Not Many Wise Men . . .
“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-29.
It is our privilege to share with you this experience of one man and how he became an evangelist. His name is Ruperto Luwaton.
From 1960 to 1968 was the time that Ruperto was a youth and an assistant of the priest in their church. He was really devoted to the Roman Catholic Church and a leader of the rosary prayer service. Every time that he heard a family worshipping God in their home every morning and evening he lost his temper and would throw a stone at the house. Then one day he got married, and in the year 1971 he transferred his location from Calong-ongan, Masbaste, located in region five, to his new location in Bagon Taas, Valencia, Bukidnon, in region ten.
One day his neighbor, a Seventh-day Adventist, sang to him some religious songs, and his heart was melted. It was the turning point of his life, and he was ready to accept Bible studies. On June 12, 1971, he and his family accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior by means of baptism. He loved to share the gospel, but the problem was he that did not know how to read and write because he could not go to school. Somebody encouraged him to claim the promise of God in James 1:5-7, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” He came to the decision that his wife could be his teacher, and by the help of our Heavenly Father, he learned how to read and write. In the beginning it was very awkward for him to read. His faith would be tested and tried, because his neighbor who is a lawyer came to him and said, “My family and I want to hear the gospel of salvation from you, would you share it?” He answered yes, but said that he was nervous because he had no education and the interested one was a lawyer. Sometimes he was tempted not to go.
One day, his child got a fever. He gathered the leaders of the church to pray, but nothing happened. He tried many different remedies, but there was no sign of healing. Finally he promised to God through prayer, “If Thou wilt heal my child without giving any drugs, I will give a Bible study to that family.” An hour afterwards the child was relieved from the fever, for with God nothing is impossible. Now he began planning on how to give this Bible study in spite of some circumstances. While Ruperto was at the house of the lawyer he said, “Attorney, these are the questions and these are also the answers that we are going to study. Please read them and I will explain it to you.” The lawyer followed the instructions; and by the help of God, the whole family was baptized. God asks, “Can I put my words into their lips? Would they represent me?”
Thus Ruperto’s knowledge grew rapidly, and in the year 1975 he began speaking as a public preacher, holding many public crusades, and has had a religious radio program every Sunday until 2010. The days of his ministry were full of remarkable experiences. Trials and temptations have been abundant. He gave no heed to this; he pressed forward and reached the marks which God has prepared for him and for all who love God and obey His voice.
He won many souls for Christ, including three lawyers, thirty-three teachers, four doctors, nine pastors from Sunday-keeping
churches, four monks, twenty-nine soldiers, and other kinds of people. All in all, there are not less than 837 souls, excluding the backsliders and other souls harvested by his coworkers through Bible study on the radio. He also erected 53 churches.
One year before 2011, he and his wife thought over and over about the practical apostasy that has entered into the church. There is clapping of hands, the Sabbath is lightly regarded, and those who teach it correctly might be excluded from teaching should the pastor and leaders find out. He remembered the words of Ting Palange while they met at the mall in Valencia City. He said, “If you are really a servant of God, strive with all your power so that you can preach to them the plain truth.” On January 14, 2011, he and his wife decided to withdraw from the established church and turned to the group who loved the truth. He remembered Ting and decided to visit Ting’s house, but before they went they knelt and asked God, “If Ting will be there at his house then it is Your will; but if Ting is not in his house then it is not Your will to join their church.” Fortunately, when they reached the house of Ting, he was there. Without delay, they decided to be with us in our church in Lopes, being willing to lose his income from the conference church. As of now he has no allowance from the church, and his current source of income is baking bread every morning and a little assistance from the brethren in the Lopes church.
He believes that if God allows this group to have a radio station, our work here will increase rapidly. One day Ting and Ruperto visited the radio technician and asked the total expenses if we put up a radio station, and the man said, “If you have 100,000 Pesos ($2,315) you can have a radio station. It would cover five towns, with no permit from the national telecommunication commission because it is a religious program with no advertising.”
As of now, Ruperto and the brethren in Lopes are praying that the Lord will grant them the funds for this project.
By Titing Palange. Support for the work in the Philippines can be sent to Mission Projects International, PO Box 59656, Renton, WA 98058.