The Season of Building has Been Completed
A Thank You Message to All Who Have Stood with Us
What an epic 2 months and a half it’s been! I’m amazed at how many things could have happened in that short of a span of time. Truly, God has been faithful to fulfill His promises, and though the weight of the calling has been heavy-
“He [without a shadow of a doubt] adds no trouble to it.”
For those who have stood with us in one of the biggest leaps of faith me and my family have made together, thank you for your support and prayers. This would have definitely not happened at all if it weren’t for you.
When I first heard God clearly speak to me to go to Ministry School, I felt my whole world grow heavy. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I knew it was going to be tiring. I knew it was going to be expensive. I knew it would entail a whole family effort. I knew I was going to have to sacrifice.
In the natural, it was never going to happen. The fact that it’s all over is a miracle by itself! I can only look back now and stand in awe at how faithful and gracious God is. I started this thing with nothing on me: No credentials, no diploma, no money. But now I’m coming home with more to give than ever.
Here are just a few highlights from this great season we have gone through together:
That’s our the name of our ministry school batch- School of Local Church Ministries and Church Planting students. I have never met a group of people so passionate, talented, anointed as the thirty-four students I have shared my training with. From all over the country (and even from overseas), these men and women of God went out of their way to pursue God’s call for them. Most of them even sacrificing to heights that I’ve never heard of.
Some of them gave up prestigious careers abroad, the comforts and luxury of a professional basketball contract, time with their family, their own personal finances, status as top executives, even multi-million businesses to serve God at full time capacity. I can only marvel at the level of faith these men and women have, and hope to one day have a faith as great as theirs.
Many of them have become very dear friends in just a short amount of time, and the plan is to never let this relationship and connection we have built end just here. We’re going to be one big team in advancing the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Where to begin? We’ve been to Tagaytay, Batangas, Malolos, San Fernando City, Clark, Bayambang, San Carlos, Alaminos, Tanauan, Cabanatuan City, and Baler. Every trip was tiring, every trip was costly, but through some amazing act of grace, I was part of them all.
Pastor Luther, our school director, was right when he said, “You learn most when you travel”. I’ve seen a good share of travels before, but it was only now that I appreciated the education that travelling gives. Many of the things I learned came from the travels we had.
And, on top of that, most of the weight I gained was from the travels we had as well!
3. Mentorship and teaching
In ministry school, we didn’t just have teachers as teachers. We had the best ministry practitioners as teachers. Imagine having Jun Escosar, Manny Carlos, Juray Mora, Jojo Henson, Joey Bonifacio, Ferdie Cabiling, and many other discipleship legends as teachers on a daily basis.
I cannot begin to enumerate the things I’ve learned from each one! The challenge remains to apply everything that was learned, and to do so will require yet another dose of God’s unlimited grace. Iloilo, be ready!
4. Breakthrough upon breakthrough upon breakthrough
Even harder to enumerate than the things I’ve learned is the number of times God has faithfully provided for me and my family. I’ve heard doubts and skepticism about me bringing my family along to Manila where cost of living was twice as much as Iloilo, not only from others. Admittedly, I myself had moments when I doubted. I thank God for my wife, who constantly reminded me that we are not serving a man-made organization, but a God who is a faithful provider who knows every need and meets them.
I thought it was going to be hard. Don’t get me wrong, it was! But not as hard as I thought it would be. Again, “He adds no trouble to [the blessing].”
There have not only been times to reap, but to sow as well. But even as me and Ces planted a seed, a harvest was gained in a matter of minutes! On several occasions we gave where we felt like giving, and always- and I mean ALWAYS- God gave it back, most often even five to ten times more.
There was one instance when God simply challenged me to take out some money (with the consent of my wife of course) and start giving it away to some of my classmates. In less than an hour, someone just slipped into my pocket the same amount I had just given out!
We’ve received anonymous deposits into our account, cheques handed to us, dinners to the best restaurants in Manila. Even things as small as free taxi rides, lunches at the cafeteria, jeepney fares, good weather, it was all provided! And let me stress this, NOT BECAUSE OF WHO WE ARE.
In true essence, I did nothing to deserve such blessing. Sure I answered the call to ministry, but so have many others. There’s nothing special about what I did. The only remarkable aspect of all of this remains to be the unwaivering grace of God.
5. A family firmly planted.
Undoubtedly the greatest blessing from all of this is what God has done to me, Ces and Alex throughout this trip. When my wife made the suggestion of coming with me to Manila, my first response was “Yes” (even though I knew it would be hard) because I did not want to deprive her the opportunity to learn the things I learned. Not necessarily in the classroom, but throughout the whole experience.
I’m bringing home a family that is not the same, but that is ten times better- more faith-filled, more disciplined, more equipped and more empowered to do the work that God has called us to do in Iloilo City.
I am truly grateful that I was able to share this experience with my family, and have them refined in fire the way I was. Now I am confident that I do not have to carry the weight of the ministry alone. I have a team to back me up at any point, who will not just act as cheerleaders, but as co-laborers in what God has called us to do as a family.
I now have a family and ministry team in one!
At The End of It All
This experience can all be summed up into one- It is by the grace of God that we can work for His kingdom, and only through the sacrifice of Jesus.
This is the gospel that we proclaim, and the gospel that we live by- not only for the purpose of salvation, and that’s the end of the story brother. Just like anyone, we need the gospel and the cross to be alive in our daily living from the day we accept Him into our life, until the day we meet Him, and He says, “Well done good and faithful servant.”.
At the end of the day, our faith is never towards our works, our abilities, nor our credentials. God does not need a resume. All He asks for is a heart willing to believe that His grace is more than enough to sustain us, as we work in advancing His kingdom.
But that does not discount the fact, that I am to be grateful to all of you for your continued support for me and my family. You have been a channel of God’s grace to us, and it is our prayer that He will bless you in measures even greater than you have sacrificed.
You are always in our prayers. Our deepest love and favor goes out to you.
Kiko, Ces and Alexa