Saved to Serve
“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” Romans 5:7.
In a certain town in Bukidnon, I met a man, Brother Dexter Caduma, whose principles cannot be bought or sold though the heavens fall. During his childhood at the age of 10 years, he and his two companions went to their neighbor’s backyard in order to get vegetables for the consumption of their pigs. The backyard was surrounded by a fence and had many big dogs. While they were cutting the vegetables, suddenly the three big dogs ran at them, ready to bite. There was nothing to do except to climb the fence. While they were climbing, the dogs came nearer and nearer to them. Turning his face downward, Dexter saw that one of his friends could not climb the fence; so he jumped down, armed with a knife to kill the dogs. It was a miracle! The dogs ran away, frightened of him. He had not even considered how small he was. His only aim was to save a soul. From a very young age, this boy had a passion for saving others.
Years passed, and one of Dexter’s friends called his attention to the Bible and was willing to share his knowledge. The brave man did not refuse, but he was always asking questions so that the truth would become clear in his mind. The Lord is so gracious and merciful. He will not destroy any person without sending an abundance of light, and that is why this small, young man decided to accept Jesus Christ as his personal Savior through baptism.
Again, the Brother Dexter had the opportunity to show a bold tenacity. Three times he went to the pastor’s house ready for baptism, but the pastor refused for various reasons. The fourth time he went to the pastor’s house declaring himself ready for baptism, the pastor was amazed and asked him many questions. The man answered each question with a text. The pastor was happy and baptized him on October 7, 1987.
In 1990, he was trained as a layman in a three-month course. For the following five months, he was accompanied by an older layman in house-to-house visitation. In the years to follow, he became a lay preacher; and the Lord blessed his efforts. He established three churches: Kibatang Don Carlos Church, San Isidro Damulog Church, and Lagandang Damulog Church.
Brother Dexter assisted in fifteen different public crusades. He was hired twenty times as a Bible worker to different churches. His stay at each church lasted from three months to a year. Here are some of his unforgettable experiences.
During his public evangelistic crusade in Lumbayao, Valencia City, some of his coworkers told him that it was hard to convert people from that place because they were immune to the work of God. This did not deter the faithful worker. As a result of his work there, many were baptized.
Once, there was a child of a church elder who suffered a sickness that even the doctors could not heal. The father was backslider and promised that if his child got well, he would return to God. The Lord granted Brother Dexter’s prayers. There was also a man from the same place who was backslidden for almost twenty years, but now returned to God through the efforts of Brother Dexter and by the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Another time, a Baptist father was persecuting his child who had accepted the truth. When Brother Dexter approached the father, the Holy Spirit worked in his heart, and he was baptized also.
In 2003, Brother Ting met Brother Dexter on the road in Valencia City. Because they were friends, Ting approached the worker and asked time to talk with him about the Bible. He answered, “I am very busy”; but actually, in his heart, he did not want to give his time to people called “offshoots.”
Although Brother Dexter did not want to be connected with us, God had other plans for him. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you and expected end.” Jeremiah 29:11. “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee.” Jeremiah 1:5.
In 2005, there was a self-supporting ministry known as Mission Projects International, headed by Pastor Cody Francis, holding public evangelism at Puerto, Cagayan de Oro. They hired Bible workers, and Brother Dexter was also included. When he arrived, he was amazed that Ting was also there. He wondered, “Is this group that is supporting me supporting him also?” Ting and this energetic Bible worker met again and again. The wall of partition was broken and the love of Christ bound them.
Now, Brother Dexter is our coworker in the Lord’s vineyard, willing to give himself to anyone who needs his help. From the beginning up to the present, he has experienced the leading of the Lord in a wonderful way.
“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalms 126:5, 6.
By Titing Palange. Support for the work of Nanding and Titing can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.