Northeastern Mindanao Mission Organizes a Rescue Group

rescue13

RESCUE-SDA 13, a newly organized rescue group base in Caraga Region starts their 9-day training which covers the areas of Fire Prevention and Suppression, Basic First Aid, Disaster Management, Water Rescue and Basic Life Support Training.

This training is designed to provide with the necessary skills and knowledge to the trainees to help serve the community better.

Representatives from the Bureau of Fire, Philippine Red Cross, Philippine National Police – 13 and City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office shared their expertise during the training.

The organization of the RESCUE-SDA 13, which is also known as Adventist Rescue 13, is a joint effort of the Adventist Community Service / ADRA headed by Pr. Bernabe M. Dahunan, the  Youth Department headed by Pr. Max Dante B. Obbus and the Health Department headed by Pr. Nimrod V. Saramosing.

On Friday, March 7, 2014 – the mock water rescue was held at the Agusan River.  The trainees demonstrated their skills on water rescue and were supervised by their instructors.

The RESCUE-SDA 13 is thankful for the CDRRMO, DOH-Caraga, HEMS, PNP-Regional Public Safety Batallion, Bureau of Fire and Protection – Butuan, Red Cross – Agusan Del Sur, and for the administrators of Northeastern Mindanao Mission Headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist in Caraga Region for their support of this training.

The RESCUE-SDA 13 is planning to have four (4) provincial trainings, which aim to organize one rescue team in each district in Caraga Region.

A Radio that Leads a Friend to Church Again

butlig

Pastor Jerson Arellano and Fernando Butlig

Fernando Butlig was baptized about 20 years ago through a Bible Seminar called Radiant Life by Pastor Jethro Calahat.  Trials had shaken his faith and he stopped going to church.

After many years he moved to Bit-os, Butuan City to settle down.  He lived close to his friend Guesepo Arrubio, an Adventist and an avid listener to Hope Radio Philippines, a radio station managed by the Seventh-day Adventist in Caraga Region.

Brother Guesepo invited Fernando to attend church with him but Fernando didn’t think he was ready yet.  Guesepo decided to lend him his radio transistor instead.  Sometimes they would listen together, enjoying the replay of the program “Tulonghaan sa Kahanginan” (School on the Air) by Pastor Jerson Arellano and “Sukdanan sa Kamatuoran” (Measurement of Truth) by Pastor Jerson Arellano and Kapaglaum Charlie Ranes.

Fernando became very interested in the program, started to ask questions, and began his quest of studying the Bible again.

Through God’s guidance and the work of the Holy Spirit, Guesepo and Fernando contacted the host of the program who visited them at their house and offered a prayer for Fernando.

A few months ago Fernando decided to go with his friend Guesepo to the church to renew his commitment to the Lord, to serve Him and to be a part of his family.  It was an answered prayer said Guesepo, who was very happy for the decision of his friend. “God called Fernando back and I am happy He used my small radio transistor as instrument,” he said, his eyes a little teary.

Miracle Behind “Typhoon Pablo”

kauswagansdachurch1

Philippines is visited by a strongest typhoon last December 4, 2012  packing maximum sustained winds of 140 knots (259 kilometers per hour), “Pablo” (international name Bopha).  It’s very painful to all people who have lost their homes, crops for their livelihood and above all lost the lives of their loved ones.

In Loreto District, Loreto Agusan del Sur most of their farm products banana, rubber, palm oil, falcata were totally damaged.  Three of our churches were totally wrecked.  But churches who have solid foundations were slightly damaged. It’s a blessing that in San Mariano SDA Church stand firm when “Pablo” hit the area.  All of the other denominational churches were totally smashed-down but our church stood firm facing the strong winds and rains.

Mr. Sagarino, the deacon, went immediately to the church to open the door because the people were terrified.  When he arrived, the church was already opened full of evacuees.  He was surprised why it was opened when he is the keeper of the key.    They believed that it was an angel who rescued the people in opening the door.   People flocked to our church  because their houses, crops,  were damaged.

When Pablo tyhoon hit their place it was their scheduled-week of prayer meeting, their church were full because of the evacuees.  Because of that scenario many listened to the word of God.

In Sto. Tomas, Loreto Agusan del Sur   their church ventured to plant one (1) hectare corn for the church renovation.    It was a miraculous scene when all of the neighboring cornfields, banana, rubber and etc. were destroyed and the project of the church remained firm in the midst of the Pablo storm.   Last December 10, they were able to harvest their corn.  Praise the Lord for the great protection.

In spite of the storm, they were thankful that it occurred during day time because they can notice the galvanized iron (GI) sheets roofing flew off  by the strong winds.  A backslider went out from his house  afraid that it will fall  down, but on his way a roof  carried by the strong wind hit him. Amazingly the galvanized iron folded it’s on part and he was not badly  hurt.   It gave him a message that he will go back to attend church worship because the Lord protected him in spite of his non-appearance to the church for more than 10 years.

In Loreto District alone three churches were totally damaged.  Our brethren can no longer joined together in worshiping God.

FCAMP: Facilitator’s Impression

Chrisley Jade C. Saromines

The Friendship Camp or FCAMP is a spiritual activity initiated by the committed leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  The recently conducted FCAMP last April 15-21, 2012 held at Mariano’s River View Resort, Brgy. Sto. Tomas, Loreto, Agusan del Sur which was participated by the youths of the districts of Loreto, Lapaz and Talacogon was one of the most memorable and amazing moments in my life.

It was such a great honor for me to be one among the selected facilitators to the said activity.  At first, I was hesitant to accept the responsibility being a facilitator, because of fear that I cannot perform the task being entrusted to me.  But with God’s guidance I was able to share my talents in singing and bringing spiritual message.

Being a facilitator was not an easy job.  Sometimes you have to act like a teacher to your teammates; do Bible studies and lectures; give lessons and sharing of ideas regarding their understanding of the given texts from the Bible.  Latest action songs and short choruses were being introduced to the members of the team.  Different exciting and challenging activities were all participated well.

Despite of the sleepless nights and restless days, I still enjoy the company of the campers, co-facilitators, pastors and our camp director the whole period of camping.  I felt enlightened with the Holy Spirit when the time I gave lectures to the group and they also listened attentively.  I gained self-satisfaction upon seeing the smiling faces of my group members for every accomplishment we achieved.  Although there were minor problems we encountered during the FCAMP but we were able to manage and solve them accordingly.

Our efforts as facilitators were not wasted and our prayers were heard and granted when all of the non-Adventist participants decided to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and be a member of our church-The Seventh-day Adventist.  I had been emotionally touched when one of the members of my group had thanked me for helping her realized the importance of salvation.  I considered it as my great success being an effective leader to the group.  That FCAMP changed me a lot.  I developed my skills being an Adventist Youth Leader.  It helped me improve my communication skills. It also tightened my relationship with God.  I’ll miss all the people I’ve met there.

Now, it is my new challenge to take care of the new members of our church.  I promise to do the best that I can as an AY Leader.  I will end my impression by saying. “Never get tired of serving God because it is only HIM that you can feel the greatest happiness in your life” Live life to the fullest with Him!

God bless us all!

Loreto FCAMP Camp Director

Clinton M Dumangcas

Last year Northeastern Mindanao Mission trained young people for FCAMP Facilitators.    Many of them successfully completed the training.    One of them is Clinton M. Dumangcas, a first year student in Caraga State University, taking BS Math.  While he is in our own Academy he is active in leading Master Guide activities.  He is also the battalion commander of the school, pathfinder club in Northeastern Mindanao Academy.

Last year he was assigned in Punot, Salug Esperanza Agusan del Sur and Bonbon, Butuan City FCAMP facilitator.  Jonald Serrano, the FCAMP consultant, perceived that he can be a good Camp Director for another camping.  That’s why last April 15-21, 2012 he was assigned in Loreto District as Camp Director.

At first he wanted to decline because he felt that he is not capable of the responsibility, being young and doesn’t have any experience in handling such activities.  He is contented of being a facilitator only.   Mainly his fears were he doesn’t know the district pastors, the church elders and also the facilitators who will go with him since it involves for 3 districts.   The facilitators came from different churches how could he manage the program.  But before the FCAMP started, he was chosen to attend the Youth Alive program by the SSD in Central Philippine Adventist College last April 2-7, 2012.    The training that

 

he attended helped him in revising their scheduled activities and applies such knowledge in the camping.

When the camping started he felt excited because there were more non-sda young people who attended even though they don’t have complete bonding with the facilitators. He was scared at first when one of the campers was disturbed by the devil during Wednesday until Saturday morning.  Marathon prayers, Bible reading was done by the facilitators.  But it was an unforgettable experience when he saw the power of God, when the devil was driven out through the power of prayer.  Through that experience he longed to become a pastor.

The Promise Rainbow of Love and My New Vow to God

Have you seen a rainbow on a very peculiar place?  But oh! It happened, with a great amazement.

I am an old widow who is going to celebrate my 90th birthday on June 14, 2010.  Though I am so old, but Alzheimer’s disease dreaded on me. The Holy Spirit drives it from me, for I am very close to my God through my faith and my incessant prayers.  As for humanity, I am really weak, from my waist to my feet, for my feet are numb.  But to the upper part of my body, the three H are accurately and actively functioning, my Heart, Hand and Head.  My brain is Godly influenced with fresh memory that I can memorize text, verses and songs during worship.  I could still preach during my turn on the divine worship, a sermon about Home, my specialty as I am a leader of Family Life.

My son-in law Sixto Eyana, a very keen observant of what still could I do, planned to celebrate my 90th birthday with a grand celebration.  My sons and daughter in-laws together with children agreed with the plan.  They contributed means and nice plans for a grand celebration of my 90th birthday.

On June 13th everything was prepared, and a white big cow was butchered.  As I saw the enthusiasm of my children-in laws together with my children, I was exulted and thanking the Lord for their sincerity.

They prepared a special program to be held in the church. We invited Pastor Solomon V. Mongaya to give an inspiring message for that grand occasion, as we have so many unbeliever visitors, my co-members in our Senior Citizen Association.

The party should be at the School and Church yard with the tent and dining table nicely decorated, as it is in the church.  Being the celebrant, my children requested me to wear a nice gown for this special and grand occasion.

June 14th came. Everything was nicely prepared. The place for the food to be kept before serving, and utensils to be used for the party and materials for the program were all ready.

I was joyfully awakened with someone’s voice that said, “Everything is nicely prepared.”  I got up from my bed with thanksgiving in my heart.  How happy I felt to be 90 years old.  Thanks be to God for prolonging my years.  Then I slowly peered at my window, and saw the gloomy skies.  How my heart fainted with the gloom I saw, I thought the Lord was offended for that grand celebration to be.  So I bended my knees in prayer asking the Lord for forgiveness, and poured out my heartaches with tears.  I humbly asked the Lord to give us a sign if He has loved us and being forgiven.  While continuing my fervent prayer, a shout disturbed my supplication with a shout of astonishment.  “Look! Very wonderful!  Mamay is being loved by God, for a wonderful rainbow shines,” someone said.   I ceased my prayer and surprisingly looked out of the window where I saw the gloomy skies before, but now a shiny rainbow of God’s love.  One end of the rainbow was just above the roof of Northeastern Mindanao Academy and the other end was above the roof of our home.  “Wonderful, Praise God!” I said to myself.

The program that was held in the church at 2:00-4:00 p.m. on that day was nicely performed by the participation of the Senior Citizens, especially their nice offering of their gifts to the celebrant.  The inspiring message of Pastor Mongaya was remarkably printed in the hearts and minds of the congregation.

The Party followed after the program. The food satisfied them all, and the wonderful rainbow was the theme of their amazements as they were going home.  But for me it is a new vow to God in response to the sign, Rainbow of Love.

[Mamay Flor Orillosa is the mother of Danny, the Implementation and Training Manager of Sun Plus in General Conference SDA World Headquarters Treasury in  USA]

Monkey Business – The Story of a Monkey doing God’s Business

By Pastor Bernabe Dahunan and Sulad Crisofel M. Abayan as told to Russ Dawis

Malinawon SULADS mission school has been in operation for about 8 years now. With the help of Pastor Lagunday and his youth group of Gingoog District, a church was built in this village. But due to the villagers’ strong adherence to tribal beliefs, their intellectual limitations, and the religious abyss between them and us, most of the older folks have left it to their children to embrace Adventist Christianity while they continue to hold on to their old animists beliefs and practices.
But SULADS missionaries do not content themselves of teaching God’s truth to children only. In the first quarter of 2009, a SULADS evangelistic crusade was held and 23 souls were baptized. Forty percent of them were adult. The pair of missionaries who took over last June continued the evangelistic thrust for adults by visiting homes and conducting Bible studies. After some months the missionaries reported that 4 adults have been readied for baptism.
This is where our story begins….
Excited of the report that four more adults have understood the truth and have decided to be baptized, I immediately arranged for an ordained pastor to travel with SULADS missionaries to Malinawon village. Pastor Bernabe M. Dahunan, the pastor of Butuan City SDA church, was even more excited to do this rare baptismal rite. You see the brethren of Butuan City Church, in their deep sympathy for the work of SULADS, has just officially adopted one SULADS village – Malinawon. This means that, among other focuses, they will take charge of the financial burden of sending one SULADS missionary to this village every year.
So on January 29, 2010, a Friday, Pastor Dahunan, Sulad Crisofel Abayan and Esperanza District Leader Neon Pacumbaba, set out at 3:00 dawn for Malinawon. The trip going there was uneventful and the group reached the village at 3:00 in the afternoon, a rather early arrival. Their last leg of the trip which is the walk through thick jungles with two river crossings took them only three and a half hours instead of the usual four to five hours. A SULADS pace indeed!
When Sabbath morning came, the three guests were awestricken by the overflowing attendance of the church services where both Adventist and non-adventist villagers thronged. Pastor Dahunan did not use his sermon outlines but asked God to guide him to topics that would be most relevant.
Most of the time, his talks were a product of the villagers’ inquiries on spiritual matters – especially their very own spiritual concerns. Thus the Holy Spirit was able to transmit to these innocent souls the precious truths they so much needed in their literally and spiritually dark jungle home. Their chatter in Higaonon after each clarifying endeavors of Pastor Dahunan clearly revealed that they understand well and that they like the answers.
The morning services ended rather late.  Stomachs may have been empty but souls were undoubtedly full. I believe many souls in the past evangelistic endeavors were brought to the brink of accepting Adventism but continued to be withheld by doubts and fears. God used Pastor Dahunan to cast away those doubts and fears especially the fear of misfortunes that their spirit gods will send to them if they entertain other teachings.
Thus when lunch was over and the Malinawon missionaries gathered the baptismal candidates in the church for a doctrinal review before the baptism that afternoon, the four candidates became nineteen! Only six were children or youth. The rest were adults!
How happy everyone was that afternoon for the triumph of God’s kingdom among the Higaonons who had been clinging to Satan’s lies thinking all the while that their ancestors couldn’t be wrong in spiritual matters.
After the baptism, the guests immediately prepared to leave. But rain has started to fall. Some young villagers escorted the guests and carried their bags. The trail became more muddy and slippery, but what could make the trek dangerous would be the swelling of Ohot River three hours ahead. The drenched group prayed for the rain to stop so that Ohot would just be safe to cross when they got there, but the downpour was incessant. Sure enough, after three hours of splattering through the jungle floor, the horrific, swollen Ohot came to view.
“How could we possibly cross?” Pastor Dahunan started to check for any bolo so that they could start cutting indigenous materials for a temporary shelter as weathering out Ohot and the night seemed to be the only probability at the moment. Darkness was coming fast; no single hut could be found nearby; a retreat to Malinawon is not only impractical but also impossible due to the absence of flashlights in the group.
But as they took one more scrutiny at the possibility of crossing Ohot, they saw at the opposite bank a man oblivious of his surroundings, standing, his gaze nailed on something. To the excitement of the local young people escorting the guests, they recognized him as their relative who is known for his extraordinary skills and strength in crossing rivers even during flood. They shouted for help and sure enough he willingly assisted the group, one by one, in crossing Ohot. On their own, the trekkers’ feet easily got swept by the strong midstream current. Good enough, the native knows how to stick his feet on the riverbed and the guests, with feet barely touching the riverbed, just clung to their rescuer and made it to the other side safely.
When everyone was safe across, they learned from the native that he was supposed to go home already. But a monkey was making interesting exhibitions on a tree catching his attention and detaining him long enough for the SULADS group to catch up with him.

Don’t monkeys do business for God, too?

Pastor Dahunan is the Church Pastor of Butuan Tamarind SDA Church
Sulad Crisofel M. Abayan is a Sulad Missionary
Russ Dawis is the Coordinator of the NeMM-SULADS

God Saves me from Evil Spirit

Raezielle Fuentes-Penaso

This story is from the written testimony sent to me by Raezielle Fuentes-Penaso whose life has long been disturbed by evil spirit

Because of God’s great love on her , the Holy Spirit guided the (LAMP) League of Adventist Missionaries & Preachers to visit her under the leadership of all Elders of Central Church of Mangagoy, Bislig City, Mindanao Philippines. It was the time of the groundwork of the Crusade which led to her rebaptism together with her husband on August 28, 2010 by Pastor Ranillo Jagmoc.

I once lived in Tibanga , Iligan City. We are 9 children of our parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Fuentes who are non- Adventist. My father is an “ albulario” who can cure diseases of people who are victims of “Barang”. He used to mumble Latin words to drive evil spirits .

One time our relative who is a Literature Evangelist came to visit us. She suggested to my mother to recommend me to study in Mountain View College (MVC) as working student.

There in MVC , I learned several activities in the campus especially going out every Sabbath for ministerial outing. My active participation in doing ministerial work caused me to suffer first to have been disturbed by evil spirit. At first I didn’t mind it. But many times he kept on showing himself to me.

Year 2001, our group left for Mt. Nebo one Sabbath to visit the brethren there. I never expected that I started to feel weak . I had fever . My body was so hot as if my head would break . That day my friend told me that I was  struggling myself to be free as if an evil spirit is troubling me. In the afternoon they fetched us with a vehicle from Mt. Nebo so I can ride.

Reaching the Alumni Church, I saw that there was a baptism. I couldn’t believe it that I volunteered myself to be baptized even if I had not undergone Bible study. Everyday from that time of my baptism, the evil spirit kept disturbing me. It lasted for 1 week. They advised me to pray to God and asked the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Then it disappeared for quite a time until 2004.

Later I decided to get married to Michael Penaso who hails from Mangagoy , Bislig City. We left MVC even without the knowledge  or permission of our parents. That time began our life’s wrong decision to stop going to church and to serve God. Much more, our Mother who is an unbeliever, always persecuted us with food. One time when my husband and I were asleep , she intentionally placed “pork” on our mouth. That time we began to backslide  and ashamed to go to church again.

In the year 2005-2007 we stayed in Manila and went back to Iligan in 2008. Later we moved to Mangagoy. Because God loves us , He allowed the LAMP headed by Mangagoy  Central Church Elders to visit us. That was the turning point of our lives to go back to serve the Lord .

It was the groundwork of the crusade. Every night we joined them to ride in their vehicle to attend and hear the words of God through the speaker.

Three days before the crusade will end, I never expected that while we were riding in the jeep, someone was running so swiftly towards us. He wanted to ride with us  and sat beside me telling me to pull the driver’s head towards me so that all brethren passengers who conducted the crusade will suffer. If I succeeded to disturb the driver the jeep will surely meet an accident. That was the order of the evil spirit. He was angry knowing that I return to the Lord and worship him.

The Brethren were holding my hand when I tried to obey his order. I struggled inside the jeep until we reached the church. I continued to struggle but the elders held me so tight and prayed for me, surrounded me with petition to God to rebuke the evil spirit. Ma’am Dina Marquez always sleeps with us in our house to join us in praising and worshipping to our living God.

On the last night of the crusade  during the time to get our decision, the evil spirit bothered me again. He didn’t like me to worship back the Lord. The service was not over yet when he disturbed me once more,  this time not only myself but also my mother in law. But I kept firm of my decision to go back to the feet of Jesus through baptism in the afternoon of the Sabbath on August 28, 2010.

With the help of the Brethren’s prayer and of course with God, everything that bothered me disappeared. But in times when I am weak , the evil spirit comes, I fought against him with God’s power.  Now I’m very much thankful that God abides with us and helps us in time of our great need.