May 16, 2011

Open letter for MSPM students

Dear Pastor,

It’s more than a year that we have not met. Not only due to my health condition but also with the change of leadership in the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA) and Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC). Having in the sideline now, I am no longer acquainted with the direction and priorities of both organizations. But this  is just  a temporary set back. With the slow but sure healing process, it won’t be long and, by the grace of God, I will resume my commitment to the full.

The  scene during the most critical moment in my life has already been embedded in my mind. When I was about to make the last breath, my final thought was: Not now, Lord. Because of my family, the CBMA, and there are many evil to fight still. God might have heard my last appeal and searched my heart that  He made me survive. The long and painful process of recovery has become a purging process to me and almost daily I experience healing inside. With this development, I become optimistic to receive the total healing soon.

And with the initial physical healing, I have started to fulfill my commitment to God for my family  in the last months. I feel the time has come for me to move the next level and do the last later. Having learned from experience, I want to move slower this time. Hence, I will focus first  on the Master of Social Pastoral Ministries (MSPM).. Our  priority is to have all those who started the program complete the requirements. While  train those  who have graduated  either to  assist or handle  another batch who signify their  interest to avail of the program. Our target is to expand to other evangelical groups and the lay leaders.

It is in this connection that I would like to invite you to a  reunion meeting and seminar on May 30, 2011, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm at Central Philippine University. I have coordinated with the University Outreach Center this activity.  Dr. Melvin M. Mangana  is very much willing to co sponsor the activity with the Learning Institute for the Fullness of life and Empowerment (LIFE), Inc. We will take charge of the food and lodging when necessary. Your counterpart  is the transportation expenses.

Please confirm attendance not later than May 20. God bless you.

In the service,


May 6, 2011

Experience is not the best teacher

Since time immemorial, experience has been acclaimed as the best teacher. Nobody dares argue. Not until somebody claims, it is the worst. I don't want to join the debate because I already found the best teacher ,i.e. life itself. A timeless, tireless, relentless and irresistible teacher, as well. Giving me lessons, despite my unwillingness to learn.

The year 2009 will long be forgotten by my family as it marks my 55th year. At the peak of my career, I felt relatively stable and fulfilled in my achievements. The ups and downs of life's experiences have increased my knowledge and honed my skills in living and serving. Unsophisticated, my direction was to receive less and give more. Beaming with confidence I have learned much, my motivation was to teach and share more.

At that time, I was about to wrap up my successful leadership as national president of the Baptist pastors affiliated with the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches. Five years earlier, I was awarded as one of the ten outstanding social workers of the Philippines. Nothing more to ask except for longer life to continue my service. And to consolidate my experiences as registered social worker and ordained minister into books/publications . So that I can teach others also.

All of the sudden, the ecstasy was shattered by a chronic heart ailment, compounded with unusual nerve disorder in the last quarter of the aforementioned year. Three months away from our national assembly to cap my six years of service and leadership. It was a devastating experience for me and my family. The worst we ever encountered so far. Such condition has constrained my active life of service. Adding pain was the realization that we have given all in service without saving for ourselves in times of crisis.

Most of my time is spent at home due to limited mobility, making me vulnerable to discouragement and depression. This condition has been going on  for more than a year. A  wrestle  with the nagging issues of pain and suffering and search for the meaning of all these experiences in life. In solitude, I have discovered the best teacher. This is LIFE itself.