Monday, June 21, 2010

The Partition of Palestine

What Really Happened at the United Nations in 1947

"Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children…" Isaiah 66:8

The story behind the partition of Palestine, which led to the creation of the State of Israel one year later, is a saga that may very well be entitled, "Against All Odds" or "The Greatest Miracle." It is a suspense-filled drama of raging passions, pressure, blackmail, crises, complete with all the elements of fictional order, culminating in the birth of a nation that came into being as a miracle.

Many believe in error that it was the Philippine vote that broke the tie that went on for several days at the United Nations votation, while pro and anti-Zionist forces raged against each other behind the scenes from Washington to New York, with repercussions felt from Manila to as far away as Buenos Aires.

The Philippines was the only Asian country that voted for the resolution of Palestine at the United Nations in 1947. However, contrary to what is generally known among Filipinos, the Philippine delegation did not cast the deciding vote that made Israel a nation one year later. At one point, the Philippine vote would have been the tie-breaker, but by the time the Philippine delegation went to cast its vote in favor of partition, Haiti had changed its earlier "no" vote to "yes. Thus, it was no longer a tie.

Carlos P. Romulo, the Philippine representative to the United Nations at that time, and who later became president of the UN General Assembly and Security Council, wrote in his memoirs, Romulo, A Third World Soldier at the UN, "The most unpopular stand the Philippines took was over the proposed partition of Palestine to create the State of Israel. At first, the Philippines opposed partition" (Romulo & Romulo, 1987). According to Romulo, he had discussed the issue with then President Manuel Roxas, who was also against it for the reason that he believed "partitioning would mean potential danger in the peace of the world, and the Arabs would never accept it." Furthermore, Roxas believed that it would cause friction in the Middle East and establish a precedent, citing the situation in Mindanao which, while the Philippines was still a Commonwealth, was once proposed to be segregated from the rest of the country, prior to our gaining independence from the United States. On his part, Romulo felt that "to carve out a country from an already populated land would create a trouble spot that would continue to fester, which it has."

The Philippines had delivered the first statement against partition, and many believed that it might be the deciding vote, considering the fact that the Arab countries would naturally vote against it as well. The speech that Romulo made had caused so much ire among the nations, and as he went out of the UN Bldg. afterwards, he was met with boos and hisses from an angry crowd of demonstrators made up mostly of Jewish students. An avalanche of phone calls came during the following days from people who supported the Zionist cause, angrily and passionately protesting the Philippine stand, and asking him to change his position; but under instructions from President Roxas, Romulo maintained his opposition to the partition issue.

After two days, President Roxas called Romulo to reverse the Philippine stand for reasons of national interest. The United States Congress was threatening to withdraw any further aid to the Philippines, and only a "yes" vote would stop the threat. Because of this instruction to reverse the Philippine position, Romulo tendered his resignation as Philippine delegate to the UN, but after an explanation from President Roxas, he withdrew his resignation and continued on in his UN post.

In his memoirs, Romulo wrote: "Actually as I pieced it all together later, it was not President Roxas who had reversed himself. It was our ambassador in Washington, Mike Elizalde who had taken it upon himself to force our delegation to vote in favor of partition. He had called my surrogate, Judge Ingles, and told him the Philippines must vote with the United States and implied that he had authority from Roxas, which was not precisely true. When Ingles tried to contact me, a storm at sea prevented the call from getting through, and had then tried to clear directly from the President. What the President had actually advised was that the Philippines, considering the pressure from the US Congress, which Elizalde described, should abstain. But Elizalde felt we must go one step further, and took it upon himself to insist on the vote. Congress was threatening to cut off further aid to the Philippines, and only a vote in support of partition would appease it."

The pressure exerted upon the Philippines by the US government to vote in favor of partition is included in a website, citing the writings of Michael Comay, head of the Jewish Agency at that time and who wrote accounts of how President Truman's administration vigorously worked on positive votes for what was known as UN Resolution 181. According to the website, two members of the UN Supreme Court cabled President Manuel Roxas, threatening him with negative consequences to Philippine interests in America if the Philippines did not change its vote from "no" to "yes." Ten US senators allegedly sent the President similar threats. There were seven bills which would impact the Philippines pending in the US Congress at that time. Finally on the eleventh hour, an aide of President Truman conferred with Philippine Ambassador to the US Mike Elizalde in Washington. Thus, the change of stand.

Meanwhile in Washington, another drama was raging: pro and anti-Zionist forces were fighting it out against each other. In favor of the Jews' desire for a homeland, President Truman defied all threats and pressures on him. A high-ranking official in the Truman cabinet who had done business with the Nazis during the war was against a Jewish state, and was coordinating opposition within the US government. Vote on partition required a two-thirds majority to pass, and three related votes were held before the UN's Ad Hoc Committee to test run for the actual partition vote. On November 25, 1947, the matter of partition did get referred to the General Assembly, although there were only 25 in support and 13 votes against. The Jews had only three days to win enough votes; otherwise, they could lose their dream of a Jewish homeland.

Behind the scenes, key Zionist personalities vigorously worked to get the extra vote needed to win the partition issue. Desperate, some had resorted to blackmail by practically holding a figurative gun to the head of a very powerful American businessman who held sway over most of the Latin American countries and could influence their votes. A comprehensive dossier of the American businessman's financial dealings with the Nazis during the war had been compiled by the Zionists and shown to the business tycoon. Under threat of his Nazi connections being exposed, he agreed to get the extra votes needed to win the partition issue, for as long as the Jews kept quiet about his Nazi business connections and the haven he had given German war criminals in South America. Within three days, the American business tycoon was able to successfully convince his Latin American governmental and business contacts to change their earlier votes. Brazil and Haiti, who had voted "no" on November 26, voted "yes" on November 29. Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador voted in favor where they had previously abstained. Argentina, Colombia and El Salvador who had voted against, now abstained.

Finally, the vote was 33 for and 13 against with 10 abstentions. The Resolution was approved by the United Nations 128th Plenary Session on November 29, 1947. The vote was as follows: voting yes were – Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of South Africa, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United States of America, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Voting against were – Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen.

Abstaining were Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Yugoslavia.

And the State of Israel was born – on May 4, 1948, against all odds, and as the greatest miracle of all time so that Scripture would be fulfilled!

Monday, November 26, 2007


By Josefina Brobio

The largest flag in the world, as certified and recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records, is the American Super Flag that was unfurled in Hoover Dam, Nevada, U.S.A. 10 years ago. Measuring 154 meters long and 77.7 meters wide, it covers an area of 12,050 square meters.

Today, two larger flags have rendered the American Super Flag “super flag no more.” On November 25, 2007, these two giant flags - the flag of the State of Israel and the flag of the Republic of the Philippines will be unfurled in Masada, Bar Yeuda, Israel, surpassing the American Super Flag in size by approximately 30 percent, or 8,000 square meters bigger. Each flag measures 330 feet x 660 meters, and covers an area of 20,000 square meters, the size of two football fields. The giant Israel flag weighs 5.2 metric tons, while the Philippine flag has an approximate weight of 3.8 metric tons.

It took 14,900 yards of nylon taffeta cloth, 1,250 yards of satin and 70 yards of canvas, and required 18 rolls each of white, red, and blue thread, and 12 rolls of yellow gold thread to make the Philippine flag. On the other hand, the flag of the State of Israel consumed 16,200 yards of royal blue and 6,010 yards of white pongee cloth. Ten seamstresses worked non-stop 12 hours a day, starting on August 6, 2006 until September 16, 2006 to finish the Philippine flag. Work on the flag of the State of Israel commenced on November 14, 2006; it was completed on Dec 7 of the same year. An artist master cutter assisted by 40 volunteers continuously cut the strips of cloth needed to complete the two giant flags..

Made in the Philippines and transported by cargo ship to Israel, the approximate cost of both flags is placed at US$500,000.00, a humungous amount that is definitely a “splurge” for Filipino entrepreneur Grace Galindez-Gupana, who made the flags to make a statement of her lavish love for Israel and the Jewish people. By unfurling it in Israel, she wants to beckon to all peoples and lift up Israel over the nations to tell them, Israel is not just any nation; it is God’s plan for the nations.

On September 16, 2006, the largest Philippine flag was unfurled in Mt. Inordenan, Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya, the Philippines. Three hundred volunteers held the giant flag on its four sides and let it lay on a trellis of aluminum cables suspended about three feet above the ground. The event, which was witnessed by tens of thousands of people from all walks of life, was a joyous time of celebration of the fulfillment of a vision that Mrs. Gupana had received to build and unfurl the giant flag; however, the celebration was cut short. A sudden gust of very strong winds tore and ripped the Philippine flag apart. Repairs and restoration work on it were done, and on July 7, 2007, the giant Philippine flag was again unfurled together with the giant flag of the State of Israel in San Mateo, Rizal, the Philippines. On the same occasion, two giant flags of North and South Korea were also laid out as a prophetic gesture for the unification of the two countries, which had been separated as a result of the Korean War in 1950-1953.

The July 7, 2007 event was a celebration of three very significant “7s”: the 40th Anniversary of the Retaking of the City of Jerusalem, which happened on June 7, 1967, the Jubilee of the Diplomatic Ties Between the Philippines and Israel, which had its beginning in 1957, and the Centennial of the Spiritual Revival of Korea, which took place in 1907.


Several key events punctuate the long and very special relationship between the Philippines and Israel. The diplomatic ties between the two countries was formally established in August 1957 with the appointment of an honorary consul in Israel, however it is believed that the Philippines’ connection to the Jewish people started as early as March 15, 1521 when Magellan discovered the Philippines. With him in his ships and in the succeeding expeditions of Spanish conquistadores were Marrano Jews, who were fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. History records that many of them found a safe haven in the Philippines, and eventually pioneered and established major businesses and industries in the country, such as the forerunner of the airline industry, the first radio station and newspaper, car dealerships, the transportation, embroidery and textile industries, etc. Thus, even today, it is not surprising to find Jewish people, or Filipinos with Jewish roots in the most unlikely places as Tabaco, Albay or in the smaller towns in the island of Samar.

In 1939, the Philippines adopted an Open Door policy, welcoming Jewish people escaping the terrors of the Holocaust in Europe. President Manuel L. Quezon, the first president of the Philippine Commonwealth, made available 10,000 visas for them and donated 10 hectares of land in Marikina City where they could settle.

In the United Nations votation for the Partition of Palestine to create a Jewish homeland, the Philippines was the only country in Asia that voted in favor.

After the appointment of an honorary consul in August 1957, full diplomatic ties between the two countries was established with the opening of full-fledged embassies in Tel Aviv and in Manila in 1962. Since then, Israel and the Philippines have enjoyed a warm, cordial and friendly relationship in all spheres. Through Israel’s MASHAV program, the Philippines have benefited from technical and scientific assistance, and cultural and academic exchanges. Since then, the Holy Land has since become a favorite destination among Filipinos. Israeli owned businesses continue to have a very strong presence in the Philippine markets, especially in the telecommunications and electronics industry, and in agriculture.

And today, 50,000 Filipinos are in Israel, taking care of its elderly, babies, the sick and handicapped, and assisting Israeli mothers in household chores.

The relationship between the two countries is indeed a very special one: so special that we can almost brand Filipinos as the “chosen for His chosen people!”

It is for this reason that the giant flag of Israel was raised on July 7, 2007, and why it is being unfurled in Israel on November 25, 2007.

More than these, however, the unfurling of the flag of Israel finds a much deeper meaning in the Biblical verses that inspired Grace Galindez-Gupana to make the giant flags:
“From the islands of the sea, He will lift up a standard for the nations and assemble the banished ones of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. “ (Isaiah 11:11b, 12)


Mrs. Grace Galindez-Gupana, the prime mover behind this entire project, is president of HalleluYah Prophetic Global Ministries Foundation and PG Prayer Intercessors for the Nations, Philippines. She is Vice-President/CEO of ABS GEN Herbs International Corporation and PhilHerbs Nutraceuticals Laboratory.

Program Organizers and Partners
Mr. Daniel and Vered-Chen Rozen, Founders-Directors
Jerusalem Foundation Living Stone Association - Israel

Mrs. Evelyn Klimosky
Jerusalem, Israel

Ms. Josefina Brobio, President
Makati City, Philippines

Mr. Samuel Smadja, Owner-General Manager
SAR-El Tours, Israel

Ms. Yael Zaoui, Operations Manager
SAR-EL Tours, Israel

Mr. Akram Albasel, Manager
Asian Department

Mr. Raphael Ben-Hur
Senior Deputy Director-General
Ministry of Tourism, Israel:

Mr. Even-Zahav
Director for Africa, Asia, Oceania and Far East
Ministry of Tourism, Israel:

Municpal Government of Masada, Israel

Mr. Reuven Hershkovitch, Managing Director
Mr. Eyal Moyal, Manager
Lod, Israel

Friday, August 24, 2007

Israel and the Philippines Celebrate Jubilee of Diplomatic Ties

Israel and the Philippines Celebrate Jubilee of Diplomatic Ties

“Golden Years of Friendship and Care – Building on Common Values” This is the overall theme of this year’s events celebrating the special relationship between Israel and the Philippines. The festive events and activities, which started with the participation of the Philippines in an international parade in Holon, Israel on Purim last February, will culminate in the unveiling of a monument called “Open Doors” on November 9, 2007 at the Holocaust Memorial in Rishon Lezion.

The monument, which has been reserved a prominent site inside the Holocaust Memorial by the Mayor of Rishon LeZion, is aimed at memorializing the Philippines’ warm gesture in welcoming Jews to the country as they fled Nazi Germany in 1935, and the long relationship between Filipinos and the Jewish people, which is believed to have started as early as the arrival of Magellan in the island of Mactan.

Well-known Filipino artist Junyee was chosen by a Board Judges in a nationwide competition organized by the Philippine government through the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) for a design that will best exemplify the humanitarian acts of the Filipinos for the Jews escaping the Holocaust. Junyee bested eight other artists, including a national artist and two other top Filipino sculptors with his “Open Doors” monument. Adjudged as the most fitting symbol of the Filipino’s historical friendship and support of the Jews as well as for the 50 years of Philippine-Israel diplomatic relations, the monument will be constructed in Manila. It will be made up of three triangular open doors in increasing height, symbolizing the courage and humanitarian deeds of the Filipino people in welcoming the Jews escaping the Holocaust. According to the artist, the triangular pattern of the open doors represent the triangles of the Philippine flag and the star of David that were joined to mark the close and friendly relations between the Philippines and Israel as the two nations celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in August 1957. The light represents the sun that brought the hope and the warm hospitality of the Filipino people as they welcomed the Jews in 1930..

In the Philippines plans are underway among several Christian groups to honor Israel and the Jewish people. More than 200 pilgrims have registered with Ephesus Travel to attend the unveiling ceremonies in Rishon LeZion. In what has been dubbed "Golden Journey to the Holy Land," a tour package has been prepared by Ephesus in cooperation with Israel's Ministry of Tourism and El Al at a very low cost. Other activities lined up include a concert in Tel Aviv of Filipino performers and publication of a coffee table book.

The Philippines is home to a thriving Jewish community made up of about 500 members, who are mostly into business. They dominate the telecommunications industry with almost every Israeli telecom company having a very strong presence in the country - ECI (Electronics Corporation of Israel), COMVERSE, OPCOM, CORRIGENT , CELTRO, BATM Telco Systems, Elad Communications, FiberCity, FiberTel, FiberCom, etc. Israeli farming technology, which was introduced by NETAFIM some years before, has been adopted in several corporate farms in the country, providing Filipino consumers with vegetables like the ones found in Israel: the large red, green, yellow and purple bell peppers, cucumbers, herbs, cantaloupes and honey dews, among others.

Jewish presence in the Philippines, however, dates back centuries before. Marranos or “New Christians” who converted to Christianity to avoid persecution, or Crypto-Jews, as they were called, fleeing the Spanish Inquisition during the 16th to 18th centuries, found a safe haven in the Philippines. These were followed in the 19th century by Alsatian Jews fleeing the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian War, then by Syrian Jews fleeing persecution in Damascus. Thus today, it is not surprising to find Jewish people in various places in the Philippines, even in the most unlikely places like Tabaco and Ligao, Albay, or in the smaller towns in the province of Samar. Among the earliest known Jewish-owned businesses were the diamond store, La Estrella del Norte and Oceanic Commercial in Escolta. Before these, there was Botica Zobel, set up by one of the earliest known Jewish arrivals in the country – Jacobo Zobel Hinsch, a German Jew from Hamburg and his wealthy Creole wife.

After the battle of Manila Bay on May 1, 1898 and the Philippines became an American colony, some Jewish American soldiers were among those sent as “Thomasites” who helped provide free education to Filipinos. Many eventually settled in the Philippines and opened up businesses. An influx of American Jews followed, and at the same time, Russian Jews fleeing the Czar, the Bolshevik Revolution and the Russian Civil War, found their way to the Philippines.

At the end of World War I, a number of German and Austrian Jews arrived in the Philippines. At this time, an ornate, conservative synagogue was built along Taft Avenue, and a cemetery was consecrated one year after. Named Temple Emil, after its principal benefactor, Emil Bacharach, the place is now the site of the AVON Bldg.

In the following years before World War II, members of the Jewish community numbered about 1200 to 2000. Most were responsible for putting up the Philippines’ first modern department stores, its first automobile dealership, the embroidery, clothing and tobacco industries, the country’s first radio station and newspaper, even the forerunner of what is now Philippine Airlines. Notable also among the members of the Jewish community was Dr. Herbert Zipper, who became conductor of the Manila Symphony Orchestra.

The outbreak of the second World War brought another influx of Jewish immigrants. President Manuel Quezon welcomed 10,000 Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust and granted them 10 hectares of land in Marikina.

In the United Nations votation to partition Palestine and create the nation of Israel on November 29, 1947, the Philippines was the only Asian country to vote in favor. A diplomatic presence was soon created with the appointment of an honorary consul, and on May 13, 1957, full diplomatic relations was established between the two countries. The late Prime Minister Golda Meir, who was then Foreign Minister, came to the Philippines for a state visit and was granted an honorary degree at the Ateneo de Manila.

There are more than 40,000 Filipino workers in Israel, most of whom are caregivers to the Jewish elderly. They are scattered all over Israel, from the northernmost village of Metullah to the southernmost port city of Eilat, and you see them everywhere pushing wheelchairs, accompanying the Jewish elderly. Each Saturday after Shabbat until Sunday, they practically fill the Takana Merkazit, or the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv and Neeveshanan, where the Oriental stores are located. Most of these metaplot (Hebrew for caregivers; metapelet, singular) speak Hebrew fluently; some even read and write Hebrew, and still some others speak the language of their safta or saba (grandmother or grandfather in Hebrew) who may not be able to speak Hebrew but the language of the country where they came from. The highest paid caregivers in the Middle East, these caregivers all have personal stories to tell. Some are blessed with good employers who treat them like family. There are some, however, who only have horror stories, of one mean employer after the other, and of agencies who have taken advantage of them..

Two magazines published in Tel Aviv cater to the Filipino community in Israel: Manila Tel Aviv and Focal Magazine. A potpourri of news from the Philippines, movie gossip, features of various people and information on workers' rights keep them informed and entertained. An organization called the Mesila, which is made up of both foreign workers from different countries and human rights activists, provides them with counseling and help with legal problems.

There are 13 Filipino evangelical and full-gospel churches in Israel, organized into one umbrella organization called In His Care Ministry Leadership Network, with a combined congregation of approximately 5,000. These churches are located mostly in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Netanya, Haifa and Eilat.

Indeed we have a very special relationship with Israel and the Jewish people. It is a God-ordained connection that many Filipinos believe we have been “Chosen for His Chosen People” to love and bless them.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Total Surrender

Total Surrender

The healing I experienced from the eight myomas that were found in my ovaries did not come easy, but taught me several very important lessons about God and how He works in our lives. When the diagnosis was established, and the verdict that there was no alternative but my most dreaded surgery, I had claimed and hung on to every promise I could find in the Bible regarding healing. Reminding myself day and night that the truth, which is the Word of God is greater than the fact, or the diagnosis, I stubbornly maintained that I did not have to go through surgery because God had healed me because His Word said so. However, as the days wore on, my tummy started to grow big until I looked like five or six months pregnant. After six months, the discomfort was so great I could hardly sit up longer than an hour or carry anything heavy, not even my purse.

It seemed like I had reached the end of the rope and must make a decision. Early in the year, I had already testified about my healing before a large gathering and have been prayed over by so many people. Now I was beginning to fear that I might have to take back my claims.

Remembering the word of Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together…” I brought my case before the Lord and poured out my heart to Him like water. I was scared of surgery and have a very low tolerance for pain. Years before, I almost had a heart attack from anesthesia for my dental implants. Besides I had no money and no medical insurance. Humbly, I surrendered everything to Him. I realized there wasn’t anything I could do, so I told God that if He wanted me to go through surgery, I was now willing to go. At the same time, I humbly reminded the Lord that all these years I had worked for this ministry that blesses Israel without remuneration, and I had faithfully remained in Him despite the hardships involved. Then the answer came: Yes, He would heal me! He gave me His word in John 15:7, If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”

Within an hour after I prayed, I took a bus to St. Luke’s Hospital. As soon as I was seated, my cell phone rang. It was a dear sister in the Lord who heads the Philippine office of a worldwide ministry. She said she prayed that whatever it takes, she was going to spend for my hospitalization. She had actually set aside P50,000.00 for my surgery. I could not stop the tears welling up in my eyes as I felt the love of Jesus through that phone call. Then my son Johann called. He had bought me medical insurance, and he said that it would cover my surgery up to P100,000. I was ready to get off the bus before I lose control of my emotions when another phone call came. Another friend was providing me a special nurse during my hospital stay and post surgical recovery! Now I could no longer hold my tears, feeling the intense love of Jesus enfolding me. When I got to St. Luke’s, my obstetrician scheduled my surgery and ordered a repeat ultrasound to see how the myomas had grown. To everyone’s surprise, the results showed no myomas anywhere! Not one of the eight that were originally seen in the ultrasound could be found anymore. We could not stop praising God as we could hardly believe what happened.

There are three important and valuable lessons I learned from my experience. God is the One who calls the shots. He is God and there is no other. Even if He said that by the stripes of Jesus we have already been healed, it is He Who makes the decision as to how and when He will heal us. It is not for us to decide how and when we want to be healed. Our life is not our own. He owns us; even our bodies belong to Him. Therefore He demands total surrender of our will to His sovereign will. Not our will but His will be done in our lives!

God is our Provider. He will most certainly meet all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Psalm 23, Philippians 4:19) Remember that the earth is His and all that is in it. It is He Who works in everyone of us to will and to do according to His good purpose. With Him there is no lack. He has vast and enormous resources both in heaven and on earth which He can and will marshal to meet our needs and accomplish His plans and purpose. And He never sends us empty handed anywhere, but He will equip us with everything we need when we don’t have what it takes to obey Him (Philippians 4:13)

God is a reasonable and just God. He invites us to present our case to Him, and He will listen to our petitions and complaints (Isaiah 1:18, Philippians 4:6) Like the loving Father that He is, He is so patient with us. He wants to take us aside and be intimate with us. The problems that beset us, the needs, the concerns – all these are just occasions He uses to call us to Himself so He can demonstrate just how much He loves us and give us His best. “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute, he will not despise our plea.” (Psalm 102:17)

Remember, the Lord loves us so much He wants only the best for us. You and I can rest assured that He will not allow anything to happen to us apart from His perfect will for our lives, but will continue to work out all things together for our good! ( Romans 8:28)

Living It Up

Living the Abundant Life

Living It Up

When you reach my age and you’re diagnosed with a dreaded disease, all of a sudden the imperative to tie the loose ends of your life becomes top priority; in fact, it becomes your only objective. “Clean as you go,” a sign at a fast food chain demands of its workers. That’s what you do when you’re in such a situation. You live on a day-to-day basis, as you never know if it would be the last day of your life. You do everything with gusto, always aware that the opportunity might never come again. Praise and thanksgiving for the grace and mercy of God is more intense since you realize that there is much more to be done and you don’t have all that it takes to do them, but the grace and mercy of God sustains you each day.

The moment I am awake I immediately thank the Lord that I am alive and can get up and go. I know that one wrong move, or one wrong turn could bring my world literally upside down. I could go whirling again and could then be immobilized. Then moment by moment, I have to look unto Him for directions and guidance on what to do. As the Psalmist says, “As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy.. (Ps 123:2).

Many people were alarmed about the diagnosis, about me having a cyst in the cerebellum. Friends and family, thinking that I am bed ridden and about to go, have come to visit, but were surprised to see me busier than ever. Yes, I am too busy, I have had no time to entertain the brain cyst! I am in the middle of what the Lord is doing through me, and am so privileged and blessed to be of some use in His kingdom.

So what can I say now? Once in a while, the thought that I could go anytime comes up, yet I know that I can put my trust in Him, my Abba, that His is the perfect schedule, the perfect timing, the perfect plan. My life, as your life, is in His hands. He wants only the best for you and I, and He knows what is best for us for He knows us better than we know ourselves. He will never allow anything to happen to us apart from His perfect will for our lives, but He will continue to work out all things together for our good. These things I know and have proven for the last 30 years that I have shared a profound intimacy with Him, having entrusted my life under His sovereign management. He is our loving Shepherd, and He will heal us in His perfect time and in the way He deems best. That is what He did with the eight myomas in my uterus two years ago, and He is able to do that with the brain cyst this time.

That is the assurance we have in the Lord. He will never leave us nor forsake us. We can have great hope in Him because He is in control and we can be sure that He wants only the best for us. Fear of death should have no place in our minds, knowing that our physical death would only mean going home to the Father, to a greater and more profound experience of heaven, which we have already begun to experience here and now. That’s living abundantly!

The Truth That Sets Free

The Truth That Sets Free

"…and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free…" John 8:32

One of the most significant milestones in my Christian walk is when I received the very powerful revelation that TRUTH NULLIFIES FACT. TRUTH IS GREATER AND MORE POWERFUL THAN FACT! What is TRUTH? And what is fact?

Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the life…."(John 14:6) As He prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, He said, "Lord, your Word is Truth. Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy Word is Truth." (John 17:17) Before that He told His disciples, " I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear. But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all Truth." (John 16:12-13)

This revelation gave me a boldness and confidence in prayer that transformed my life and changed my testimony. Before I used to say that since I came home to the Philippines, my life had been a series of one difficulty after another. For several years I could not get over the "transplant shock" as I moved from my comfortable life in America, leaving behind a lucrative medical transcription business to zero means of living in the Philippines. The obstacles to continue following Christ were just too daunting, and I was beginning to lose hope that I, like a cut-off pruned branch, would ever take root again. Then one day the Lord spoke to me almost audibly. "My Word is Truth!" I thought about it long and hard. Then I embarked on a diligent search of the Scriptures, listing down every Truth that nullified the Facts that I was seeing with my eyes. I was penniless, homeless, and sick, with four children to feed and send to school. This was the Philippines, not America, and all I had was hope, hope that was slowly dissipating.

The facts? The fact was the ultrasound results revealed multiple myomas in my uterus, and four specialists had said surgery was the only remedy. The Truth, however, is Jesus bore on His body all my infirmities and by His stripes I have been healed (Isaiah 53:5; 1Peter 2:4). Moreover, Jesus Himself said, "Have faith in God. I tell you the Truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go throw yourself into the sea' and not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." (Mark 11:24) The fact was the rice bin was empty and it was almost dinnertime. But the Truth is, Our God will meet all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) He Who is concerned about the birds and feeds them, is likewise concerned about us and will feed us, even richly provide us with everything we need even for our enjoyment (Matt 5:26), 1Tim 6:17) The fact was the Meralco (power) bill showed a notice of disconnection due tomorrow. But the Truth is, "No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame." (Psalm 25:3)

When we know that we know that what we are praying is the Truth, we can have that boldness and the confidence to stand our ground that what we are asking for is God's will for us. As believers, we have been given the privilege of being called His children (John 1:12), so with confidence we can say, "Our Father Who is in heaven," and we can say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, My God in Him will I trust." (Psalm 91:1) My boldness to come to Him is rooted in the knowledge of the Truth that He is my Heavenly Father, my Abba, my loving Shepherd, my Provider, my Healer, my Strength, my Husband, my Maker, the Father of the fatherless, which makes Him the Father of my fatherless children (Psalm 10:14, Isaiah 54:5).

What else is Truth? Our privilege as believers comes with a package of blessings which is summarized in 1 Peter 1:3: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him Who called us by His own glory and goodness." Furthermore we have been made recipients of the covenant promises God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through the blood of Jesus. He will maintain His love for us and His covenant with us shall never fail." (Psalm 89:28). "And we know that no matter how many promises God has made, they are all "Yes" in Christ. And so through Him, the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God." (2 Cor 1:20). Finally, the knowledge of His omnipresence should give us confidence in the Truth that the moment we call upon Him, heaven's door are flung wide open and we are face-to-face with Jesus, His light shining from the throne of grace upon us, and we can be sure that He is hearing every word we are saying (Hebrews 4:16). Equipped with the knowledge of these Truths, we can then act with authority (Luke 9:1). Luke 10:19, Matt 28:18, Rev 12:10)

All these, however, come to nothing if there is sin in our lives. When the enemy can make no claims on us, if he cannot find anything to accuse us of, we can have confident assurance of our prayers being answered. "The righteous are as bold as a lion (Proverbs 28:1) "Beloved if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask (1 John 3:21).

As I hung on to the Truth, I have never been disappointed. The myomas left and I was healed without medication or surgery. The rice bin went empty many times, but was soon filled up just in time. Over the years, there was always a miracle provision and never did we have to skip meals. Many Meralco bills came with a disconnection notice, but the Lord has always been faithful to fulfill His Word. Deuteronomy 28 declares, He will bless the fruit of my womb and will give me abundant prosperity in them. True enough, my four children have now finished college – one, even went to graduate school in Europe, and by the grace of God, they have all been blessed with a degree of success that every parent can be happy about. Thus, today, I have changed my dialogue: "My life has been a series of miracles, of one blessing after another!"