February 12, 2018
Henry Lao used to be a farmer in the fields of Buguias, Benguet. To everyone who knows him, his joy and energy is contagious despite his old age. But what is the secret to the youthfulness of this 91-year-old man?
“Having a merry heart is what keeps my life active. There’s a lot to look forward to and be thankful for,” Henry said. “I’m merely following God’s orders, because He said in His Word, ‘Rejoice in the Lord always. Rejoice!’” he added, breaking into an even wider smile.
Henry is one of the natives in his town who regularly listens to the Bible in their own language, Kankanaey. For him, attending the Bible Listening Group (BLG) is the highlight of his routine. That is why he can quote passages like Philippians 4 in such a confident way. His neighbors would agree that he complements the cold climate in that part of the mountain province, being a warm, bouncing light radiating his joy in God.
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Sarah Nawadez, young as she is, knows the bitterness of wanting to take revenge against people who have offended her. This teenager from Daet, Camarines Norte soon found herself in the company of people who turned her thoughts around. In their weekly gathering, they listened together to Bible passages in their native language.
Not long into the BLG, Sarah learned that one should ‘turn the other cheek’ as stated in Matthew 5. It was the beginning of her heart transformation until she found herself becoming less and less offended by people around her. It’s like her perspective had changed significantly.
“Though His Word, I discovered that God is so much more enjoyable and exciting,” she said. “He is such a great example in many things especially in my daily life. What He says is the most important thing to me. I hope to follow His teachings faithfully.”
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“I had a dream five years ago,” said Eden, leaning back comfortably in his wooden seat. Within the compound of his local parish in San Fernando, Pampanga, his everyday backdrop is a small tree garden with birds chirping and children happily running around. But life used to be different. He was a person who would never go anywhere near a church.
“God turned my life several years ago, when I started reading the Bible,” Eden recalled. “It was not an instant process. God changed me little by little and taught me lovingly.”
In his younger years, Eden was a slave to vices and alcohol. Today, 16 years later, he is unrecognizable. “I have become a new person,” he added. “But it doesn’t seem to get less exciting even after a long time. I always think about God and how I can please Him.”
He had found himself in the service of his local parish and apostolate. And five years from the time he started serving, God flourished the ministry beyond his hopes. More and more residents are coming to seek counsel, serve, and support in some way.
Another opportunity landed on his hands as he receives a new assignment: to lead a Bible Listening Group. His weekly routine would now include gathering a number of hungry souls and let God speak in their own language – through the Pampango New Testament audio player given to him.
Armed with his new resources, Eden looks forward to the group sessions that will be held in their compound, saying, “I feel secure and nearer to God. He has led me to serve in this church. And I will be here to stay.”
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Like Eden, Sarah, and Henry, thousands of other people have heard God’s life-giving Word through the Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) ministry. Young and old alike have access to God’s nourishment, care, and instruction – even if they live along the riverside, at a mountaintop, or in valleys. Find out how you can support this audio Bible ministry here.