by Mich Nicolas
2020 is a momentous year for Elim Communities. Apart from it being the beginning of a new decade, 2020 marks Elim’s 40th year. It was 40 years ago when Sis Luli Nakar received a vision from the Lord to “go and spread the Good News.”
The Foreword of the Elim Statutes recounts:
On September 28, 1980, Guadalupe “Sister Luli” Nakar had a vision where she saw herself walking along a highway and heard a voice from across the sky: “Go and spread the Good News.” She looked behind her and saw her husband Guillermo “Brother Willy” Nakar Jr, followed by their four children: Maria Dolores, Maria Inez, Precious and Guillermo III. According to the late Rev Fr Pascual Adorable, then a spiritual director and pioneer in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the Philippines, what Sis Luli saw was a “vision” from the Lord. It was a call for the family to follow and serve the Lord.
“Go and spread the Good News.” These six words became the foundation for what has now become a global family of Catholic communities, with over 170 Elim branches and startups all over the Philippines and abroad, namely Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Canada, and the United States.
In the 22nd Elim Missions International Conference (EMIC) last November 12-13, 2019, Elim Missions Director Moses Catan pointed out the biblical significance of the number 40:
In Noah’s time, it rained 40 days and nights, causing the great flood. After the flood came new life.
Moses spent 40 years in the desert. Then he encountered God at the burning bush and was given a renewed calling to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years, until they reached the Promised Land.
Jesus fasted 40 days and nights in the desert. He then began His public ministry after that.
Thus, the 40th year is a milestone—and a new level—where the reward goes beyond one’s comprehension. Forty years also calls for the passing on of a legacy to the next generation.
It is with this backdrop that Elim Communities will be having a year-long celebration this 2020: “profusely, intensely and meaningfully. We desire to honor the Lord in a manner befitting the occasion” (Moses and Dondi Catan, Elim Missions Directors, in their message to the delegates of EMIC).
“There are many things to be expectant about,” wrote Elim Founding Elders Bro Willy and Sis Luli Nakar in their EMIC message, and noted that it is the Holy Spirit who authors the transformation. “The Holy Spirit has transformed us from glory to glory in more ways than one, each to his own experience and making the whole of community into a living and vibrant Christ come to full stature (Ephesians 4:13).”
Elim Spiritual Director Fr Steve Tynan had these words to say: “Forty years of Elim Communities is truly a great accomplishment—one that is not possible without great unity and the desire to work together in serving the Lord. A special congratulations and indeed thanks to Bro Willy and Sis Luli for their unflagging commitment to listening to the Word of God for their lives and being obedient to it…. I congratulate you all and encourage you all to keep up the good work and to pray that the Lord will send more laborers into the harvest…we certainly need them!”
Each month of this year has its designated theme, and the festivities will culminate in one grand celebration during the days of Excellence Conference in November. May every member of the Elim Family—young and old—feast on God’s special favor this year, and help bring more people to Jesus! And with St Paul’s declaration, may every heart and voice resound with, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!”