Beaten up for his faith

Yesterday was the first Saturday fellowship under the new set of officers of the Davao City chapter and we did start on a very remarkable note.

There were 32 members and 20 guests present. Our Coordinator Teddy Reyes commented that the chapter’s pleas during last Friday’s intercessory prayers for more guests to join us were answered. The number of guests was three to four times than usual.

Our main sharer was an interesting pastor from India, Matthew Samuel. He was with his wife, a fellow missionary. He told us that the land of Hinduism is now the most populous in the world overtaking Buddhist China.

It was his third visit to the Philippines since 2006 preaching in this only Christian country in Asia because he narrated that he can not do so in his own country. He told us about the experience of his father, an officer in the Indian Army who converted to Christianity. He said his father was persecuted for his faith, beaten up at least 15 times and jailed five times.

He said he followed the path of his father and he too was beaten up at least five times and jailed three times already for preaching the Word of God.

He lamented the widespread loss of faith particularly among many “Christians” in the United States and Europe. How ironic he said that those who brought Christianity in many parts of the world including the Philippines are now experiencing empty churches and dwindling parishes.

He said these problems are tests to us and should bring us closer to God. Confronted with many problems, he said, reminds us to keep faith and trust in God. He said God will reward those who are faithful to him.

He narrated Moses’ faith in crossing the Red Sea. He was rewarded by saving 3 million Israelites from the Egyptians.

He cited John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

Salvation is the ultimate reward if we trust God, he said.

Cariaga as main sharer

We had 39 members and nine guests present during last Saturday’s breakfast meeting, a marked improvement from the November 13 meeting which was attended by 30 members and five guests.

Praise the Lord for answering the chapter’s prayers to bring in more men to our fellowship.

This coming Saturday, we expect more participants as we hold our monthly joint fellowship with our espouses and lady guests. The incoming President, Engr. Cirilo Basalo, who is a cheerful giver, is hosting this Saturday’s breakfast.

Lined up to participate in the meeting are the following:

Opening Prayer & Prayer for the Nation – Arch. Ben Mandin

Grace for the Food – Dominador Barriga

Flower Offering – Felizardo & Maebel Carmelotes

Love Offering – Roman Guerrero, Jr.

Main Sharer – Atty. Bienvenido Cariga

Closing Prayer – Engr. Ruben Sumagang

Master of Ceremony – Peter Lavina

Rev. Shiloh Haigh, one of our spiritual advisers, was originally scheduled to be our main sharer but he is not available for the weekend. He instead suggested to give the outgoing president, Atty. Bienvenido Cariaga, the opportunity to be the main sharer and everyone agreed. Aside from being a topnotch lawyer and many times president of our chapter, Atty. Cariaga also teaches bible studies in their church. With his permission I will post here some of his articles published in our weekly bulletin.

Incidentally, I missed to post last week because I was on the road and had no internet access. I traveled from Davao to Cagayan de Oro, to Iligan City, Tubod, Lanao del Norte, to Pagadian City, Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga City and Basilan. This week, I will be in Metro Manila.

Thank you so much to our Coordinator Teddy Reyes who always pray for my safe trip and the healing of my daughter Angel.

Resisting temptations

Our main sharer yesterday was Rev. Wenzyl V. Dejolde, Davao City executive pastor of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. It was his second visit to our chapter.

He talked about the “five truths” about temptations.

1. Managing temptations;

2. Victory is possible;

3. Three sources of temptations;

4. The mental and spiritual battlefields of temptations; and

5. Resisting temptations.

He cited the following verses which were apt in his sharing:

1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:15; 2 Peter 1:3; Romans 5:12; James 1:14; Mark 7:21-23; Matthew 4;3; and 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.

All of us face temptations. The devil is always at work to deceive and lead us to sin.  Hence, it  is important to arm ourselves with weapons from God. With our obedience and loyalty to the Holy Spirit, we can overcome temptations and victory is possible by affirming and never saying “I can’t resist” temptations.

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