Celebrating 10 years of worship, service and connection in South Philly

by Aldo Siahaan

“There are many immigrant like us in this city, why don’t we reach out to them so they can also know Christ?” “We’re immigrants too, so we can serve each other.” “Let us win many souls for Jesus in this city!”

Worshipers blow out the candles on Philadelphia Praise Center's birthday cake. This year marks ten years for the congregation.
Worshipers blow out the candles on Philadelphia Praise Center’s birthday cake. This year marks ten years for the congregation.

This conversation emerged among some Indonesian friends in early 2005 when we started Philadelphia Praise Center. We began recognizing the many immigrants in South Philadelphia and longed to have a House of Prayer for all people.

A year later, Philadelphia Praise Center began to build a relationship with Franconia Mennonite Conference through connections with Mennonite World Conference that reached back to Indonesia. That relationship kept growing until Philadelphia Praise Center officially became part of the conference in 2008.

The weather this past Sunday morning was very cold with strong winds, but many different people showed up for our anniversary worship service: Latinos, Vietnamese, Burmese, Korean, Malaysian, and Indonesians, who have the same purpose: to celebrate God’s work through Philadelphia Praise Center over the last 10 years.

A decade went so fast. There are many things that God has done, but most noticeable are the relationships with Christians who come from different nations and ethnicities. In one part of worship led by Bobby Wibowo, we sang in Indonesian, Spanish, Mandarin, and English. Similarly, when blowing out the birthday candles on our celebratory cake, representatives of the different countries that worship with Philadelphia Praise Center all came forward to blow out the candles together. We are different backgrounds but one goal. Yes, we come from different nations with different languages, but we are worshiping the same Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

“To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory, for the things He has done”—This is the song that we sang to end the worship celebration at PPC. We believe in the next 10 years, God will reveal even more amazing work

Aldo Siahaan is a Franconia Conference LEADership minister and pastor at Philadelphia Praise Center.

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