BFF: Bohol, Facebook and Friendship

It took me 19 years before I set foot on Bohol. I’ve been to many places abroad, but I’ve always dreamt of going there. Last week, I had a wonderful experience touring the island, the famous Chocolate Hills and other places. However, the sights and sounds came no closer to the lesson God taught me on friendship.

E8 at the Chocolate Hills. From left to right: Shanie, Jane, Jed, Shanemie, Hadrian, Jonalyn, Armel and Pamela.

Bohol, Facebook and Friendship—three words that made my week. (I’ll be talking more about my other experiences in our Bohol tour in the next few posts. )

I was part of a special fellowship before our fieldtrip—Friends Forever Fellowship or F3. The lessons from F3 came to me again and again… Friends are friends forever if the Lord’s the Lord of them.

I have a Christian friend in Bohol. My classmate TJ from the island introduced me to Hannah. Interestingly, I never met her in person before. I only interacted with her through Facebook since we “met”.

It’s a Christian friendship that I value so much. I enjoy our chats about life, love, Christian courtship and anything else in the sun. I admire her deep love for Jesus and how she desires to glorify God. We share interesting thoughts about Joshua Harris’ books on courtship. I was “there” when she tried studying at Silliman University. She comforted me in my trying times during the summer, when I was struggling with letting go of something I held dear…and many more. Those were meaningful yet rare experiences. Who would have thought a Facebook friend would share that with you?

Our Bohol tour gave me the opportunity to finally meet Hannah in person. When I came to Bohol, I realized that our dorm was very near their home. That, I don’t see as a coincidence.

Hannah and me.

I took a walk to their place after our touring day. Her family welcomed me to their restaurant and home like they have known me for a long time. I had dinner at their restaurant. 🙂 Such wonderful Christian hospitality!

(Thanks po, Tito, Tita, Lola, Noy and Eldon for making me feel at home there!)

The name Hannah (חנה) means “favored grace”. I consider Hannah as a dear sister. I consider our friendship a grace from God.

I guess God brought me to Bohol not only to enjoy the place, but to enjoy His grace as well. And I did.

I could never forget my prayer back then with Hannah, “Lord, thank you for the gift  of friendship that transcends time, space and technology…”

Such Biblical friendship thrills me. Bohol and Facebook became special tools in bringing God’s lessons from F3 to me. BFF. When I left, it seemed I was leaving home. Nostalgic, but the things I learned are priceless.

Favored grace.

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