The Heart of a Mother in Faith

There is always that one woman who knows us so well – oftentimes more than we do know ourselves. She is our mother.

She knows us so well that she recognizes the difference between how we look at a plate of vegetables and a cup of ice cream. And before we can even have our desired ice cream, she would make sure she’d put first the vegetables right in front of us. She has her ways.

It is also heart-warming to remember the times when we are sure that we are loved in our great or down moments and when we are zealous or frustrated. Love naturally flows from her heart. A mother’s love, that is.

We celebrate this incomparable love this Mother’s Day!

However, this day is not just for our biological Mommy, Mama, Mamshie, or Mudra. It is also a day to appreciate our mothers in faith in the church: our Life Group leaders, our Ministry Heads, and most importantly, our Pastors. We appreciate because we are blessed by their efforts, encouragements, and support to us while they are also very occupied with work on the expansion of God’s Kingdom. Indeed, it is only fitting for us to acknowledge all that they have done for us.

One example of a person who has mothered and mentored many workers in the church is Ptr. Beng Magallanes, Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Regional Pastor of JIL Central Operations Region 4, which covers Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, and Muntinlupa. While she does not have biological children, she would always be heard saying with pure joy, “The Lord has blessed me with many children in the ministry.”

For her, being a pastor is a big blessing, but it entails tough challenges that could sometimes test one’s faith, endurance, and courage. Praise be to God for His abounding grace!

Fair mother

Just like in any family where conflicts arise among siblings, there are also disagreements among her “children” in the ministry. The number of workers in the ministry is equal to the number of different personalities she handles. Dealing with these individuals’ differences is never easy. Thus, as a pastor and a mother to all of them, it is always a must for her to observe everyone’s strengths and weaknesses in order to always render a wise and proper judgment in times of conflict. She sees to it that she doesn’t fail to be a mediator whenever differences tend to create conflicts.

“It’s a must to give both sides the chance to be heard. Mahirap din naman ang one-sided,” Ptr. Beng says. To her, listening to all sides is indispensable.

Her principle whenever individual differences clash inside the church is: First, there will be a warning given by the Life Group leaders. If the problems still are not solved, it will be dealt by the Ministry Heads. She makes it a point that no leaders will be by-passed before she deals with the issue. Ptr. Beng believes that the proper process should be followed to be able to come up with a good decision or judgment. Ptr. Beng is a true mother to her children – a listener, a mediator, and a peace-maker.

Mother faithful to her calling

Ptr. Beng is a good example of serving the Lord’s calling in her life. In the midst of many challenges in the ministry, she is always inspired to serve the Lord. She says that she is grateful everyday to God for His grace. This grace is what makes her stand in the face of many trials in being a pastor. “Many are called but only few are chosen,” may be a common Bible verse to many Christians but Ptr. Beng believes in this. That is why she always says that she will always be beyond grateful to be chosen by the Lord and Bro. Eddie and Sis. Dory Villanueva to serve God in the JIL ministry.

There are days when a pastor has to deal with her personal concerns. But for Ptr. Beng, she always makes sure that her own trials would not cause any of her children to be discouraged or disheartened. Yes, there are low moments, but Ptr. Beng values her calling and always trusts the Lord she serves.

“The Lord is my motivation and it is a great privilege to be called and be chosen by Him,” said Ptr. Beng. “And of course, Bro. Eddie and his principles have inspired me also. Kung si Bro. Eddie nga mas grabe ang pinagdaanan, sino ba naman ako para sumuko?”

Multi-tasking mother

Moms are always great multi-taskers. The same is true with Ptr. Beng. Although she is a full-time pastor, she also has a family to take care of. Ptr. Beng and Ptr. Jeric Magallanes recently celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary.

How could she handle both? Her answer is time-management. She sees to it that she allots time for her own family and for the ministry.

“Our family is a ministry as well. Kung nagagawa nga nating paglingkuran ang ibang tao, hindi ba’t mas kailangan nating paglingkuran ang sarili nating pamilya?”

For Ptr. Beng, her family is a living testimony of God’s salvation. And she’s doing her best to take care of both her biological family and her family inside the church.

“It is a must to have a balanced life, a balanced Christian life,” she said. “Time-management could also mean stewardship. Because they both contain your whole life, all aspects of your life. And to be a good pastor, one needs to be a good steward as well.”

Ptr. Beng Magallanes’ message to all the people she worked and is working with and have considered her as their mother in faith: “Regalo kayong lahat sa akin ng Diyos.”

To her, everyone has their strengths. Everyone has their weaknesses. But everyone has their purpose. “Dahil sa kanila, natututo ako. Nahuhubog. I value relationships. Dahil pinalalago ako nito at tinuturuan. Hangga’t nariyan sila, I’m being equipped to maturity,” she explained with utmost sincerity.

“To all the families I have inside or outside the church, you are all important to me. You are all a gift to me.” – Julia Ramos

Christians offer Duterte admin rehab programs for drug dependents

Faithful to the mandate to boldly uphold the Lord’s agenda for the nation, Bro. Eddie Villanueva of the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide revealed that a coalition of Christian churches in the Philippines offered President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration concrete programs centered on the rehabilitation and recovery of drug dependents. But there is no offer-taker from offices under the Office of the President.

Rehabilitation and recovery programs would involve various government agencies, including the Philippine National Police. The programs outline rehabilitation activities for drug addicts, spiritual support to overseas Filipino workers and their families in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and spiritual support to the police who are engaged in the drug war policy.

Bro. Eddie stressed that as Christians, we have a moral obligation to be involved with pressing issues of the nation, including controversies involving the President who still maintains a popular support.

“We must apply wisdom and the Scripture in our conduct not only as Christians, but as citizens of our beloved Philippines,” Bro. Eddie said.

He also emphasized that while people are commanded by God to submit to God-ordained authority, based on Romans 13:1, if the authority becomes wicked like King Saul, God may reject and remove him, just as the account in 1 Samuel 15.

Bro. Eddie also quoted God’s Word on Ezekiel 22:13 “I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst” and Psalm 89:14 “Righteousness and Justice are the foundations of God’s throne.”

Michelle Cristina Gamutan

Know your God who heals

What is the best thing to do when you wake one morning, you experience an unusual stomachache, and then you are told that you are in a critical medical situation?

This happened to Jason Bismonte. He was diagnosed with Gullain-Barre, a very rare disorder where the immune system attacks the nerves. The person with Gullain-Barre becomes weak and, if not given immediate medical attention, the muscle weakness may result in paralysis. Doctors say that “there is no known cure” for this disorder.

What made the situation worse was Jason was working as a seaman at that time; and hence, he was away from home.

Holding on to the goodness of God, Jason prayed that he would reach home alive to be with his family.

Upon learning of his condition, Jen, his wife, was dumbfounded, scared, and nervous. But she prayed that she would not lose her husband.

How do we maintain a heart filled with faith amid a loved one’s critical sickness?

Jen prayed, “Lord, I don’t know your plan, but I know You allow why is this happening because we can handle this, because You will help us.”

While in the hospital, Jason and Jen quoted Isaiah 41:10 in their prayers, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Knowing that God is Jehovah Rapha and believing in the power of the brethren’s intercession, Jen went to church to ask Pastor Joey Crisostomo of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Greenhills Chapter to pray for Jason .

During the worship service at the JIL Greenhills, she felt the sweet, loving presence of God. When Pastor Joey uttered the pastoral prayer, Jen was sobbing. She knew God had a purpose why she was there. Her faith was stirred. And then someone testified about healing. As she was listening to the testimony, Jen was praying and asking God, “We too Lord. We want to experience miraculous healing.”

After the worship service, Jen was introduced to Pastor Joey and he was informed about Jayson’s sickness. Then he asked for a handkerchief as a point of contact. Jen was only able to give a small piece of cloth. While the pastor could not go to the hospital, the cloth may be used as a point of contact to touch the aching body of Jen’s husband. Pastor Joey told Jen to have faith in God’s healing power whenever she places the cloth on Jayson. Pastor Joey reminded her: It was not the cloth that heals, it is the power of God.

Jen held on to her faith in the Lord Jesus. After the continuous prayer, Jen witnessed her husband’s improved situation. Soon, Jason could walk again. He also had the strength to open a bottled water, a simple activity which he could not do as he got sick. And then soon, he had enough strength to open the refrigerator and choose the food he liked to eat. The doctor told them that for majority of the patients of Guillain-Barre, it takes more than a year to heal. But not for Jason! His improvement took only more than a few months.

Today, Jason is completely healed! There are no more physical limitations as his muscles are now normal and healthy!

God has also blessed Jason with a new job. Jason and Jen have also set up their business canteen. Jason is now a true believer of the Lord. Jason and Jen have encountered and known a powerful God who is able to heal!

In the midst of a crisis situation, the best thing to do is to always have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Elizabeth Mañalac