– As delivered during the closing remarks of A Song of Hope –

I am Archie and my mother is the one whose healing we are all wishing for tonight. At this point, allow me to personally thank you because your presence here reminds me that indeed there are many reasons to celebrate and appreciate life no matter how hopeless life’s situations could be. You may be wondering how I am able to cope with these challenges from the time my mother was diagnosed to have ESRD or kidney failure, until this moment when I am standing in front of you where the future still looks very much uncertain. I also ask myself the same question from time to time and looking back how things have been for me and my mother, the answer surely remains in Him and in us. God surely has a plan. And this plan only becomes possible when friends and families gather in one place to realize His purpose. This is what A Song of Hope is all about. Three weeks ago, I released a letter to the public where I shared my situation and my mother’s urgent need for a kidney transplant. It has been a tough decision as I was hesitant about exposing our personal lives but at the same time, something inside me felt that it was the right thing to do. It was as if God was telling me to let go of everything and let Him take control. And so in strong faith, I surrendered myself and lifted everything to Him. I posted my letter in Facebook. A few days after, an old friend, Leslie Gabe, replied with the intent of helping me raise funds. She told me that she belongs to a chorale group and that she would organize a benefit concert for my mother. Initially, the idea overwhelmed me as I never had the chance of participating in organizing concerts especially where the proceeds would directly benefit me. Days have passed and slowly the idea evolved into a definite plan as I met with Gids Bendecion, Jeannie Khonghun and Mel Torre who shared the same vision as mine. And at this moment, after hearing the lovely performances of Anima, Chorus Paulinus, Baihana, Coro de Sta. Cecilia, and Sitio Payong Children’s Choir, something that only began as a humble idea now becomes a reality. Since the time I released my letter, I have also received generous support from friends and families whose mere response gives enough strength and inspiration for me to hold on. And through their financial assistance altogether, the dream of having kidney transplant for my mother is slowly becoming a possibility. My friends, this is the message that I want to share tonight. There is hope and life is all about hope. As long as we remain in Him, as long as we remain faithful and trusting in Him, as long as we gather and work together in Him, the once unknown can eventually bring hope and certainty. The battle is not yet over for me. This week, we found out that my aunt might not be able to make it as my mother’s donor as test results show that her right kidney also acquired some minor complications. In the event that this is confirmed, we have to find someone else. The whole process of finding a new donor could take another time and at the end of it all, we are not sure if we can ever find one. But again, this is all about hope. God has a plan and as long as I remain in Him, nothing is impossible. I shall not give up and I shall face the battle with God, with my family and now with you as my friends. As a final note, I would like to share something I learned this summer from the Christian Life Program of SFC. There was a question about why bad things happen to good people and why does God allow them to happen to His children. You will hear common answers like God is just testing your faith and God wants you to be stronger. But the truth my friends is this – God wants to deliver us from the place we are in now to the place where He wants us to be. And for us to go through challenges as hard and heavy as these, then where He wants us to be must be really very good. This is hope and hope is what makes us all look forward to a happier and more meaningful life. Thank you very much for your generosity! May God bless us all!