Category Archives: ADORE Philippines

The Philippines: The Double P (Poverty + Prostitution)

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

If you’ve been reading these posts you would have gotten a sense of excitement about the trip…which it totally was and we’re all still buzzing from it. But there’s a dark side of that week that I didn’t put in; mainly because I wasn’t too sure about how to tell it with the integrity and justice it deserves.

So, I’m calling this post the double P – Poverty and Prostitution.

Poverty

Prior to leaving for Tacloban, people who’ve gone there before were telling me about the environment, to be brace myself for the poverty and that I’d most likely get some degree of a culture shock there.

Touching down at Tacloban airport, you are immediately welcomed with an entirely different environment than the one you left back in Melbourne. Everything (and I mean, everything!) is green. It’s so beautiful and luscious, and compared to Melbourne’s current brown landscape, Tacloban is a pure tropical heaven.

Travelling from the airport to the hotel though, is when you begin to get see with it – little shacks where people live, the slums, people walking barefoot, transportation, advertisements everywhere, etc, etc.

Note: this was the entrance to the Adore Conference venue. Beautiful!

Yes, the poverty was bad and it’s an injustice in the world. Yes, it’s a terrible, terrible thing seeing how some people live. But in a week what can you really do? You hope that what you did when you visited the slums will help in some way. But realistically, it will take a lot of time, money, manpower, the altering of mindsets and much, much more to see poverty abolished there.

When people travel to Australia, they generally fall in love with the environment. When people travel to the Philippines, they generally fall in love with the people. When you travel somewhere you fall in love with what is enriched there. And we all fell in love with the people.

Australia may have an abundance of material things, but the Philippines have an abundance of richness in character and spirit; something that many Australians lack.

So as much as seeing the poverty opens your eyes to the world around you, you have to keep perspective.

 Prostitution / Human Trafficking

Day Three: Part One – Off To The Mall”. That post was full of excitement as we all went down to the mall for the first time. It was a fantastic day, however I left out part out of it. Here it is…

The Enjoy and New Life crew were sitting in Shakey’s eating lunch. The table across from us sat two older men who looked to be in their late forties, early fifties, and and two Filipino women who looked like they were in there twenties. You might say, “Well they’re just having lunch. What’s wrong with that?” But putting it straight, these men oozed evil. You may think that’s a bit harsh, but if you saw them you would get the same feeling in the pit of your stomach. Looking at them you got a sense that they weren’t going to show these girls what a gentlemen was. And eventually they all left…together.  While we were eating lunch and watching them (not in an obvious way though), everyone was feeling uneasy and it just didn’t sit right with us all.

Talking about it

Why? Because there were countless other times during the week when we’d be eating breakfast at the hotel and there’d be an older Western man eating breakfast with a Filipino lady…and the next morning he’d be eating breakfast with a different lady again.

There’d be times when I’d be writing these blog posts in the hotel lobby late at night and older men (yes, more than one man a night) would constantly go up to their room with a lady…and the next night it would be a different lady again.

And to be honest, I actually don’t recall a night where this didn’t happen.

I’m not going to label these women as prostitutes or victims of human trafficking because we saw so many different situations that it would be unwise to group them all in the one category.

As much as some of us wanted to step in and say something to help the women in Shakey’s or at the hotel, what would we say? If they were in the prostitution industry or a victim of human trafficking, how would we get them out of it? Would we get them out? Would they even want to be helped out of it? What would the men do? How would we deal with them? Where would the girls go after it? Is there even somewhere safe for them to go? Do they even know how to live without having to depend on that industry for money? Will they just end up in that industry again?

So, you have to be wise in situations like that. You could do more damage by acting out of anger and with no protection – and that would be a tragedy to their life. All you can really do is pray and believe.

You may have read stories and seen pictures about it, but nothing can really prepare you for it when you witness it for yourself.

In the words of Thoreau, “It’s not what you look at, but what you see.”

Facts:

– There is an estimated 27 million victims of human trafficking.

– In 2008, the Philippines was listed in the top five countries of where human trafficking victims are from

80% of trafficking victims in the Philippines are females and under 18 years of age

For more information on human trafficking, see The A21 Campaign.

Note: I searched for hours trying to find statistics specific to the Philippines, interestingly though, there was very little to no information on it. However, there are many statistics on other countries. Hmm…

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The Philippines: The Gold In The Journey

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

It’s now been nearly a week since returning home from the Philippines. Life has begun to settle but many things have stuck and challenged me in my day-to-day life.

So here are some of the things that I learned, and have changed the way in which I do life.

ADORE Conference:

Every person that attended the conference owned it. By that I mean that the women took hold of the word ‘adore’ and the slogan ‘Together we adore’. Leading up to, during and after the conference, you would constantly hear those words. Even now on Facebook in photo comments girls are saying ‘adorable’, ‘together we adore’ and more.

But it wasn’t just the girls doing this; the guys did it as well. They even took it a step further and decided that if there were ever a men’s conference, they’d call it ‘Oder’ (note: you need to say it in a Filo accent). If you don’t get it, think some more and it’ll eventually make sense 😉

I think that that is one of the reasons that the conference was so amazing – saying ‘Adore Together’ really united everyone under the one vision. It wasn’t just a catch phrase but a statement. It wasn’t just about the individual but about everyone.

Serving:

Serving isn’t just something they do in Church; it’s something they do in their daily lives. It doesn’t matter how big or small something is, they’ll do it if it helps the Church, their pastors and leaders, and those around them. They serve their pastors not just on the weekend but through the week. Doing this isn’t an obligation or out of a need to do it, but rather a wanting and love for it. They weren’t serving to get a promotion or boost their status or ego either, it was out of a genuine sincere heart of simply wanting to serve.

Not tired:

Not once did I hear anyone say that they’re tired. Many of the people involved in the conference only had a couple of hours sleep on some of the nights leading into the conference. Take Ning for example. She had two hours sleep for two nights in a row because she was printing T-Shirts for the conference. During the day, she would continue to serve.

But no one yawned, complained or said that they’re tired…not once. If you said to them, “You must be getting tired”, or “Aren’t you tired?” Their response would always be “No.” They really don’t grow weary in doing good or serving. Why? Because serving God, His House and people is an absolute joy for them!

Worshipping:

In praise and worship, they praise and worship. And seeing how much they love to praise and worship really stood out to me. When speaking to Zyra, one of the worship leaders at NLCC, she said this simple yet profound statement: “God created us to worship Him, so why not give Him the pleasure in watching us worship Him.” Selah.

When it comes to their worship, they are wholeheartedly devoted to it. It doesn’t matter what the setup is or where they are. On the Sunday night service at NLCC the power went out. The guys worked outside trying to get the generator to work. Twenty or so minutes into the beginning of when the service was supposed to begin the generator finally began working and the service began. They only played one song, but everyone was ‘on’. The atmosphere in that place was phenomenal.

Why? Because they’re all worshippers.

No one stands alone:

No one excludes anyone. Everyone is kind and welcoming and if they are getting annoyed with someone, you wouldn’t know about it. Everyone smiles at everyone, and no one stands alone.

Names:

If you tell someone you’re name, they’ll remember it (on most occasions!).

When we went to Center for Change, each kid that you encountered would call you by name, ie Ate Michele, Ate Angie, Ate Louise (note: ate means older sister). Later in the week when we were at Robinsons Mall, I was wondering “Why are those boys looking at me!?” It was only until I saw a lady with them, a houseparent, and a boy said “Center for change”, that I realized where they were from. When walking through the mall, you’d see more kids and they’d wave at you, but when they’d see someone from the team that they’d personally met, they beamed and called them by name.

Even at ADORE the women remembered your name. I know that it would have been easy for them to remember our name because we kind of stood out, but different girls that I’d talk to and introduce to each other would remember each other’s name the following day and previous conversations.

The women’s prison was the same. The second time we went to the prison, the girls you prayed and connected with would yell out your name and give you a big hug.

No matter the age or gender, they remember your name.

Oh and also, instead of asking, “how old are you?” they ask, “how young are you?”

The Guys:

During the week I absolutely loved observing the guys – in fact, a lot of the Enjoy team was doing this (to the guys from the Philippines who are reading this… bet you didn’t know that, ha!).

But seriously, these guys are the nicest guys I’ve ever met in my life.

During the conference they treated all the women like princesses and valued every single one of them. When it came to the food, they ate at the end when every girl had their meal. They didn’t run out to get the food straight after the session, or complain about being hungry, or keep asking when they’re going to get fed. Why? Because they were there to serve and knew that they were going to get fed at some point anyway.

They are also incredibly encouraging. Sometimes back home in Australia when guys  try to encourage, they do it in a way that isn’t genuine or it’s on the edge of flirting. But not with these guys. They encourage out of a sincere heart, full of respect and integrity toward you.

When we were at the airport ready to go home, there was a guy lurking around us, and it was clear that he ‘wasn’t all there’ (if you catch my drift!). When he’d get closer to the group, you could see all the NLCC guys stand upright and watch him. It wasn’t obvious that this is what they were doing, but because we had already been watching them, it kind of was. When he would get closer, the guys would usher us back a bit, stand around us and in front of the luggage. They didn’t do it in a dramatic way where everyone would notice; it was subtle and non-demeaning to the guy. And the guy was moved away by airport security.

Also, while waiting at the airport I put my bag down. It hadn’t been down for a minute before Jun Jun had picked it up. I was like, “No, you don’t have to do that. It’s really heavy!” He was like, “No, it’s okay, the ground is wet.” He then carried it in his pink ‘Together We Adore’ T-Shirt until it was time to leave.

So, a massive thank you to all the guys. I would name you, but I don’t want to miss out of anyone! You all know who you are, so thank you, thank you, thank you for being an excellent role model and example! You guys left a big impact on myself and the other girls on the trip.

There are many more things that I observed and learned from these beautiful people, but I think this is enough for now.

Hopefully you enjoyed it!!

Beth xx

Day Eight: Homeward Bound

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

Right now as I’m typing this, I’m on the plane going back to Melbourne (note: uploaded it to here when I got home). It’s currently 11.39pm in the Philippines and 1.39am in Australia, and to be honest, I’m completely devastated to be coming back home.

Today was our very last day in the Philippines. The week flew by incredibly fast and was filled with incredible people, actions, love and joy.

In the morning we ate breakfast for the very last time at the Hotel Alejandro. We ordered our last meal of a ham and cheese omelette, French toast, pancakes, pancakes with one fried egg and a side of bacon, garlic rice, French fries, café latte, pineapple/mango juice, and tea, and by the end of the week everyone had their personal favourite. For example, Louise Fiddes had garlic rice for not only breakfast, but for every possible meal where she could order it.

After that some people caught Tacloban public transport down to the local markets to do some shopping. And others stayed at the hotel to finish packing.

During that time, Ps Georgie, Ps Lou, Ps Gershon, Ps Catherine, Ps Ram, Ps Janine and the key NLCC events team had a briefing and went over how the ADORE Conference went.

And the scone-making Queen, Lana, made scrumptious scones for them.

During lunch some of the NLCC team came to the hotel to help take our luggage to the airport.

After checking out of the hotel, we sadly took off to the airport. When we arrived there and saw some of the NLCC team there, everyone’s tears began flowing even more.

When more NLCC people arrived, more tears came. Our last moments outside the airport consisted of tears, hugs, words of encouragement and thanks, giving of gifts, and the snapping of photographs (even though we were all crying and didn’t want any pictures of our blotchy faces and red eyes!)

After being given our passport and boarding passes, Kitchie ordered the ENJOY crew to say our final ‘see you soon’ and go into the airport.

It was a happy sad moment.

The whole plane ride was sad as we flew further and further away from Tacloban, and closer and closer to Melbourne.

When we got to Manila we had a 2-hour stop over. While there I tweeted that we were at Manila Airport, and Ps E replied with safe travels. I told him thanks, but that myself and Angie are actually getting on the next plane back to Tacloban. We seriously did not want to come back to Melbourne! But there was nothing we could really do, so we had to keep going.

And now, I’m in Melbourne. We arrived around 7am in the morning. It was cold, foggy, grey and raining – hello good old Melbourne!

I am absolutely shattered that the trip went by so fast. But am absolutely thrilled by the new friends and connections that were formed and strengthened.

Even though we did a lot of things during the trip, the only reason those things were done was because of ADORE Conference. And ADORE was phenomenal! it’s going to be exciting seeing the fruit that comes from the seeds that were sown.

I’ve said it many times over the course of the posts, but I’m still speechless as to what God did there and majorly excited about the future.

Please Note:

I’ve had people pointing out to me the spelling and grammar mistakes in these posts. There’s seriously not that many, and you have to realize that all of these posts are the first drafts. Most of the time they were written after midnight when I’d been out for most of the day doing all the things that were written about in the posts. So I’m just surprised that they even make sense, and am not really worried if there’s a spelling mistake here and there.

These were posts about what happened each day, but the posts to come are about things that I realized, discovered and learned. There are actually a lot of things that I’ve left out because I just didn’t have the time to write about it.

Once I’ve digested everything that happened through the week and I’m not as emotional about leaving, expect to see more posts.

And if you’re wondering why I want to keep blogging about it, it’s because what happened there really is just the beginning. And it would be a total crime if I just left these posts as is and carried on with life normally.

So thank you to everyone who read these posts, especially the NLCC team who were following the blog as well (absolutely cracks me up that you’ve been reading it!) Glad you enjoyed them 🙂

Love you all way too much!

Beth xx

Day Seven: Time For A Celebration

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

Sunday was packed to the rafters and full of joy!

We began our day with a NLCC service.  Their service is in the movie theatre in Robinsons Mall. As soon as you walk into the theatre, you automatically feel at home. The people and everything about it reminds you exactly of ENJOY Church.

There was incredible praise and worship. Their worship is amazing. Like how Rochelle said in a previous post, they are all united with one goal only. And because of that the presence of God is just there. Because they worship freely and passionately, it releases the congregation to worship freely and passionately.

Ps Gershon and Catherine’s little girl, Annika, then sang ‘Deepy In Love’ by Hillsong. She’s only 7 and just stood there up the front holding the microphone, tapping her foot and singing!

Ps Georgie shared a Word on ‘Sowings Reward’.

After church we went across the road for lunch, and then did some last minute shopping in Robinsons!

We stopped back at the hotel for 5 minutes to quickly change and then went off to the Women’s Prison again!

When we arrived at the Women’s Prison, the women were really excited to see us all again. They remembered our names and the women that we prayed for in our small groups went straight to that person.

The purpose behind going back to the prison was to give them their volleyball uniforms. They will be competing in a tournament soon and needed team T-shirts. The shirts have the word ‘Tournament’ on the front, and Ecclesiastes 8: 15 “So I commend the enjoyment of life…” on the back with the ‘ENJOY New Life’ logo.

Rochelle, Angie, Jac and Roxy then sang ‘Say A Little Prayer’. The women were beaming and clapping their hands throughout the whole song. They loved it!

The women then sang us a song. They then wanted to say thank you so us, so they sang another song…and then another song. They love to sing and love to sing for others. When they sing it sounds like a choir. Their voices are all unison and they believe every word they sing. Women were crying, looking heavenward, praying, and were beaming from the love and joy of Christ they have.

Later that day we then went to NLCC for their evening service. When we arrived, a blackout happened. After half an hour or so, the guys (absolute champions) got the generator working and the power was back on!!

The service started right away with worship. There service was set out the same as the morning service, except that the media wasn’t working because of the blackout.

Ps Lou then bought an amazing Word on ‘Loyalty’. She was hysterically funny, had amazing points and made an amazing impact.

Then Roxy, myself and Jac shared our testimonies. It was great. You found out things about people that you never knew. And it was good for the Filipino people to know where we’ve come from. Oh, and Ps Lou was saying that it’s going to be a buffet tonight with the Word and testimonies. So Roxy said that she’s the balot. If you don’t know what it is, Google it because it’s delicious.

We then prayed for the incredible pastors – Ps Gershon, Ps Catherine, Ps Ram and Ps Janine. Their city is going to be abundantly blessed by them! Their heart is beautiful, godly and God is already using them mightily. So pumped to see the impact that Tacloban and the Philippines will have because of them!

We all (ENJOY crew and the NLCC church) then jumped into the Jeepney and took off down to the venue where ADORE was held. It was so much fun! There were people hanging off the back and we were all so excited to finally go in one.

The auditorium was transformed into a dining area. There was an abundance of food, laughter and tears. Definitely one of the best nights ever! It was a great way to end the perfect trip. There were tears (happy and sad), laughing, LOT’S of photos, eating, dancing, and more photos. Can’t describe how good it was except to say that it was a-to-the-mazing and something I will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever forget!

Day Six: ADORE Conference!

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

ADORE Conference day two was truly beautiful.

The morning began with a breakfast in the dining area. It was a lovely way to start because everyone was relaxed, but completely excited about what lay ahead.

Before the auditorium opened, there were women already lining up. They were busting to get in!

Once the doors opened to the auditorium, it quickly filled up. Praise and worship started, and the women were all switched on. They didn’t need to be led or coaxed into His presence; they were already there.

Ps Catherine got up and did the MC-ing/offering message. When she stood on that platform, it was unreal. As soon as she opened her mouth, the women hung onto her every word. Women were weeping, praying purposefully and praising. She is definitely one of the most beautiful, godly women that I’ve ever met.

Ps Gershon (Ps Catherine’s husband) then got up and prayed for the offering and introduced our lovely Ps Georgie to the platform for the next session.

Ps Georgie bought an incredible Word on ‘The Power of Relationships’.

Why? Because if we’re going to do it ‘together’ we need to be in relationship with one another. She said many great things like for a company of women, people, to say ‘let us’, there needs to be many individual people saying ‘let me’. So, it was incredibly relevant and practical for the women to hear.

During the morning tea when I was chatting to different girls, they were all commenting on how much they loved Ps Georgie’s preaching, and that they got a lot out of it.

Morning tea came. While the women were eating and talking, the ENJOY crew and NLCC team broke out into the flashmob; the same song (Bruno Mars, Just The Way You Are) and dance that was done in the first Essence. We originally canned the idea because we didn’t have enough people, was underprepared, and the power had gone out when the decision was made so we thought that we wouldn’t be able to play the music. But when Kris found out we canned it she made sure we still did it.

The women seemed to really like seeing the ‘dance’ (it’s in brackets because they were all surprised that we would be doing a dance when apparently we can’t, ha!) All the women ended up getting up and dancing near the end of it. The atmosphere was really joyous and full of fun!

Ps Viv then bought the Word for the third session. First Lady Chancellor Cristina was unable to make it in time, so the incredible Ps Viv stepped in! She had a couple of days to prepare her message, and it was truly amazing! She spoke on ‘You Are God’s Fingerprint’ and how we’re all unique in the mark we leave on whatever we touch.

Then came a stretch break. We received our present – a bangle (yes! More bangles!!) And went down to the beach to take some snaps with new friends. So much fun!!

Lana then introduced the wonderful Ps Lou to the bring the Word for the next session.

Ps Lou spoke a timely Word on ‘Time To Dream Again’. Before she began preaching she said that when Ps Catherine was up there praying at the beginning of the day, she saw cords of poverty and lack. As the women began praying, the cords all began to ‘pop!’ and break. She then did an altar call with many women responded to, and as a result, many seeds were sown and watered!

During lunch, some women saved me a seat at their table. One of the ladies began asking me if we’re taking the conference to other countries, how long it’s been here, etc. She then began telling me that many years ago it was prophesied that whatever starts in Tacloban spreads all over the Philippines. So she thought that we chose Tacloban because of that prophesy, but Ps Georgie and everyone else on the trip had no idea bout it. Seriously blown away by that!

The final session for the day came around way too fast. It included a panel with Ps Gershon, Ps Catherine, Ps Ram, Ps Janine, Ps Lou and Ps Georgie. Throughout the day women could write down any questions they had, which were then answered in this session.

The City Councilor, Cristina Romualdez, also arrived, so it was really good to see her there! And I must say, she is absolutely gorgeous!

Then came the closing item, ‘Say A Little Prayer, with Rochelle, Angie, Jac and Roxy.

For a special treat, we all got icecream (they have cheese flavour?)

And took a stack load of pictures.

The guys said that because the girls had 'Adore', they're going to have a Men's Conference called 'Oder' 🙂

ADORE Conference was amazing. Still now, two days later, I am gobsmacked as to just how good it was. Sounds cliché, but words really cannot describe what God did there. The generations to come are incredibly blessed!

And together we Adore.

Day Five: ADORE Conference!

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

So today is the ADORE Conference – the whole purpose of this incredible trip.

During the day there were rehearsals at the venue, shopping at Robinson’s Mall, and preparing at the hotel.

ADORE Conference

Rochelle, Angie and Ps Lou left the hotel around 2.30pm to go to the venue; hey had rehearsals and sound checks to do. The rest of the ENJOY crew left at 3.30pm.

Upon arriving you are immediately greeted by the gorgeous girls on the registration desk.

So here are a few snaps of the venue now that’s it’s fully completed.

Dining Area

The Platform

The women began arriving from 4pm. They would first arrive at the registration table, then be led to another table where they picked up their delegates bags, and were then taken to the dining room. At 4.30pm dinner was served for them. There were buffet stations set up that included rice, chicken, noodles, and much more.

Between 4.30 and about 7pm, everyone ate in the dining area. Here we took pictures, mingled with the girls and had loads of fun. Time flew ridiculously fast! Every single girl there looked absolutely beautiful. When they’d arrive, they had a massive smile on their face and were absolutely glowing.

7pm came and we had a prayer meeting in the auditorium. Ps Ram, Ps Gershon and Ps Georgie, and everyone prayed over the conference. The atmosphere of faith was incredible. Some of the ENJOY team got emotional after it because of the realisation that “Wow, this is actually happening”. That what we’ve been praying and anticipating for is finally here. It was a bit surreal.

When the women were allowed into the auditorium, it was amazing. They all went straight to the front rows. They filled up every seat, didn’t care if they didn’t know the person next to them, they just wanted to sit as close to the front as they could. When the pre-service music was on, the women were clapping and singing along to ‘Everyone’ by Planetshakers. As soon as the women entered the auditorium, they were pumped and ready to go.

Meet Ivy and Ruby. They are 23 and 24 years old. I sat next to them and they were so excited to be at the conference. When I was introducing myself to them, they said to me with a big smile on their face, “Thank you so much for sponsoring us”. That hit me big time because I sponsored two girls to go to the conference, and these two girls were so thankful to be sponsored. It put a face to what I had sown faith into, and that made it so personal. After the session Ivy told me that she is so happy she came because what Ps Georgie spoke about was really impacting her. So that was a total ‘wow’ moment.

Side note: All the delegates paid 100 pesos which is the equivalent to about $2.50, to attend the conference. Our sponsorships covered the rest of the cost  – accomodation, food, etc. Absolutely amazing!!

As soon as the opening media presentation started, the women were clapping and the anticipation for what lay ahead continued to mount. The dancers began dancing to a song that all us ENJOYers really want to find out what it is because it is seriously so good! And the girls loved it! There were no hiccups with it; everything ran effortless and the timings were all so perfect.

Then praise and worship kicked in. It was a phenomenal time as all the women worshipped in unity. You could hear the women singing and it was just so beautiful.

Ps Lou got up to do the MC-ing. There was also the presentation of hellos from all the women back at Enjoy Church. The women really enjoyed (mind the pun) seeing the women on the screen. They were smiling and really engaged in it from beginning to end.

Then Ps Georgie shared a phenomenal Word from the theme of this year’s ADORE – Together. During her preaching she was saying that the venue was finished today in time for the conference. They had sand bought in so that it would feel like a beach. And that we were also the very first group of people to use the newly renovated venue. She then commented and said, “God, if this is the table you are setting, what food are you going to bring?” Which is totally and completely true.

Ps Lou then closed the session and the women went out onto the beach to get their scrumptious supper – chocolate cake. It was so yummy, and Roxy totally loved it!

Before we left one of the main event co-ordinators, Kris (who is absolutely gorgeous!), briefed everyone for tomorrow and gave a run down of the day!

When it was time to leave though, it always seems to take some time because there are so many girls and we all like talking. So the driver tends to sit on a chair behind the van and wait.

Anyway, right now at 11.30pm in the hotel lobby, Rochelle, Angie, Jac and Roxy are all practising their item for tomorrow, ‘Say A Little Prayer’.

So tomorrow is definitely shaping up to be an incredible day!!

Interview: Rochelle Ford

[This blog has since moved to bybethanyjae.com. Head on over to check it out, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised… x]

Rochelle has also been involved in the New Life Christian Church worship team and will be leading during the ADORE Conference.

What has it been like being involved in their worship team?

The best! They’ve been really easy to work with and I’ve been surprised by how accommodating and flexible they’ve been. They’ve been really easy going and encouraging as well. I’ve got a lot to learn from them by how they’re accepting of others. You wouldn’t even know that there’s a culture barrier when we come together to worship. We all have the same goal and when we’ve had our rehearsals, the spirit of God there has been really sweet. As soon as we were ready to play, the presence of God was just so tangible.

Is there anything that you’ve learnt by being involved?

I’ve learned a lot by observing them. They’re all team players with the same goal. They think and live differently to us, but they have no ego, they’re all great friends with each other, and all of them have one goal only. For a worship team that’s very important, and I want to be that kind of team player. I’d love to take that back home.

What has been a highlight of your time here so far?

The worship rehearsal and Power Service. At the worship rehearsal the presence of God was just there. It gives you shivers because it was the first time we met the team but it was so effortless, pleasurable and fun. It was the first time I’ve felt like myself here. We saw the slums and the women’s prisons and that was such a culture shock, but this really lifted my spirit. God encouraged me that He is doing something around the world with our two countries combined.

What’s been the hardest thing so far?

The slums and SSS, and understanding that no one is safe. There’s a lot of danger out there with no one to protect them. You know it’s going on but are so powerless to do anything. You see it going on but you can’t shake it off because that’s how it’s always been. You just want to protect them and you come to the realisation that these gorgeous kids have no one to protect them at night when it’s dark and they have no electricity.

Have anything caught you by surprise?

The way they live. There is a great difference in classes that are just five minutes down the road. Like there are people living in mansions across the road from the slums. I didn’t think there’d be poverty everywhere. There are people hovering out in front of their homes doing nothing. When you get to know them, you wouldn’t think that they’re living in these conditions. And they’re all so beautiful, encouraging, giving and tell us how beautiful we are.

What are you most looking forward to about the ADORE Conference?

Seeing the difference in the women that walk in and out; they’re facial expressions and how they hold themselves. I believe they’ll be blessed, empowered and encouraged. As a result their lives, families and generations won’t be the same. The things that God will do are so deeply rooted that it will impact everything. As we come in with one heart and spirit, His spirit will come in a powerfully way. I’m excited about what’s God’s going to do and I don’t want to limit Him with my own imagination. I’m so excited!