Hillsong Conference Sydney

As I was decluttering my closet this morning, I was ready to toss an old orange romper into my pile of giveaways. I took a second look at it and a surge of emotions came rushing in—it was the romper I wore on our very first date!!!!! NOOO! Romper, come back to the closet and stay here—FOREVER! 🙂 🙂 Patrick even texted me after our date and said “I really enjoyed our date tonight. You looked AMAZING by the way.” Aba syempre, AMAZING talaga! Excuse me, AKO PA?!?!?! Helloooo!  Kaya hindi pwede itapon ‘tong AMAZING romper na ito. Hahahaha!!! 

I still remember our first date like it was yesterday. I remember the movie we watched, what I ordered for dinner, the exact parking slot in Power Plant mall, what he was wearing—-but of all the details that I was trying to piece together in my mind that evening, it was the music that was playing in his car that really gave a lasting impression. He was playing 90’s music (hooray!) and Christian music (so I was like wuuuhhhhaaaaat?!).  

So let me explain myself first. Like 90% of the Philippine population, I grew up in a Christian home, went to a Christian school, went to church every Sunday, gave to charity. Jesus was all over–including Mary, Joseph, and his whole barkada of disciples, saints and angels. Jesus was all around me—except inside of me. I was never really ashamed to call myself a Christian, but I wasn’t exactly proud of it either. I was just one of those “let’s keep it on the down low” kind of believers—trying to still live a cool, normal, secular life from Monday to Saturday and then willing to put the Christian hat on when Sunday morning came calling. So when I heard  the songs of praise and worship blasting through his iPod ON OUR FIRST DATE, I didn’t really know how to feel about it. I thought to myself “Don’t we just sing these songs on Sunday mornings or during retreats? I mean, you’re on a date—and you’re trying to impress this girl and you’re playing Jesus tracks?!”. Half of me was probably on the defensive, feeling guilty for my own ailing spiritual life. I was in denial, I was struggling, ultimately..I was lost. And without really meaning it, just by playing a few songs on shuffle mode, this fella stirred up some unsettling feelings inside of me. Feelings that I thought no longer mattered because I was in control of my own life and had it all figured out (I was obviously sooooo wrong!). 
As the date progressed I started noticing something about Patrick that I’ve never ever encountered in any other man—I realized that his confidence and countenance were  anchored on one thing: his relationship with God. He had a sureness about him that didn’t come from his own merit, it came from something bigger and greater. He didn’t really say “Jesus this-Jesus that” in fact our conversations weren’t really on the holy moly guacamole side but there was just something about him and the way he carried himself that made him very different. 
 
For years, I always attached my feelings of self-awareness to things I’ve accomplished (graduating from a prestigious university, thriving in the industry, making my own money, etc) and to how I am able relate to the rest of the world. The world’s standards became my standards and I derived my faux happiness from things that were fleeting and temporal. For the first time in my life, my perspective was challenged. And I felt uncomfortable with it. Here was Patrick just singing along to some old church song like a 75 year old Lola—not caring at all if it was baduy, corny, or too “Christian-y”. Praising the Lord through traffic from Salcedo Village to Rockwell—was his thing and he didn’t feel the need to downplay this part of his life for anyone, even ME, a girl he was trying to style on. He was just being himself, a dude who really liked Jesus—no edits, no pretensions. It took a while for me to be on the same boat, a lot of humbling had to happen for me to really break down my walls and fully understand it. But I’m really thankful that the Lord was very patient in shaping me—this very stubborn and selfish heart of mine needed a major makeover! Hindi pa tapos!
 
Some of the songs that played on Patrick’s iPod that evening came from HILLSONG. And that is why I’ve been a fan ever since. For those who aren’t familiar with HILLSONG, they are a church movement that started in Australia 30 years ago. A lot of the songs we sing in our own little churches were penned and produced by them. They have been used by God to serve millions around the world through their ministry of music and missions. Every year they have a Hillsong Conference which is open to EVERYONE. You don’t have to be a member of Hillsong or any church org really—as long as you have the heart to serve the Lord and others in your own little way, then you can definitely sign up for it! Patrick attended this conference back in 2006 (long before we met) and to this day he calls it one of the most life-changing events of his adult life. So while we were still dating, we promised each other that once we got married, we would save up and do the Hillsong Conference together. Our dream came true a few weeks back—after months of major pagtitipid, we made it to the Hillsong Conference in Sydney!!!!! The actual conference ran from Monday to Friday. We flew in on a Saturday morning and did a bit of sightseeing before the start of the actual conference—we also managed to squeeze in some pasyal-pasyal in between sessions too. 

More than 25,000 people flocked to Sydney from all parts of the globe to attend the conference so it was really packed! There were morning and night rallies—which were like super concerts! It was such a feast for the senses with amazing production numbers, powerhouse performances, props, light, videos, and great guest speakers— the works!!! We were all singing our lungs out (even if out of tune!) and were just so happy to be celebrating Jesus through their excellent productions! In the afternoon, we attended several workshops called “Masterclasses”. This year they allowed us to just move freely and select the classes that really fit our lifestyle, current professions and ministries. We attended the classes on FILM, Social Media, Creativity, etc and learned so much from the Hillsong team and other guest facilitators. The classes were so inspiring—Patrick and I were raring to go back home so we could apply all the things we learned! Hopefully I will have more time to blog about each session in detail, but in the meantime I hope you’ll be good with just this photo teaser:) Thank you Lord for giving me and my husband the opportunity to attend this year’s conference. Salamat, Salamat, Salamat!

For those interested to sign up for next year’s conference, watch this video below!

Speak we’re listening. from Salomon on Vimeo.

4 Responses to Hillsong Conference Sydney

  1. I was looking for the picture of the orange romper…hehehe. Seeing and listening to Hillsong live is one of my dream, God’s will I can watch them live too. God bless you Patty!

  2. Super like this post! Yeah, I’d also like to see the orange romper. Haha! Hope you’ll be able to blog about the sessions you attended. God bless, THE PATS! 😉

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