Divine Travels: A Time of Wander and Praise in Sydney, Australia (City Walk + Hillsong Conference)

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.

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The exciting opening that made the crowd wild and crazy to praise and worship.

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.

Hillsong Conference

Why can’t church be this cool? Oh yeah church can definitely be this cool while honoring God! :)

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.

The reason for this celebration

The reason for this celebration!

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!

Joel Houston Hillsong NYC Pastor

One of the men who lead worship was Joel Houston, who’s now the lead Pastor of Hillsong in New York City, U.S.A.

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.

The baby

Baby love! This ADORABLE baby boy (and his getup) definitely made our day (especially Lujene who kept poking his fat cheeks) while waiting in queue. (If only I could hand-carry him…zuper kyut!)

Jesus Culture

One of the bands that lead praise and worship was Jesus Culture. Amazing passion! As in grabehhh (superrr)!

The speakers Mr. John Maxwell and

Two of the speakers at the conference: Mr. John Maxwell (one of my favorite speakers / authors)
and Mr. Nicky Gumbel (Vicar of HTB or Holy Trinity Brompton, the largest Anglican church in UK).

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.

New friends

Represent yo! Ms. Philipines, Ms. Australia, Ms. Spain (joke lang), Ms. China (no joke).
What a pleasure to be with these women – Cecilia, Amanda and Lujene. In perfect booties and “unison” for the Lord. ;)

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).

In between we'll have some city tours

Taking advantage of our free time. Showing Lujene some of our photos in the city. Oh lala look at ze bangs hehe. (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

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!

Darling Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

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.

a walk

Across the Sydney Harbour Bridge at night.

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.

Sydney Opera House night walk

A walk at the Sydney Opera House at night.

City walk

The fascinating city of Sydney.

My favorite pic of the city

One of my favorite pictures of this busy city.

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).

Enjoy mates!

The perfect verse to start it all.
As we attend events like this, may we always remember that it’s all about Jesus. It’s not about the so-called “concert” nor conference, but it’s about Him. I recall what one of the worship leaders of Hillsong United said before the band started playing and while people were beginning to get wild – “Let’s remember that this is not a concert, but this is about Jesus”.

For those of you who want to experience and attend Hillsong’s annual conference: http://hillsongconference.com/sydney/

P.S.

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)

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4 Comments

  • June 20, 2014

    Sabrina

    Hi JM! Lovely photos of Sydney! Last time I was there was more than 10 years ago, I should visit soon so I can see once again the lovely sights here. Yey for travel and yey for more blogging! =)

    • June 20, 2014

      jmdelarama

      Thanks for your gracious words and for visiting Sabrina. 😉 What a nice city, right? I hope you can visit Sydney again soon. More travel and blogs to us (plus more recipes too).

  • July 24, 2014

    Patricia

    Your pictures are amazing!!!

    • July 24, 2014

      Joanne-Marie

      Thank you Patricia! :) Thanks for the visit.