When We Seek God and Stay Close to His Word
Mark Sumeguin from Mandaluyong, Philippines
In March 2020, the Philippine government implemented Enhanced Community Quarantine [ECQ] in the capital city due to the spread of COVID-19. It was not clear what would happen in Bacoor where our Bible Center was located, though it was somewhat far away from the capital city. So Brother Tirso and his wife Jane, who were building up their faith, wanted to preach to their family. The brother and the sister invited us to their house as my wife and I were working for the Bible Center in Bacoor. We could feel how earnest they were, so we hurried to go to Dasmariñas where they lived.
When we arrived there, their son and daughter, and the sister’s mother welcomed us in. After studying God’s deep and mysterious secrets through the Bible, they wanted to humbly receive the blessing of a new life. They promised to come to Zion to receive a new life and to keep the Third-day worship two days later.
We were joyfully waiting for the day, giving thanks to God. But then, something unexpected happened. The government imposed lockdown in the State of Cavite, too, where Dasmariñas belongs. We felt heavy as if a large stone had landed on our heart.
The brother and sister could have felt frustrated as their appointment unexpectedly got delayed, but they rather tried harder to stay close to God’s word and seek Him. During the period of lockdown, they graciously kept worship services online for two to three months, and every night, they asked us to teach them the Bible via video calls. They were surprised to learn the prophecies about Heavenly Father, which all were perfectly fulfilled without fail. Even though they could not go to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they had no source of income, they gave thanks and glory to God, saying, “We are even more blessed than before,” which really touched our hearts.
The brother could not go to work for about two months, but fortunately he was uniquely selected to go to work at the request of his CEO. Even though he became busy as before, his faith in God daily grew under God’s grace. During the Prayer Week of the Pentecost, the brother asked us if he could keep worship services earlier than the appointed time because he had to go to work early in the morning, but we calmly explained to him that the worship time must never be changed no matter what the circumstances. The next day, we received a text message from the brother that he kept the worship service on time and went to work. On the Day of Pentecost, his CEO asked him to come to work at 9 a.m., but he went to work earlier than usual, finished off all his tasks, and politely excused himself from the workplace around the worship time, so that he could graciously keep the worship service. Seeing the brother obey God’s word, his CEO came to trust him all the more. It was all thanks to God’s help.
As time went by, the government sequentially eased the lockdown. It meant that we were able to visit nearby cities even without a travel permit card. When we contacted the brother and the sister, they told us that their family were eagerly waiting to receive a new life. When we visited them, the sister’s mother said, “I sincerely want to keep all the worship services and the Passover as well. I’ve diligently read the Bible;” then she shared with us her realizations on reading the Bible and studying the Truth Books with her daughter and her son-in-law. That day, the sister’s mother became a member of the heavenly family together with her grandchildren. Thankfully, there were other members of the family in the house, and they also studied the Bible together. And Sister Jane’s younger brother came into God’s arms, hoping to receive salvation.
The members of the Bible Center in Bacoor were greatly moved by this story, and took courage to preach the New Covenant to their families and friends. I too received much realization, seeing the brother and the sister for a few months when there were many restrictions due to the lockdown. I learned that I should be ready at all times to share the spiritual food with whoever is waiting for the news of salvation, because God’s children long to learn God’s word no matter what the circumstances are.
Our Heavenly Father and Mother have granted us much spiritual food so that we may grow to be the royal priesthood who will reign forever in Heaven. Now my duty is to diligently share the truth of life with everyone, including my family and friends and brothers and sisters. That is the attitude that God’s prophets must have in this age.