Couples for Christ Oceania region gathered together as one community on the last weekend of May 2015 in the beautiful Hamilton Gardens in Waikato. It was a chilling Friday night start but the warm welcome of our New Zealand sisters and brothers more than provided the heat needed to counter one of the coldest May night in Hamilton.
Friday night kicked off with the traditional Powhiri Maori ceremony ending with the now world famous Haka. Ronnie Alban as NZ CFC National Director opened the weekend with his welcome address as host of the conference. Delegates from Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and across Australia felt at home as the local Hamilton and the rest of NZ CFC proved to be very generous hosts to all.
The presence of our elders from the Philippines, particularly from Davao CFC led by Oceania and International Council member James Solano, New Zealand country co-ordinator Alan Baino and Australian country co-ordinator Rene Breva together with their wives Ella, Jing and Mayose (respectively) added to the affirmation of one Oceania CFC called together to be enriched and challenged to be a better and more loving person than before. They were beefed up by additional leaders from CFC Davao and Compostela Valley (ComVal) who shared in the four talks and enhanced the meaning of what we are called to become – “ältus Christus” – another Christ to others.
From our theme “Love More” from John 21:15-17, the weekend provided an inter-play of creatives and talks/sharings to make everyone reflect on the “littleness” of whatever we have accomplished in the past - that we need to be more prayerful and closer to God so that by His grace we may be able to share his Love to all people we meet. The “Love More Café” dramatization exemplified the many stages and ebb and flow of community life. Many would have identified themselves with every scene that preceded each talk.
In the closing exhortation, Alan Baino issued a challenge to all to return to their respective areas with greater commitment to love more through the gifts of the Holy Spirit because in the end, everything is all Grace.
Our sincerest appreciation and thanks to CFC New Zealand for all their selfless efforts and generousity.
But most of all - Praise God for such a beautiful and Spirit-filled weekend.