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

“Being here is a blessing”

A grateful heart who knows its God will always find a way to honor Him. This is the story of mother-and-son Marylie and Chris Guibao and their gratitude to the Lord Jesus Christ.

The mother and son joined their churchmates from the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Bauang, La Union as they boarded the bus going to Luneta. They will all join the celebration of JIL’s 39th anniversary. But unlike the rest, Chris boarded the bus and travelled for more than seven hours siting on his wheelchair. Chris has motor delay, a condition that makes his motor skills develop slowly. In the words of Sis. Marylie, “His muscle stretch reflexes are absent.”

Chris is wheelchair dependent, but his mother is always beside him to do what he is unable to do.

Chris said he does not mind the physical tiredness of going to Luneta, as he said that “Being here is a blessing.” He always has a pleasant disposition and, in fact, to the brethren in JIL Bauang, Chris is jolly, friendly, and encouraging.

Marylie said that the bus driver helped their other churchmates assist Chris in getting off the bus. “I took it as an opportunity to share to the driver the Gospel of the Lord and His goodness to our family,” Marylie was happy to recount.

Blessed with pastors

“I am very blessed with Pastors who grow old serving the Lord through thick and thin,” said Marylie.

“They never tire serving the Lord, and it has become my inspiration amid many life trials,” the mother shared.

She fondly remembered Pastor Corazon Tongco from JIL Macau where she attended services for six years when she was working in Macau. Marylie has known Pastor Cora as a good example Christian. Marylie also mentioned Pastor Angelina Espiritu of JIL Bauang, who is very humble, and Pastor Concepcion Oliveros of JIL Muntinlupa who always intercedes for her family. They all have grown old serving the Lord, and their service for God has stood the test of fire and time. For her, they are persons to look up to as a model of encouragement in life. And of course, she looks up to Bro. Eddie whom God used for her to know the Lord Jesus and grow in her faith.

Marylie is in Luneta, despite having to bring Chris on a wheelchair because, “I would love to hear and learn more about the theme ‘Know your God’ through the message of Bro. Eddie.

Committed to serve

It has been 17 years since Marylie first attended the worship service in JIL Hong Kong. She has since attended services in other JIL chapters where work brings her. For God’s faithfulness in her life and her family, Marylie said that she will continue to serve the Lord. At present, she and her family are workers in JIL Bauang. This is their humble way to honor God.

Elizabeth A. Mañalac

JIL members: Burning passion – still

The anniversary of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide always brings JIL people together. This is expected every year.

And yet, every year, there are unique testimonies that make each anniversary special.

Walking amid the JIL crowd from different cities, provinces, and even countries, one can just sense the overflowing joy of those gracing the event. It was glorious at the Rizal Park grassland!

JIL members went to Luneta to proclaim how the Lord made Himself known to them.

Cute family member

All the way from JIL Bocaue, Bulacan, the Barquilla Family made itself noticeable by bringing a very adorable pet dog! They came to Luneta early and were eating comfortably in the grassland while playing with their white puppy. The comely, little pup obviously brought happiness to the family members. Their intense passion to worship and thank the God they know made them bring a cute, little family member to the occasion!

Strong grandma

Now this is heart-warming. Sis. Cresencia “Baby” Abucay from JIL Ampid in San Mateo, Rizal proved her willingness to join the JIL family celebration by bringing along her small grandchildren even though she was already old. To bring them all was indeed a great challenge!

When asked about the children’s parents, Lola Baby said that the parents entrusted them to her supervision when they left to work abroad.

What touches the heart was the way she looked at her grandchildren—full of love, care, and patience. Lola Baby’s love for them mirrors God as a very loving God to us.

Attendee since 1984

She was picking up empty bottles under the scorching heat of sunlight. She was an elderly woman who managed to squeeze in some time to work while attending the anniversary. Her name is Salome Tan from JIL Bulacan. She’s been attending JIL anniversaries since 1984. Sis. Salome said that her faith is nurtured in the JIL Church. Though she may be experiencing financial crisis, she is thankful to God whom she knows as her Provider. She said she has faith that God would one day turn her situation upside down. She had the sweetest smile as she talked about her faith in Jesus.

Knowing God will indeed cause His people to express their love and adoration to Him in the most unique and special forms.

Julia Mae Ramos

Knowing the true God overcomes spiritual deception – Bro. Eddie

In the face of rising spiritual deception worldwide, people need to personally know the True God.

This was what Bro. Eddie Villanueva drove home in his message during the 39th anniversary thanksgiving of the Jesus is Lord (JIL) Church Worldwide in front of multitudes of JIL pastors and members, and other guests gathered before the Quirino Grandstand at the Rizal Park.

“Many government leaders, spiritual leaders, and even members of the police worldwide are being deceived, so we urgently need to know our God, and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ,” he stressed.

“So many nations are in complete disorder this why we need to know the True and Living God,” the JIL Spiritual Director declared, referring to the anniversary theme based on Daniel 11: 32, which says “…but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” (KJV)

He also recalled one of his major principles in Christian ministry: “The greatest and noblest achievement of a man/woman here on earth is for him/her to be able to know his/her Creator truthfully and personally. To love Him passionately and wholeheartedly, and to serve Him faithfully with integrity and excellence until he/she stands before Him on Judgement Day.”

Near the end of his anniversary message, Bro. Eddie shared an anecdote with then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte on April 30, 2016 — 10 days before last year’s May 10 presidential election.

“I was asked by then Mayor Duterte to pray for him, and I agreed on the condition that there would be no media around to witness the occasion,” he recalled of the event. “So we went to meet him.”

The JIL spiritual head then led Duterte to a prayer of acceptance of Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior “and felt compelled to release the kingly anointing by laying hands on him. Ten days later (on May 10) he became our elected president.”

Bro. Eddie then reminded the President of the promise he made to the JIL leader that “he (Duterte) was willing to die for his country,” even as he expressed dismay in the thousands of reported extrajudicial killings in the national government’s all-out crusade against illegal drugs.

“Public service is a public trust,” he said because “ang tunay na may-ari ng Pilipinas ay ang sambayanang Pilipino.”

Bro. Eddie then asked the Christian leaders to each offer a prayer for the Filipino nation, among them Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo, Dr. Michael McKinney, president of the California-based Promise Christian University, Broadcaster-pastor Alex Tinsay, and Bishop Leo Alconga, Biblica East Asia Director and National Vice-Chairman of the Philippines for Jesus Movement.

He ended his anniversary message by allowing the JIL pastors and workers to minister to the JIL members present during the gathering, closing it with his pastoral prayer and benediction.

Bong Pedralvez

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