I know that I will live to see
the Lord’s goodness in this present life. Trust in the Lord.
Have faith. Do not despair. Trust in the Lord.
— Psalm 27:13-14
THAT’s my favorite Bible verse which has been my inspiration as I pursue the mission He called me to fulfil.
It’s the mission our Lord Jesus gave to His apostles before He ascended to Heaven: Go then to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples. (Matthew 28:19).
And our Light of Jesus Family has embraced the Lord’s mandate as our core mission.
Indeed, I have well seen the Lord’s goodness in my life.
As you can see at right, that’s me speaking at The Feast, our weekly faith gathering, one of my big blessings ever.
But the path to The Feast was a long, winding road for me.
Here’s my story…
I went to good schools—at Manila Central University for elementary and high school, and for college, at the Philippine College of Commerce. And I’ve been blessed with a good job— as vice president of Solidbank Corporation.
I’m married to a godly woman, Aurora, or Rorie as we lovingly call her— and, if most couples wish to have a boy and a girl for children, well, we have them—Gemma, born in 1972, and Lester, in 1973.
Beginning in 1975, and with Rorie’s consent, I started to go out with my barkada at beer joints and bars. In 1977, I got involved with a young girl in my office which blossomed to a romantic relationship—thus throwing my family into chaos. But instead of resorting to separation, Rorie sought help from God through attending prayer meetings, until she found the Light of Jesus prayer meeting at the San Miguel Corporation auditorium on Ayala Avenue in Makati, led by an 18-year-old guy named Bo Sanchez.
At the LOJ prayer meeting, Rorie sought counseling from Bo’s mother, Tita Pilar. After many months attending the LOJ prayer meetings, and prayer support from Tita Pilar and other prayer warriors in the Community, Rorie finally received the answer to her plea: to get me to join the LOJ prayer meetings.
One Sunday, in July 1986, I found myself joining Rorie at the LOJ prayer meeting at the garage of the Sanchez home on Chicago street, Cubao, Quezon City, also led by Bro. Bo.
After three months attending this weekly prayer meeting, I volunteered to attend a one-day Jesus Encounter Seminar held at the Philippine Coconut Authority building on October 4, 1986. This officially began my life-long relationship with God, committed membership and servanthood in LOJ, and restoration of my marriage with Rorie.
At right, here we are during our pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2019– our gift to ourselves to celebrate our 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary.
And here we are celebrating this joyful milestone with our children, from extreme right: our son Lester; his wife Mardee; and our daughter Gemma. The kids are daughters of Lester and Mardee, from right: Lian and Mei Mei.
In time, I was already leading various LOJ ministries: as sector head of Homes for Christ Binondo and Cainta; director, Dakilang PagIbig ng Diyos; director, Light of Jesus Singles Ministry; director, Anawim Home for Abandoned Elderly.
Rorie and I also served as Caring Group heads of various couple groups in the Community.
I’ve also been blessed to be a member of the LOJ Council of Elders, blessed to be with LOJ “legends”—here with me during our Caring Group trip in Tokyo, Japan, from left: Carl Fontanilla, Bo Sanchez, Pio Español, Hermie Morelos, and yours truly.
And eventually, I now serve as leader of the missions— LOJ Luzon, Oceania, Middle East, Asia, and the United States.
When we are in Manila, Rorie and I attend The Feast at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). In the United States, we are happy to attend Feast Rancho Cucamonga where our son Lester is the Feast Builder, and Feast Fontana, where the Builder is Bro. Tyrone Dizon, both in California.
The original members of the LOJ Council of Elders in Southern California are, from left: Tey Pasimio, Chris and Gina Castillo, Bobot and Merle Guazon, Norie and Leo Lachica (not in photo) and Rorie and me.
My big blessing has been this inexplicable joy deep in me as I see The Feast growing, and I see our members growing in their relationship with their loved ones, with one another and, most important, with the Lord.
I am deeply grateful for my life in the Light of Jesus were indeed His Light shone on me during my dark moments and still shines on my family and me, especially these gloomy days of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
You cannot help fearing this menace, but as Psalm 27:13-14 promises, we will see, as I have always seen, the Lord’s goodness in this, our present life.