Door to Door Ministry

Door to Door Ministry is an evangelistic effort of the church of Christ in locating “prospects” for home Bible study classes. This ministry is within the work of the local church to bring the gospel to every home in the community.

This ministry can be forceful when the local congregation is aware of the project.  Contribution to the success of this work should be  accepted as a part of being an active member of the local congregation. The readings of Ephesian chapter 4 and I Corinthians 12 are dedicated to the idea that the local church membership should work together and resolve with strong commitment that the gospel of Christ is needed by everyone in the community.  Salvation is the driving force and the motivating mechanism for the project of seeking the lost to to be successful.

So, why door to door?  Everyone in the community must be included.  From the door of our worship service to the last door in the community, the gospel of Christ must be made known!  At least to the degree that everyone was given the chance to hear the gospel.  The song of Brother J. M. McCaleb is our marching song, it says:  “Of one the Lord has made the race, thru one has come the fall; Where sin has gone must go His grace, the gospel is for all….”

Door to Door Ministry is a “hard project” at first.  Yes, the first door will mean the success or failure of the work.  The personal worker should strive to know who lives there and before hand know them through “visitation.”  One cannot just go to that door without preparation. The “visitation” is a part of that preparation.  It is in that visitation that we learn our prospect – his religious affiliation, work and activities.  Then, we prepare a lesson just for him.  That lesson ties in with his present needs and challenges.  The personal worker should have a complete outline of the lesson and master this first lesson.  From that first lesson develops to the second lesson with the intention of satisfying the “needs” of the prospect.  The subsequent lessons will follow through.  Hopefully, the conclusion will be satisfactory with one or the whole family accepting the gospel of Christ and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins.

With the success received from the first door, the personal worker is now braced with greater love to move on to the second door.  And, the preparation and implementation of the lessons from the first door should be urgently revised and upgraded or modified depending on the status of the prospect of door number 2. The upgrading or modification of the lesson or lessons will be done seriously by the personal worker.  This is to say that constant evaluation must be observed.

I highly recommend to all personal workers this ministry.  May God prosper your ability to present your lessons to anyone and everyone!  May God bless you.

 

Advertisement

Filipinos have caught on to advertisement!  When you get out of your home, go to town or travel to the city like Manila, there is no way you can miss products you love to use advertised greatly in the newspapers, radio, television, handouts, posters and in the various sizes of billboards!  We love advertisement!  What we use are what we see around,  Thus, manufacturers make their advertisement so real and beautiful that we too cannot just change these products even though a newer and stronger product is made claiming better results if we use them.  At least, not until such a product is advertised greatly that later on, we too will try and start to use these to our advantage!

But, what is advertisement?  The Webster dictionary tells us that “this is a paid notice” in the newspaper or mass media for the purpose of “making generally known.”

Rightly so!  Through the mass media, we have been informed of the product we cannot exchange because of the so many “notices” we have heard and seen and now we are confident this will give us satisfaction.  Thus, we patronize this and that product because they are well known!

Come to think of it, God in his creation made this and that we see around in their most beautiful appearance!  For example, the flowers of the plants and trees,  their natural beauty can never be surpassed.  And, the number and size they come will surely satisfy us if not cause us to think that God made all of them!

Psalms 19: 1, 2 says:  “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, night unto night showeth knowledge.”

The “heavens” and the “firmament”  referred to here are the skies that we can see and the beauty of all the creation of God.  Their vastness is without an end. Beauty after beauty that we can see and surely appreciate everything. This is emphasized more if we are on an airplane on a clear night and we are above the clouds, the twinkling stars and the endless universe reminds us of Almighty God!  How beautiful are his creation!  They come so many!  And, they are all marvelous to us!  We like them and treasure their beauties!

While here on earth and above the waters and seas, we are shown  all the beautiful creation of God.  We see the flowers, the trees, the mountains and beyond! These are so many and all of them so wonderfully and beautifully made by God Almighty!

In our travels, we see the newly planted rice.  On another location, the rice plant starts to show flowers.  And, then, a little further and up in the hills, the golden heads of grains!  When we come around our table, the smell and aroma of the rice that we eat!  After a while, we notice that the rice plants and the golden grains make us hungry for more rice!  We like rice!  And, we keep on eating rice because that is all we know that will make us strong and healthy!

Altogether, we like our rice because we see the processes it came about in such wondrous ways, that we prefer it over the wheat and the like which we are unfamiliar with!  We do not know that these are better than our rice!  So, the process goes on and on!

Should we be transported to another place where the wheat plant is abundant and the flowering and the ripening of the  wheat grains – we might then change and say:  the wheat bread is far better!

We can multiply our example and the result will be the same – through the information and common knowledge of these, we become a part of them!  We eat them!  We use them!  And, we are not likely to change until such that we see and hear good information about these, then and only then, we might change for the better!

This is also true with the Word of God!  The more and more that we hear and see about the Bible and the teachings of God Almighty, then these can mean more meaningful to us.  And, we accept this and that teaching according to the Word of God through good information that we hear and see!

What then is needed?  We need  more people to talk more about the Bible, the Word of God, the church, the Christian life, heaven and the reward and benefit we get in being a child of God.  Or, we need to advertise more about the spiritual things so people will later on will change for the better – if not the best!

We should show ourselves as Christians as “lights” and “salt” of the earth.  We need to speak out the oracles of God!  From our mouths, others will hear and know what God wants us to do in order to be saved!

Matthew 5:13 to 16 the “salt” can lose its ingredient of “salt.”  A good salt should have a quality of usefulness.  If it is a “rock” and cannot “melt” or “use” its properties of a salt, then, this salt is good for nothing!   A salt that is easily used preserves and gives good taste to our food.    This is true also with the light.  A light is only good if its quality of usefulness is seen!  Hide it and there is no light!

Therefore, let us not forget God Almighty’s creation of the heavens and everything in it.  It is an unending process!  These are all good and beautiful to behold!  It was an continues “advertisement!”    We must also find many people who can teach others.  Your help and share is most needed, brother and sister.  Let us be “salts of the earth” and “light in the world.”   We must be useful in order to be pleasing to God.  Let us begin that work and continue to the end!  That will be a “life of service” unto God Almighty!

 

Tribute to Samuel S. Belo

Samuel S. Belo, a brother in Christ and a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ has gone on to the Lord.

My nurse niece,  Grace Bravo del Prado of St. Dominic Medical Center, informed me a while ago about meeting Lina Belo, who she recognized entering the hospital.  Lina informed Grace that Sam was a patient there but was not that lucky – the Lord took him “to rest in peace.”

I came to know Sam, as he is fondly called, through his father, L. N> Belo, who was our preacher in Koronadal, South Cotabato in the mid 50s. I was then a graduating student at then, Pioneers Coop. Colleges of Marbel, Koronadal.  One afternoon, the late brother Belo talked with me about his son, Samuel, who was then accepted as a student of Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas.  His problem was Sam did not have a traveling companion. Sam was also a graduating student of Koronadal High School.  And in 3 months, he will go to Manila to process his papers at the U. S. Embassy.  I was happy that I was selected as a “traveling companion.”  But, the late Brother Belo added, “I will write W. R. Smith, Vice President of ACC. so. you will also go and study.”  That week end, I went home to Malingon, Buluan, Cotabato and informed my parents.  They were so happy to say: “We will sell our 4 hectares at Estrella for your traveling expenses.”  When I returned to Koronadal, Brother Belo was anxious about my trip home.  He was so happy that my parents had some money for my travel to America.  In about 2 months, Brother Belo received my “letter of acceptance” at ACC.  Without any delay, we hurriedly went to Manila to process our papers.  After the interviews, Sam and I, were given our student visa.

It was August 28, 1956 when we boarded the American Presidents Line for San Francisco, California along with 28 Filipinos who were “our room mates” were also going to America.  After 18 days, we were already in San Francisco.  Sam and I thought  someone will pick us up until a security guard at the port asked where we were going.  The security knew Abilene but added, “Is someone going to pick you up?”  We said someone will come.  I was referring to one of our companions in the boat who I befriended by the name of “Eli Espinosa.”  I got his telephone number and in due time, Eli with his uncle came and picked us up.

From the residence of the Espinosas, we telephoned W. R. Smith at Abilene Christian College, who also telephoned our sponsor, Bennie Lee Fudge of Athens, Alabama.  Nobody  came to guide us  to Abilene but our sponsor sent eighty dollars for our fares with Greyhound Bus.  After 48 hours of bus ride, we were in Abilene.  Sam telephone his brother Dominador S. Belo who then was fondly called: “Jack Belo.”  We were so happy to see brother Jack. He came and brought us to the cafeteria of ACC where we tasted the very delicious Sunday meal of America!  The next day, Monday, we reported to W. R. Smith who examined our documents.  He understood Sam more than I do, so, it was Sam that he communicated what we must do as “student auditors” of 7 classes as we were already late for the semester’s study.  Sam continued to be my spokesman in classes and at campus work so we were able to pay for our meals and dormitory.  We also learned that Margie Alegre of Tacurong was a student of ACC.  With our eagerness to know everyone, we found out that our Filipino English was not altogether understood by our American class mates.  After 2 months of auditing classes, we came to the new semester where we enrolled officially the same classes.  Sam impressed our teachers knowing many of the facts of our Bible classes so that most of his grades for that semester were B plus or As.  This type of classes went on for 3 years when Sam had some skin problems due to the heat of Texas.  W. R. Smith called Harding College at Searcy, Arkansas and off Sam was in a milder climate.  Not to be outdone, I also called my sponsor if he can transfer me to David Lipscomb College in Nashville, Tennessee.  He liked the idea so on week ends and on the summer months, I worked as a “packaging and wrapping”  books for the CEI store of the Fudges.   Sam finished at Harding and I also finished at David Lipscomb and we determined to stay together at the Harding Graduate School of Bible and Religious at Memphis, Tennessee. We stayed for 2 semesters at the graduate school when Sam found a work with the Chamber of Commerce in Kentucky, where he stayed on until he retired.  He preached for a congregation at Morgan Field, Kentucky.   As I finished my masters degree at Abilene Christian University, I planned on going home.   I went on to Cabanatuan City and started the mission work there.  It was due to gospel meetings on the main street of Cabanatuan City, Paco Roman,  that I made  a right turn to devote my 24 years of work as a Bible teacher and later on administrator of Philippine Bible College, 18 Rimando Road, Baguio City, through the invitation of Brother Kenneth J. Wilkey, Director of PBC.   Sam came over one week end at the heights of my work at PBC and again came back just about 2 years ago when I was a graduation speaker.  At the banquet of PBC, Sam stated that he just arrived from America and  was in Cavite en route to visit San Felipe, Tatangan, South Cotabato.   That was the last time, I had a chance talking and reminiscing our colorful past in America!

Sam, rest in peace, brother!  The Lord be gracious unto you.  May God be with you! I surely enjoyed being your “traveling companion” and a co-worker in the vineyard of the Lord.  Good bye to you, Sam!

Year-End Fellowship

The local church at Tarlac City tendered a “year-end fellowship” with the parents and relatives of our youth group today, December 29, 2010.  This was a success!  We had a about 60 total attendance both members and non-members.

Our local members planned on getting in touched with the other family members of our congregation.  This time, we thought of the newly converted young people.  For example, last November, we baptized 7 young people.  And, 6 youth baptisms last October, 2010.  With these new members, we planned on reaching out to other members of their families.  Thus, the “year-end fellowship” was to be the test case.  And, we got some 8 parents and relatives attending our church affairs.

With these 8 new contacts, we took time talking with them as we enjoyed the snacks prepared by the Ladies Bible class.  We learned many things.  But, above all we found that we can have at least 2 home Bible classes from these visitors.

We are rejoicing because we have taught our new brothers and sisters their responsibilities of finding the lost!  These are their parents and relatives, so, they are aware of their needs.  Foremost, is the opportunity to show to these young Christians how we can relate the story of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to their loved ones.  We know they are careful in opening the door of the gospel to their very own parents and relatives, so, we are doing this assignment with a lot of prayers.  We are hoping God will use us to His glory and honor!

Closer personal associations with our young people gave us the idea of talking with them about doing evangelism in their homes.  Since they were baptized, we brought them to our home and had meals with them.  We also brought them to the “Youth Camp at Bugallon, Pangasinan” for 3 days last week.  While in the youth camp, Layola and I acted as the counselors of our own group.  We saw them inter-act with other young people.  Wherever we found a point of advice, we took them aside and discussed these with them.  We heard their reasons and came to know their feelings.  We also ate with them in the camp cafeteria.

One other interesting feature of our inter-acting with our young people is finding the best answer to their question.  In doing this, I did not want just to tell them the answer but showed book references such as the concordance in quickly locating the verse or related verses pertinent to their quest.  Slowly but surely, we showed them an expanded outline of what they are looking for.  Thus, the next time they have a Bible question, solving it will be easy – hopefully!

In one way or another, this is a fellowship of sharing with our new Christian young brothers and sisters in the Lord.

May you remember us in your most devoted prayers to God Almighty for the success of our young people in Tarlac City.  Thank you very much!

Insan Marcelo Boy Bravo gone on to the Lord…

Marcelo Boy Bravo is my cousin through uncle Mariano Serapio Bravo, who was our neighbor in Barangay Malingon, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato (formerly Buluan) along with my uncles on my mother side, Antonio Rellizan Abubo and Eustaquio Rellizan Abubo.  We arrived in that farming community of Malingon before the Second World War and stayed on to cultivate the Malingon farmlands even after the war.

Nearly all the children of the Bravos and the Abubos as mentioned above were born in this community.  We grew up together, work in the farm together and went to school together.  Thus, I know Marcelo from a small boy.  We amiably called him “Amboy” because of his white, handsome and “american” features.

When we were ready for high school and later on college years, we were separated with our personal choices of the schools in Koronadal, Tacurong, General Santos City, Cotabato City or Zamboanga City.  I selected Koronadal as Marcelo went on to Tacurong.  The other cousins went on and studied in the other towns and cities.

When we finally had to work, I became a preacher as Marcelo was a seaman touring cities, nations and continents.  It must have been the satisfaction of his life seeing beautiful places and meeting new friends!  But,  his work experience hastened his “hard of hearing” more than many of us Bravos who are affected with this difficulty.  To me that was caused by his work in the boat.

One time he came home from his work as a seaman and I had a chance to meet him in Urdaneta City.  He related to me his work assignment in the belly of the ocean liner attending to the engines.  “The loud noise of the engines affected my hearing,” he said.   I remembered talking with him about acupuncture and he wanted to give a try.   I was then practicing this alternative Chinese medicine and with 4 and then 6 acupuncture needles, Marcelo’s hearing improved.  He was delighted and I gladly returned to continue his healing session until he was called to Manila for work purposes.

The last time I had a chance to talk with Marcelo was during the “Bravo-Marquez family re-union” in Cabanatuan City hosted by our cousins, the De Jesus family.   He was telling about a farm land applied for by the late Uncle Mariano.   I did not get all the details of his story until such that I received a long letter from him detailing his claim as an “heir” to the farm land in question.   I wanted to accompany him to see the people and the place, but our schedules did not permit, and now, Insan Marcelo is gone on to his Creator.

This reminds me of the truthfulness of the life  promised of God Almighty (Titus 1: 2 and I John 2:25).  All who accept this truth will enjoy the everlasting life in heaven with God. That life, hopefully, is given to cousin and all our relatives and friends!

To our Insan Marcelo, may you “rest in peace” as you go now to our Creator God Almighty.  To your wife and children, may we continue to pray for the guidance of God so we can truly find our Lord Jesus “the water of life,” John 4:10 – a wonderful gift for all of us!  May God bless each one of you!

God’s Program Of Thinking

The reading of Philippians 4:8 says: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report: if there are any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

I call this verse “God’s program of thinking.”  All of these are our guides to our Christian life.

Paul was writing to the Christian brethren at Philippi.  These were known to him early during his Second Missionary journey.  Acts 16:9, Paul had a vision when they were at Troas a man of Macedonia said: “Come over into Macedonia and help us.”  He and his companions made the journey and came to the great city of Philippi.  In that city, they found many good people among them is a business woman named Lydia with the ladies helping her in her business.  These women were very comfortable in the spiritual teachings of Paul.  They listened and found the message exactly an answer to what they were looking for.  Verse 15 tells us that Lydia along with her lady helpers were baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.  Their baptisms happened right in the river of Philippi.  The spiritual nourishment of these new Christians were supplied by Paul as they stayed to teach them.  All of these experiences helped all the ladies in their new found faith in Christ.   But it was also during these same days they were in the city of Philippi that a problem erupted publicly.  A young lady with evil spirits confronted Paul.  He knew the power in this woman who brought evil business to her master.  Paul rebuked the evil spirits in her.   As this lady become normal and the master could not continue with their evil business, Paul and his companions were brought before the rulers of the city.  A mob was created to support the evil business of the master.  This anarchy resulted to the bodily harm done on Paul and his companion.  For their safety, they were put in prison.  Inside the prison, Paul and his companion worship God and sung hymns.  It was during their worship service that the Jailer observed them as the messengers of God.  The Jailer believed and made his confession that Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of mankind.  Due to this good change of heart, Paul baptized the Jailer and his household, Acts 16:33 – 34.  With the conversion of the Jailer, Paul and his companion were allowed to go on with their second missionary journey.  They began their third missionary journey and went on visiting the places they went to in the first and second journey where the growing mob prevented them from proclaiming the Words of God.  To preserve their lives, the rulers put them in prison where Paul used his Roman citizenship to reach Rome.  It was during the years that Paul was in prison in Rome that he wrote to the Philippian brethren admonishing them to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report — to dwell on God’s program of thinking!  The past experiences of the brethren in Philippi, they surely remembered well these things of “virtue and praise” as their spiritual guides in living the Christian life.

A Glass Of Water

A brief survey of the peace and order situation of our community, town, city, country if not our world, will tell us that there is much problem around.  Our neighbor is looking for his run away daughter!  Another one is much troubled with what to feed his growing family.  Not even a block away, one just died because of sickness.

On the national front, we hear from the radio, television and newspaper of “accidents, killings, robberies” and many more as if to say you have to be involved in a problem in order for you to be heard of in the news!

Beyond our shores, we hear of “rumors of wars.”  North Korea recently bombed an island of South Korea.  And, South Korea is getting ready to retaliate.  With this Korean problem, many of their citizens must have felt this 5 or 10 years ago to come anytime soon.  So, we see them in droves in our country today!  They fill up a subdivision, a barangay and become noticeable in numbers even in large  cities like Tarlac or Baguio!  Don’t you think so?

Similarly, with all of these problems, living a Christian life is rightly faced with “trials and tribulations.” Often, we do not know exactly what to do!  Like an ostrich, to escape the problem, we bury our heads “in the sand.” That might be acceptable for a moment but not for the whole day, week or month.

How can we face our responsibilities?  Do not become an ostrich but stand firm as a Christian! Read Matthew 25:23 “His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:  enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”  We should be “faithful” to the Lord all the time. And, this verse is very significant in our study because we are identified with our responsibilities, small or great, we must face them and solve them!  Someone will say, “but we cannot solve all our problems.”  True!  But to face it is seen by our Lord as “giving a glass of water” to the least of the needy (Matthew 25: 35 – 39).  A glass of water might be least of a need a thirsty man wants and be satisfied!  That too is the teaching of our Lord.  We cannot find him now  hungry, thirsty, naked, in prison, so that we go and help him.  If that cannot be done, do it to the “least of my brethren, ye have done it to me”  (Matthew 25:40).  A glass of water to the most insignificant disciple of the Lord now will mean a glass of water to the Lord of Glory – anytime and all the time!

In conclusion, let us not look for so large a problem to solve but we can victoriously solve a very small problem of giving “a glass of water” to the needy! We thank God Almighty for giving us a part of doing service for Him with the small thing we can do easily – “give a glass of water” to one in need!  AMEN and AMEN … brother!