God’s inspiring words are revealed in Mrs. Ellen G. White’s book, ‘Counsels for the Church’. It says, “The work of God in this earth can never be finished until men and women comprising our church membership rally to work and unite their efforts with those ministers and church officers. All who are ordained unto the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of others. And let none feel that because they are uneducated they cannot take part in the Lord’s work. God has a work for you to do.”
These words keep ringing on my ears especially during my lunch break on working days, for after taking my lunch; I do usually rest my back on a soothing sofa and take a nap. But every time I do this, I can’t stop but contemplate. I feel the surge of guilt awakening all my senses. Here I am enjoying the light of God and the blessings of a good life, while the people around me suffer in darkness and pain. I really feel the burden, the responsibility that lies on my shoulders and the “itch” to serve the Lord. This is the mission that God put on our church, the only church that bears witness for the true God in the entire municipality of Caibiran, the Manlabang Seventh-day Adventist Church– the light bearer and watchman of the word of God.
Caibiran is composed of 17 barangays, with an estimated population of more or less 25 to 30 thousand souls, perishing in darkness. They need to know Jesus Christ’s offer of eternal salvation and the final warning of eternal destruction. “There is no other work of so great importance that needs our attention, is to give the last warning to the perishing world.” (Testimonies for the Church Vol. 9 p. 19)
Although we already made varied activities for soul winning, it was limited to some individuals and households. I long for a thorough, rigid house-to-house evangelism that all people may know, children and parents, young and old, all the families of the entire 17 barangays in our town be saved. Day and night, I pray to God that He will guide me on how can I accomplish His work. Then suddenly, one night God had enlightened me. God told me to write. Although I do not have that writing prowess and my English is not good, but the idea He gave me for my evangelistic campaign was great. It was like there’s no need for house-to-house visitation but by printing God’s word in a piece of paper. Thinking about placing these gospel leaflets in every doorstep or flying them in every open window really excites me. It was one of the fastest ways to spread the gospel. I was challenged!
On bended knees, I ask God for wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit to guide me on what to write. I opened my Bible and started reading some verses, and with a pen and a paper I started to write.
Tingog sa Paglaum 1 (Waray Version) with 2000 copies was being printed and distributed to 2000 individuals and families by the Voice of Youth Volunteers headed by Mark, my son, who is now taking Bachelor of Arts in Theology, student of the University of the Philippines, with the guidance of our district leader, Pastor Paul Barcenas. Gospel tracts were sent to different barangays in the municipality of Caibiran together with a pack of goods to our less fortunate fellowmen. It was followed by the Tingog sa Paglaum 2 (Visayan Version) with a message of courage, hope, love and faith in God as the Great Healer, Creator of life and the greatest judge and advocate that will set the captives free. It was distributed to Naval Provincial Hospital, Naval Provincial Jail and to some households in Naval.
The most widely spread is Tingog sa Paglaum 3, which was a set of 4 pages long bond paper sealed with a heart that says “God Loves You” and tied in a ribbon, with a message from the creation to the fall of man, God’s offer of salvation, last day events and His second coming. We printed 28,000 pages, equivalent to 7000 sets and distributed to 7000 families throughout the Municipality of Caibiran. It is to be feasted by all the members of every family. If each family has more or less 5 members, the message of God will be heard to more or less 35, 000 souls just in a day of that great seed sowing. During the distribution, the Manlabang Seventh-day Adventist Church led by our church elder, Melchor G. Maderazo, in collaboration with Pastor Paul Barcenas, our district leader, hired 4 vehicles (3 trucks and 1 pick-up) to contain more or less 180 youth volunteers and church members to distribute this printed Word of God, and to make sure that every family has a copy.
They were instructed that if the door is close or the gate, the pamphlet will be taped at the wall or at the gate so that when the owner of the house comes, he or she will have a copy.
By God’s grace and His rich blessings, the day of the great sowing was so perfect and we finished it in just a day. Indeed, it was successful. To prove this, few hours after the distribution, many texts messages came, asking some questions regarding the message they have read, like God’s offer of salvation, commandments, final warning and many more. Now the church is planning to start a groundwork or followup, to check and usher the seeds sown for the process of fertilization and germination. Conversion is God’s work, but we have a part to play in the process. For with the cooperation of human and divine, and the harvest is sure to be plenty.
It is very clear through the messenger of God, Ellen G. White, that we have a mission, “Seventh-day Adventist has been chosen by God as a peculiar people, separate from the world. He has made them ambassadors for Him in the last work of salvation. The greatest wealth of truth ever entrusted to mortals, the most solemn and fearful warnings ever sent by God to man, have been committed to them to be given to the world.” (Testimonies for the Church Vol. 7 p. 138)
By God’s grace and guidance, it is my great desire that Tingog sa Paglaum will continue its work to a province-wide distribution, and even continue to a broader world beyond the seas. There are many open fields in which we can plow and sow the seed. But we cannot deny that it requires a sum of money. Thus, I am praying that someday, God will provide us a risograph machine for the unlimited printing of our gospel tracts.
I trust God and I know He will give us one. He has made a promise in Philippians 4:19 to provide our needs for the fulfillment of this worldwide campaign before the end comes.
To all of you out there who read this article, please, I am urging you to get ready for the time of trouble is coming. And it will be the end. The final course of our world will be destruction. There is no more time to waste. If you are reading this right now without a throb in your heart of either excitement or fear of His coming, then be alarmed. Check your life because maybe it no longer lives. Seek Christ and you will be revived. If you have been praying for a long time, and it is somewhat ineffective or your prayer life has become lifeless, do not cease to pray. Please learn to listen for maybe God is already speaking but you just fail to listen. If you have forgotten reading your Bible, it is the time to remember. If reading grows boring, maybe it is time to apply. If you are a youth filled with passion and strength, thirsty for an adventure and happiness in life, please don’t find it elsewhere, the world will continually give you pleasure of no real satisfaction, until you grow old one day frustrated with life. If you are a youth, the excitement you seek is the heart of God, the ministry, find it there and you will find what you seek. To the parents, please save your children. Be a good example to them and don’t do something that you will regret in the future, teach them of God and protect them of Satan’s devices especially our favorite media. If you are of old age and you have been waiting for a long time, don’t stop! A mansion and a crown are already prepared for you. Don’t let your crown be worn by others and your mansion be not your own. Please hold fast, for He is coming for you. He is coming for all of us.
So friends, if you are able to read this, secure your salvation and relationship with Christ. Be prepared and connect yourself to Him, for there is no other name in heaven and Earth that can provide you salvation. For what will we profit if we use the whole world rather than the kingdom of God, but in the process lose our own salvation. Please secure yourselves and your loved ones in the heart of God. Make sure that salvation is yours and let us be united in prayer and supplication as well as in the work of the ministry.
Let the entire world be reached by the message and gain salvation, and let all of our names be written in the Book of Life forever until He comes. To God be the glory and may God bless us all. Always remember, “God loves you!”
Merlyn Yubal Maderazo is the wife of Mr. Melchor Go Maderazo, the former three-termer mayor in the Municipality of Caibiran, Leyte. She is a businesswoman but devoted much of her time in spreading the gospel, sharing God’s love and mercy to mankind. Just recently, she started the God Loves You Foundation.