Above: Part of the 3,000 crowd at the El Shaddai celebration.Above: Part of the 3,000 crowd at the El Shaddai celebration.
“Power! Power! Power!” shouted the 3,000-strong crowd of mainly Filipinos as they fist-pumped the air during a time of praise and worship at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.

The venue was bustling with activity on Oct 5 as Catholics celebrated the 23rd anniversary of El Shaddai in Singapore – a Charismatic movement founded by Filipino Mariano Zuniega Velarde, popularly known as “Brother Mike”.

The celebration included skits by the youth ministries from El Shaddai and Blessed Sacrament Church, dances, life testimonies and a documentary on the history of the El Shaddai movement in Singapore.

One highlight of the event was Mass celebrated by Archbishop William Goh and several other priests, during which he spoke on the theme for the full-day event: Go and Tell the Great Things the Lord Has Done for You.

Brother MikeBrother Mike
“Are we grateful to the Lord?” the archbishop asked the crowd.

He urged all to “give testimony to what the Lord has done in our lives”.

The best testimony “is when we lead the life of Christ”, Archbishop Goh said.

For those who have been touched by God, “if you want to give thanks to the Lord, let us show to people that Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives”, he added.

After Mass, a choir accompanied by a live band performed a few praise and worship songs.  The music got the crowd on their feet and many were seen dancing and waving white handkerchiefs.

The crowd cheered when Brother Mike took to the stage to give a two-and-a-half-hour address.

“Do you believe your prayers have been answered? If you believe, then you will receive,” he said.

Speaking in a mixture of Tagalog and English and with references to several Bible passages, he encouraged all present to continue strengthening their faith.

According to the El Shaddai Singapore website, three years ago, the movement had 8 million members worldwide and is growing.

There are presently 2,500 members in Singapore, according to an El Shaddai council member.

By Lorna O’Hara
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