By Antonio C. Gobi, Jr.
The Arrogante family held a week-long evangelistic meeting on April 20-28, 2018, near East Visayan Conference (EVC) office, Old Road Sagkahan, Tacloban City, with the theme, “Home Again”.
A series of biblical presentations about the love of Jesus was presented by Pastor Ion Stelian, a retired minister and a former senior pastor of Southern California Conference, who served for more than 30 years in the denominational work. He is happy to be called “The Evangelist Man”, for his passion is to preach the word of
God, spending more time in preaching and evangelizing than administering. For this reason, he had been to many places such as Europe, Romania, Germany, Middle East and Asia to preach and share about the love of Jesus.
Moreover, his wife Dr. Dena Stelian is a professor of geology and a chaplain in Loma Linda Hospital. They came to the Philippines through the initiative of the Arrogante family who are presently residing in the United States of America, for Pastor Stelian was once their church pastor in Elmonte SDA Church under Southern California Conference.
The Arrogante siblings are known to be a “Family of Doctors”. They originated in Bantayan, Cebu, but most of them migrated in the United States of America. Their youngest brother, Dr. Jerry Arrogante, the head elder of Capitol Central SDA Church, is the only Arrogante left in Cebu with his family who also joined in their ministry
The Arrogantes’ self supporting ministry started in 2011 after their retirement, and they decided to go back to the Philippines particularly in the Visayas for missionary outreach. When they were asked about their source of fund for their ministry, they answered, “We set aside a little amount and the church members of El Monte also responded by giving financial assistance for this ministry. Our coming here is not really for vacation or relaxation, but the purpose is solely for evangelism, a mission trip, for we have dedicated the remaining years of our lives to the Lord.”
During their mission trip, they were accompanied and assisted by Ramon Conde, a retired police officer in Region 7 together with his wife, Jane Conde, one of the elders of Capitol Center SDA Church, whose passion is also to support the different ministries of the church.
President Samuel Salloman of East Visayan Conference and Church Pastor Jonathan Muralla of Tacloban Adventist Church, respectively gave their warmest welcome to the team and to all the visitors.
On the other hand, Dr. Noel L. Macaya, a medical board passer in 2018, gave the nightly series of lecture on health. He discussed the importance of health and the ill effects of Smoking, Alcohol and Drugs (SAD). The church was packed with people eager and interested to hear the sermons while the children were taught with action songs, and Bible stories were told by Ma’am Leah Salloman, the wife of the EVC president.
On Sabbath afternoon, 38 precious souls accepted Jesus as their personal Saviour.
“Though we spent time, money and energy, but it was a meaningful and enjoyable experience to serve the Lord without reservation. To the newly baptized members,
‘Welcome to the family of God,’” expressed by one of the church members in Tacloban.
The evangelistic campaign was made possible through God’s guidance and through the concerted effort of the Arrogantes’ in coordination with Tacloban SDA Church in Tacloban Leyte.
Furthermore, Pastor Stelian’s sermons were translated into Samarenyo (Waray-Waray dialect) by Dr. Victoriano Porteza, executive secretary of East Visayan Conference (EVC); Pastor Mariano Salloman, Jr., Stewardship director of EVC; and Pastor Antonio Gobi Jr., Communication and Youth director of EVC.