Prayer and Fasting for the Filipino Community Centre
Given the huge importance of putting up a Filipino Community Centre (FCC) in Wellington and mobilizing financial, logistical and manpower resources to realize this dream of the Filipino community, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez in collaboration with the Bulwagan Foundation Charitable Trust hosted a Day of Prayer and Fasting on 25 January 2015 at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence). Ms. Flora Muriel-Nogoy, Chairperson of the Bulwagan Trust Foundation who is spearheading the FCC project together with Ms. Judith Mendoza, Deputy Chairperson, Ms. Odette Dulce-Madrisa, Secretary, Ms. Dinna O’Meara, Treasurer and Mr. Rey Non, Trustee led several members of the Filipino community in fasting, praying and interceding for GOD’s favour, providence, provisions and blessings as HE fulfils the shared aspirations and passion for a Filipino Community Centre in the Wellington area that will serve as a welcoming place for Filipinos and the wider community and a home and haven for Filipino culture, sports and celebrations. In the words of Bulwagan Trust’s Chairperson, Ms. Flora Muriel Nogoy, the FCC is envisioned to be “a place of belonging and learning for all people and more importantly, a heritage of the next generation of Kiwi-Filipinos.”
Ambassador Benavidez warmly welcomed all the prayer intercessors and spoke on the significance of the Day of Prayer and Fasting dedicated to the Filipino community and the FCC following Biblical principles, promises and priorities. She commended the Bulwagan Foundation Charitable Trust officers and trustees, Exceptional Communications, friends from the Maori community, namely, Ms. Sharmane Thompson, Ms. Lesley Maxwell and Mr. Brendan Samuel and supporters for their dedication, passion, commitment and strong faith and solid Christian foundation to pursue a GOD-given dream for the benefit of the Filipinos and people from the communities. Pastor Rasik Ranchord, Founding Pastor of the Abundant Life Centre Church in Wellington led the prayer and conveyed GOD’s message for the FCC project, citing relevant portions from Scriptures on the importance of leadership and prayers for the Board of Trustees and Committees for clear vision, courage, faith, inspiration, perseverance and people skills, resources in the spiritual, material, financial, human, organizing and building realms. He also called on everyone involved in the FCC project to guard against apathy, negative criticism, unbelief, disunity and wrong priorities and to focus on commencing, continuing and concluding as “our GOD is a GOD of community, culture, celebration and appreciation of enriching variety of people and togetherness. What GOD approves, HE provides. GOD’s will is GOD’s bill.” Ms. Nogoy highlighted the details of the prayer session either individually or collectively in any area inside and the gardens of “Ang Bahay” and presented the contents of the booklet prepared for the occasion as a guide and the stones on which people can inscribe words of encouragement and prayer. She stressed the urgency of praying for the establishment of the FCC at No. 92 Cuba Street, Petone, wisdom for the Trustees of the Bulwagan Trust Foundation as they work with the Landlord and the FCC to “be a place of blessing for all those who use the facilities, a place of belonging, unity, joy and celebration and most of all, a place where GOD will be praised!” A 90-minute prayer session followed during which the participants earnestly prayed and appealed to GOD for the fulfilment of a shared dream for the establishment of the FCC in Wellington. Mr. Rey Non delivered the closing prayer and shared the need to ensure that the FCC project is seen through GOD’s eyes and sustained through active involvement, unity and partnership of both Filipino and wider communities.
At the breaking of the fast, a lively and interactive fellowship ensued with guests partaking and enjoying the “Ang Bahay” cuisine consisting of Walnut Soup with Stilton Cheese, Pan de Coco, Potato Salad, Chicken Afritada, Pork Sisig, Fried Vegetable Springroll, Carrot Cake , Fruit Salad and Iced Tea, Coffee and Fruit Juices.
An article, "PHL AMBASSADOR HOSTS DAY OF PRAYER AND FASTING FOR THE FILIPINO COMMUNITY CENTRE IN WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND", published by the Philippine Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand, on 05 February 2015 with permission.
* Photos courtesy of Rowel Madrisa
More photos available on the Bulwagan Foundation Trust facebook page.