Day 8: Manny Pacquiao, changed lives, and family picture

Manny Pacquiao

1. Manny Pacquiao. It’s not every Sunday that you hear a message preached by a world-class boxer, says my brother. I agree. It’s a long story how Manny ended up in the pulpit of our church last Sunday. Let’s just say, it all began when he came to know the saving grace of Jesus, without which he probably wouldn’t even bother accepting the invitation of this small church in Manila he knew nothing about.

Now, it’s one thing to be starstruck seeing a celebrity/politician/title-holder in the flesh, it’s an entirely new level of awe when you hear someone like Manny deliver a simple but striking message as if he’s been preaching for years. Or recite Bible verses from the heartno scripts, cue cards, or idiot boards. Or humbly share his testimony, how God has been continuously changing him since the day he surrendered his life to Him. Amazing! It’s an added bonus that he shared inside stories about his fights, while joking about them too. “Iiyak din siguro ako nun, kayalang nakatulog ako,” (I probably would have cried too, but I got knocked out), he joked, pertaining to that shocking knock-out from the Marquez fight.

What a great guy, this Manny. I was never a boxing fan, but last Sunday I became a convert. It was a great Sunday to be at SBCC. I’m so glad I was there.

2. Changed lives. If you passed by our church last Sunday and saw the crowds of people, you’d probably wonder if there’s a Pacquiao match happening. Well, it was better than that. Pacquiao was really there, except that there wasn’t any boxing match. Just an honest-to-goodness testimony of a man who was changed by God from the inside out; a testimony that was powerful enough to make others believe too. Praise God for the 100+ souls that were saved that day, because of ONE man who wanted to make a difference.

3. Family picture. On a lighter note, Manny sat down and had lunch with the leaders of our church; we saw him and his family up close and personal, we listened to an extended version of his testimony, he signed autographs. And while he’s just within arm’s reach, we scored a family picture with The Pacman. How’s that for a remembrance? :D

30 Days of Gratitude, Day 8.