Aj Moldez is a man of many talents, gifts, and callings. A landscape architect by trade, his Philippines-based firm is set up as a Business as Mission—designed to plant shalom and the presence of the gospel through landscape architecture and design. He also serves on the board of Peace Builders Community Inc., an NGO committed to working for peace with indigenous communities in conflict areas. And through PBC, he has helped to innovate Coffee for Peace, using coffee as a means to establish peace and shalom in conflict areas, tribes, and communities.
What Aj is not is a pastor. So when his father, Rev. Herman Moldez (below), asked Aj to serve as a photographer for the “graduation ceremony for the Asian Access Philippines First Class”, Aj had no idea what he was getting into. It wasn’t until Aj arrived that he realized that his father was one of the graduates.
Following the event, Aj posted a superb reflection on his experience as guest photographer on his Facebook page. I was so impressed with his take on Asian Access, I asked him if I could share it with you as is. He was kind enough to give us his permission.
I say “as is” because Aj, as is the norm in the Philippines, utilizes both English and Tagalog, the Philippines’ national language, in his post. Even though I don’t understand everything that Aj said, I love the flow of the post, and how his use of language highlights that this post was going to his network of friends and associates, not to a group of pastors or ministry leaders. It’s one non-pastor sharing with other non-pastors the spirit of Asian Access that he caught while attending and photographing the event.
Here’s Aj’s post, “as is”. I hope that you love it as much as I do!
“Pwede ka ba bukas?," the message read. "Attend ka ng lunch namin sa ...," it read some more. I had so much to do with deadlines and stuff, but very rarely would tatay ask me to attend an event and see him in action in the field.
And so I go, only to find out that:
- It was my father's graduation of some program among pastors (which he helped design)
- Apparently, I was the designated "official photographer" (it was probably weird for the attendees to see a stranger zipping and snapping pictures in their event...)
But it was great to witness what tatay does in his field and passion: a broken minister ministering to other broken ministers. It was a very important gathering, and I was glad to have been part of it.
Hearing the stories of these men of God got me all teary eyed: basag na basag ang mga taong ito, pero naging community sila, dropping their titles and seminary studies and just came together as men. REAL men. Very humbling to see these people leave denominations and "isms" at the door, and come together for one common purpose: to be used as vessels of the Creator's love.
A few days ago a very important meeting happened in the middle east, where peace and shalom was the main agenda. Today, I saw a church united under one banner. What a joy to have eyes that catch glimpses of heaven.
— Aj Moldez