TRIBES OF THE LORD
Hebrew 10:24-25, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
We may not have the number of the 12 Tribes of Israel but we have love, peace and unity that are evident among the seven tribes of Cluster 3 or Tribes of the Lord aka TOL. The acronym is very apt since adding the letter U makes utol (originates from kaputol ng pusod or navel) which stands for brotherhood or sisterhood – this is always very warmly felt whenever we, the different “tribes”, come together.
Since we live outside Las Piñas and Parañaque, our members from nearby cities have been grouped to form Cluster 3. Most of us come from different villages or areas in Cavite, Muntinlupa, Laguna and northern part of Metro Manila, so we have seven sub-clusters in the following places: Alabang Hills, Ayala Alabang, Cavite, Makati, Muntinlupa, San Pedro and Villa Lourdes.
For years now, we have celebrated Christmas and Family Day in different venues doing various fun-filled activities, both of which are always looked forward to by everyone, young and old alike – for the fun, food, prayers and bonding of all the tribes. We are blessed to have a core group composed of all coordinators and representatives in each sub-cluster who plan our yearly events. After feasting on the food, it would be usually followed by pictorials, games, group discussions and the Word of God, then, ending our afternoon by doing a flash dance to exercise and stretch our limbs and muscles to the music of praise songs!
Ptr. Abel Salamat accompanied by Sis. Gie, faithfully visit our members, aside from holding Bible studies in the 7 sub-clusters. Just recently, my sub- cluster had two joint Bible studies with Muntinlupa and Cavite for a night of fellowship and study of God’s Word in the home of Deaconess Tess Alegata.
Needless to say, Ptr. Abel and Gie are happily hopping to visit our members from one city to another. The other Saturday, some of us accompanied Ptr. Abel to visit a couple in our village. Although not members, they attend our services from time to time. We enjoyed and were blessed – looking forward to the next one, by that time, with a Bible study as well. From my own visitation experiences as on term deaconess in years past, I feel that the able ones among us in church should find the time, and with glad hearts, to visit God’s people especially the sick and hurting in obedience to our church’s tenet to CALL, CARE and CULTIVATE.
Many years ago, we used to hold Bible studies in designated homes of our members. Our home was a weekly venue for one of the groups and I must admit that aside from the meaningful study of the Scriptures, we had memorable moments together and developed close friendships and sisterhood among us. The big difference that I see this time is that we all have widened our circle to reach out to more brothers and sisters in the Lord. Now, we get to hear their stories and feel what they feel, and together, thank God for each other’s blessings and boldly ask for His help and intervention for each member’s need or present trials and circumstances.
To sum it all, we now have a more involved, energetic, exciting and edifying “clustering.” It is my prayer that we continue to do so as instructed in Hebrews 10:24-25 until the much awaited return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. If you are living in areas outside of Parañaque and Las Piñas, you may contact Pastor Abel Salamat at 09175562813.