by Gloria T. Caoile
In a unique and difficult holiday season, the Fil-Am NV Community Prayer Zoom brought together leaders from four different churches on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.
Pastor Sergio “Jun” Marcelo of Lord of Harvest, Larry King, an Elder at Paradise Seventh Day Adventist Church, Father Manny Guico, Retired and serves at several Catholic Churches in Las Vegas and Pastor Bay Tambucon of the Point Ministries all led prayers and gave blessings during the event.
Additionally, Amie Belmonte opened the prayer zoom with an inspirational message. Community members were able to honor folks who have passed.
With social distancing guidelines in place, the service had to be held virtually, but it was powerful nonetheless.
Attendees were able to safely “gather” and feel connected to the community. It was an opportunity to reunite, reflect, and celebrate.
“With deep gratitude we thank Sonny Miquel and June Saaveddra for setting the tone of this solemn evening with their rendition of Amazing Grace,” said Sally Ballecha.
“We have all faced challenges this year, and that’s why it was so important for us to come together and lift each other up,” said Alex Pena.
“The holidays are a time for togetherness, even when circumstances keep us apart,” added Leo Belmonte.
During the prayer service, Dorothy Domingo paid tribute to Joe Tinio and Nadia Jurani remembered Lamberto “Bob” Balazo, both of whom sadly passed this year. There was also time for community members to share their experiences fighting COVID-19 and their reflections on this year in general.
“It was so powerful to hear from two of our nurses who recovered after bad cases of COVD-19,” said Minda Banaria.
“They reminded us that good health is a blessing,” continued Frank Banaria.
“We are all struggling in our own ways, but the Prayer Zoom gave us a chance to draw strength from our faith and each other,” Cynthia Deriquito noted.
“Our community recognizes that some wish to pray for their loved ones in the privacy of their homes. We respected this and not mentioning their names was not a neglect but to abide by this,” reassured Bernie Benito.
The prayer zoom ended with a wonderful song by Rutherine Umali of How Great Thou Art.