ACMI core leaders
take stock of past gains, future opportunities
Closed to 120 Core leaders of the Arise Christian Ministries together with their family members massed at the to-be refurbished beach resort in Naawan, Misamis Oriental for a needed retreat cum annual umbrella meeting this 3rd and 4th day of April 2015 to take stock of past gains, weigh on challenges, and determine opportunities that lie ahead.
Presided by Ptr. Santiago “Ago” Evasco, Jr., the two-day gathering breezed through with nary a hitch, while bright spots of advancements and developments in ministry areas based on reports shared by core leaders dominated the meeting.
Just a run down, core leaders from several ministry areas shared that they have aggressively firmed up their gatherings by purchasing lots and/or establishing their respective fellowship centers.
Leaders from Butuan Ministry divulged that they had conducted intervention programs for Typhoon Yolanda survivors in league with TESDA and the God’s Shoe Strings International, Inc. (GSSII) by providing skills trainings such as pedicure, manicure, haircutting, and electrical wiring installations plus appropriate tool kits to shore the survivors up in their livelihood pursuits. Through GSSII also, the Butuan Leaders have been able to support several high school and college students with many of them having graduated already. Such scholarship program is not unique to the Butuan Ministry though; it is likewise implemented by other ministry areas in various schemes.
The San Francisco Ministry reported that it has money reserved for those who would like to avail of scholarship support, but that “there are no takers yet.” When asked if other ministry areas can avail, Sis. Annie Gunay replied that the support is intended preferably for those within their ministry area only.
The Midsayap Ministry Leaders also narrated their sustained zeal of serving the Lord in mountainous areas of Cotabato. This time, they have opened up another frontier in God’s vineyard by making positive overtures to a group of families living in Banocagon, which is part of the town of Pigcawayan, Cotabato.
Level I Water System, which has become a blessing to the community people, was likewise constructed at the hinterlands of Malahuni in Brgy. Camagong of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte through a team led by Ptr. Bernie Mendoza and with funding support from the Givers Trust International. The said location is actually home to many Higaonon brethren who have been nurtured by Pastor Nena Araza of the Nasipit Ministry.
Based on eyewitness account of those brethren who constructed the water system, the Higaonons clapped their hands in glee and even shouted in excitement when they first saw water gushing out near their residential area shortly after the project’s completion. According to Nay Malaynon, their long dream has become a reality after waiting for a long number of years.
Nasipit Ministry, claiming that it has started establishing a multi-purpose building, could only share that at its initial stage the structure has yet “no walls no ceilings, no floors.” But with a big vision, backed up by a mustard faith, the leaders are positive that it will be realized into completion later on via collaboration with other ministry areas and well-meaning funding institutions.
Core Leaders likewise tackled several package of assistance or support to different ministry areas, foremost of which are the motorcycles for mobility and cows for fattening and reproduction.
As a biennial training course on Missions, Dr. Franco Teves urged those leaders who are willing and available to suit up for the training in order to understand missionary work and capacitate themselves with respect to its nitty-gritty and challenges. As a proactive measure, he urged those interested to do advance readings on Biblical books such as Genesis, Exodus, Daniel, the Four Gospels, Acts, Romans, Hebrews, and Revelations.
He further encouraged them to read books like “Timothy Principle”. Quick outline of the course, based on his presentation, revealed that participants will learn modules such as homiletics and hermeneutics, how to form a missionary team, culture understanding, spiritual warfare, being a family man while doing a missionary work, dealing with sexual temptations, relation to other Christian agencies, reaching the tribes, and tent-making ministry.
The Mission Training schedule, he shared, would be from May 1 to 11, 2015, with graduation ceremony happening at the end of the course. There will be a mission exposure on May 12 to 14, 2015 as a follow up or practicum.
Engr. David Tauli, Arise Foundation President, discussed about the imperatives of the Foundation and also of the Ministry to engage in ventures that would raise funds for the Lord’s vineyard. As a case in point, he cited the possibility of the Solar PV as one option or recourse to realize the dream.
Furthermore, during his message to the congregation on the second day, he pointed out that there are two types of people – the sinful or selfish people and the righteous people. Using the text in Romans 8:1-9, he provided an in-depth comparative exposition regarding the two types of people. He concluded his message by remarking that “Whatever we do in the Spirit is greater than all being done outside of the Spirit. And that which we are doing will be multiplied by the Spirit.” As an icing to the cake, he quoted the lines of an old Christian song, to wit: “To see him more clearly, follow him more closely, love him more dearly.”
Ministry Areas per regional geographical location likewise reported about youth conferences that they held in their respective jurisdictions or areas of responsibility.
As a sign of further expansion, the ACMI Umbrella in Cagayan de Oro City will be welcoming to its fold Sis Terry Bolo effective June 2015 as its newest missionary. Also, additional number of Core Leaders and even Second Line Leaders coming from all regional areas of ACMI took their oath and were received and welcomed by the congregation.
Dr. Felina Mendoza likewise shared about ACMI’s doctrinal stand with respect to statement of faith on resurrection. She predicated her talk with the realities of upcoming judgment for those who are stubborn and unrepentant (Romans 2:5, 6). As a fundamental doctrine, she pointed out that “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.” – John 3:36.
In light of said truth and consequence, she urged and challenged the congregation to “stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor is not in vain.” – I Corinthians 15:58.
At the bottom line, she inspired the congregation with the lines in Daniel 12:3, to wit: “Those who are wise will shine like brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
Finally, it was decided that ACMI will hold a national conference come year 2016 with Dr. Fernando Herrrera of the Butuan Ministry being tasked to step on the plate as the overall conference chair. (By: Gervacio C. Dauz, Jr.)