Love Letters

I recognized his handwriting instantly, so much so that I laughed remembering how awkwardly a pen fits in his hands. I recognized his words, so much so that I felt my heart skip as I imagined his voice whispering those to my ears. I recognized it all, so much so that I imagined his face, his smile, his love. The world around me faded, as I got drowned in his written words of love.

Love letters. They are more than just papers. They are passion-filled papers that overwhelm, even stop, our hearts. More than bringing romantic flashbacks, they produce a certain music that makes our spirits move and groove. And more than giving us shudders of excitement and delight, they create in us a certainty that someone is truly and deeply in love with us that all we can say in response is, “What an expression of love!”

Yet, I wonder, of all the love letters, these ‘love on paper,’ you have read, which do you consider as the best one? You might mention Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets, Ninoy Aquino’s “I Have Fallen in Love with the Same Woman Three Times,” or, even, your grandma’s golden anniversary letter to your grandpa. Sure these all are sweet, but do any of these pass as the sweetest? They certainly ARE good, but are they the best? The grandest?

Let me introduce to you a lover I know. Then you decide.

This lover, like everyone else consumed with love, also wrote a letter. However, unlike many, His wasn’t on paper but on a cross… scribbled not by pen but by nails… painted not by ink but by His own blood.

Sounds unbelievable? Well, you wouldn’t believe this next one. That letter’s recipient…

…is you. Yes, you.

And for you He didn’t mind leaving His kingdom, didn’t mind being rejected, didn’t mind facing the cross, didn’t mind giving His all… even His life. He loves you so much, He didn’t mind. At all.

So yes, the best love letter ever written was for you… to reach out to you… and to save you.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. (1 John 3:16a)


First, He redeems us from our life in the past. Romans 3:23 says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” We all have our own record of wrongs—we could have caused our parents a great deal of headache, we could have greatly contributed to our country’s problems and, in all these, we have grieved the very heart of the Living God. But however dark our past may be and no matter how big our sins may be, God’s love is brighter and His forgiveness, vaster. Because of this, all of our sins are now atoned for by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are a new creation, the old is gone, the new has come!

Second, He assures us of our life in the now. God does not only take away our sin and shame, He also gives us the best life we can have here on earth. Through Jesus Christ, we now have a life of blessings, strength, joy, peace, and hope. So, if you ever feel lonely and homesick, or if you are worrying about Noche Buena and exchange gifts, do not hesitate to come before God, because it was He who first drew near us, one fateful night in Bethlehem. Our assurance lies in this promise: “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Third, He promises us life in the hereafter. This is the bottom line of the Christmas event: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Jesus came from heaven to earth to make a way between us, vile men, and the Holy Father—that we may enjoy blissful and eternal communion with God in His kingdom in heaven, where there will be no more death nor mourning nor crying nor pain. What a great life awaits us, simply because we accepted Jesus Christ, the reason for this season, in our lives.

Therefore, with Jesus, our past, present and future are all secure—which makes not only Christmas, but every day of our lives, wonderful. So let us not allow for Christmas to just pass by. Let us celebrate it, along with the full life we have received through the rich love, grace, and mercy of our ever Living God.

A blessed Christmas to all of you!

God bless you more and more! Jesus is Lord over Hong Kong!



Bro. Eddie C. Villanueva’s Message on Super Typhoon Yolanda


My heart aches with grief as news of the Super Typhoon Yolanda overwhelm us with shocking images of devastation – towns with nothing but rubbles and ruins… infrastructures wrecked beyond repair… dead bodies lying cold in the streets… fathers, mothers, and siblings mourning the loss of one or all of their loved ones… survivors of the storm now clueless on surviving the next couple of days.


With this great damage that has beset our country by the “strongest storm ever known to make landfall and the fourth strongest storm ever recorded in the world” according to Weather Underground co-founder Dr. Jeff Masters, this is not the time to blame anybody. This is the time to CONNECT –


To one’s self. My beloved Filipinos who were gravely affected by this storm, this might have been your toughest battle yet. But I urge you, get back up again. Fight on. Despite the seeming helplessness and hopelessness surrounding you, this battle can be won. For we are a people in whose veins run the blood of heroes. We are fighters. We are victors. And as we have done so many times before, I know that you WILL win this fight. Just don’t give up.


To others. Now to us who were unscathed by Super Typhoon Yolanda, let us not only link our hearts in sympathizing with them. Let us link our hands in service to them. Yes, Filipinos are fighters. Our kababayans in Visayas will surely come out of this storm strong. But they need help… our help. Let us not fail them. Let us join them in this fight. Let us win this fight together.


To God. Brothers and sisters, may we not forget that while staying strong and helping one another are important, these could only do so much. This storm is far beyond sheer human strength. WE NEED GOD. With one voice, as a nation, let us cry out to Him. For He is the God who hears AND answers. He will surely come to our aid and lift us out of this situation.


The whole Philippines – even the world – is in great mourning. We have barely escaped an earthquake. We are not even recovering. And then this storm hit us. We are broken, even crushed. But one thing we know:  More than any of us, the God of love – the God who IS love – cries the loudest. Seeing us in such a devastated situation as this, His heart bleeds for us. He could never delight seeing us in shambles. Because two thousand years ago, that same God bled on the Cross for each of us. To save us. Will He not save us now?



My beloved countrymen, God is for us. THIS IS OUR HOPE.