Empowering the Power of Seventy

Photo Credit: K. Saramosing

The seats were heated and the Bayugan Comprehensive National High School Gym was about to explode as the 2,323 Adventist missionaries take the challenge with power and zeal in their hearts, during the send-off ceremony of the missionaries trained under Power of Seventy Program of Northeastern Mindanao Mission on the 1st day of the month of July this year.
The North Eastern Mindanao Mission (NeMM) of the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC), concluded its first step in educating, empowering, and mobilizing of its members thru the initiative called the Power of Seventy, which is meant to complement the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s program for Total Members Involvement (TMI).
The Power of Seventy, is a program formed for the purpose of helping the local church in resounding the message of the good news of Christ’s coming, to establish communities of believers and to safe-guard the church from religious extremism that is so rampant in the Southern Philippines.
After months of prayer and laborious work, the district pastors with the help of the junior pastors conducted classes thru Theological Education for Adventist Missionaries. Included in its curriculum are Church History, church planting, personal and public evangelism, Literature Evangelism, among others.
The Power of Seventy is patterned on how Jesus Mobilized Christian believers 2000 years ago were He appointed the seventy disciples and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whiter He himself would come (Luke 10:1-3). Their mission was to prepare the field for harvest and harvest those who are ripe and ready.
The members of Power of Seventy was being reminded that they will be sent as a lamb among the wolves, but being reassured that wherever they may be, Jesus Himself, whose power on earth and heaven is on Him, will be with you even unto the end of the world. (Mishael I. Monterola – Junior Pastor, NEMM)

Hope – that Brings Closer to the Redeemer

Left: Bro. Trifon Felicia wearing a yellow shirt.

“In 2014, started to doubt my religion.  I told myself that if there are other religions that established their beliefs on the Bible I will give it a chance,” said Bro. Felicia.

Bro. Trifon Felicia has considered the importance of Salvation through Jesus Christ.  He likes to read the Bible and discovered many things that is in contradict with the doctrine of his religion.  One day he decided to buy a radio, while scanning to the different station, he discovered 93.5 DXIM as a Christian radio station and became an avid listener.

He decided to study the Bible and at the same time send questions to “Sukdanan sa Kamatuoran” about the things that he doesn’t understand.  It is his desire to really find the true religion and discover that the Seventh-day Adventist has its foundation in the Word of God.

I decided to find a church and Pr. Ben Rosales arranged my baptism.  I even prepared money to pay for my baptism, but Bro. Tirso Lagumbay – an anchor of the radio program “Lamparahan ug Dangpanan” who happened to be an elder of the Church told me, that I don’t need to pay for my baptism.

I was baptized at Ampayon Seventh-day Church and I am now a member of Sigla Seventh-day Adventist Church.  “I am so thankful to God that there is Hope Radio that enlightens me about God’s word and I am encouraging everyone to continue to pray for the Hope Radio, its financial needs and the listeners, because I know the Holy Spirit is working and inviting people for heaven,” he added.

The Power of Seventy

More than one thousand church leaders from the different Seventh-day Adventist churches in Caraga Region had attended the launching had attended the launching of the “Power of Seventy” at Northeastern Mindanao Academy last February 1-4, 2017.  Dr. Bienvenio Mergal – the vice president of the Southern Asia Pacific Division together with Pr. Bernabe Dahunan – the IEL and NDR Director of the South Philippine Union Conference had shared their knowledge about the importance of being a true disciple of Jesus Christ.  On Thursday morning, Pr. Max Dante Obbus (NEMM President), through a phone patch was thankful to the overwhelming support of the district leaders and Adventists through Caraga Region for their participation of the mission program amidst the storm.

Mrs. Perlyn Panes (Children’s Ministries Director) and Mrs. Pinky Gulfan (Shepherdess International Director) emphasized the role of the children and the family to the Total Membership Involvement to the mission to preach the gospel during the Sabbath School program.  Elder Edwin C. Gulfan preached and send a powerful message of putting our trust fully to God during the divine worship.  He encourages the members of the “Power of Seventy” to rely on the Holy Spirit by connecting to God through his Words and to the Spirit of Prophecy and prayer.

What is the Power of Seventy?

The call “to go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) stirred the hearts of the leaders to follow the biblical principle of evangelism.  The recent application of the Integrated Evangelistic Lifestyle platform as an upgrade to small group evangelism created an impact to the Seventh-day Adventist members.  It helps divert the common focus of evangelism which is baptismal goal to reflecting the character of Jesus Christ through service.

The Administrators of NEMM see the importance of equipping the church and providing knowledge of the doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, its history and mission.  After a careful study of Elder Obbus, the administrators and the departmental directors, they created a system that will answer the need of the leaders of the church and care group.  It is called “Power of Seventh.”  The idea of the “Power of Seventy” is based on a biblical setup of Jesus which is to be a true disciple and to make disciples.

The Power of Seventy will be trained under the “Theological Education of Adventist Missionaries (TEAM)” compose of administrators, departmental directors, theology professors, and pastors.  It is under the supervision of the IEL-NDR Director and the administrators.  The goal is to equip every leaders of the church, leaders of care groups and bible workers – trained them to become a disciple and a disciple maker.  The first phase of the program will be until July 2017.  It will cover the topics about Christ Life and Spiritual Growth, Fundamental doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Servant Leadership, Nurturing and Discipleship, Reclamation of missing members and many others.  This is a continuing education according to Elder Obbus, that will end when Jesus comes, “Do not be just a disciple, be a disciple maker,” he added.

God Calls me for the Second Time

Jun Alutaya with Pr. R. De Dominggo

Few years ago, I went to Manila to make a living. Life in the city is hard especially that I don’t have any degree. It is getting worst when my live-in partner and I have three children.

One mistakes lead to another which ended up in illegal activities. I was caught redhanded and was imprisoned. While in the prison cell, some women came to visit our jail and talk about the love of Jesus. I was hesitant at first but since some of my cell mates joined the worship, I also joined with them. Later, I was baptised and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church but it is because my friends were baptized too. I didn’t know that the seed of truth was already planted in my heart. After my jail time, I decided to go back to my hometown at Taganaan, Surigao del Sur together with my children. My livein partner had left me and I raised my children as a single dad. My past experiences in Manila had taught me a lesson that our endeavors were not enough without God.   It was probably God’s provision that Bro. Dumangcas visited my home. He watered the seed in my heart and taught us about the Word of God and for some reason I was interested listening to what he teaches. He makes it more interesting because I could see that he is practicing what he teaches. In his meager income Bro. Dumangcas has helped us in many other ways. I understand now that God really loves me and I decided to be baptized again.

It was during this time that I need to find a school for my children. Bro. Dumangcas introduces me to Northeastern Mindanao Academy where my eldest child was accommodated by the school to study for free and my youngest child is sponsored by one of the teachers of the Elementary School. I was also hired to do some part time work at the school which become my source of income for our daily needs.

I could see the difference now being a Seventh-day Adventist. Before I only depend on myself, now I can depend on God and his providence.

I encourage those who are far from God to just come boldly to Him. You may not trust Him before but He is always very close to you.

My name is Bro. Jun Alutaya and I am a Seventh-day Adventist.  I am thankful to the Gospel Outreach workers and sponsors for being the instrument that carries the message from God to me and my family.

SPUC Wide Teachers’ Convention

It was once a dream turned to reality!

The long-awaited teachers’ convention was planned to be held abroad since the year 2002. Finally, last July 18-23, 2016 the dream came true. It was held at Universitas Advent Indonesia in Bandung.

“Excellence in Teaching Ministry” was the theme of the said convention. The learning experience during that event was really excellent. There were more than two hundred delegates in attendance. Among these group of educators from SPUC, are the 22 elementary teachers and 8 high school teachers from NEMM.

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The president of SPUC, Pastor Edwin C. Gulfan, and the local missions and conferences administrators, especially the NEMM administrators- Pr. Max Dante Obbus, Pr. Nimrod Saramosing and Sir Cirilo Baal are very supportive of the program. The said event has been made possible through the leadership of Dr. Bobby M. Asis, SPUC Education director, with the assistance of Dr. Diosdado T. Catalan and Mrs. Leonor P. Mongaya.

To God be the glory for the wonderful opportunity He has given to his dedicated teachers who are engaged in the Teaching Ministry. (Pearlyn P. Panes)

F-CAMP 2016

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What is F-CAMP?

It is a ministry of the Adventist youth, for the youth by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through camping.

Mechanism

One Adventist youth will invite one or more unchurched youth to join the Friendship Camp which carries the program to develop their physical, mental, social and spiritual.  The devotional speaker will speaks about the fundamental doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventist. The facilitators will lead the group into studying other topics that are not covered by the speaker and get the reaction of the campers through an activity called unmasking.

The Results

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These activities were facilitated by FLIES group who also help trained facilitators for the F-CAMP.  These activities happened last summer and the Lord has been so good that he calls the youth to be involved in his ministry. [NM Seda]

PARL Dept. Directors Meet Adventist Candidates for Public Office

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Pr. Mamerto Guingguing Comm. / Parl Director – SPUC

The PARL Department Directors of Northeastern Mindanao Mission and South Philippine Union Conference in coordination with Southern Asia Pacific Division meet the Adventist  candidates for public office last March 19, 2016 at Bayugan Central Church with the theme “Arise and Serve.”

This program was attended by Adventist candidates for public office  from different parts of Caraga Region together with the Officers of NEMM.  The guest speakers are Atty. Rex R. Rosas – SSD Legal and Government Liaison, Atty. Gizzelle Foguzo, and Pr. Mamerto M. Guinguing, II – the SPUC Communication Director & PARL Coordinator.

“The objective of this event is to organize a special consecration program that we can pray for them and remind them of our focus to serve sincerely and with gladness, for God and for government” said Pr. Guingguing.

The PARL Department of Northeastern Mindanao Mission is thankful to Bayugan Central Church for hosting the event. [ER Cubelo]

ACS: My Blood, Your Hope

The department of the Adventist Community Services and Health Ministries Department in coordination with the Philippine National Red Cross would have a bloodletting program with the theme “Dugo ko, Paglaum Mo” (My Blood, Your Hope).  This is a regular program of the Adventists in Caraga region to help those who are in need of blood.

The bloodletting will be at Northeastern Mindanao Mission, Km. 3, Baan Highway, Butuan City this coming February 21, 2016.

These are the qualifications of the donors:

  • Age:  18-65 years old
  • 16-17 years old needs parental consent
  • 60-65 years old needs a physician’s approval
  • Weight:  atleast 115lbs. or 52.5 kg.
  • Blood Pressure:  90-130 systolic, 60-90 diastolic
  • Travel abroad for a period of more than 1 month must have stayed in the country for 12 months before you can donate.
  • Travel abroad for a period of less than 1 month, must have stayed in the country for a month before you can donate.
  • No major/minor surgical procedure within a year
  • Tattooing/piercing:  12 months after the procedure
  • No medicine or alcohol intake for at least 24 hours
  • No smoking: 4 hours prior to blood extraction
  • At least 5 hours of sleep
  • Physically healthy
  • Negative for sexually transmitted diseases
  • Other guidelines for deferral will be assessed during the interview of donor’s personal and medical history and physical examination.

Benefits:

  • Have a personal health check-up
  • You will know your blood type, hemoglobin level and BP
  • The bone marrow will be stimulated to produce younger and active cells (change oil mechanism)
  • More volunteer blood donors would meet the supply of blood
  • It is something that will make you feel good about yourself.

We are asking you to join us this coming February 21, 2016.  Be there!  God Bless You!

For more information you can contact our Health Department Director Pastor Lonie D. Cena and our ACS Director Pastor Jerry E. Taguno.

BCMA: Week of Prayer 2016

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BCMA: Teachers and Students Praying together

Every year the Butuan City Mission Academy (BCMA) Elementary Department continued its spiritual program that teach students to have a closer relationship with God.  The students experienced this week the powerful revelation of “Jesus the Creator” – the theme of this year’s week of prayer.

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Week of Prayer Speaker: Pastor Agapito M. Orendain – Stewardship Director – NEMM

Pastor Agapito M. Orendain spiritually prepared God’s message for the children in a manner that interest them.  He carefully designs questions that brings the children into deep understanding about Jesus as the Creator.  During the culmination program, two students received a devotional book “#PowerUp” for answering questions from his week of prayer messages.

Week of Prayer is a part of the school’s program.  It promotes the development of the spiritual aspects of life.  It is a time where teachers and students joined together to ask for the Lord’s blessings and to delve into the word of God that develops a special relationship with Him.

SSD President, Succumbs to Rare Bone Marrow Disease

Source:  Arlene Collado's FB Page

Source: Arlene Collado’s FB Page

Leonardo R. Asoy, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD), passed away at age 56 at approximately 8:35 p.m. (PHT) on January 12, 2016 at the Adventist Medical Center-Manila, Philippines from complications due to myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a rare bone marrow disease in which the bone marrow is unable to produce adequate healthy blood cells.

Born on November 18, 1959, Asoy was raised in Mindanao, Southern Philippines and graduated from Mountain View College in 1983 with a degree in Theology.

His dedication and commitment for the Lord led him to serve as a district pastor in the church’s Western Mindanao Conference in Ozamis City in 1983 and then youth director from 1988-1990.  In 1990, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Studies at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in Cavite, Philippines.

He then served in the South Philippine Union Conference (SPUC) beginning in 1991 as youth director and later became the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director in 1996. In 2003, he was called to an administrative role as president of the Davao Mission but was called back to SPUC after a year to be the ministerial secretary.

Asoy accepted a call to serve as the director for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division Sabbath School/Personal Ministries in 2007. Beginning in 2011 until July 2015, he led SPUC as its president. Under his vibrant tenure, evangelistic initiatives and practical member programs flourished.  At the 2015 General Conference Session, he was elected SSD president.

His wife Elma Vasques Asoy, their grown children, Elnardz and Shawnette, and countless family members and friends mourn his passing and look longingly to the Resurrection.

Source:  Communication Department, Southern Asia Pacific Division