FRIENDS OR FOES

By: Ely Lagajino

A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. Proverbs 18:19 (ESV)

After two years of fulltime salesmanship (LE), I received a message from Pastor Efenito Adap, our youth director. He recommended that I apply for the student missionary program in Philippine Union College (now AUP). One year of missionary work was worth a full year scholarship. Praise God, I was accepted.

On my first assignment,  Jerson  Camposano  served as my partner, and we went to Gigmoto, Catanduanes, Southern Luzon, Philippines. We started visiting homes to make friends. At 3:00 in the afternoon, we found a house with an avid Bible reader. After an hour of sharing another joined us. He knew much more about the Bible but asked several questions until we arrived at a heated argument. No wonder, he was not only a pastor of a religious sect but also the owner of the house.          

Jerson served as debater while I became the silent prayer warrior. Little by little people came in to listen until the house filled. Later, I discovered that the people there gathered as sect members and the house served as their worship hall. At 8:00 P.M. the very long debate persisted. I whispered to Jerson who kept listening for loopholes in the pastor’s speech, “We should leave at once; we’re in dangerous ground.” 

As soon as the pastor finished his point my partner presented another topic, with a very loud voice using his strongest argument, as I stood and walked towards the door and announced, “brother Jerson I’m very hungry I have to go now!”, 

“Wait, I should finish my presentation”,  Jerson declared as he marched towards the door where I stood.

“No, not yet, you can’t leave, I should be the last presenter,” The pastor insisted because in informal debates the last presenter wins. Thinking that Jerson would stop me, the restless crowd allowed him to pass. Wrong, we ran as fast as we could to escape the stones the angry members would have hurled on us in the dark. 

Thank God for His protective care, we arrived home safely. The next day and onwards we avoided debates and we won many friends.

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