Personal and Ministry Background
I grew up in an environment where people drink, gamble, and engage in constant fights. My father was a real tough guy. Because of the influence he exerted, my elementary and high school teachers allowed me to pass each level. Some of them though felt sorry that I did not develop my potential to be an excellent student. I was more excited with playing, hanging around my friends, and chasing after girls. I was in my second year college when I felt alone and helpless as I struggled to pass my courses. That, plus our family’s financial difficulties made me almost quit my college education. Whenever I would feel the pressure, my tendency was simply to go out with friends and drink. Things became worse when I began receiving failing grades. I felt so sad and was losing hope but I was also determined to finish my course.
When I entered third year in college, I began looking for some good friends who would influence me for the better. The Lord led me to some of my classmates who stay together after school. I came to enjoy their company. Together we would do our homework, eat our meals, and get involved in spiritual activities like bible study, prayer, and singing Godly songs. My new found friends were contacts of the Navigator Ministry in Cabanatuan. One night as I was reading the New Testament, the Lord led me to scan the whole book until I reached the last page. There I found the Bridge Illustration, a Navigator evangelistic tool illustrating how Jesus Christ died for my sins so that I can have a personal relationship with Him. As I read it, I came to realize that I really needed Jesus Christ. I saw my sinfulness and I felt so ashamed. That night in November, I invited Him to come into my life and be my Savior. I asked God to forgive me and help me change. Since then, my relationship with God became closer and closer. Slowly, my grades improved. My desire to know and serve the Lord grew stronger each time. I was very eager to share the Gospel and I led one group of younger students in a bible study. I even learned to find means to earn money so that I could provide for my needs in school. The Lord sustained me through it all until I finally graduated.
I was so grateful to the Lord for everything and I promised that I serve him wherever I go. I even thought of showing my gratefulness to my parents and be a good testimony to my family by helping provide for their needs. The Lord answered my prayers by allowing me to work in Taiwan. There I met some Chinese missionaries who became my partners in reaching out to both Filipinos and Chinese. I was so happy then because the Lord enabled me to do three things–support my parents, share the Gospel to the lost, and support the ministry of the Navigators in the Philippines.
March 1996, after two years in Taiwan, I went home and gave all my earnings to my parents. After that moment, I decided to serve the Lord full time with the Navigators. That same year, I started the one year staff training and I was assigned at the University of the Philippines, Los Baños, Laguna. After my training, I decided to go back to the campus where the Lord found me. At first, I worked as a college instructor with the purpose of reaching out to the lost students like I was before. Then later, as the ministry grew and new leaders began to emerge, I quit teaching to concentrate in overseeing the whole ministry in Cabanatuan City. Until now, I am still working as a fulltime Navigator staff in the same city. I’m so thankful that I even found my wife (Racquel) here who also became my partner in the ministry. God has blest us with a wonderful daughter whom we named Princess.
Laborers in our area are mostly teachers, we used to meet by schedule only based on the availability of each group. Most likely, I used to send in advance (through E-mail or SMS) the topics that we want to discuss upon meeting together. In our discussions, we also include personal issues and problems. Lately, we talked about forming a team that will go to places where some of our alumni are in-active. We also come up with the idea of starting a ministry to their respective schools, whether it is college, high school or elementary, even co-teachers. As we meet by schedule we also grab the opportunity to pray together as a team. Most of our input came from personal research and inputs from E-mails.
For the students, I meet only those seniors and I try to meet them on one-on-one basis. If we meet as a group it is mostly fellowship and prayer time. I already meet most of their relatives, they know us and part of our schedules is visiting their immediate families. I can see that through this and their personal experiences we grow together and learned from one another.
Through these, spiritual generations emerged through personal influence and deeper relationships, though the process is slow and limited.