My Evangelization Story: declaration

Proclaiming and witnessing: declaration (Part 4b of 4)

The rewards of proclaiming and witnessing

I truly admire those who unselfishly share their resources for evangelistic works. This generosity of sharing time, talent and treasure is in response to God’s love, grace, blessings and salvation – a simple expression of gratitude.

After giving our best efforts, let us remember that the work of evangelization is not about us, it is all about God. Just like the process of germination, we acknowledge that our role in the setting is God’s co-worker in His vineyard: (i) He plant the seed in the heart of the person; (ii) we help cultivating the soil by providing avenues like invitation to the prayer meeting and community activities; (iii) then we let God water it with the attitude of surrender with the hope that God will bless our effort; and (iv) the last part which is already beyond our control is on how the person will respond to God’s call.

Let us be inspired of looking at the joys and rewards of our service. Just like the noble teachers or catechists, let us be more concern about the outcome (saving souls) rather than income (what monetary value we gave from it).

Let us remember that this journey of evangelization is also for us: to learn about humility, and compassion. At the same time, it can also be a means of affirming the gifts that God gave us – the gift of salvation – that we freely share to others. It sometimes requires us to look back to realize how far God have taken us in this worthwhile journey called life.

Empowered to pay it forward

As God continue to empower me, allow me to share with you a favorite passage that made a major impact on my evangelization story. I go back to this passage to draw strength and inspiration whenever tempted, discouraged, tired or harassed in my evangelization works and journey through life in general. It brings me to reflect as to the “Why and for whom am I doing this?”. This is when Jesus read the Gospel declaring and claiming God’s empowerment in Luke 4:18-19, it says:

ME

  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The evangelization story: next chapter

 Until now I cannot still pinpoint when and how exactly my relationship with God started, but I am sure that without the presence of people who taught, encouraged and supported me to memorized prayers, go to Mass, serve at the parish and join religious organizations; a personal relationship with God would not be established. Because of their faith, hope and love to God, I experience and encountered God’s faith, hope and love in the different stages of my life.

As I continue to journey through life, God gave me Getti as life-long partner and evangelizer with whom, with expectant faith, and Elisha Marie as reminder of our life-long evangelization vocation, I am looking forward to another chapter of fruitful and grace-filled discovery, discipleship and declaration of the Lord’s Good News.

My Evangelization Story: discipleship

The evangelization story: discovering God (Part 2 of 4)

Evangelization is relationship-building

God continuously bring people into my life to be part of my evangelization journey: my Grandmother who taught me prayers; my Aunt who brought and encouraged me to go to Mass; my elementary teacher who encouraged me to become Altar Boy; my religion class teachers who were instrumental in nurturing my interest for study about Christianity and the Catholic Church; my fellow Sta. Monica Youth Ministry (SMYM) members who has been inspirations on how to be a responsible youth and in serving God through His church; my Brothers who are role model in dedicated service rendered as a Knight of Columbus (KC).

Ang Lingkod Ng Panginoon (ALNP) sisters and brothers gave me venue to continue my journey with God through service. Servants of the Lord’s Vineyard (SOLV) Sisters and Brothers accepted me as a family member the warm welcome, presence, prayer and support for Getti, Elisha and I. Our journey with Ligaya Ng Panginoon (LNP) has been teaching us a lot about marriage and how to work together with God as constant partner in our life as a family.

 Getti: my life-long evangelizer and partner

As I am reminded that evangelization is not a one-time big time journey, God sent my life-long evangelizer and partner in Getti. When I met and learned that Getti is a member of SOLV, I saw how dedicated she serves, how firm she is in her beliefs, how she keeps her values, how generous of she shares time and resources for the Lord, and how accepting and non-judgmental she is in her dealings with others.

I am thankful to God for Getti. She continues to be my daily evangelizer: on how to deal with parents and in-laws; how to handle resources; how to treat others with love and respect; how to share freely and not counting anything in return.  With her as my wife and life-long evangelizer, I know that God will shape me to the best person that I can be. Getti is a manifestation of God’s love to me and an affirmation that doing my mission as a Christian is life journey not meant to spend alone.

JAY&GETTI 0190

My series of discoveries of God was made possible through different relationships.  What is common about those who are instrumental of my encounters with God is that they were first my friends. Our friendships serve as foundation for me to know more about God and eventually led to personal friendship with Him. Their acceptance and sincerity played a big factor which established a life-long friendship that ushered my exciting journey as a Christian.

 

 

Song for Getti

I have never considered myself good at singing but if I’ll dedicate a song or be requested to sing for Getti, it will be Air Supply’s “Come What May”.

The song uniquely summarizes how I see myself through her eyes and how I want her to know how much she made a big difference in my life, first as a friend, then as a girlfriend, as a wife and now as a mother of our Elisha Marie.

The song goes:
When she looks at me
I know the girl sees things
Nobody else can see

All of the secret fears inside
And all the craziness I hide
She looks into my soul
And reads me like nobody can

And she doesn’t judge the man
She just takes me as I am

Just like any other song, the best part is the chorus. As the song picks up to its climax, this part of “Come What May” never fails to bring a lump in my throat and moist my eyes:

Come what may, she believes
And that faith is something
I’ve never known before
Come what may, she loves me
And that love has helped me open a door
Making me love myself a little more

There were times when I consciously tried to avoid and deny a lot of my realities, but Getti helped me by being quiet, by understanding, by believing, by trusting. The non-verbal and accepting gestures she showed me made me understand and accept myself more. The lines of my song for Getti hit it to the core:

When I turn away
She knows those are the times
There’s nothing she can say

Nothing that anyone can do
And so she lets me live it through
And when I’m in my darkest hour of uncertainty
She just simply lets me be
And goes right on loving me

Our relationship was put into test when I was faced by so far one of the biggest blows in my life. I felt that the world was crumbling and told Getti that we can go for a “cool-off” while being on that state. She said: “No, I won’t bail out on you. I’m here to support and pray for and with you. Let me know how I can be of help. We can work this together.” With those words coming from her, Getti indeed was instrumental in helping me restore and strengthen my belief in partnership and relationship.

With God’s help, we surpassed that challenging stage and as I recall that, this part of the song now makes me thankful that Getti, together with God, stood by me:

And when it seems my dreams
Have all slipped through my fingers
When they just can’t be found
I turn around and there they are
Shining in her eyes 

Getti is a manifestation and affirmation of God’s unconditional love for me — the kind of love that don’t ask for anything in return, the kind that restores my belief in the goodness of woman (and man), the kind that assures me that someone cares and loves me… come what may.