Wednesday, 24 June 2009 14:27 Last Updated on Thursday, 25 June 2009 08:53
Never been reached by the Gospel before, Barangay Barancalan, Calag-naan Island, Carles, Iloilo at first so prejudiced and cold to the message, even repulsive to it. But no hard place can withstand God's love. Due to the faithful and dedicated missionaries, Elmer Cipriano and Ricardo Rodellas, after being assigned to the place by Joward Blaza, Northern Iloilo-I district pastor, 36 eventually decided to be baptized.
But the work there didn't start that easy. Dangers paved the way that many said will hinder the progress of the work there. The people are so prejudiced to any form of religion there. Serial killers abound the place that may strike the missionaries any time. Because of its background, the place becomes feared and thought not worth going to for any evangelistic campaigns. Others even said that some influencial families in the place may greatly oppose the work there. Pessimism seems to weaken the missionaries' decision to go there and start the work. But inspite of it all, they went, claiming the promise in Isaiah 41:10: “So do not Fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.”
The missionaries asked permission from the barangay captain to conduct Bible studies to the people in the place. The barangay captain said, "Yes, they need it because people here acknowledge themselves as their own god.” To the dismay of the missionaries, which led both of them to a serious misunderstanding between themselves, nobody responded positively. But that didn't stop them from rethinking their methods of introducing the message.
The missionaries started to befriend the people. They offered free hair cut, taught how to do the charcoal treatment, offered massage, and do almost anything just to get close to the people. Eventually, the people started to like and trust them in return. Later, many opened their doors for Bible studies. And because the two missionaries can't take the work by themselves anymore, Helen Rodrigo, sent by the district, came to assist in giving Bible studies.
Months of friendship and Bible studies took place in the island. And on May 3-9 Joward Blaza conducted an evangelistic campaign in the place. Through the outworking of God's Spirit in the lives of the once cold, prejudice, unresponsive people, 36 eventually decided to commit their lives to Jesus Christ, accepting Him as their Lord and Savior. Pastor Ronald Rada, WVC's Youth Director came to the place to officiate the baptismal rite.
The newly baptized hold their every Sabbath worship in the home of Casibual family. Many continue to receive Bible studies. Months later, many more accepted the truth through baptism. And the work there successfully grows.
Yes, there indeed comes no place too hard for God to come through. Praise His name!