by: Cristopher C. Abadiez
Cris (left) with Nikko (right) during DLTC 2017 in Davao City. (Discipleship Leadership Training Camp)

I have a friend. We were classmates in USMKabacan and both finished the course Bachelor of Technical Teacher Education. In our later years in college, I remember how often he invited me to join their group but I refused to come due to time constraints. I was interested but truly I didn’t have much
of time.

Life is hard! Coming from a family of thirteen, being the ninth among the siblings, it was hard for my parents to send me to school. In my determination to pursue my studies, I worked for two years after my high school graduation to support my college education. Still, it seemed impossible for me to proceed to my goal until someone offered to help me in my 4-year degree course. So back then, I was a working student. I lived with this generous family for more than four years and left when I was in my senior years due to the demanding schedule. With only minimal support from my family and very limited resources, I strived to finish my last year in the university.

After my college graduation came the review for the board examination. Being independent with no stable resources, it was hard for me to sustain my review expenses. And then, I remember this friend, Nikko. My difficult situation prompted me to boldly ask for Nikko’s assistance. He willingly helped me and his IVCF group offered me a free lodging. I stayed in their IV-Home and only then did I get involved to what Nikko has been inviting me long before – fellowship and bible studies. The series of evangelistic discussions made me understand the gospel and after a week, I went into water baptism after I totally surrendered to Jesus as my Savior and Lord.

Rich exposures came subsequently during my early Christian days. I have attended the Peer-to-Peer training where I have discovered my deeper purpose as a Christian. After taking the board exam, I joined DLTC 2017 where I learned and practiced the essential spiritual disciplines. Right when I got home from the camp, I shared the gospel to my parents who first turned out to be unresponsive. Even so, I started to invite them to come with me in my new found local church where they eventually became regular attendees after being encouraged by the bible studies facilitated by my pastor in our home while I am away to work in Davao for two months. After passing the BLEPT (Board of Licensure Examination for Professional Teachers) last November 2017, I went back to our hometown to find another job and to be with my parents who now join with me in worshiping God.

But God is not done yet. He has engaged me in a more intimate relationship with Him through Kawayan Camp 2018. That same month, He has also opened an opportunity for me to serve Him through a ministry work. Made aware of the need, I started to consider and pray for it intentionally. With the affirming counsels of the community and with a strong conviction from the Lord, I responded to the invitation with my desire to also disciple students in IV-Home Kabacan.

Being the only college graduate and licensed professional in the family, I know they have expectations from me. But I have decided to pursue the work He has called me now. I trust that He will faithfully provide and that He will also use me, with this current platform, to minister to my siblings too. All glory to the ever-faithful God!

(Cris is the youth president of their local church (CAMACOP) in Makilala, Cotabato. He now serves as the new Staff Representative of the region in replacement to Ms. Josie Artos.)

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