January 9, 2020

On January 1 of every year, the Encarnacion home enters the frenzy and fun of Siopao-Palooza where we make close to 200 meat-filled siopaos or steamed buns. Gerry and I host it in our home and close to twenty people—family and friends spanning three generations form an assembly line over long tables to mix, knead, fill, shape and steam this beautiful and delicious Filipino counterpart of the Chinese bao.

Our dining table slowly becomes covered with flour clouds and clumps of pasty dough. Everyone begins to look just a bit more “powdery” and gray. As I listen to the hum of the mixers, the clatter of measuring cups and spoons, squealing of little girls and boys and the stories shared back and forth, I can’t help but be filled with this inner joy of belonging and being part of something larger than what I actually see happening here. Never mind that some of the siopaos seem to be shaped more like starfishes because a three-year-old is still new at this. It’s not perfection we’re after. What seems to be the primary goal to make a couple of hundred siopaos becomes secondary to the sense of love and community amongst those in our home.

Ministry is that way at Fullerton Free.

As shepherds we plan, direct, train and empower, not seeking perfection but always with sensitivity to the larger work that God is doing. We want our primary goal to be that we love our Lord Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind and strength AND that we love others as we love ourselves.

I pray that you can find your own version of Siopao-Palooza and invite others to join you. Will you pray for us as we continue to serve the church family with this heart?

Bambi Encarnacion

Bambi Encarnacion
Shepherd of HOST Ministry