The Game of Love, the secret of successBy Recah Trinidad
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There was a line in the main hymn, sung by a young dancing choir in light, joyous green, that repeatedly hailed the coronation of Jesus Christ.
It went something like “the Lamb on the Throne/ Crown Him with many crowns.”
This had nothing to do with the Cross to Calvary and the crown of thorns.
That main hymn was all about God’s amazing love and how to thank and repay Him.
Among the core values of the All Christian Foundation, Inc. were “Love your neighbor as yourself and excellent service anywhere.”
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Explains ACF, Inc. founder Brother Joey Tanyao: “Let’s encourage others, mainly the hungry and the hopeless, with anything that can give them hope. It really feels good if we can give love today to the needy.”
Bro. Joey also specified that, above all, the greatest gift is love.
“Love God above all things,” he said, “the way Lord Jesus had said that the Greatest Commandment is to Love God.”
Christ Himself gave his life for mankind, Bro. Joey said, so the only way we could repay him is to crown him again and again with good deeds to others.
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ACF, Inc., a non-profit corporation, celebrated its 30th anniversary last Friday at the 3,000-capacity Pacoy Ortega Sports in San Fernando, La Union.
It was not, in anyway, a religious gathering or a cultist rally.
There was no Bro. Mike in atrocious attire, no fancy solemnity of a preacher eyeing the presidency.
There were balloons, twirling confetti, lending a carnival atmosphere.
But there were no healing testimonials, no blind seeing again, or the crippled instantly dumping crutches.
No mysticism nor mystery.
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Outside the sports complex, jeepneys and minibuses outnumbered the flashy cars, and the venue was already teeming with fathers, mothers, children, looking fresh and fulfilled, before the 8 a.m program opening.
It was, in truth, a thanksgiving party, with members and volunteer ministers coming from as far as Aparri and South Cotabato.
It was a huge family, God’s family, benefactors and the beneficiaries coming to embrace one another in a mammoth show of love to the Father and Creator.
“God has been very good to me; he has, in fact, spoiled me,” said the soft-spoken Bro. Joey in humble green barong. He attributed the miraculous rebound in his construction and building business to God’s love.
It was a whole-day affair and the quiet-faced ACF founder kept harking on his debt to the Holy Bible and how it had lent him countless insights that guided him to love God deeper and honor Him by going out of his way to help others.
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The ACF started 30 years ago, explained Pete, Bro. Joey’s younger, with less than ten members, three Catholics, two Protestants, two from the Jehovah’s Witness, a couple of Aglipayans.
Did Bro. Joey ever foresee ACF growing this big? No, he shook his neat, handsome head.
What do you foresee for the ACF?
“It’s hard to tell, but it just keeps growing and growing, and will continue to swell with our love for God.”
How many scholars have you so far helped?
“A little over a thousand.”
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Pete Tanyao, 60, cautioned against making ACF look and sound big.
“We are careful not to over-expose it, the reason there’s practically no publicity.”
Volunteerism is the backbone of the ACF, with ministers from all walks of life offering to serve for the love of God.
ACF operates quietly, if not in secret, ever careful not to make noise in society.
“Not that we did not want ACF to be able to help thoroughly, but we are afraid some scheming people, like charlatans, politicians, racketeers, may hop in. Kawawa ang mga tao.”
He said there are many outreach programs, charity drives, medical missions, feeding sessions, including the repair and building of chapels in remote areas.
“You need not be a Roman Catholic or whatever, ACF does everything for everybody in the name of God.”
Minus selfish kibitzers and greedy politicians, the ACF, Inc., a miracle of love, should be endless.
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