A Bible worker’s patient instruction leads an old alcoholic and his family to truth.
“There are many who will not go to church to hear the truth preached. By personal efforts in simplicity and wisdom these might be persuaded to turn their feet to the house of God. . . . Should your solicitations be refused, do not be discouraged. Persevere till success crowns your efforts.” Review and Herald, June 10, 1880.
My wife and I had come to Koronadal, South Cotabato, to conduct an evangelistic series. While I set up our generator and sound system, my wife talked with Lucia, the elderly woman who had agreed to store our equipment in her home. “My family and I are dedicated Roman Catholics, but we do not mind having people from other religions preach in our village,” Lucia said. “All religions are the same anyway. There is only one God.”
Our topic for the first night was the validity of the Bible. At the end of the presentation, several from the audience made a request. “Tell us more about the peculiar doctrines of the Seventh-day Adventists,” someone said. “Why do you worship on Saturday instead of Sunday? And why do SDAs have so many rules about eating and drinking?”
Since our audience seemed to know something about us, we decided to go ahead and discuss some of the unique Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. After the presentation, we opened the floor for inquiries, by God’s help answering each question from the Bible—even when the questioning became intense. Lucia’s husband, a respected landowner named Lantingan, had come to the meeting drunk and kept plying us with more and more questions. “Yanyan,” I whispered to my wife, “please pray, and ask Brother Ramon to pray too. The old man is drunk.”
God is really good. Lantingan soon calmed down and apologized for his interrogations.
After our meetings ended, Lantingan’s children came and talked to us. “All these messages have been new to us,” they said. “We know it was God’s will for you to come to our village and deliver to us the good news.”
“Praise God,” I said. “Do you wish to follow the new truths you have learned and obey God’s commandments?”
They looked away. “The messages are all true, but we will wait for the decision of our father. We will see if his vices disappear.”
That evening, Lantingan was so drunk we couldn’t speak with him. As we rested at Brother Ramon’s house for the night, I decided that in the morning I would visit Lantingan’s family. After breakfast, I went into the village and talked to Lantingan. He acted shy, but I talked to him like nothing had happened until he relaxed and started opening up. “I keep thinking about your message last night,” he confessed. “If Jesus comes back and I have not quit my vices, I will not be prepared to go to Heaven. But I want to go to Heaven. I want to be a good example to all my children.” Tears ran down his cheeks.
“Would you like to study the Bible with me, Lantingan?” I asked. “Jesus can help you overcome your sins.”
He wiped his eyes. “Yes, and I want my whole family to attend the studies. I want us all to understand the true message.”
Today, Lantingan’s family study the Bible with us regularly, and they have even begun to observe the Sabbath. The old man who used to attend our meetings drunk is now a very attentive participant in our Bible studies!
Temtem Piedraverde and his wife Yanyan are Bible workers in South Cotabato on Mindanao Island in the Philippines.
How You Can Help
Pray for the evangelistic work that Temtem and Yanyan are doing in the village of Koronadal, and especially for the family of Lantingan.
Support Temtem and Yanyan in preaching the gospel by sending your donation marked “Philippine Evangelism” to:
Mission Projects International
PO Box 151
Inchelium, WA 99138