Adventist Youth Initiative Leads to Church Building Project in the Philippines
RHot off the heels of a Voice of Youth (VOY) Ignite evangelism series held in Bulacan Province, Philippines from December 2020 to May 2021, church leaders from the Central Luzon Conference (CLC) gathered to plan and build a church for newly baptized members and to support the ongoing effort undertaken by young people. Mauro Lopez, a Dumagat tribal leader baptized in one of the gospel series, donated a plot of land. On June 27, 2021, a groundbreaking ceremony for the church building was held. Residents and church members witnessed the event.
“God is really big,” Lopez said. “I thought it would take longer to build a house of worship here instead of us. But now I see the guiding hands of God in my tribe, the Dumagat people. Of course, more people will come to this place to worship our Lord God Almighty.
Ephraim Parulan, president of the CLC, said he was overwhelmed to see young Adventists actively involved and serving on the frontlines to share God’s Word, especially in these unprecedented times. “Their great efforts are greatly appreciated as they strive to fulfill our theme, ‘I will go and plant a church,’” he said.
At the June 27 ceremony, Gerry Cajobe, CLC Executive Secretary, reminded all in attendance, and especially the newly baptized members, that what they achieved that day was “another victory, since we are laying the foundations of God’s love and salvation through the church building that will soon rise. Cajobe reminded them that everyone, and especially those who will become members of this church, have the burden” to call all to become disciples of Jesus Christ, to proclaim His gospel as expressed in the three angels’ messages, and to prepare them for Jesus’ soon return.
Mary Joyce Cruz, a member of the VOY Ignite team who served as coordinator of the children’s program, said: “It was a humbling experience for me to be part of the VOY team. I experienced how God is faithful to me and helps me grow spiritually.
Cruz said she has witnessed how lucky she is to know and live in the truth. “[I know] God wants to use me to share the spiritual gifts he has given me with others,” she said. “Soon a new church will arise where the newly baptized of the Dumagat tribe will continue to learn more about God and spread his message of hope.”
Testifying to the effectiveness of VOY Ignite, Alfredo Selin, a youth adviser from the area, shared that being among young people was “a life-changing experience” for everyone involved. “I believe that when we sincerely discipline and train young people, they can achieve the best of God’s work. This is what I experienced when I personally got involved in VOY Ignite evangelism. And now we can see the fruit of their labor,” he said.
Another VOY Ignite team member, Mary Mae Ke-e, who served as general coordinator, said she was “thrilled” with the groundbreaking ceremony. “The fact that we are now able to plant a church shows that God has his perfect ways, in his perfect time.”
Regional church leaders said God is opening up tremendous opportunities to reach people “thirsty and hungry for his words” despite the challenges resulting from COVID-19. “Pray that this humble and concerted effort by our care group members, church leaders and the VOY Ignite team will continue and that construction of the house of worship will soon be complete,” they said. .
the original version of this story was published on the South Asia Pacific Division news sites.