Early morning of August 6, the team from CBN Asia beat EDSA’s building traffic and flew in to Catarman. Sand and sea, the view from above was a welcome respite from scene we left behind, of blaring horns and traffic jams all around. We knew from up there, this will be a wonderful experience.
Come Friday, August 7, eighty nine pastors and church leaders assembled at Catarman Christian Fellowship to attend the Basic Counseling Training led by the CBN Asia Prayer Center’s External Operations Manager, Pastor Salvador ‘Boyet’ Bautista. The training addressed the glaring fact that counseling is the most overlooked ministry in the church, the church being a ministry dealing with people.
On Saturday, August 8, three hundred twenty two church partners from Balicuatro for Jesus Movement (BJM), Northern Samar Central Evangelical Ministerial Association (NORSCEMA), Pacific Evangelical Ministerial Association (PACEMA) flocked to Casa Le’ Anne for the Northern Samar edition of M2M.
Pastor Nestor M. Jaropojop of Living Rock Ministries opened the event with a prayer as Pastor Harry Cauilan welcomed everybody to a meaningful day ahead. After a wonderful worship experience led by the music team, M2M resident host, Pastor Gene de Leon started giving away ESV Study Bibles.
First to come up on stage were Pastor Victor and Mrs. Myrna, they’re celebrating their twenty two years together in life and in the ministry.
Celebrating his fifty six years was Pastor Nilo, married for twenty two years, he has been serving the Lord for the past twenty six years. Before he was called to the full time ministry, Pastor Manuel used to be in the construction industry, he’s the building maintenance guy. He was blessed with one wife and ten children. In his thirty five years of married life, thirteen in the ministry, God has been faithful.
M2M would not be complete without honoring Northern Samar’s Leviticus men, of which six shared the spotlight and boldly claimed their reward. The earliest to arrive at the venue, at 6:30 a. m. was Pastor Eddie and the “late Pastor Ryan” were both given their brand new Bibles.
When Pastor Gene asked for not just a pastor’s kid but a pastor’s grandkid too, Pastor Cesar came up on stage. Tagging along were his sons, Eddie and Paul. Both were pastors just like him and his father. And to us present, he seemingly passed on to his sons not just the love for the Lord and the ministry, but also the gift of doing comedy. See how the father and sons made Pastor Gene laugh. Pastor Eddie has been ministering at Catarman for the three years while the youngest, Pastor Paul has been with the church at San Juan for the past five years. Their wives are all teachers by calling too.
Meeting these ministers of Northern Samar, one can’t help but reflect on the words of the psalmist:
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways.
When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!
You see, we’ve seen for ourselves, albeit for a brief moment, that the ministers of Northern Samar were indeed blessed by the Lord whom they serve and revere.