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Faith and fun rule at the CFC SOLD Conference
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"While  tears  are  normally  shed  in  times  of sadness, I shed tears out of  sheer happiness  in finding Jesus." 

THIS was  the  powerful testimony of 86-year-old Hector Campos, the most senior participant  in the  recently-concluded 16thCFC-SOLD  Catholic  Men's  International Conference  held  at the  Sison Auditorium in  Lingayen,  Pangasinan. Notwithstanding the  near-40°  scorching weather,  the  jubilant CFC  of  Pangasina—home of world renowned Bonoan  bangus  and sweet  mangoes—joyfully hosted  this year's “Be  Strong  and  Courageous”  conference  last March 24-26, 2017. The conference was attended by  600  true men  (and women)  of  God  coming from all parts of the country and  joined  by delegations from Brunei, UAE,  Qatar,  Singapore, Malaysia,  South  Africa and the USA.


Three  members  of the  CFC  International Council were present at the  weekend event  to deliver  God's  message, interspersed with heartwarming  and  inspiring sharers  from  different parts of the world. 

The first session, titled I  Dare  You was  given by  Joe  Yamamoto, IC member and Philippine Missions Director, with a moving testimony from Butch  Santos  of SOLD USA.  The  session challenged  the  brothers  to be  truly  men  of  God, faithful and firm, despite the obstacles and tribulations  that  may  come their way.

Manny  Garcia, IC member  and  SOLD  International  Core  Group Member,  spoke about how  true  men  of  God can face these challenges with  the  strength  and courage from God in his talk, Show Me What You Got.  Testimonies  from Arnel  Sacris, Provincial Area  Director  of  CFC Cebu, and Randy Agbulos  showed  the whole assembly what they have got in dealing with life's challenges. 

George  Campos,  CFC President, in his sessionI  Will exhorted  the assembly  on how  to  follow the will of the Lord, transforming the "I will" to  "His  will."  Likewise, sharer  Errol  Martinez, missionary  to South America,  inspired  everyone  with  the story of his journey as a mission worker for 10 years in  Africa.  This  session fittingly ended  with the  SOLD  core  group members  and  CFC  sector heads distributing “I Will” bracelets to all the participants.

Charly Laiz, SOLD ICG member,  presided  over a  teambuilding activity and the "God is Enough" workshop  that  enlivened  the spirits  of  the men  all  the  more.  The men were  divided  into 10 groups  where  they shared  their  skills  as well  as  their thoughts, insights and experiences during group  discussions  facilitated  by 7 Metro Manila  sector  heads,  2 SOLD regional coordinators and a USA  SOLD  coordinator. The facilitators presented the groups’ output in plenary session.

At  the  same  time  that  the brothers  were  opening  themselves to each other, the women attendees were having their own "fish-deboning  seminar."   The men and women extended their camaraderie all the way to the fellowship on Saturday night, which showcased  the  men's  physical aptitude  as  well  as  their  golden voices. Joemar Salumbides, SOLD International  Coordinator,  and Bobbee  Mella,  SOLD-USA  core group  member,  enlivened  both Friday  night's  opening  ceremonies and Saturday night's Grandpa's Playlist  song  competition with their hosting skills.

In a message to the SOLD core group, Ben Cabahug, CFC Samar Area Head, emphatically declared, "  .  .  .  my  learning  in  this SOLD Catholic  Men's  Conference is  to say:  please  do  continue  to  be  a source of joy, courage and faithfulness as you serve God regardless of health and age . . . and maybe the number of hairs. For God's glory!"

The  weekend  event  showed how  a  real  Servant  of  the  Lord can be  a  strong model  of  faith, and a light to the world, standing steadfast, strong and courageous in following God's command yet joyful and loving despite the challenges of time. (O. Mella)



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