86 Members of the New People's Army (rebels) in the Philippines Baptized
God's Power To Change Lives
Can a life of violence and hatred be changed into a loving and peaceful life? I know of only one way because on our own, we surely cannot changed ourselves. Only total surrender to God will change a person because God's love is so powerful. His love saves, heals and transforms lives. God desires for us to know and experience His love - to be healed, forgiven and set free.
Pastor Romano, adopted minister shared this amazing story about a group of NPAs (rebels) (New People's Army) and their life transformation because of Jesus.
Pastor Romano tells his story....
Last April 2012, I visited the place of Colonsabac, Matanao, Davao Del Sur. With me were 6 students. Before I started the meetings, the people of Colonsabac had many questions.
"Sir, are you not afraid?" they asked.
"No, I am not afraid because there is God in heaven who watches us," I answered them. During the day, my student helpers and I went around the village visiting homes. At night I preached to over three hundred people. We ended the program and 120 precious souls accepted Christ and were baptized in Colonsabac.
But there were people who came from Datalpitak, one of the far-away villages. They asked me to preach in their place. But our new brethren in Colonsabac discouraged me from going because the place is quite far; it is a full day's hike to Datalpitak. Besides, the place is dangerous with plenty of NPAs (rebels) and murderers who are hiding along the way.
I suggested that we pray for the Lord to allow us to preach in Datalpitak. Three days later, I first sent two laymen to Datalpitak but the people there told them to go back to their homes. But I told them to continue the work there and pray and I, too, was praying for them.
The laymen gave Bible studies to the people of Datalpitak. No rebels came to their meeting place. Two weeks later, the laymen had prepared 53 people for baptism. The following week, I followed and asked four young people from 1000 Missionary Movement to go with me. I rented 3 horses to carry us and our things: a laptop, generator and sound system.
We started our long travel at 5:00 a.m. from Colonsabak and arrived around 6:00 in the evening at Datalpitak. It was cold and dark and the place has no electricity. When the villagers saw that we have arrived, they came to see me, for they said they had been listening to my preaching in the radio. Everybody seemed excited. In the morning I started our work together with my fellow missionaries when suddenly, some young men in uniform showed up. Two of them were carrying M16 riffles! Right there and then I began to pray while I waved to them.
"Hello!" I shouted.
"Hello, Pastor Romano! You are welcome in the City of Jungles!" they all shouted back.
"Thank you!" I answered, uncertain about what will happen because this was my first time to meet them.
(Six years ago, in our church at Columbio, nine NPAs (rebels) accepted Jesus and after their baptism, they surrendered themselves to the Philippine Government.)
They started to ask me questions: "What is your purpose for coming to our place?" I learned later that these rebels in Datalpitak were hiding from the authorities.
The rebels asked me stay so they could give me a free seminar about being an NPA. I did and after their lectures I was surprised when they asked me to say a special prayer for them. I was thrilled! Before my prayer I asked them to sing with me. As we sang, I noticed the 5 leaders of the group had tears in their eyes. Praise the Lord for touching their hearts! I asked if I could come back that afternoon to study the Bible with them. They agreed. Upon my return, I was very surprised to see 28 members of the New Peoples' Army sitting on the ground ready to listen to my talk about God. One of them said, "Pastor, you have 10 commandments but we have only 9 commandments because we have guns to kill our enemies."
Before I left them, we sang again and I prayed. Then one of their leaders asked if we could build a church for them. They will help transport the lumber they could cut from the forest. I gave Bible presentations for several nights and after which, 86 members of the New People's Army were baptized. Four members of this group are wanted by the Philippine government. I am praying that the Lord will help us build a church for these people, for truly, only our Loving God can truly transform violent and rebellious people to become loving and peaceful people. God has changed these rebels and they want to live peacefully and honor God in their lives.
From Reva Moore (Founder of Adopt a Minister International):
The Year 2013 is here and we have another big challenge to keep Adopt a Minister going. Of our 400+ adopted ministers, only around a hundred of them have sponsors. May the Lord bless you tremendously so you could adopt one or more of the adopted ministers who no longer have sponsors. Since we all cannot preach, let us help those who can. And 'thank you' to our sponsors for your faithful support of God's workers.