Soldiering for Christ in the Philippines
April 09, 2013
A Christian Aid donor provided funds for a water buffalo for this Filipino believer.
When Danilo was a teenager, he was recruited as a member of a communist group called the New People´s Army (NPA) in the Philippines. His family was poor, and he didn´t mind carrying a gun if that meant food to eat and clothes to wear.
Life as a soldier, especially on the side opposing the government, failed to fulfill Danilo´s expectations. He did not completely believe in the cause for which he was fighting. Violence and intimidation did not appeal to him.
In 2009 Danilo attended an evangelistic crusade led by a Filipino ministry that partners with Christian Aid Mission. That day the speaker preached a message about God’s unconditional love and forgiveness that pierced his heart.
After the service, Danilo secretly told the preacher he wanted to surrender to the authorities. The evangelist arranged a meeting with an individual he knew in government service and together they accompanied Danilo to the district police office.
The young man was granted amnesty and for the past three years has lived a peaceful existence away from the NPA. He is married now and is a father. His life has been totally transformed since he received Jesus as his Savior and Lord.
Ministry workers hand out Bible tracts.
Danilo attends a church started last year by the mission organization. The building was destroyed by Typhoon Bopha a few weeks before Christmas, so the congregation is meeting temporarily outdoors for services—at Danilo´s house. When the pastor is on the road speaking at other churches, Danilo leads the services in his community.
Recently Danilo received a water buffalo through a Christian Aid donor who gave a contribution to this indigenous ministry´s livelihood projects. The water buffalo is commonly used in Asian countries as transportation, for towing carts, and to till fields for crop production. Their milk is also good for human consumption with higher protein content than that of dairy cows.
Now Danilo´s family will be assured of daily food to put on the table. The powerful ox-like animal will pull the plow, so Danilo can plant a field of rice to feed his family and sell for income. And the milk will add nourishment to the diet of his two young children, who have been sickly.
Street evangelism is part of the ministry´s outreach efforts.
“Danilo is fully surrendered to the Lord as a good soldier of Christ. He used to carry all kinds of destructive weapons; now he is carrying a Bible, sharing God´s Word, and he is an example that God can do a miracle like what happened in his life,” said the ministry leader.
“His life is a testament that from living a wretched life, lost and blind, he was found and now can see. Seeing the difference that God made in his life also encourages others to follow the Lord and to turn themselves into the authorities,” he said.
Six more families, like Danilo´s, are waiting to receive water buffaloes. The cost for an adult animal is about $600.
The local church also needs funds to build a sanctuary to replace the one ravaged by the December 2012 typhoon. Including labor and materials, the estimated construction costs are about $7000.
- That the livelihood projects will provide for physical needs and open doors for Filipino farming families to hear about the Good Shepherd
- For the Word of God to penetrate the hearts of those who received the 2000 gospel tracts distributed by the ministry last year
- For a stable government, as there are ongoing pressures from Marxist guerrillas and Muslim secessionists.