In celebration of Hillsong United‘s visit in Manila this week, I also reminisce my second time in Sydney, Australia.
I remember one of my dreams was to visit the Hillsong Church in Sydney. But God prepared something better. I was able to attend not just one of their services, but also the 25th Anniversary of Hillsong (with two of my friends – Cecilia and Lujene) last July 2011.
It wasn’t just any kind of conference or celebration. But it was one of those empowering and refreshing events that will really leave you transformed.
For days we would wake up early just to be on time to queue before each start of the conference at 8am. Thank God we always had good seats during the 4-day event.
This particular Hillsong Conference that I attended was something special. Hillsong really demonstrates how they honor God by the brilliance that they show from their preaching, to their praise and worship, and up to the minute details of their services and events.
I couldn’t help but think about this event as a preview of what heaven looks and feels like! The excellent lighting and effects, the shout of praises from people, and the peace and joy of just lifting the name of God through Jesus – it was really fulfilling.
I believe that for one to mature spiritually, we all need a church where we can grow with people. And I’m blessed to be a part of an excellent church, my home church at Victory. Besides my home church, one of the churches that I really admire for their excellence and passion is Hillsong. And I was blessed to witness how they do it – live!
We were filled with amazing praise and worship, which was lead by Israel Houghton, Jesus Culture, Darlene Zschech, Joel Houston, and the rest of Hillsong United. Besides the praises, impressive and sometimes humorous intermissions, we also got the opportunity to listen to great and eloquent speakers and their powerful messages.
One of the messages that spoke to my heart was what Nicky Gumbel, the Vicar of HTB shared. He articulated the need for each and every Christians and churches to be united. I agree. With so many different Christian denominations out there, the results are sometimes conflicts and bashing. So sad, when we should extend love and peace to one another.
When he shared about this piercing message, there was a time of silence and repentance in the huge conference hall. And a declaration of peace and unity to all churches was spoken.
Besides the conference, we had the opportunity to meet new people and one of them was Amanda and a group of Filipinos and Kiwis (not the fruit).
We also took advantage of the little time we had to walk around the city and find the perfect pair of Ugg boots, which Cecilia ended up buying (instead of me). Haha!
We didn’t have enough time to explore and enjoy the city that much, but at least we were able to see some of Australia’s iconic landmarks.
And though tired (but filled), we were able to squeeze in some walk in the evening. It was chilly but a lovely time to stroll around and take advantage of autumn.
So here’s a quick Aussie cheer to you mates and a prayer for you to be especially filled with a fresh portion of passion. Just a reminder to those of you who will attend Hillsong United’s event this week, it’s not about the people on stage nor the music, but it’s about the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith.
My take away from the conference and this trip: the contagious PASSION in loving and honoring Jesus and to just enjoy the walk (literally when traveling and spiritually with Him).
For those of you who want to experience and attend Hillsong’s annual conference: http://hillsongconference.com/sydney/
When traveling to Sydney, please don’t forget to try their Vegemite. 😉
17 Cities in 7 Years… one of which is a divine travel to Sydney, Australia.
Bucket List: ☑ To attend a service at Hillsong Church ☑ To experience Hillsong Conference ☑ To see and listen to John Maxwell – live ☑ To meet someone special ☑ To enjoy another autumn walk ☑ To choose Him above all else (a different kind of freedom and surrender)