“My Promise Was Made To Be Broken” – by Cristopher Luaya, adopted minister, as told to Reva Lachica Moore.

(This was written in 2003 when Cristopher applied to Adopt a Minister International. Today, Cris is a Theology Instructor at Central Philippine Adventist College.)

“Father, when I grow up, I will kill all the people involved in your death,” I made this promise at my father’s grave way back in 1991.

I grew up in a non-Adventist family. My mother later said that they were Adventist backsliders before I was born, and my grandparents, uncles, cousins and relatives are all Adventists.

For many years, my father was known as “Kumander Ingo.” He was a rebel commander of the New People’s Army*. When I was a child, many people armed with guns came to see us and stockpiled plenty of guns and ammunition in our house. In my child’s mind, I thought the guns were only toys, but later I realized they were lethal.

From time to time, Philippine military men came to our house looking for my father. We were told by the rebel leaders to never disclose his whereabouts, so I learned to lie. I said “No” to the military men’s inquiries that on one occasion, one of them laughed at my answer when I was asked to state my father’s name and I answered, “I don’t know.”

After a long time, my father decided to surrender to the government authorities and was put in prison. Sometimes later he was pardoned and once again experienced a free life after he was released.

Amazingly, the military man who arrested him became his friend. He once more had the freedom to carry guns and each time he got arrested, his military friend was always there to get him out. My father continued to get involved in killing people. He was always hired and paid to kill somebody who did nothing wrong against him.

Our lives before were full of trouble. Lots of trouble. My father had so much anger in his heart and stayed drunk all the time. It was his way of coping with the troubles he got into. We always ran away from home, sometimes in the middle of the night to escape my father’s cruelty.

Later on in his life, my father decided to have a partial new life. He dedicated most of his time in farming our land. But one day, while he and his friends attended a town fiesta, they all got arrested and thrown in jail through the mayor’s order. Several days later, my father and two of his friends were killed. We were told that the police shot them while they were trying to escape, but this was a lie. They were set up. It was made to look like they tried to escape and then killed.

I was very sad to see my father’s wounds. His elbows and knees were critically broken. Bullet wounds covered his entire body and I couldn’t bear seeing the wound on his head, which caused his death. This made me very enraged. I felt my father’s agony every time I think about his wounds.

As I looked at my father’s horrible wounds, I promised myself to take revenge and to kill them all when I got older.

But something drastically changed my life when I turned 15. I heard about a Savior, Jesus Christ, Who died on Calvary for me. In 1992, I accepted Him in my life and instantly, my revengeful spirit was changed. In place of hatred, the love of Jesus filled my heart. I no longer wanted to kill the people who killed my father. I went to Central Philippine Adventist College as a working student for eight years and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology. I have already introduced many people to Jesus. Today, my way of thinking is to consider every soul precious for God and His kingdom.

Before, without Christ, I planned to kill people. Now that I have Christ, I want people to live their lives to the fullest with Jesus unto His eternal kingdom. Vengeance is not mine. My father’s death isn’t enough to take away the lives of those who killed him.

For Christ’s sake, a promise is sometimes made to be broken.

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

* The military wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), the NPA is a Maoist group formed in March 1969 with the aim of overthrowing the government through protracted guerrilla warfare.