In the last November issue of THE OUTLOOK, in which we told of God’s work in the Philippines as witnessed by the Rev. Dick Bouma, we expressed the hope of further sharing with you the wonders of God’s grace as manifested there. This time we should like to show how one convert quickly told someone else and how that started a chain of witnessing which God used to gather His sheep in the Philippines.
It all began with a Mr. Rodriques, a man in a white shirt, who approached the Rev. Bouma (as he backed his Volkswagen out of his gate) with the question, “Sir, may I ride with you tonight?”
“But,” said the missionary, “I’m going to conduct a Protestant religious service in Bogo City. Are you sure you want to go there?”
“O yes sir,” said Mr. R., “I know you are conducting religious services. I have been standing here, outside your gate, every Sunday morning, with my white shirt on, for four weeks, but you never ask me to go along.”
The missionary said, “Come in, sir.”
Mr· R. heard the minister preach on the ten virgins—five wise, five foolish. That the Holy Spirit used it to arrest Mr. R’s attention was evident from his readiness to go along again the very next morning, January, 1969, and when on the way he said to the pastor, “I’ve been trying to figure it out all night—am I among the five wise or the five foolish?” . . . the Lord was working through His Word in Mr. R’s heart. A month later, during which time he went to crusade meetings regularly with Pastor B., he responded to the Gospel, believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and dedicated his life to Jesus. “That week his wife also responded and joined him in making public admission of their need for the Savior.” Mr. R. had gone quickly to tell his wife.
This was only the beginning. Mr. Rodriques quickly told his friend and co-worker who with him was engaged in buying and selling at a farm market. He did this by frequently reading to Mr. Nova from their Uisayan Bible. This took place during the months of February and March of 1969. In April of 1969 Mr. R took friend Alfredo Nova along to Holy Week evangelistic meetings. Both helped with setting up the pastor’s equipment. After one of these meetings Alfredo was seen “standing quietly in the shadow near the platform.” Said the pastor, “Fred, what are you doing out there?”
“Sir,” he said, “when the invitation was given tonight, I thought I ought to respond to the Gospel, and so I came forward too. But there is no one to counsel me.” That night marked Alfredo’s conversion. So you see, through Rodriques who went quickly to tell, and through the Rev. Bouma whom Alfredo went quickly to hear, God brought in another sheep.
The chain continues. Mr. Nova and the Rev. Bouma communicated the Gospel through pictures to Alfredo’s deaf-mute wife. The result? Both made public profession of faith in 1970. Jewels for Christ’s crown, won through those who went quickly to tell.
The end is not yet! These two converts, Mr. R. and Mr· Nova, went quickly to tell their workers in a labor shop at the farmers market (only five blocks from the Bouma home). Since business was usually slow after 10 a. m., they relaxed and chatted together at the barber shop. The Castillo brothers were on the way to becoming witch doctors, openly telling their barber shop listeners about the powers of their books of black magic.
It was on one such morning that Mr. Rodriques and Mr. Nova overheard this story, after which Mr. R. held up his Bible and said:
“I have a book here which has more power in one page than all you!” books of black magic put together. And, if you want to see a living demonstration of the Bible’s power, then look over there at Fred Nova. You all know what kind of fellow he used to be. Well, the God of this book got hold of him and he is now a changed man—not by magic, but by a miracle.” (Fred had been a terrible-tempered old revolutionary.)
This led to the Castillos attending a Bible-study group the very next Wednesday evening with the desire “to know what kind of power is in that book which you gave to Mr. R. and Mr· Nova.” Mind you, “it took only four weeks and these Castillo men confessed their need of the Savior and received forgiveness and life from the Lord.” After three months they made public profession, were baptized, and burned their black-magic books before the assembled congregation.
The Castillos went quickly to tell their boss, Fred Selerio, who shortly after became a “real Christian.” Fred Selerio, in turn, hastened to expose his wife to the Gospel. She is the Mila about whom we wrote in last November’s issue of THE OUTLOOK. You may recall how she brought a nineteen year old first-degree murderer to Christ.
What a chain this is in the miracles of grace, sovereign grace! As you observed, converts turned into witnesses who went quickly to tell. Only God knows how many more links He added to the chain of which Mr. Rodriquez was the first link. Not really, because the Rev. Bouma was the link God used to bring in this man who, dressed in a white shirt, waited at the Bouma gate for a ride to the Protestant church.
“My Word shall never return void.” Take courage, ye servants and handmaidens of the Lord, wherever ye labor. His sheep will hear His voice and follow.