WHAT are the waves that rush upon our lives? Different men have different answers. In evangelism the waves are the opposing forces unleashed by the enemy upon God's work on earth with the intention of causing discouragement upon both preacher and convert.
Under the blessing of God and the go signal from the Far Eastern Division, the brethren planned a major evangelistic effort in Mindanao. The place chosen was Davao City, with its multitribal inhabitants, the melting pot of the south and birthplace of two offshoot movements.
The Davao Center tabernacle is on the number one street of the city. It was through prayer that we were able to erect this tabernacle on this choice spot along San Pedro Street. The governor, the Honourable Vicente Duterte, was guest speaker on the opening night, January 10, and 800 listened as we launched this evangelistic campaign.
There were four ministerial interns from Mountain View College in our team, namely: Nellie Alipo-on, Tito Allosa, Tomas Cabaluna, and Mike Damayo. The evangelists were Pastor A. A. Villarin, who alternated his vernacular lectures with Pastor P. P. Ramos, who spoke in English. After two months Pastor Villarin's place was taken over by Pastor N. A. Quipanes.
Music was provided by the Sharp Male Quartet and a girls' duet; all were young people.
Then the enemy unleashed the waves of opposition upon us. One person was found undermining our work among those interested by trying to prevent them from being baptized by our team. The sermons of the Catholic priests and Protestant ministers were now spiked with attacks against the Davao Center. Even the radio was used against us. During the lectures bells pealed. The disturbing sounds cast fear in the hearts of our Catholic audience. Stones hit the building and ricocheted dangerously to harass and intimidate our listeners. The evil one must have cursed heaven and earth when in spite of these disturbances one hundred people signed their names on the decision-for-Christ cards.
At Talomo Beach, where we held a big baptism, the tranquil waters suddenly heaved and turned into angry waves that rushed upon us as we baptized the converts. Ministers and candidates feared for their lives as on sliding sands they were battered by the onrushing waves and sucked by the undertow into the depths. We had heard many tales about swimmers and unwary bathers disappearing along these beaches. It required courage to face the turbulent waters. The "dragon was wroth," and the reason for his wrath was that those who had been in darkness were now passing through the gates into God's kingdom of light.
We baptized 130 precious souls, Davao City's contribution to the Mindanao-forChrist Crusade of 1965. (Twenty-seven were baptized earlier during the revival meetings.) This is the fruitage we gather when God's people stand together and work as one man in resisting the angry waves of opposition and discouragement.
What joy, what satisfaction, what confidence, and what faith we can gather when we pause to review God's providential care, His matchless love and unmistakable answers to our prayers:
Every soul we baptized is a miracle. There is Edward K. Lim, M.D., who was baptized with his wife. Educated in Korea, Japan, and the United States, he is a brilliant specimen of the philosophical Chinese world. Once a customs medical officer of Hankow, later a major general of the Chinese province of Szechwan, he came to the Philippines to publish the Philippine-China Cultural Magazine. Being a gifted writer, he has already published more than four thousand articles in different newspapegs in the Philippines the past fourteen years. But Christ won, and since his baptism he has written five challenging articles of religious import for publication.
Brother Vicente Robin had been approached by different workers and the Bible was opened to him. In spite of these and the urgings of his Seventh-day Adventist wife, he remained adamant. But at Davao Center he took his stand for Christ. Lorenzo Villanil's conversion is noteworthy. After resisting the message for the past nineteen years he was among those baptized at the beach. Brother Santua works with a large Catholic printing press as a type setter. This is a place where it is difficult to keep the Sabbath, but every Sabbath this brother comes to church. Sister Perla Sienes made a bold and surprising decision that confirmed her mother's faith and won her brothers to the message with her. On the day of baptism Brother Catunggal was left alone in his home, purposely deserted by his whole family. He knew what to do. He locked the house, left the key with the neighbors and went for baptism. The Ruiz family stood against the angry waves too. Under the threat of a shotgun blast from their father, Teresita was baptized in the first baptism, Rogelio in the second, Virgilio in the third, and their mother in the fourth. Rogelio works as an aircraft mechanic in the shop of the Southern Airlines. The shotgun did not blast because they had courage and stood the test. Every one of these souls saved will have a story to tell before the holy angels and before men in the kingdom of God.
The work and the baptizing are still going on in this city. The message has caught the interest of an ex-governor and ex-congressman who are now receiving Bible studies. Another doctor's family is in the valley of decision. The sales manager of a big latex firm and his accountant gave heart-warming testimonies when they made their decision to follow the truth.
An amount approaching PI,800 (5425.00) in tithes and offerings has already been received in our Sabbath meetings at the center. Quick to discern the need for a second church in this city, the brethren have launched a church project that will put up the building before the year is over.
Looking on the waves that batter our souls and threaten the work, we stand and exclaim: Lord, if the waves should come, let them come, but give us souls for Thy kingdom in the midst of them.