Here is the story of Pastor Moimar Lacsao, in his own words:
I was born Dec 30, 1975. My father lived on the island of Mindanao. He was sent to prison because he murdered someone. After six years he was released for good behavior. He went to Negros Island, where he met my mother. He worked on a sugarcane farm. After they got married my father decided to return to Mindanao.
When I was 2 ½ my father was killed by a Muslim rebel. They suspected him of being an informer to the military. They warned him not to go into the city but he was a fish vendor and that was our only livelihood, so he went anyway. My mother was pregnant at that time.
My mother brought us back to Negros Island. She grew a few vegetables to keep us alive. After three years she remarried. My stepfather treated us like we were his own sons. He loved us and treated us well. My mother and stepfather were Christians.
We lived in a mountainous area, six kilometers (4 miles) from the nearest school. We raised animals and planted corn and rice. Every day we walked very far to our school. I was often naughty in school. I had no sisters so my mom and dad adopted two girls.
My parents were faithful to church—rain or shine—and they worked hard on their little farm. They treated the pastor well and were faithful in giving tithes and offerings. They were such a good example to us because they were faithful in spite of the great distance of our church. In spite of this, it wasn’t until I was 17 years old that I received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior through the preaching of Pastor Danilo Condes, a graduate of Iloilo Baptist College. He later encouraged me to enroll at IBC.
Day after day I can feel the calling of God and the burden of lost souls. I was so shy though, and afraid to get up in front of people and preach. My favorite teacher at IBC, who mentored me, was Mario Genada, who is now our missionary in Zambia, Africa. He was a great example and I really admired him. We worked together on a route near the pier and I learned so much from him. He always has a good spirit and is very positive regarding the ministry.
One day when I was on my route with another student, a group of drunk men called to us. I went to them and showed them the plan of salvation. One man joked that he’ll get saved right before he dies. Later I saw him as he lay dying from being stabbed. Again I showed him the plan of salvation and this time he was very humble as he accepted Jesus Christ as Savior. He died a short time later.
While I was in school I drove a trisikad (bike with attached side cart for passengers). Even when I am sick I worked in order to eat. Once I was so sick I didn’t eat rice for three days but I was so determined to finish my studies no matter what.
I was very involved in the ministry—soul winning, Bible studies, extension classes, and jeepney route. My life verse is Ecc 12:1 “Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth.” There were many hardships and trials but none of it convinced me to change my mind in pursuing my desire to finish school and serve the Lord in full time ministry.When Brother Lacsao graduated he began to serve the Lord in an area near his home. He continues:
After a year of soul winning, training young people, teaching adults, having Bible studies, extension classes, and school ministry, step by step the church grew. Soon we were running 70. The Lord led me to start a Bible college to train young people for the ministry. Now we are conducting extension churches in nearby villages. The church is being blessed by God with people who have a heart for serving Him. Our church has grown beyond all my expectations. For 14 years my wife and I are serving the Lord. I can truly say God really blessed His ministry, His people, and His servants. My desire is to build a big church, with great people of God!
In 2003, Brother Lacsao started a Bible school to train young people. Since that time he has sent out several graduates to start churches. He also started a night time Bible institute for married men. Please pray the Lord will continue to bless his ministry.
OPPORTUNITIES IN DECEMBER
December is a month that, because of Christmas, provides so many opportunities to reach people for our Saviour. I want to share the story of a young man named LT, who found the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour in December, a few years back:
LT was born in 1987 on the large southern island of Mindanao. He had two sisters and a brother. His mom was a teacher and his father had a small store. His parents were Aglipay, which is similar to the Catholic Church except their priests can marry. LT respects his parents very much. He said his mother taught him good moral character and his father taught him to work hard. Since he was very young he had a dream to find a good job and make a lot of money. After high school LT enrolled in a vocational course. After college he went with his dad to Antique, here on our island, to visit relatives. The relatives encouraged LT to find a job in Iloilo City. LT thought at last his dream to find a good job and make a lot of money would come true.
He found a job working with sound systems. One day in December, his company sent him to fix a generator at Iloilo Baptist Church. IBC was having its annual Christmas musical. It was very important to have a working generator to be prepared for power shortages. Lots of visitors come to the special Christmas service and many are saved every year. This was in 2007 during the “Night of Miracles” program.
The generator was located at the main gate and Pastor Mario Mallora was stationed there to greet visitors as they came in. He started talking to LT. He presented the plan of salvation to LT and he got saved. LT says it was the happiest moment of his life. Afterwards, Pastor Mario encouraged LT to enroll in Bible college! LT smiled. After all, it had always been his dream to get a good job and make a lot of money! LT says that he couldn’t sleep at night, always remembering Brother Mario’s words, “The most important work on this earth is God’s work. Why don’t you become a pastor?”
A few weeks later, LT packed his bag and showed up at the front gate at IBC. He asked someone at the gate, “Where is Pastor Mario? I’m going to enroll here.” Needless to say, Brother Mario was surprised, and very pleased.
LT is now in his 4th year at IBC and will graduate in a few months. He is very thankful to God that Brother Mario led him to the Lord. LT believes that God’s plan for our life is better than any plan we can make for ourselves. His life verse is Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
News & Prayer Requests
CHURCH PLANTING – This past year, especially the past six months, the Lord has greatly blessed the efforts of the pastors here in starting churches; as over 100 churches have been planted. Two pastors, Jirel Catalan, and Marlon Ticar, have started Bible schools for young people. More than 30 pastors have started night time Bible institutes for married men. Most of these were started the past six months.
Please pray for the family of Pastor Charlie Augustino, who was murdered by a mentally ill man. Brother Augustino graduated from IBC in 1995 and spent the past 16 years starting churches in the province of Capiz, here on our island of Panay. This tragedy has been extremely hard for his wife, who also graduated from IBC, as well as his two sons, ages 6 and 9.
The Philippine National Police are now allowing pastors to go into all precincts of our region of the country to minister to the police. More than 120 graduates of Iloilo Baptist College are involved in this program. Please pray the Lord will use the pastors to see many police men and women saved.
Our daughter, Rachel, and her one-year-old son, Landon, were able to visit us recently. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it was to have them here in November.
We have been praying and working (for the past six months) on the possibility of opening a radio station where we can have programs for 18 hours a day. Please pray we will find the Lord’s will in this. Radio is a very effective way to reach people in this country, with the Gospel.
Please pray for the 17-year-old son of Pastor Billy & Cheryl Caalem, who went into a coma in October.
We are considering sending some of our prayer letters out by email. If you are interested, could you please let us know; and can you please send us your email address? Our new email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are no longer using our old website. OUR NEW WEBSITE IS:http://martinsibc.jimdo.com