Around thirteen years ago, I slipped into the back of a room filled with women at a Valentine’s Luncheon where a beautiful blonde woman at the front talked about the love of Jesus Christ that pursues us. The more she described His love, the more I saw that I too had a deep longing, like a magnet, for Jesus and that He was what I had been looking for all along…(in places that don’t completely fill that longing.) Tears started profusely flowing silently as the Eureka moment moved and captivated me into finally saying YES! to Jesus, too. At eleven years old, I said Yes —I want Him as my Savior but this time, I said Yes to Him being my Lord (Boss)… in what would become a progressive continuing process whenever I forget zet He iz Ze Bozz.
The beautiful blonde was Deonna Tanchi. I am so grateful to her for that time she took to share the love of Jesus. It became a life milestone that has led to paths of blessing, peace, and joy amidst unpredictable blows life throws. Deonna is a precious mentor, spiritual mother, friend, who is predictably joyful, gracious, compassionate, loving. To disaster calls, she responds gently, kindly, and prayerfully with declaration of the faithfulness of God and with expectation that He will act accordingly. Deonna is a great role model, encourager, nurturer, and inspiration.
I was so blessed when Jojo Chan, on behalf of the CCF pastors’ wives, ordered an afternoon tea party surprise for Deonna’s birthday for Tuesday, August 9.
The original plan was for the ladies to come to the Karen’s Kitchen Kapitolyo shop so that we could just bring out the food on their cue. But on August 5, three and a half days before schedule, due to logistics and surprise factor, the venue got changed to a room in CCF. The mission was, should I choose to accept it, to convert the mirror image of this room into the tea party venue!
After a thoughtful, careful half second of deliberation, I accepted the mission. [Help me, God!] So for the next few days, Deonna’s assistant, Ellen Lopez and Jojo Chan made strategic ops and tactical arrangements. On D-day, the team was up at the break of dawn. By ten hundred hours… hurdling unexpected sudden precipitation causing mobility problems, armed with the necessary paraphernalia (teacups and lace), all systems were in place. A slight delay due to logistics team devotion caused a holdup of the moving equipment and manpower (trolleys and manongs). Finally, the entrance barrier was removed, access granted. Looking at my team seriously in the eye, I declared, “We’re going in!”
Chop! Chop! Chop! Teacup handles at 3 o’clock! Utensils at 6 o’clock! Not at 5 or 7 o’clock! My soldiers and I worked out and about.
By fourteen hundred hours, we switched gears and uniforms. From soldiers, we put on pretty aprons with friendly faces. We would become gracious hosts! Here is the After picture:
Food, Stand by!
Tables, Stand by!
Two o’clock! ‘Tis time for tea! The attendees started coming in! This was supposed to be a “meeting” (rhymes with “m’eating”) after all…pastors’ wives and Deonna’s daughters and daughters in law … looking like bouquets of flowers as they walked through the door dressed in splashes of the colour family of aqua, turquoise, and sea foam. Deonna herself dressed in her usual favourite colour unknowningly was perfectly coordinated for the surprise party! 🙂 The most beautiful parts of the room were the women waltzing in, radiating God’s goodness and grace.
It was a joy to witness the love and gratitude circulating in the room along with the air-conditioning . The ladies gave tributes of appreciation along with cream coloured roses to Deonna. She is like cream to a cake!
Servant-hearted beautiful women brought food for the rest of the guests:
It was an afternoon filled with smiles…
When 10,000 Reasons (by all led by Coco Fenix), How Did You Know and Til I Met You (by Kuh Ledesma) were sung, the love for Deonna (and ultimately, Jesus) that filled the room was moving.
The traffic was specially heavy with the all-day rain but in the nick of time, these ladies made it to the tea party!!
The beautiful (inside and out) birthday celebrant as usual was radiant and joyful but this day, more so!
We love you, Deonna! You are instrumental to how we continue to rediscover the love and passion of Jesus in this eternal love affair. May the Lord continue to immeasurably bless you in all ways possible, use you for His kingdom and continue to make you shine for Him, fresh and green. Are you sure you are above forty-nine?
What a blessed day it was to give a birthday tribute to Deonna Tanchi!❤️.
Dr. Carolyn Tanchi Pedro had arranged for Functional Medicine doctor, Dr. Raymond Escalona to give a talk on Health right after the tea party (Details coming up on upcoming post). After the rest of the guests left, Deonna also shared the love of Jesus with Dr. Escalona so at the end of the evening from a “50/50 chance of getting into heaven,” Dr. Escalona was sure he was going to heaven by faith in Jesus Christ!
L-R: Malu Ortiz (Event Photographer), Jojo Chan (Event Coordinator), Marissa Buenaventura (Event Photographer), Karen Young (Afternoon Tea Caterer)
Thank you to Malu Ortiz for most of these pictures.