Tuesday, 10 February 2009 13:02 Last Updated on Thursday, 23 April 2009 23:02
Nothing becomes more awe-inspiring than a life driven by so much love for the Lord, much more so when such love comes as a response to His lavish goodness.
Sibalom Adventist Church, one of the oldest Adventist churches in Panay, now stands better than ever. From its humble beginnings (in terms of its building size and appearance), Sibalom Adventist Church now stands worthy of the message it bears. Its history started when an American evangelist Pastor E.M. Adams, together with Pastor Fausto Jornada, Sr., his interpreter, came and conducted evangelistic compaigns near the town of Sibalom, Antique, in the 1920's.
Ever persistent to honor God and His message through the church, the members worked and contributed much and hard to rebuild and beautify the church building. And until Brother Carl and Sister Glenda Sobremisana allowed themselves to be used by God for the purpose, the difference did not become that obvious.
When asked why they gave much for the church, the Sobremisana couple said, "We want to honor God with what we have. People around here might look down on us because of how our church appears, but this time we hope it will change." Now, more than ever, a new, big, shining church stands along the highway to Sibalom Plaza.
"This has meant a great sacrifice on my part, but this is my way of saying my thanks to God for having led me to belong to this end-time church," Brother Carl said with tears almost to run down his cheeks, reminiscing his past as a Roman Catholic altar boy. He believed that his coming into the Seventh-day Adventist Church was not by chance but God's loving mercy for him.
In the evening of January 23, the vespers took place in the house of the Sobrimesana's. Pastor Bocala, SSD-retired President, led in the study of the Word. Instead of addressing the adults with his message, he changed his topic to touch the hearts of the young people present because they outnumbered the older ones attending. In the introduction to his message, Pastor Bocala said, "Sibalom church indeed will have a future because of its young people."
The highlight of the program comes the following day, the Sabbath, January 24, as Pastor Violeto Bocala officiated the inauguration and blessing ceremony of the new church. For quite a while, the brethren patiently but excitedly waited outside to witness the ribbon cutting done by Brother and Sister Carl Sobremisana. Only after the prayer did the brethren get an entrance into the new, beautiful church.
The ceremony went great as West Visayan Conference Officers, Directors, previous district pastors assigned in the place, non-Adventist friends, and brethren from other churches in the district or West Visayan Conference territory, come to witness and participate in the ceremony. More or less six hundred came, occupying all the benches and chairs provided, in the ground and upper floors. Others just patiently stood up to hear God's message for the event.
The celebration continued till late in the afternoon with much singing, testimonies, prayers, declaration of the Word, and praises to God.