Check out the first part of this blog here.
I had to end the blog because it was getting long but I purposefully left out two other very strong influences in my life who I’m always grateful for.
Location: Anywhere he was with you
Growing up in Victory, I knew Pastor Ferdie was the campus and youth guy. He was always intense, focused, and no-nonsense. To be honest, I was a little scared of him.
But as I got more involved and connected with our campus ministry, I realized that his passion was driven by love for God and His people. It didn’t matter when or where you saw him, he was always challenging you to give everything for Jesus.
One incident comes to mind when I think of how he discipled us. He was meeting some of the young men leaders in the campus ministry, exhorting us to live to a higher standard of purity because we were leading others. His words were, “If I catch any of you misusing your leadership to take advantage of the young people in this church, I will personally castrate you.”
Some of you might be repulsed by his manner. But understand this, that every man in that room who heard him, knew that he would pray for us, believe in us, and encourage us when we were down. This exaggerated statement he was making was really loving concern. Discipline isn’t bad when it comes from love.
Location: Megaplaza Condominum, KFC 4th Floor – Robinsons Galleria, Onstage at Victory Ortigas after the prayer meeting
In an effort to
force encourage the campus ministries of Victory Makati and Victory Ortigas to unite, a bunch of leaders from both congregations were placed under Pastor Rico, youth pastor of Victory Ortigas. And while some of us tried to be drama-queen divisive, it was impossible to stay that way with Rico. He was so skilled and gifted in befriending everyone.
Our group quickly grew close. Rico just had a way of making the work of ministry fun. He was always energetic and joyful. I can’t remember him complaining or coming to a meeting without any energy. He was generous with his time, his service, his advice, and his money.
I always looked forward to our small group meetings. We’d start by watching The Godfather while waiting for all the latecomers. Then we would spend half an hour joking around, teasing and challenging each other. Then he’d share something for ten minutes (which is the longest we could stay serious), then we’d pray for one another. And usually someone would invite to go have dinner, watch a movie, or play CounterStrike.
Rico was also very empowering to us. He constantly gave us opportunities to test our leadership. He’d say things like, “I want you to pray onstage at the next point.” And afterwards, “Galeng! Galeng! That was great… I have a suggestion though…” But after correcting and adjusting you, he’d give you another chance to minister again.
His life embodied a person who was completely sold out to God’s cause, but he made it seem so fun, so doable, and so real. It isn’t a surprise then that at one point, eight of the twelve of us in his small group were in full-time vocational ministry. And all of us, in ministry or out of it, can say that Rico played an important role in our relationship with Jesus.