Myee Campos was born and raised in Manila and now resides in Pasig City.
She works as a finance officer at the regional headquarters (RHQ) of a shared services company at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in the city of Taguig.
With both parents Catholics, Myee was baptized and raised Catholic, and she was sent to a Catholic school from elementary to high school. But she was attracted to another religion.
IN 2000, Mel, a co-worker in a networking company, invited me to a Christian service in Greenhills, San Juan.
I was impressed with the jubilant atmosphere, the lively music, so different from our solemn Catholic Mass.
The pastor lectured not only on spiritual matters, but on practical topics as well, such as becoming an entrepreneur. I wanted to become a business owner so I quickly got interested.
Gradually, I was drawn to join this church, whose members were also my newfound friends in the networking company. Before I knew it, I was already attending the prayer group meetings and Bible Study sessions regularly. These are activities which I didn’t experience at my parish church.
This was all new to me and I felt like a little girl entering not just a candy shop, but a whole new world. Joining the new religion came naturally for me as I guess I had a hunger to get to know God more.
As I pursued this new experience, my interest in attending Mass waned—until I stopped going to my parish church, and eventually left to be part of this non-Catholic denomination. But not for long.
Even as I attended this church, I still asked God to confirm whether this was the religion He wanted for me.
After three years, the honeymoon was over. I started to see some cracks in the glass. I noticed core members formed into an exclusive group— which turned me off.
The key message of the talks was that only those in this church will be saved. This kind of thinking just didn’t sit well with me. It didn’t jive with the kind of God that I knew — loving, merciful, and compassionate, accepting everyone into His fold.
Then, money issues rocked the church and I began to question the leaders’ values. Demoralized, I started to lie low.
It happened that around this time, my father began to prepare for his retirement. He asked me to go home weekly in Guinobatan, Albay, to help him prepare his retirement documents. And so I had a good reason to stay away from the church.
Also around this time, I heard that one of the church’s core members-in-training had to leave. Her parents brought her to their hometown in Romblon because they didn’t agree with her joining this church which to them was a cult.
I found a way to have a word with her and I wouldn’t forget what she said: “Stay with your parents and listen to them.”
It was the confirmation that I asked for. I cut my ties with the church and went back to attending Mass but still not regularly.
Actually, even when I swore off attending Mass, I still went with my parents to our parish church— just to show my respect to them. But I didn’t take the communion. My parents never said a word about it and just respected my choice.
During my spiritual hiatus, my soul craved for a church service that could quench my thirst for God. And I couldn’t find it in my parish church.
Finding The Feast
I happened to meet again with Mel, the co-worker who brought me to the Christian church. Apparently, she noticed I’d been listless.
She asked me, “Do you know Bo Sanchez?”
“No,” I said.
“You will like him,” she gushed. “He’s a powerful lay preacher. I started reading his books and I thought of you. I know you’ll like him.”
My friend prodded me to buy Bo’s books and watch his midnight show. I did. I devoured his books and waited for his show despite its late airing.
Almost religiously, Mel and I would meet and discuss about Bo’s television program. The show included announcements of his Sunday prayer gathering called The Feast which at the time was being held at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.
We decided to attend The Feast but unforeseen circumstances always prevented us from going. Finally, after several attempts, we were able to attend in 2006, on what would be the prayer gathering’s last day at Camp Aguinaldo.
The Feast moved to the Arena in San Juan. We followed Bo there. And we followed him to Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City, where The Feast was held for a while, then to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), and then, as of this writing, to various venues around PICC in what is now known as The Feast Bay Area.
Honestly, at first, I was not that impressed with the prayer meeting. I found the praise and worship part too long. I was not comfortable raising my arms in the air and hearing other people shout their praises. But, I felt God’s presence there and I knew I was home.
Still, I did not attend The Feast regularly. I didn’t go if my friend couldn’t make it. You see, Sunday became like our bonding session. After the prayer meeting, we would have lunch together and catch up with each other’s life.
I’m a shy person and I guess I got a little intimidated because the people at The Feast all seemed to know each other. I felt like an outsider.
When my friend found out I missed The Feast because she wasn’t going, she confronted me about it. Her question became my wake-up call.
“Are you going there for me or for God?”
I felt guilty. So I started going by myself and made new friends. Before long, I felt the urge to extend myself to service. I joined the Intercessory Ministry as an encoder of people’s prayer petitions. I also joined a Feast small caring group now called Light Group.
This time I was convinced, Mel is God-sent, my angel without wings.
Nine years after I first joined The Feast, I have taken various roles as a servant. Today, I am one of the coordinators of the Singles Ministry.
But more than my roles at The Feast, I value how The Feast has changed me into a better person. Thanks to Bro. Bo’s weekly preaching and practical tips on how to live a happy and abundant life. I have a better picture of myself as God’s child. And I am able to get to know God more and deepen my relationship with Him through the formation program for servants.
What’s more, I now understand and appreciate the importance of the Catholic Church’s Sacraments.
The Feast format is suited for people like me, who are looking for something more welcoming, not intimidating or threatening. That teaches us more of God’s love and mercy than scaring us with punishments. Part of Bro. Bo’s charm is that he doesn’t condemn or judge sinners. He exposes himself as a sinner and people can relate to him. And he invites us to move with him closer to God.