Monday, July 7, 2014

How far can those little tracts go?

This piece of 5 truths tracts got to the remote islands of Northeast Palawan. And through one man putting his faith in Christ and seeing the value of the Good News, his people and islands are being reached. Other peoples living in their islands also get the chance to put their faith in Christ.

October 2014 on a ferry ride to a distant island, we met Tatay Fidel. ( if you have been reading the blogs here, you already know the story, if not just check the older posts about this man). This man put his faith in Christ and shared to his entire family. Some he called on cellphone just to  share to them the story of Creation to Christ and had this 5 truths with him with our contact number on the back. His wife, Nanay Teresita  called us after three days asking if we could come to explain to them the story. That year, that season, we could not.

Now, 2 years after a team of 6 guys are in their island and living with their family. just a few days after we  arrived, met with some people and shared the Gospel. We got in a conversation with our host about “bibles”. Nanay Teresita wanted to know if they have the right bible, not just some book that they think is a bible but really not.

She got her bibles out. I looked though one New testament. I found this 5 Truths Tracts inside. I recognized it. It was it. The exact tracts we handed Tatay Fidel on the 27 hour ferry ride! Nanay Teresita saw me holding it and said that she has kept that. Tatay had her read that. “This brought us here” exclaimed Hagen (one of the guys on the team).

with Nanay Gising (in blue) and Nanay Tereista (middle)
I always desire and hope that those that i, we share the Gospel to would come to faith. I always desire and hope that when cast to them the vision to pass the Gospel message on, that they would. That when I hand a piece of tracts that they would read it. That when I write my number on it, they would contact us so we could help them grow. That they would follow through. Some do. I know some did not. but my heart was never prepared for something like this. My faith was not big enough to expect this to happen. That may sound bad, but that’s good for me for because of that I am  even more amazed, not with the tracts, not with the vision casting, or that we got to share to him, but amazes me is God’s faithfulness even if my faith was so little. I am in awe of Him, how his love is just that big, his power is just that great, his plan just so true and not anything can stop it and he can use anything, any situation, any long or short time to do great great things.
in Seaweed Island:
Austin and Bryan with Nanay's daughter and grandson 

Tatay Fidel is already in heaven . we only saw him gain last year when we visited their island to ask if teams could come. God took him home, January 3 2014.

 We never got a picture with him. We got a picture of this 5 truths only and so many pictures and memories and stories of how his faith in Christ lead to all this.

Look what God can do!

- Cecil :D

Thursday, May 29, 2014

NT 2014 stories from the field

Tres na lang

Last three pesos

“I travelled to a really far island to share the gospel and back with just 3 pesos in my pocket.”

This is Josh’s story. Josh has long committed to go on Nehemiah Teams again this summer. He had actually also committed to join AOT last January but many “things” blocked his way. But this summer, no matter what, he would not be stopped. Josh, came from a real humble family. I know how many they were but it seemed to me that he is the bread winner of the family. He worked different part time jobs while faithfully serving his church the entire time that he was waiting for summer. Because of urgent family needs nothing was really left from all whatever humble amount he earns. 

I remember coming to their house, Josh washing clothes to use for the summer, admitting he had nothing and have not had any meal that day, his mom came in telling Josh that don’t have any rice to cook for the coming meal. And here he is preparing to go not sure if his church would permit and even a slimmer chance that they would support him financially. 

He was allowed to go. With his last 13 pesos he picked up a co-participant at the airport. 10 pesos for fare now he only had 3 pesos left. A month to go in a very remote island, how will that be Lord?

He packed his stuff and went with the participants to the terminal. "Tres na lang". he thought in his heart, "if I can get on this van, indeed I am going."

 Without asking the other participants for help, they covered his fare. God touched different people to contribute to his registration fee. Some help with toiletries. 

Off to the island they went. He saw people come to faith. He saw how those people who are very devout to their religion yet without assurance of forgiveness and rest finally come to faith, served the community, made good friends, invested in the lives of kids and was loved by the island.

He only had 3pesos. But he had faith and saw what God did.  

How much do you have? or WHO do you have?

- cecil

Monday, April 14, 2014



1. FOCUS ON GOD. Pray that the summer missionaries will remain focused on his/her relationship with God. That the NT participants’ relationship with Jesus Christ be their first priority and their motivation for sharing the saving gospel message.

2. TEAM UNITY. The testimony of the team as a whole is an illustration of the how the Body of Christ works and cooperates together- please ask God for team unity in the NT. Pray that as the team works together that the glorify their Father in Heaven.

3. HUMILITY. Please pray that as they minister to the lost that they follow the example of Jesus Christ. In humility and love that they are able to demonstrate the gospel to the communities they are serving in.

4. BOLDNESS. Please pray for the NT participants that they will boldly proclaim the truth of the gospel.

5. LISTEN TO GOD. Please ask God that the participants have ears to hear God, and that they remain sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s moving.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

AOT 3: Advancing with the Gospel

How do we live a life that Glorifies God?

Gate 6 Fountain Gate – Holy Spirit

     Living the Highest Life. . . . .
What does it mean when we say “Living the Highest life.”?
Does it mean living in luxury? Or living in fame?  How can we consider one who is living the highest life?

In order to answer this question, let us back track and learn about life. Let us learn about man. Let us learn and understand who Christ is, his plan for us to live, really live for him.

Let us begin by taking a look at the Bio-Zoe-logical chart

Biology- the science and the study of life
Zoe- Greek word for life

·         God- the highest life form in the universe
He is Non- dimensional. (There’s no height, length, depth, height or size. He is IMMESUARABLE.)
He created the spiritual realm. This realm came to existence before space-time and is outside the measurements and concepts of time.

This, for us, is hard to understand because we are creatures of time, space, and dimension. We are FINITE  or LIMITED.
·         Angels- the highest created life form
    Doesn’t have souls
·         Man- the only creature who is hybrid

God created man with:
1.        Body
2.      Soul- human life
Set up relationships with all things in the visible realm
Helps relate to the physical or visible realm
3.      Spirit- God breathed into man and gave him a spirit
Man’s spirit was supposed to be the CONTAINER OF GOD’S SPIRIT (LIFE)
This is the secret to our Christian walk

·         Animals- have souls but doesn’t have a spirit

SOUL- the life form that belongs to the physical realm. Helps relate to the physical world
SPIRIT- the life form that belongs to the spiritual realm

·         Plants-

Let us take a look at Adam
·         Unfallen Adam- (Perfect body, soul  and spirit)
  The soul before was submissive to the spirit
·         Fallen Adam- (Fallen body, Mutated soul and dead spirit)
The soul mutated and the spirit died and so our soul dominated us.

The Effect of sinning was that:
·         Man’s spirit died to the spiritual realm (it was cut off)
·         Adam could no longer see the unseen or hear the unseen
·         Man became a creature of the physical realm.( he began to relate more to his soul  than to his spirit)
·         He moved closer to becoming an animal
·         His soul began trying to do the things that normally the spirit would do. Man began to reach out to God through his soul. (Mind, will and emotions)
·          He began to think that doing good is what would please God
·         Man now had the knowledge of good and evil
·         Both evil and the desire to do good lived in man driving him mad
·         He has now the element of a fallen angel. Life form living in him that is greater than he is and holds him prisoner
·         There is now the cycle of life to try to please, do, be legalistic in order to get in favor with God.

Because of God’s love, He sent His one and only son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

                When we believed Jesus Christ as our personal savoir, we have been re-generated (made alive, made new); our spirit has been resurrected. Our soul has been cleaned. Our soul is in the presence of a resurrected spirit and is being changed by this new life and by the word of God. Our spirit has been made one with His spirit. And as I received Christ “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live but Christ lives in me the life I live in the body I live by faith in the son who loved me and gave himself for me.”(Galatians 2:20) Not “I” but “Christ.” dying to self and self-attitudes. His Will NOT our will.
 Let us make it clear, that WE CAN’T LIVE THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. It is God’s life poured in us that lives the Christian life. For without CHRIST, we are NOTHING. That’s the Fact.
                Only one thing prevents Jesus from filling our hearts with His spirit with overflowing, and that is sin in one of its thousand forms. The Lord Jesus doesn’t fill dirty cups. Anything that springs from self, however small it may be is sin. It is not an accident that Dung Gate(Confession) comes first before Fountain Gate( Holy Spirit) because we can’t live the highest life if we haven’t yet confessed to God our sin- the only thing that prevents Jesus from filling our hearts with his spirit.

                Living full of God’s spirit is to live the highest life. It is to live with and by the indwelling of the Lord. Christ in Us.

-          Vijoren , 16 (Mangagoy, Surigao)

Monday, March 31, 2014

AOT 3: Advancing with the Gospel

How do we live a life that Glorifies God?

Gate 5: Dung Gate – Confession
1 john 1.9          2 Chronicles 7:14

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – James 5: 16

The word confess means to agree with God about our sin. There are 3 kinds of confession that the Lord wants us to do. First, is a personal confession like what David did in Psalm 51. David recognized his rebellion, agreed how he had sinned against god and asked God to forgive him and wash and cleanse him and his guilt. (1 john 1:9) Second, is done with a small accountability group. God is not only teaching us and reminding us to confess our sins to him, but also to confess it to one another, specifically to our trusted brothers in faith so they may pray with us and journey with us towards victory over that sin. This though is often hard to do. none of us would like to be “exposed”. We do not want others to know our weakness for we may lose face. We are afraid that we might be judged or condemned. We think that we are the only ones struggling, but the Bible says that, “no temptation has seized men except for what is common to men.” and  there is healing that comes from confessing our sin and being prayed for by a righteous brother. (james 5:16) the third is corporate confession or also called an intercessory confession done with and or for  the family or church or nation. Nehemiah in Nehemiah chapter 1 prayed , wept and confessed not only his sins but the sins of the people of Jerusalem. In 2 Chronicles 7: 14 God calls out to his people to humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways then He will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.

Through this gate, God told me that I am not the only one who struggles with sin. He said that no sin has held one captive except for what is common to man. This reminded me that I am not alone, there is no condemnation for me in Christ and I can and should have somebody hold me accountable. But this is not only a one sided thing or for my benefit but so that my relationship with people will be restored. 
God always takes the initiative and I have to also do my part to maintain an intimate relationship with Him. The way of revival is the way of the cross.  

Reading the book The Way of The Cross (a required reading for Gate 5), even just on the very first chapter, God already was speaking strongly to m

y heart. I thought of not moving on to the next chapter at all because I wonder what else could God speak to me about. But I did. and His double-edged sword pierced even deeper judging every thought and attitude of my heart (Hebrews 4:12). God kept telling me that I should always be in a right relationship with Him. God wants to fill me with Him victorious life but to do that, my will must be broken. Though easier said than done, I must do it and I can do it for He now lives in me – Colossians 1:27.

As water flows to low places, so the Holy Spirit rests in humble hearts.  I must die to myself. I must really be able to say from my heart, “Not I but Christ. Not mine but Christ’s.” for indeed it is no longer I who lives but Christ in me. – Galatians 2: 20

I thank God for the opportunity he gave for me to be involved in this training; for equipping and teaching me how to live a life that glorifies God; for using this training to mold me and change my life.
This has really been a life changing training for me as a young leader. This has helped me to become more spiritually matured, being more like Christ.
I also am very thankful to the Lord also for my family who have been very supportive of me, and to my loving and caring girlfriend Arlin T. Epis who never fails to pray and encourage me. Thank you so much!
May the Lord bless us all!

Prayer requests:
-          -Salvation for my entire family
-         - Moving forward with having a Nehemiah Teams franchise in C.D.O
-         - Living a life that glorifies God
-          -An intimate relationship with God
-         - To be a FAT Christian – that is Faithful, Available and Teachable Christian

-        -  Plans for marriage

      - Algie, 25 (Cagayan de Oro)

Friday, March 28, 2014

AOT 3: Advancing with the Gospel

How do we live a life that Glorifies God?

Gate 4: Valley Gate – Trials, Growth and Humility

A pastor jokingly said, “I hope you all don’t stumble because of us. If we had not been saved, can you imagine how worse we could be?”

These pastors and leaders are being goofy, joking around while they were introducing themselves the team one time. 

I replied, “Neither can I, Pastor. We are all the same.”


we are a band of wretched lives. If not for His grace where could we be? If not for his grace where would I be?  And his grace is not only sufficient to save me from who I was but more than enough to make me who He has always wanted me to be. In the daily battles of obedience, I get knocked down, losing almost. Many times come out of a battle wounded, but victorious. For in each wounding is the death not of His life in me but death of the ME that still lives. The pain leads to humbling, humbling leads to growth. 

Jesus was fully human and fully God when He came on earth. He lived the humblest life taking the very nature of a servant and being crucified on a cross like a criminal. 

The bible tells us that He was tempted in all ways but never sinned. 
He went through all the pains of life, losing a father at a young age, having to be the bread winner, doubted by his brothers, doubted and even denied by the people he served and loved, betrayed by a friend and so on.

He is acquainted with all our pain. He has been persecuted and judged. And all this He went through not because He was disobedient but because He was fulfilling the will of His Father. 

I look at my pain. I can’t compare it with His.
 I can never accuse Him of not caring, of not understanding. He knows my pains really well. 

Knowing and understanding this a little more comforts me and helps me persevere. Who I was is part of who I am and God is using that to make me who I ought to be. And though he found me in rubbles, I pray that each stone would sing of what He can redeem.

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is unseen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

                Let all afflictions be eclipsed by His glory. 

-        -   Cecil


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

AOT 3: Advancing with the Gospel


 The book Friends of Ishmael has challenged me to share the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to our Muslim brothers. This book is about the lives of people who gave their lives to the Lord going anywhere to bring the Gospel to the Muslims and how God has used their lives to reach to their hearts. Indeed, only the Lord can do amazing things through a life that truly loves Him – willing to go anywhere to preach the Good News.

Henry Martin – Father of Protestant mission among the Muslims – gave up everything, left, and was used by the Lord to translate the New Testament portion of the Bible into Urdu, Persian and Arabic.
Ion Keith Falconer – Missionary to the Arabs – he left his great wealth to follow Christ. 
Samuel Zwemer – he is an apostle to the Islam. Despite the great difficulty brought by extreme heat – even up to 44 degree Celsius – living by the Persian Gulf; or even after the death of their 2 children just within a whole week peroid, Samuel and his wife learned to be content in whatever situation.
Franklin Graham – the modern day Good Samaritan – has such a great burden in his heart to bring the Gospel where it most needed, never ashamed to share the good news of Jesus Christ to them.
Heather Mercer and Dyna Curry were willing to go to the hardest and neediest places for the Gospel. They have become the friends of Muslim women.
David Mcdonall, Larry Elliot, Jean Elliot and Karen Watson – 21st century martyrs – they went to the darkest places to bring the Light of Jesus Christ. they went to Iraq – for and because of the call, they left everything for no other reason. These five lives united for one purpose – that is to be friends and show love to the sons and daughters of Ishmael.
Rev. Florentino De Jesus – he indeed loved and befriended the Muslims. When almost no one would dare befriend them, Rev. de Jesus kept pleading for opportunity to serve among them and in 1994, this Pastor left his church only to spend his life among the sons of Ishmael.

These are the heroes who obeyed the Great Commission of God to preach the Gospel to Ishmaels. They were ordinary men and women but God used them.

I believe God will also use me to bring the Good News to my Muslim friends. Even when I was just little, I have always desired to be a missionary.  I dreamed not to become a nurse, nor a teacher or whatever. I wanted to be a missionary. And through some mission exposure to a Muslim community, God gave me a love for the Muslims. This desire to serve among them has never left my heart and once again through this book I was reminded of the need to be a friend of Ishmael.
The sad reality today is that the church stays asleep in the light while countless and countless people have very little or no friends bringing the Truth to them so they may have life. 

God has always desired to bring them to light. If I will not tell these Muslim brothers and sisters that God loves them, who will? How else will I live? Will I stay or go? Will I serve man, or will I serve God? 

God called me not to just be comfortable or successful in human terms, but so there would be people who truly love and obeyed Him like he has always planned and desired. I should be willing and ready to leave everything just to bring the Muslims to the One True God. God does not want me to desire anything for myself. Missions is not a joke or a game to not take seriously. There are pains, persecutions and difficulties but God’s word perpetually encourages us to continue serving God. What God has done for me on the cross, He also did for others.

God calls his people to share the Gospel to bring the peoples to Him. Satan has blinded the eyes and ears of the Christians with fear to hinder them from advancing with the Gospel. While Satan actively destroys lives, God’s people sit in apathy. Let’s not forget that Satan Is the enemy, not men. The Bible says, “Love your neighbor as you loved yourself.” God made all men equal. 

The Muslims seek the truth, forgiveness, hope and purpose because they could not find these things in Islam. The need today is that the people of God, especially the young people to allow the Gospel to interrupt their lives – their plans, their dreams, their ambition – and be courageous in bringing the Gospel to the Muslims.

These are just among the many things that I learned joining the NT Advance Operations Training (AOT). I should not forget that only the Lord could draw them and I am only among those that the Lord will use to bring the Gospel to them. Like what Samuel Zwemer said, “All should go and go to all.”

              God’s hands are not short that he could not save nor are his ears dull that could not hear.                                                                                                             Isaiah 59.1 

I am very thankful to the Lord for showing me His great purpose – the plan of the ages to reach all nations – this has given me a greater desire and burden to take the Good News to our Muslim brothers. I thank Him for speaking to me daily, teaching me, disciplining me, molding me, providing for all my needs (physical and spiritual strength), and for the many people that God has used to pray, encourage and support me to come to this training. May the Lord continue to bless you all.

To God be all the glory!

Prayer request:
                That God would pierce the hearts of His people to and live among our Muslim brothers and sisters to share the Good News to them.

- Lalay, 19