Faith

Celebration of Hope: People of pure joy

by Gabriel Ong // May 19, 2019, 1:20 pm

WhatsApp Image 2019-05-19 at 10.42.11

Rain could not stop this parade as the English/Filipino Rally defied the morning’s gloomy weather and roared to life.

As roving drummers boomed within the dome, tens of thousands surged past the National Stadium’s gantries. The jubilant faces of the guests taking their seats reflected the theme of the morning: Joy.

Though it was drizzling outside the Stadium, a different kind of atmosphere hung in the air. There was a spirit of expectation that something special was going to happen.

Photo: Alvin Chong

Roving bands of percussionists got hearts beating wildly in anticipation for the rally to begin.

Photo: Wong Siqi

The growing crowd that filled the Stadium was the most diverse of all the rallies. Local and foreign, young and old — all came together in a festival of joy. 

Photo: Wong Siqi

For many locals in the Stadium, this would have been the first time they were able to experience the beauty of Filipino culture — arrayed in all the splendour of music and dance.

Celebration of Hope: Freedom on a Friday night

Photo: Alvin Chong

Then, world dance champions JTG Crew threatened to pop the top of the dome off with their moves. 

Photo: Sheryl Sim

The champion dance troupe enthralled the whole Stadium with their performance. It really must be more fun in the Philippines!

Photo: Vicson Huang

Then it was time for songs of hope! The band — made up of different people from different churches — somehow punched through the ceiling.

Photo: Wong Siqi

Guests were taken even higher in what could only be described as an electric atmosphere. 

Celebration of Hope: Let the little children come

Photo: Alvin Chong

Melan Stametalaky spoke about her journey through sickness. “At that moment I felt so hopeless and I lost the joy of living,” said Stametalaky of her medical diagnosis. But she also shared how God helped her move from hopelessness to hope.

Photo: Wong Siqi

Finally, world–renowned writer and speaker J. John took to the stage to talk about hope and forgiveness. 

Photo: Vicson Huang

J.John encouraged the thousands present that every created human being has innate worth, likening this worth to physical money: “No matter how dirty or crumpled you are, you don’t lose your value … you will never lose your value in God’s eye.” 

Photo: Wong Siqi

Many in the audience were moved by the message of hope and forgiveness. “Sometimes we know, but don’t know the truth: I’m lovable and I’m valuable and, lastly, I’m forgivable,” said J.John.

Photo: Vicson Huang

Many of the invitees had only come for hope at the start, but thousands more responded further to the offer of Jesus’ forgiveness.

Photo: Alvin Chong

There was a spirit of joy in the Stadium as the band, singers, drummers and dancers reunited for a final send-off item.

Photo: Alvin Chong

Mabuhay!

If you weren’t at this final rally, you really missed out on something special.

This evening, there is one last English rally at 730 pm, and it will be LIVE STREAMED on the Celebration of Hope Facebook page.

LAST RALLY! Don’t miss it!

About the author

Gabriel Ong

Gabriel isn't a hipster, but he loves his beard and coffee. In his spare time, he'd rather be on a mountain.