2010 THE YEAR OF CHALLENGES, CHANGES AND REDIRECTION
January of 2010 I started the year with a resolution on forgiving myself for my failures in the areas of my personal relationships and also the ministry. I was determined of renewing my life and I wanted to become and ordinary person just having a work and going home. I was setting my goals for a new life. I wanted to become a successfull call center agent. So from the months of January till February I prepared myself becfore applying for a call center job. In March I applied and I was very fortunate that I was hired as a technical support representative for a call center company in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
From the months of March until August I was working and experiencing my new found life. Working in a call center. Having a salary of 20,000 pesos a month. Buying the things I wanted. Eating and dining out. Going out with friends. During those months my spiritual life suffered. I didn’t go to church. I was determined to forget everything about my former life as a pastor and also as a gay Christian. I wanted to forget my former church, former church mates and everyone that was included in my religious life. But deep inside of me I felt very empty, sad, I felt that I am not doing what I was supposed to do, the very reason whu God created me. I was happy with my work but unhappy to go to work. I was happy with my co-workers but I really missed my church mates. When September came I was tired to continue my work and so I resigned.
As I contemplate my life and on what will I be doing with my life I began talking to God again. A Pastor from my former church gave me a bad news that our Regional Elder is mad at me and that according to him he doesn’t trust me anymore because of what happened in December of 2009 when my family and I decided to close the church because of an incident between a gay couple and my father in whom they didn’t know the whole story and they didn’t gave me a chance to talk to them. They just closed and slam the doors of their church on my face. The church that I loved and served for 10 years, a very unperfect church yet I came to love it perfectly. I was sad because of that news and I didn’t had the courage to stand up and air my side, I just said I’ll just let God do his thing, because I always believe that there are so many problems in this world but I know deep down in the bottom most recesses of my heart GOD IS IN CONTROL. So I just let those who hated me so much to do their thing. I kept silent when they told bad stories about me. I kept singing and praising my God again when bad stories was circulating. I just kept my peace.
I repented of my wrong decisions in having a relationship that was not mature and accepting a person that I didn’t had the chance to make a background check on him, and all of this was a consequence of my immature decision of accepting this person. Everything crumbled down literally, but I kept my peace. I just said Lord you know who am I, you know the reason why you designed me like this so do your thing in me, this is it I was ready to die. I felt death, because I didn’t know what to do with my life. It felt like all hope was gone and everything was beyond repair. I told God that he should give me a sign on what to do because I don’t have work I just resigned so I told God that he should give me something to do. Then from the first weeks of September couples called on me to conduct Holy Unions. Then my spirit soared again. I was thinking of dying and contemplating on suicide but God told me that there are so many people who needs me and from that moment on I said “God the mother that I once loved has already closed it’s doors for me so please open a window for me.” This simple prayer of mine was echoing in my room everyday.
SEPTEMBER 2010 THE MONTH OF REDIRECTION
Then one night I have seen a message on facebook about the Christian United Church, and I left a message that I am interested in knowing all about this denomination. And for almost two weeks I was chatting and sending emails with H.E. Bishop David Strong. And I studied everything about them and I decided to join and start again. God told me that its never to late to start again. And he said to me that all those years of my hardwork he will pay it to me big time. And my faith became strong again. I was dreaming of a church that is for all people, both straight and homosexuals worshipping God together that was one of my dreams and I was so happy that the Christian United Church has that call a church for all people not just for a specific type of people. When I was pastoring I always say that God is not looking for members he is looking for disciples and I was so happy to see that the vision of CUC is to make disciples of Christ. I was looking for a church with a valid connection or should I say succession from the Apostles and I was glad and so happy when I saw the historic episcopate of our Bishop. These three things lead me to join this denomination. And so during the last weeks of september I was begining to start and plan for a new day. Forget all the bad things, all the negatives, all the strife, All I wanted was peace. And I was at peace for the first time in six months.
OCTOBER 2010 THE MONTH OF RENEWAL
After joining the Christian United Church denomination and submitted myself to the spiritual authority of his H.E. Bishop David Strong, I eventually started the church and we called it Jesus Christ the Good Shpeherd Church of God – CUC. In human terms starting again is a very difficult and painful process it did at first, I had to swallow my pride and get back on my knees again. But God was gracious, people were saying that I am not an ordained pastor so why would I start a church again, God is GOOD, our Bishop appointed me as a Local Pastor of CUC here in the Philippines. Some people said that why am I conducting Holy Unions I don’t have a church or a chapel, God is GOOD, in November we had rennovated my house and made it a Chapel,spending at least 20,000 pesos from my personal money and also money that I have saved from Holy Unions. Some people told me that I don’t have the authority to conduct Holy Unions, But God is GOOD, in October we had at least 4 Holy Unions, in November we had 2 and just this December we had 10 Holy Unions. This didn’t happen when I was at my former church, this only happened when I transferred to CUC.
DECEMBER 2010 THE MONTH OF SPREADING THE GOOD NEWS
People began to notice the church, my former classmates invited me to celebrate the Holy Mass at our Highschool reunion together with our City Mayor, and also the Philippine Jockey Association invited me to celebrate the Holy Mass for them. Slowly the good news is spreading. Former members from my former church that I was forming was expressing their willingness to join me in our new church. My family expressed their support again for this new ministry. During the first weeks of October we had our first Batch of Bible Study students and this December we started the Second Batch of Bible Study Students and we also started to hold Sunday Worship Services on the first Sunday of December. We are all excited to have our first Holy Mass on January 2, 2010. We have done so many great things for the Lord in just three months of our existence and I praise God for all his mighty works, there are so many challenges but we have surpased it with grace, with prayer, with praise and with flying colors. I am looking forward for a fruitfull ministry in 2011. Growth and expansion is coming our way this new year, and I know that God will continue and will fulfill his promises to me that all of the tears, all of the sadness, all of the hard work that I have done he will pay it back to me big time, Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise Him all creatures here below, praise him above ye heavenly host, praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost, a blessed, peaceful and prosperous new year to all of you. Goodbye 2010, hello 2011!!!