Him alone for the success of Eucharisteo: A Celebration of Joy.
:: The privilege of being His hands and His feet in this world.
:: Prayer support from so many people around the world.
:: Each and every person in attendance at the event.
:: Compassion staff and advocates staffing the booth.
:: The many volunteers who helped to set-up and clean-up, who helped with ushering and baking/serving cake.
:: The promotion help given to us by Gospel Connection Canada, Faith Family Books and Maranatha News.
:: A donation of lovely flower bouquets and photography talent!
:: A beautiful venue, also free-of-charge!
:: Enough money raised so that the permanent facility for Patnubay Child Development Centre will soon be a reality! Three cheers for generous donors!
:: My sister, Aileen... who dreamed with me!
:: Jason Locke and the Toronto Cantata Chorus.
:: All of the guest artists... who so freely gave of their time and talents!
:: There is truly JOY in serving Jesus!
:: Ann Voskamp, her friendship, her humility... her words... her ministry!
:: The countless people who have come alongside us in support of this fundraising endeavor.
:: Five children getting sponsored.
:: Joy that multiplies... joy upon joy!
Happy Monday, friends!
Christian hands never clasp and He doesn't give gifts for gain because a gift can never stop being a gift - a gift is always meant to be given...
Let's soar into this new week together, friends... let's do justice, love mercy and walk humbly!

This month of October, I am participating in a blog link up called 31 Day Series. I will be writing about Celebrating JOY! Click on the banner below for 1000+ other topics! 

Click on the banner below for more Multitudes on Mondays posts...
Jump in... I promise you will be blessed!

Compassion is a command, an act of worship, a song of thanks to Him.
Do justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly with God!

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful video! And what a beautiful event you were able to put together.