Our beneficiaries of our ongoing Community Building Project in Angono, Rizal are delivering their outpouring of praises and worship unto the Lord! It melts our hearts that as they entrust their lives to Him and continue in their discipleship journeys, they are creating a positive impact in their neighborhoods.
During our community activity at the Rainbow Village Covered Court in the municipality last September 9, they got into the groove with Zumba dancing featuring a medley of popular upbeat Filipino Christian songs. Shortly after, Uplift Cares Assistant Discipleship Coordinator Jun Lavetoria led them in singing gospel songs “Salamat Salamat” and “Pag-Ibig Mo.”
In his opening remarks, Uplift Cares Chief Operating Officer Pastor Ito de Jesus exhorted the parents to make the Lord their top priority in their everyday lives. He urged them to live by this order of priorities: the Lord, family (spouse and children), work, and lastly, friends. He then shared about the sad reality where the Lord becomes a priority only during desperate situations.
He then recalled the previous “MOTIVATE” sessions for parents, which carried the topics, “Model,” “Open Communication,” “Time,” “Intimacy,” “Vision,” “Affirmation,” and “Training.”
He shared that parents who desire for their children to avoid curse words and alcohol to also stay away from these. “Open communication means nakikipag-usap ka sa asawa mo… Ngayon pagka kinausap mo hindi umiimik… hahanapan mo ng paraan kung papaano kayo mag-uusap,” he added.
Pastor Ito then urged them to spend quality time with their respective families. “Minsan, ‘yung bata, ‘pag galing sa eskwelahan, may problema ‘yan,” he said.
Regarding casting the right vision, he underscored the importance of studying well, which will lead to better finances and a right life path in the future. He then encouraged them to uplift their fellow family members through positive affirmation, and entrust their lives unto the Lord. “Sino mahilig sa basketball? Gilas? Alam niyo ba ang Gilas, basketball team ng Pilipinas? Ano ang parati nilang sinasabi? Puso, ‘di ba?” he shared.
Before ending his talk, he shared about resigning from a renowned local firm after two years of service, so he could devote his life to serving Him.
Overview Of Entrusting To The Lord
In the eighth “MOTIVATE” devotion for parents, Uplift Cares Discipleship Coordinator Jeff Castillo urged the parents to entrust their lives and hearts unto the Lord. He stressed that without this, they cannot effectively live other aspects of the Christian faith.
Castillo then asked the attendees to read Ezekiel 36:26, which talks about Israel’s restoration. He then said that only the Lord can renew a person’s heart. “I’m not talking about ‘yung physical heart na magkakaroon tayo ng operasyon na lalagyan tayo ng bagong puso, pero ang tinutukoy po dito is ‘yung ating character, ‘yung ating pagkatao,” he said.
He then raised a question regarding the feeling of having received a renewed heart, and shared that it becomes more exciting to play basketball with a fresh pair of shoes. “Ako po nung bata, ‘pag may bago, halimbawa binigyan ako ng bagong laruan… halimbawa may bagong laruan, o bagong damit. Lalo na ‘pag Pasko, ‘pag nakatanggap po ako ng bagong damit, tinanggal ko agad ‘yung damit ko na luma tapos sinusuot ko ‘yung bago,” he added.
The Bible, he said, is full of commands which are meant for our own good. “Alam mo ba ‘yung sa zigzag ‘di ba, ‘pag may bangin eh. So para hindi po mapunta sa bangin, ‘di ka mahulog, anong meron? May aral, may grace,” he said.
Castillo then pointed out that the Lord is working in our hearts. “Hindi kami, hindi Uplift, pero si Lord… Kaya sa pamilya po natin, ito po ‘yung suggestion na pwede pa nating gawin sa loob ng ating tahanan,” he said.
Wisdom Behind Entrusting To The Lord
During the same devotion, Castillo remarked that the Christian faith is not “anti-intellectual,” as everyone can analyze, study, and defend it. “Hindi ito bulag na pananampalataya… Hindi po relihiyon ang atin pong idinadala rito. Ang itinuturo po natin ay walang iba kundi ang pagsunod lamang kay Kristo Hesus. Sapagkat sabi Niya, Siya ang daan, ang katotohanan, at ang buhay,” he said.
He told the parents that they can rely on the Bible because of the various archeological findings supporting it, and Jesus Christ’s fulfillment of over 300 prophecies from the Old Testament. He shared Moses’ story of dividing the Red Sea for the Israelites to flee into safety from the pursuing Egyptians, which is a biblical fact proven by the chariot wheels and weapons discovered.
In 1948, the State of Israel was formally established, fulfilling the biblical prophecy that Israel would be back as a nation. “Kapag tayo’y pupunta doon (Israel), at halimbawa lang na pumunta tayo doon… Makikita niyo po ‘yung mga nilakaran ni Hesus… Kaya mas dapat nating ipagkatiwala ‘yung buhay natin sa Kanya,” he said.
Jesus died and rose again to offer us His gift of salvation. “Ituro natin sa ating pamilya, sa ating asawa, sa ating mga anak, na papaano tayo magkakaroon ng kaugnayan at relasyon sa Kanya,” Castillo added.
Castillo then shared that our response to life’s challenges relies on our understanding of the Lord. “Ang tanong, kilala ba natin ang Diyos? Sino ba ang Diyos? Ano bang meron ang Diyos,” he said.
He went on to stress that the Lord is all-powerful. “Walang bagay na hindi kontrolado ng Diyos. Ang lahat ay alam at nasa plano Niya. Kayang gawin ng Diyos ang lahat ng nais Niya… Mahal ka ng Diyos… So ibig sabihin, ‘pag tayo po’y dumepende sa Kanya, walang imposible,” he said.
Castillo then said that He is good toward us, and knows what is beneficial for us. “Ang prayer natin ay puntahan natin ‘yung mga bagay, gawin natin ‘yung mga bagay na makakabuti sa atin. Bakit po? Ang Diyos po ay mabuti. Ang Diyos ay ganap, Siya ay makatwiran at makabuluhan. Ibig sabihin… kahit ano pang naging kasalanan natin in the past, mahal tayo ng Panginoon… Kaya sabi sa Bible, come as you are,” he added.
Jesus will return to judge and deliver real justice someday, a time which only our Heavenly Father knows. “Tandaan natin, ‘pag tayo’y may Diyos sa puso, meron tayong panibagong buhay sa Diyos. May pangako ang Diyos sa atin pagbalik Niya,” Castillo added.
After the talk, the parents underwent their breakout session in small groups. The volunteers shared the Gospel to them using the “Best Decision” material. Simultaneously, the participating children enjoyed their NxtGen discipleship activities, where they crafted their colorful drawings of the human hand and presented them in their group photo opportunity. The children beneficiaries then received their free school supply kits.
Parent-leader Phoebe Luz “Beng” Tangco said that her child relatives who are part of the feeding program are achieving healthier bodies, and are becoming more energetic. She expressed her gratitude for the free school supplies, and said that parents can contribute to the success of the Community Building Project.
Cecil Rubiano, with two children who are also included in the feeding program, shared that they have learned many lessons found in God’s Word. Her children are picking up social skills, gaining new friends, and becoming healthier. She said that the project has also brought several benefits for their family, such as free nutritious food, vitamins, and school supplies.