Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Love

Happy Birthday Our Dearest Mother, Nenita Castillon!

Wife, mother, pastor, teacher, tutor, mentor, friend, neighbour, cook, housekeeper, God-fearing, faithful, patient, sweet, loving, strong, full of courage, industrious, healthy, humble…she is everything a mother could be.

Most of all she is the epitome of faith and inner strength, encouraging and keeping us strong always. Happy birthday, our dearest Mum!

From all of us,

Jonan, Jewel and Jadyn

Lola Nits and Jadyn
Lola Nits and Jadyn
Jewel, Jadyn, Nenita, and Jonan
Jewel, Jadyn, Nenita, and Jonan
Nenita and Malvar Castillon family
Nenita and Malvar Castillon family
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Posted in Faith, Living in New Zealand Now, Promote South Canterbury, South Canterbury living, Tell A Friend South Canterbury

Claiming God’s Faithfulness – How God Helped Us in Moving To Timaru

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer,
believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

Talking about God’s faithfulness, what comes to mind right away is one of my favourite hymns, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. Indeed, we have the faithful God who really fulfils His promise.

Jesus’ statement in Mark 11:24 is a very powerful statement. He is telling his disciples to have faith. For me, there’s no greater power than praying and believing that Jesus Christ will faithfully deliver what you are asking for.

The verse is not just a simple positive statement that is designed to encourage someone who’s in dire need. There is power to the statement because first, Jesus Christ said it and second, what Jesus says is true.

Our moving to Timaru in August 2012 is one faith journey full of answered prayers. As there are plenty of stories to tell, let me just share two instances of answered prayers.

God moves people to help us

When David Brown, one of our home group leaders, volunteered to take us to Auckland airport. We really appreciate David’s offer, which is also another answered prayer. He asked who would pick up and drive us from Christchurch Airport to Timaru.

I told him that when we went to Timaru on July 31 for my wife’s job interview, we met a Filipino couple at the Auckland Airport.

When they learned that we’re moving to Timaru, they volunteered to pick us up at Christchurch airport. They live in Lincoln.

On August 13, as I was helping Pastor Colin and Tony in loading our furniture on the trailer, my mobile phone rang. It was the Filipino “good Samaritan” of Lincoln. He affirmed his commitment to take us from Christchurch Airport to Timaru. I told him that our flight is on Tuesday.

Towards late afternoon, Jewel got a call from her employer that they have arranged a car rental for us. I phoned our kababayan (fellowmen) about the development and thanked him for his offer of help.

I thank and praise God for His overwhelming support and provision.

A favourable car switchover

While on the plane to Christchurch on 14 August 2012, I can’t help but think about the number of baggage we’re bringing.

After learning that our bulk of things will arrive to Timaru a week later, we brought along things we need upon arrival at our rented place.

As the car rental reserved a subcompact car for us, I’m pretty sure that we would be fully loaded. Well, I just prayed for God’s travelling mercy and resolved to drive very slowly and surely.

In Christchurch Airport, with our two trolleys of baggage, we approached the Avis Car Rental desk and asked for the car reserved for us.

We were much surprised when the Avis woman asked is it okay if we take a Toyota Highlander to Timaru instead of the subcompact reserved for us.

She explained that the Toyota Highlander needs to be returned to Timaru. She assured us that we will just be paying the same rate and there would be no more return fee for the car.

I could only utter my thanksgiving and praises after realizing how the Lord God Almighty facilitated our specific needs in moving to Timaru.

Indeed, great is your faithfulness O Lord! We bring all our prayers to You, asking and claiming your great faithfulness

Again, to our brothers and sisters in Christ, thank you very much for all your prayers and support.

Do you have a testimony to share? Share it to us by posting a comment below. Thank you.

Posted in Faith, Living in New Zealand Now, Promote South Canterbury, South Canterbury living, Tell A Friend South Canterbury

Claiming God’s Faithfulness – Moving To Timaru

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:24

Talking about God’s faithfulness, what comes to mind right away is one of my favourite hymns, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. Indeed, we have the faithful God who really fulfils His promise.

Jesus’ statement in Mark 11:24 is a very powerful statement. He is telling his disciples to have faith. For me, there’s no greater power than praying and believing that Jesus Christ will faithfully deliver what you are asking for.

The verse is not just a simple positive statement that is designed to encourage someone who’s in dire need. There is power to the statement because first, Jesus Christ said it and second, what Jesus says is true.

Our recent transfer to Timaru is one faith journey full of answered prayers. As there are plenty of stories to tell, let me just share two instances of answered prayers.

The Filipino “good Samaritan” of Lincoln

When David Brown, one of our home group leaders, volunteered to take us to Auckland airport. We really appreciate David’s offer, which is also another answered prayer. He asked who would pick up and drive us from Christchurch Airport to Timaru.

I told him that when we went to Timaru on July 31 for my wife’s job interview, we met a Filipino couple at the Auckland Airport. When they learned that we’re moving to Timaru, they volunteered to pick us up at Christchurch airport. They live in Lincoln.

On August 13, as I was helping Pastor Colin and Tony in loading our furniture on the trailer, my mobile phone rang. It was the Filipino “good Samaritan” of Lincoln. He affirmed his commitment to take us from Christchurch Airport to Timaru. I told him that our flight is on Tuesday.

Towards late afternoon, Jewel got a call from her employer that they have arranged a car rental for us. I phoned our kababayan (fellowmen) about the development and thanked him for his offer of help.

I thank and praise God for His overwhelming support and provision.

A favourable car switchover

While on the plane to Christchurch on 14 August 2012, I can’t help but think about the number of baggage we’re bringing.

After learning that our bulk of things will arrive to Timaru a week later, we brought along things we need upon arrival at our rented place.

As the car rental reserved a subcompact car for us, I’m pretty sure that we would be fully loaded. Well, I just prayed for God’s travelling mercy and resolved to drive very slowly and surely.

In Christchurch Airport, with our two trolleys of baggage, we approached the Avis Car Rental desk and asked for the car reserved for us.

We were much surprised when the Avis woman asked is it okay if we take a Toyota Highlander to Timaru instead of the subcompact reserved for us.

She explained that the Toyota Highlander needs to be returned to Timaru. She assured us that we will just be paying the same rate and there would be no more return fee for the car.

I could only utter my thanksgiving and praises after realizing how the Lord God Almighty facilitated our specific needs in moving to Timaru.

Indeed, great is your faithfulness O Lord! We bring all our prayers to You, asking and claiming your great faithfulness

Again, to our brothers and sisters in Christ, thank you very much for all your prayers and support.

Do you have a testimony to share where God lift you from worry to glory? Share it to us by posting a comment below. Thank you.

Posted in Faith, Hope, Inspirational, Living in New Zealand Now, Living in Timaru, Love

My Search for Abundant Life

 

“… I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10b

From Worry To Glory
Searching for the abundant life apart from God’s will is like sailing aimlessly on an endless sea of opportunities.

One statement of Jesus that has a deep and significant impact on me is “…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I read and memorized this verse when I was a small kid attending one of the summertime Daily Vacation Bible School or DVBS. What started then as rote memorization, became gradually a journey to my search for the abundant life.

I was born of parents who are both theology graduates and I grew up with them working from church to church. Because we lived from parsonage to parsonage, I would often say jokingly, “No permanent address” when asked where do I live.

Experiencing the economic and psychological hardships and challenges of being a son of a rural pastor, I would always wonder about that abundant life that the Great Teacher expressed that He came for us to have.

But how can I affirm my confidence on the abundant life that Jesus Christ promised when I experienced injustice, dishonesty, corruption, jealousy, envy and all kinds of strife through and among the very faithful followers of him?

Where is abundance when you went through hunger and poverty because opportunities have become scarce after you made a stand for what is right?

Of course, it is easy to understand what abundant life is in the context of the material world. I grew up with the carnal understanding that to live a life of plenty is to always have more than enough food to eat and you have lots of money to experience living the lifestyle of the rich, like a good house, cars, travels, parties and anything that a person or family could wish for.

Thus, while keeping in my heart and mind the questions I had, I chartered my course towards prosperity. My goals were to study hard in high school to get a college scholarship, graduate a course that would be my ticket to get high paying jobs, do well in my chosen career and finally, live comfortably in affluence.

Then I was well on my way to fulfilling my goals, sailing smoothly, successfully achieving victories left and right. However, later on, after almost a decade of searching and chasing, I reflected at all my striving and struggling using all the gifts that God endowed me to gain the prosperity that I sought, I found myself living a meaningless life.

I exhausted all means to meet my goals but at the end of the day, I found out that when everything in life redounds to achieving financial gain compromising the basic values of truth and justice, I can not find real peace and happiness.

So where could I find true abundant life if it is not present in having material affluence alone?

Finally, after a long tiring journey, my search led me to one great discovery that abundant life is using my fullest potential for the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I discovered that living my life to the fullest is having all my faculties, availability and resources of good use for the glory of God.

Life has never been so very fulfilling. Surprisingly, the more I focused on having my fullest potential be used for him, the blessings keep coming and coming. Indeed, Jesus Christ has come to give life and have it abundantly.