For Gospel's Sake

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 ·

"Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life." -Mark 10:29 to 30

It was a long and bumpy ride all the way from Butuan City to Gamut, Surigao.

While I personally enjoyed the sceneries of mountains and waters along the road, everyone among us would definitely say that the travel was much tiring and uncomfortable. A very big factor, of course, is the on-going construction of the highways. Why it has taken the local and national government to act on improving these farm-to-market roads, one can only speculate.

I was sitting in front of the vehicle, along with the driver, and with one of our hospitable hosts during our travel, Pastor Elmer Gaurano. Pastor Elmer, together with his equally kind wife, Sis. Nanette, is in-charge of our JLY Celebration Church in Tandag City, Surigao Del Sur.

There is really so much to talk to during the 5-hour drive. By and by, Pastor Elmer would chat with our driver in Visayan language, then converse with me in Tagalog. We did discuss about the main crops and the way of living in Mindanao. We also tackled about Mindanao's politics, and how they, from Mindanao, take their view on the coming presidential elections.

Along those casual conversations, he would even take pride on the beauty that is Mindanao. He shares how our Senior Pastor Rey Pe Benito loves to return to Surigao and swim in the clear waters of Cagwait White Beach, and Britania Island. Every guest, of course, who comes to visit them in Surigao, will get to feast on BIG crabs, shrimps, grilled blue marlin, and kinilaw na tanigue.

It is true. Who wouldn't love to come back to Surigao for a three-day vacation? We, ourselves, are witnesses of the nature's beauty in Surigao, not to mention the great hospitality that our hosts have shown to us.

But perhaps some of the things that strike the most during my conversations with Pastor Elmer were these:

"Dito rin dumadaan sila Pastor Rey kapag pumupunta sila ng Surigao. Kung minsan, doon sa shortcut, mga 3 to 4 hours lang, pero mas mahirap ang daan dahil rough road at tabi ng bundok ang dadaanan".

"Alam mo, Joy, tuwing pumupunta kami ng Manila para um-attend ng Pastoral Conference or Mission Conventions, aalis kami ng Surigao ng 1 am na naka-bus papunta ng Butuan Airport. Darating kami ng Manila ng mga 3 pm or 4 pm."

"Kaya totoo yung sinasabi nila na among the delegates sa mga conventions, kami ang pinakamalayo."

"Ubos ang halos isang araw namin pagbiyahe pa lang papunta ng Manila"

Even worth mentioning, our Regional Director, Pastor Dong Padre, travels weekly from Nasipit/Butuan to Surigao, then back again by motorcycle. Week, after week, after week, he does that, just to visit and oversee the churches.

Our Pastor in Gamut, Pastor Romy Bermudez, shares the same experiences as Pastor Dong and Pastor Elmer. It is remarkable to say that they are not just people who pastors a church just because it is the only thing that they can do for a living. Mind you, these three are all engineering graduates, one or some of them, even holds an MBA degree. But instead of taking professional jobs, they abide by their calling in the full-time ministry of pastoring churches and mentoring their flocks.

There is joy in their faces and in their hearts, even as they have decided to let go of their personal professions, and pursue the less-comforting, but definitely more enternal-rewarding calling of preaching the Gospel and sharing the love of Christ to the people.

The Mission is simple- Preach the Word!

We can only be grateful that there are people like them who chose to abide by the mission. There are a lot more boundaries and islands and nations and tribes that need to be reached out by the gospel of Christ.

And so to them, we proclaim our prayers that the Lord, who sees their labors, will greatly return unto them blessings upon blessings, even a hundredfold.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
-Isaiah 52:7


Special credits to all our other Regional Pastors- Elyn Padre, Jun Lozada, Maidz Serrano, and the other pastors, and leaders who have been a blessing to us while we were in Surigao.


This is part 4 of our Mindanao Adventure.

Parts 1 to 3 are as follows:

1. People In Mindanao Are SMARTer

2. Diyan Lang

3. Alyas Pogi


p0kw4ng said...
Wed Oct 07, 02:26:00 AM  

kahanga hanga ang pagsasakripisyo ng mga misyonaryo..saludo ako sa kanila..ano mang misyon ang ginagawa nila!

siyetehan said...
Wed Oct 07, 02:30:00 AM  

korek ka diyan, p0kw4ng. at kahanga hanga din kayong mga ofws na nagpapakabayani sa ibang bansa.

mabuhay ang dolyar!


A-Z-E-L said...
Wed Oct 07, 04:17:00 AM  

ang haba ng adventure na ito... you really enjoyed, it shows!

"Preach the Word"

Ang daming "instrumento"... salamat sa inyo!

hahahahaha! mahilig ka talaga sa dolyar... parang pag nagbakasyon ako kelangan eh may dala akong dollar pagharap ko sayo o sa anak mo! lolz! (wish ko lang pwede na ang peso kay luchie!)

any contact with analyn? (naku sya lang natandaan ko!.. nakalimutan ko ung name nung isa! describe ko na lang pwede?)

siyetehan said...
Wed Oct 07, 04:20:00 AM  

azel, i have to post our trip on piece meal kasi halu-halong kalamay ang mga kwento. take note, di pa ako nakaka pag post tungkol sa talagang ipinunta namin don (pamamanhikan).

sino'ng analyn ba? analyn so o analyn siervo?

tsaka sino yung isa pa?

Vajarl said...
Wed Oct 07, 04:57:00 AM  

I have strong beliefs about God and most people are not with me about them. But I have nothing against missionaries, or pastors and priests who help other people. I actually like them, and the fact that they are doing what they think can help for everyone's sake. Less preaching and they'll be close to perfect. :)

siyetehan said...
Wed Oct 07, 05:01:00 AM  

nicely put, vajarl.

mahirap ang posisyon nila. pero equally rewarding naman talaga.

A-Z-E-L said...
Wed Oct 07, 06:53:00 AM  

analyn so...

ayun si arlene ventura pala!

regards sa kanila!

siyetehan said...
Thu Oct 08, 05:30:00 AM  

last time i heard, nag-stay na si analyn sa bicol and got married.

arlene went back to apayao and nagturo daw sa isang school. now she's in singapore with her family.

kitamo, ikaw na lang ata ang hindi nag aasawa. haha!

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