The Evangelizing Family of Pastor Allan and Sister Mayette Guerrero

The Evangelizing Family of Pastor Allan

and Sister Mayette Guerrero

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

The first time I took notice of the Christian church in an unpretentious ground floor room of an old wooden building, and that could have seen better days as a commercial stall along F. Torres St. was when I heard the song that the congregation was singing with the officiating pastor. I retraced my steps to take a look at the name of the congregation – “Jesus Christ Majesty Ministry” simply printed on a tarpaulin and attached to the wall above the elevated area that served as the pulpit. And, from where I stood in the middle of the street, I discerned the minister to be boyish, so I thought the congregation was akin to what volunteer young evangelists organize for a weekend, as it was a Sunday. I was expecting that after the service, the organizers would pack up and go to another place.

 

The following weekend, another Sunday, when I passed by the same building I was surprised the worship hall prepared for a service, though still empty of members. I was tempted to linger and gawk at the musical equipment in front of eclectic rows of plastic chairs. Just then, I heard somebody greet me and was surprised to learn that he was the minister I saw the weekend before. He was changing into a proper attire befitting a pastor. He introduced himself as Pastor Allan Guerrero and the lady who approached us, he introduced as his wife, Sister Mayette who was in-charge of the Sunday school which again caught me by surprise as I could not discern any trace of such, until I was told that it was situated just behind the worship hall.

 

The couple led me through a short corridor until we came out into a small “patio” surrounded with doors, one of which was that of the school’s. They showed me the well-kept school, very neat, with linoleum-covered floor, and walls pasted with patiently- cut teaching aids. Three layers of shelves served as the “library” stacked with a few books. The tough effort to make the small room become an effective breeding venue for Christian learning was very obvious. Sister Mayette told me that some of those who attend the Sunday school are children of sidewalk and pushcart-dwelling families around the area….real people who need the graceful touch of the Guerrero family.

 

The Sunday school has been in operation for twelve years and six months and depended solely on donations – books, school materials and trickles of cash for the rent which is five thousand pesos per month. A little more than two years ago, when the big room facing the street and through which Sister Mayette and the children wormed  their way to the school was vacated, Pastor Allan immediately did all possible to have it for his congregation’s use. From then, on every Sunday even the couples’ children:  Aillene Marie, who finished Music Technology; Katleen Mae, who finished Journalism; Heaven Leigh who finished BS-HRM; and Dan Joshua who is in Grade 10, join them in their spiritual crusade.  The whole family has to wake up early as they live in Meycauayan, Bulacan and must muster the traffic on their way to the church on F. Torres St. in Sta. Cruz district of Manila.

 

Pastor Allan and Sister Mayette confided that they started with a simple keyboard to provide accompaniment to their songs until friends who refused to be named started donating musical equipment. Donors also send Bibles, books and materials for the Sunday school. They glow with gladness as they related to me how their congregation that they continuously propagate with dedication, patience and hard work has grown.

 

The evangelizing Guerrero family showed that sharing the Words of God does not always need a grandiose edifice or impressive structure with heavenward pinnacles. All one needs is dedication tempered with unconditional love for fellowmen to become an effective mouthpiece of God on earth. In other words, all that such dedication needs is a big heart that throbs with LOVE.

 

I did not tie the couple up with a lengthy conversation as they had yet, to prepare the church for the ten o’clock worship…but I told myself that it won’t be the last of my visit.

 

Modern Evangelism

Modern Evangelism

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The onslaught of modern social technology that has somewhat shrunk the world and made different races closer to each other should be treated as a blessing, rather than a bane. Although, some sectors claim that to some degree, it has contributed to moral decadence, its positive contribution should also be given due recognition. No less than Pope Francis, himself, makes use of the technology in reaching out to the Roman Catholic flocks, especially, those wayward souls.

 

There are many things that can be done to make use of this cheap technology to spread the Words and with visual innovations for the messages to be directly and easily grasped. Some facebook users make use of this approach by framing the biblical passages, complete with colorful background. Inspiring messages of this sort sometimes find their way to thousands of facebook and twitter pages. Others enhance their presentation by providing it with music when displayed. Still others provide a line or two of their own as confirmation to the message that they have shared. This effort is exerted via the internet.

 

The simpler way of evangelizing is via text messages sent through the cellphone. Unlike in the internet in which the effort involve copying and pasting, with the cellphone, passages have to be diligently copied from the bible, enhanced sometimes with short interpretation. I am among the lucky beneficiaries of this kind of evangelism. Every morning of every day of the week, the first messages that my cellphone receives are two spiritual messages from text evangelists, one is from Deo Escarilla, former airline executive who is based in Davao and who sends out messages in English, while the other one is from Recy Aniversario, a police retiree, who is based in General Santos City and who uses Filipino. Both are from the island of Mindanao, south of the Philippines.

 

I would like to presume that the two evangelists would painstakingly check the pages of the bible days before to choose appropriate messages for the coming days. They must have felt that their messages that we receive at the first hour of the morning help perk us up, energize us for the whole day. This is true, as how can I not feel blessed with the spiritual reminders all the way from the far southern island of the Philippines, just before I start my day?  They may not be physically around to boost my spirit when I am down, but their ingenuity to reach out to me is more than enough to let me know that care knows no distance…thanks to modern technology.