By Antonio C. Gobi, Jr.
East Visayan Conference (EVC) ministers and wives gathered in EVC multipurpose hall, Old Road Sagkahan, Tacloban City on May 25-26, 2018 for a Ministerial Rendezvous with the theme, “It’s Time to Grow Deeper”, to revitalize and enhance the teamwork ministry of pastors and wives to grow deeper into a long and lasting relationship.
The ministers and wives retreat was initiated by the ministerial secretary and Stewardship director of East Visayan Conference, Pastor Mariano Salloman, Jr. The theme song, “Husband you should love your wife, and wife you should love your husband” was originally written and composed by a young virtuoso composer,
Pastor Bartman Barientos, a district leader in Baybay area.
Moreover, Pastor Wendell Mandolang, former president of Jakarta Union Mission and the present ministerial secretary of Southern Asia – Pacific Division (SSD), graced the occasion and spoke about the role of a Pastor in the church in relation to his responsibility as husband to his wife and a father to his children.
He urged, “Dear wives, as you grow deeper of your love to your husband, you need to understand their sacred calling. Please bear in mind that your husband is the property of the church especially during Sabbath; you need to be mature, patient and considerate as they do their duties and responsibilities in the church. It’s time to grow deeper with love and understanding towards your husband, to cooperate and support His work, and to transform your lives into the character of Jesus.”
In addition, Pastor Elmer Pagunsan, the ministerial secretary of Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC), along with his wife, gave also a lecture about, “The Journey in God’s ministry”.
Pastor Pagunsan stressed, “In God’s journey, we may experience joy and sadness. Some may have stumbled, some may have fallen, and some may have surrendered their calling, but there are also those who have dedicated themselves in the ministry of suffering and sacrifices who remain to be faithful in the Lord, having the spirit of perseverance, reaping the blissful reward and blessings from God. No matter what the cause may bring, there are only two sides of our calling: ‘to win or to lose’, ‘to continue or Ministerial Rendezvous inspires ministers and wives in eastern Visayas By Antonio C. Gobi, Jr. East Visayan Conference to stop’ and ‘to serve or to reject.’ The choice is ours.”
On the other hand, the most awaited part of the program was the banquet which fell on Sabbath evening. Ministers’ wives wore their lovely and beautiful gowns, while the pastors were wearing black tuxedo, blending a perfect match for the night’s affair, holding the hands of their partners as they marched along the aisle for the entourage.
Everyone joined the games like counting of hearts and the opening of surprise gifts from their respective husband/wife. (“Nakilig jud ko ay! Paghatag niya ug gift sa ako, na surprise jud ko ug nalipay jud ko pag ayo.”) “I shuddered in delight when he gave me his gift. I was really, really surprised and happy,” commented one wife.
“This ministerial rendezvous served as an inspiration for all of us workers in eastern Visayas while we are working for the Lord. It was such a wonderful time to cherish our bond with each other as husband and wife, taking its moment as we grow deeper with our love for each other,” one of the pastors said.
The ministerial rendezvous ended with cheerful hearts and renewed commitments with God to be more faithful in His calling: in serving the church, in loving their families as well as in honing their children morally and spiritually.
“As we serve the Lord, let us feel that our home will be an atmosphere of love where angels are delighted to stay and be filled with joy and laughter as we experience a little paradise here on earth. I am looking forward on that great rendezvous in heaven, see you there!” said Pastor Antonio Gobi, Youth and Communication director of East Visayan Conference.