Sent Two Disciples Today

1 02 2014

“Hey uncle,” Arlen approach me today, “can I go home to the mountains this afternoon while there are still some waters at the river?”

“What? What about having ‘waters in the river’ mean?” I’m quite confused.

“I should go home with Analyn today,” she explained,” because it rained a lot last night and we had some five baptisms pending because of lack of water.”

I get it.

Arlen, 19yo, along with her younger sister Analyn were the 2nd generation disciples. Their brother Albert, 1st generation 21yo, has made them both one morning during breakfast here. They all, along with their other two younger sister, have been living with us for almost 5 years now. Their father died two years ago, their mom named Auling who became a widow, (2nd generation also, Albert made her into a disciple), is a disciple-maker also. The families were all involve in disciple-making, about 30 people have been baptized last month reaching up to the 5th generation.

The family has a house up in the mountains where their father has built for them. They went to school there walking for an hour in the bushes and of course another hour going back. When we transferred in the same town closer to them (after our family house was burned with fire 7 years ago) we decided to help them have an easy access to school, this requires them to live with us. From time to time, they go up to their own house and make disciples there. Their own family clans and old friends have become disciples too. “Who are they anyway?” I ask what’s the relationship between these five people who were ready to be baptized and Arlen. “They’re my barkada before.” she replied. “Barkada” is a Cebuano group name for your circle of friends. There comes a time in your life in school where you met nice people and they became your friends and your relationships with them deepens until they will become a sort of your “second” family. You go to them not only just for fun but also for advices when you need a hand. No leadership of one person required, only what all can agree with and all directly do it together. When they meet together they don’t depend on schedules or programs, they just come and wants to see each other because they liked each other. Most of these people who has become your “barkada” would also become your best friend “in life.” A “barkada” is so common to us as Filipinos. Almost everybody has one either they’re religious groups or not, in school or in companies, each has one or can create one without knowing it. One can start it even without realizing. And then later he would know.

One thing we have in common here why a disciple can easily find people to make disciples: friends. We make disciples to those whom that we have relationships already. We don’t evangelism in this definition: preach at to someone in the park to the person whom you do not even know or knows you. We make disciples through our circle of friends.

Well, Jesus did.

Calling peoples names like Nathaniel, Zaccheus, Nicodemus, surely He has built some relationships with among them. If not, then He knows how to, like the Samaritan woman. I once was in the taxi in Manila with an “evangelist” friend of mine and right away he shared the gospel to the driver. “I don’t make disciples to the person unless he’s a friend.” I interrupted him.

“Wait a minute,” he’s confused I know. I intentionally do that to him. “Did I hear that right? What do you mean?” He insisted.

“I don’t just do what you did. We don’t do that in making disciples.” I replied, “but surely I understand if one is doing some evangelism. Are you?”

“Well Molong, what if God told you to make disciples to the person you just meet?” A very good question right?

“That’s easy. I will make him my friend.” How long does it take for you to become a friend to the person? How long does it take for Jesus to become a friend of the Samaritan woman? To the tax sinner and collectors? I don’t know about you but one thing I know for sure: Jesus makes friends with sinners. He was even called a “friend of sinners.”

Here the problem lies, we don’t have an “unbelieving” friends anymore! We’ve lost them all. We’ve been deceived by these Bible verses itself: “Do not be unequally yoke with unbelievers.” “He who is a friend of the world is an enmity with God.” “Do not love the world.” We simply miss the point if we’re not looking unto Jesus way of making disciples – He makes friends first!

Jesus is 30 years old when He started His mission. What did He do then before that? I believe He makes friends. The disciples He has been long His friends. He “calls them by name” when He choose them to become His disciples. He knows Nathaniel’s name and calls him as He sits under the fig tree. How did He know his name?

Back to the story above. People up in the mountain depends on rain water so much for their daily use. Their wells dried up on hot season. They can’t even plant vegetables on their soil because there’s lack of water. As much as they can, they gather rain on big buckets. We baptized many people in the rain there. And yes, it’s very cold water for their bodies. It has been raining here since the biggest typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan, its international name). Recently, about 13 days of non-stop rain and flooding a lot of cities and landslides and many died too. In three months straight, we were bombarded with a 7.2 quake, a biggest typhoon ever, and floods. And honestly, the very reason why Arlen went home with her sister to do some baptisms with their friends at the river while there is still water because we just had a category two typhoon last night! It rained more water with some air blowing everywhere.

Thanks for the typhoon, God must have sent it to use it to cleanse people’s sin? huh!  



16 08 2012

Another late at night table conversations again with just Ronie, Jomie and I. This time his struggles of catching up people that needed to be baptized immediately has been delayed. And there are already some of them who are backing out.

“Why, you cannot baptize them directly?” I ask Ronnie.

“They are still on their working time,” he spoke in a soft voice, “these people are bakeshop workers.”

“Well, since the owner allowed you to hold Bible studies to her workers why not ask for a couple of minutes to take them to a nearby sea or pool or let her buy a big water drum to use it for baptism just at the back of her shop?”

“I already ask her permission but it was too late. Probably next time we could do it.” Ronnie is very excited about making disciples, he is sure now that he knows how to make people disciples of Jesus. It is however a normal struggles for beginners. Especially when you are used to preaching to the crowds or just sharing the Good News to someone hoping to let them do a “sinner’s prayer” and gave them ‘new’ life without burying the ‘old.’

We had the same experience here in Cebu when I made Albert a disciple, not until Albert made Jomie a disciple that both of them were baptized together. But I only baptizes Albert, and let Jomie help me out. And after I baptized Albert I let him baptized Jomie and I help him out. Passing the baton of not just making disciples to the next generation but also doing baptisms is important for multiplication. I suspect, in Acts 2, after Peter’s preaching to the crowd, there are those who was ‘cut to the heart’ and ask, “What shall we do to be saved then?” Three thousand souls were added to the church that day. How did they do baptisms then? In Jerusalem there are pools around to use for taking baths. More than 30 of them scattered in the city. So, they divided the crowds among the 120 disciples with Peter and baptizes them all in one day. Probably baptizing each other too.

From Albert, whom I made and baptized, he is the first person that I make a disciple of Jesus two and half years ago. And on his wing alone, he made 42 disciples up to the 12th generation. Actually, its Jomie and him partnering together. Several times, both of them made two, each take on each one and within just 5-6 minutes they baptizes the person already. Many stories after stories from their sites and

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Part One: Butuan Trip

4 08 2012

(Jomie Here)

Just came back home from Butuan and CDO, in between province is a long 6-hour drive by bus but we really enjoyed it. This is my second trip the first one was when we attended the Philippine House Church Summit in Tagatay having seminar, talking everyday for 5(five)days, its good but only 10% interesting the other 90% is boring, unlike the trip that we had in butuan its really great.. As we landed in butuan and met kuya Molong’s friend Ronnie whom he had met in his last trip in Davao a month ago, he shared to him on how to make disciples of Jesus quick, simple and fast and after a couple of days of that conversation Ronnie had made three disciples and another five after two days! WOW!!

This is the reason why we visited him at his place.
The first night we stayed at his house we slept til three in the morning. There he shared his stories after stories of his journey.  Kuya Molong discussed about how hearing God’s voice played an important role in making disciples. An example would be the Eunuch and Phillip, the evangelist in the book of Acts. The next day, we suppose to go somewhere. Ronnie first drop his child to school and we waited til late afternoon. When he came back this is his story of what happened:

“I heard a voice saying, “Go to Budot.””

“I ask the Lord why,” the voice just say, “Just go.”

 He obeyed the voice.

Budot is a long time friend but is not a follower of Jesus yet. Ronnie has learned that to make disciples, you’ve gotta make friends like Jesus. Then look for people who believe in you and trust you, like Jesus. Then you make him a disciple.

Many people have many friends but they do not know what to do with them. They are Christians, they talk about Jesus and His church but they don’t know how to make a person a disciple. In other words, they do not know how to make a person ‘ to decide’ to follow Christ. “In that stage alone,” as Kuya Molong says, “we lost the connection and ultimately lose the person, the remain in our circle of friends but have not become a ‘family.’”

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A talk over coffee this morning…

4 12 2011

She said to the three of them: “Be baptize so that you will be saved.”

“We wanna see him so that we will be baptized too.” They said.

A conversation between the four of them: Albert’s mom Auling, and her three grand nieces who visited at her house.

They were talking about Albert as he is their ‘favorite boy’ when he was young. “Even his grand mother ‘liked’ him, it’s the reason also that she willing to be a disciple of Jesus” Auling said, when Albert shares the Good News. “How did it started, why are you’re talking about baptism?” I ask Auling. “Why are they interested about baptism?” It was 8:42 in the morning as I penned this down, December 4. Just a couple minutes before we had coffee under the tree sitting at my children’s table.

“Their interest started when I said that I don’t go to church anymore.” She said. “We had also talk with my mom about it [Albert’s grand mother who was just baptized by Albert]. She don’t go to church [Catholic Church] anymore because Albert told him that we can worship God at home.” Her mom suffered with arthritis, constant coughing, and some pains she’s 81 years old.

Whenever we visited the family in the mountain I always found Albert and Jomie praying for people there [without asking my permission] either in the kitchen or in the balcony. Albert’s grand mother is always one of them to get prayed for until she was made into a disciple of Jesus one day, after Albert’s mom was made that midnight! “My mom said,” she continued, “the pain was no more, my toes are great, I am healed.” Auling is just talking with me without hesitation. Just that.”

“‘It was after I was baptized.’ My mom said.” Auling continued. Stories are amazing you know, especially when it’s about life that was change by the Holy Spirit. As we don’t do meetings, but we do meet a lot because we’re a family. Without any “Bible Study Meetings” nor “Prayer Meetings” but Bible discussions and prayers happen as we do things together – it’s playing life together.

One of the hardest thing for me to do nothing is when I said to God, “Lord, I am tired of follow-up and visitations and having schedules. I have been doing that almost every day before, it is what I love doing. But I know I cannot schedule you, you are life itself. So what should I do?” I know one thing to do is to stop doing what I have been doing, I am just so tired of it. I even hated it at times. I said to myself, “What is a ‘follow up’ and a ‘visitation for’ if a person is my brother or sister? How can I ‘maintain through meetings[?]’ with my brother when he is already my brother?”

A ‘follow’ up of what?

A ‘visitation’ of what? What for?

You are already my brother. You are already my sister. Should I maintain of ‘something that would stick as together’ you as my brother/sister? Churches are good at this, they are using their ‘endless weekly meetings’ either in buildings or houses, it does really where is the location. Church is not where we meet but where He lives. Instead of using their ‘relationships’ in which God designs….

[Ophs, for awhile…my 22 months son just came up crying calling my name, “Papa, papa,….brom brom, brom brom.” Taking him for a ride on my bike with my other two daughters.]

Alright, I’m back and back is important.

So, instead of using their relationship in which God designs to build up His Family, they are using other life-less means machines to create programs to maintain people. Jesus defines His ekklesia as ‘hundreds of mothers, brothers and sisters and houses,’ not ‘hundreds of cousins and relatives and hundreds of ‘Christian neighbors.’

As my Dad in the Lord, Mike Peters would say, “Church is not a building, but it’s people. It is not only the people but their relationships.” See, many house churches today have people with their endless meetings, but no relationships. They have not become a family to each other. They cannot even name four people to watch their kids on a weekend when they the needed to get out. They have become a ‘meeting-based’ church rather than a ‘family-based.’ Another Dad of mine Gary Goodell says, “If you want to be family then you’ve got to stop doing meetings. If you keep on doing meetings, you cannot be family. Families don’t do meetings, but they do meet a lot.”

Saying this means, shallow Christianity replaces ‘family relationships’ with having ‘meetings.’ I am not ‘against’ meetings by saying so, I am ‘for’ something by doing it. ‘Meetings’ and ‘gatherings’ have their place but until we are ‘assemble’ together [Heb.10:24-25] no one would the real picture of a church on earth. A puzzle may be gathered but not assembled. To expand the Kingdom of God is to extend your family. That’s the picture.

Trusting God means obedience to what He has called us to do. “Molong, if you want to taste the fullness of the Holy Spirit then you’ve got to trust Me fully.” For my sake, I didn’t have most of the cell numbers of the disciples to ‘follow up’ of their lives. All I am anticipating is God’s surprises simply because you cannot plan God. That means stories like these.

Well, let’s see where’s this stories going on…but I am excited. There might be some ‘burials’ today or tomorrow. Who knows?

When a 17 yo makes 5 disciples!!!

16 11 2011
It was our break time, when my friends Rhea, Joanna,  Jana and I were talking, and discussing about our project. Afterwards, when everyone was silent and we had nothing to say, Rhea opened up a topic, she shared to us about her family, their ties, and how her mother and father met, and many more. After hearing her stories, the silent mode was back. Her story gave me an opportunity to make them disciples of Jesus, since I knew them, and  I was pretty sure that they trust me. Why I was so sure about it? Simply because they listened to me every time I gave them some advises, and not just they listened, they also did what I told them.Before the three of them were fun of drinking liquors outside the school premises during class hours, and not thinking that what they did is not good to them as a student. They even don’t care what others might say every time they were caught doing such thing. But that bad habit was gone when we became classmates and became good friends. I told them, what they did was not good, and it was just a waste of money to their parents, sending them in school , expecting them to learned more and attended the class attentively but on what they did, their parents wont be pleased to hear about it. They must change their habits because if that bad habit will continue, it might destroy their futures, and at the same time, the trust and the expectation of their parents to them. They listened carefully to what i said, they were like a small children nodding their heads while saying, “You are right!  We will swear we will not do it again” they said. While I was like an old grandma, scolding them and giving them advices. they thanked me for what I did, their eyes was opened and realized that what they did is wrong. And that’s how our closeness has started. We ate together at lunch, we shared each others secrets, and we built trust to each other. That is why i have no doubt in making them a disciple of Christ.

“I am going to make you a disciple of God.” I said to them.

“What is a disciple of God?” Rhea ask.

“Being a disciple is following HIS footsteps, and commandments,” I said. “Do you believe that you were already saved, even before the day you were born He already died for your sin?”

“No! I don’t believe God has saved me already, because I know from the start that I am a sinner, everyone is a sinner,” Rhea honestly admitted her condition and certainly was right about her observation, “and every seconds I know I can commit a sin. and how could you see that I was or we were already saved?”

“As we know that the wages of sin is death, but because of God’s great love to us, instead we all gonna die because of our sins, HE never let that happened, He sent His only son Jesus Christ to be crucified just to saved us. And this all happened two thousand years ago, now that’s even before your grand mother was born! “And all we gonna do is to believed that He already did pay the penalty of our wrongdoings. God has saved us already from death! Death is dealt with on the cross. We have to believe this and so can follow the commandments of God.”

Every one’s thinking was on the air, it sounds so interesting for them and wondering where’s this conversation going to? Jana finally have her thoughts put on the table, “How are we going to do that? Are we going to church every Sunday?”

“Going to the church-building every Sunday is not needed, because we are already the church. The church is where the Holy Spirit of God lives, and he lives in us. The church referred to us – the disciples of God, and not the building that every one had to go every Sunday. Why not we just pray at home, spending time with our family and discussing together the words of God that has written in the bible, sounds great?

“That sounds better than going to church every Sunday and go to the confession box for the forgiveness to our sins, in that very building we can also commit sin afterwards, right?’’ Rhea agreed.

“Yeah right! I experiece the same thing! Joana speaks out, “Every time I went to church and saw someone wearing seductive dress I think very badly. So, by not going to church anymore is all we gonna do to follow Jesus?”

“No, that’s only a part of it, you also have to repent of your sins and renew yourselves by baptism.”

“What do you mean baptism? Jana ask, “like what the priest did when we were a child?”

“Sort of, but now you are going to be baptize because you believe that you are a sinner and you are willing to leave your sins behind and make a new life with Jesus. When we were a child we don’t even understand why we were baptize right? We do not even know that we were a sinner. It was just a tradition then. Biblical baptism that God requires occurs when a person is willing to die and rose again and follow the commandments of God. And if you are willing to be buried with your sins and rose to a new life you will begin a new life-journey with God, you need to be baptize.”

“We are willing to be baptize and when should we do that?” they inquire.

That very day, they are willing to change their life-style, so a few days after they were baptize at the ocean not far from our house.

We’re all school-mates, friends that have become family of God, my extended family in school. We meet together as a family spontaneously.

Lifestyle that Demands Questions

29 06 2011

“What’s the difference then?” Jenny asked.

“Jesus.” I answered straight.

She nodded her head and says, “I see, that’s why.”

Jenny, a 21 year old woman lived next town, has been close friends with the girls living with us, Arlene and Analyn and sometimes she would drop in at the house and since then she’s been lovin’ what she’s seein’. The way we live forces her to ask some reality questions.

First time she came we had meals together, then second time she stays longer, this time she stayed for a night. We share our hospitality with her as we normally do to anyone who needed it. The next day before she left she already expresses some appreciations like:

“I love it here.”
“I wanna learn some things…” [She saw the people around this Apostolic Hub how we got some work to do and share.]
“Can you adopt me as one of your kids Uncle Molong?” [She sees how we behave together as one family, though around 15 of us living life-together.]

She began to see things differently and others began to recognize her “wanting to be a part of” us. Around this time she already expresses that she’s getting tired of her work, and not wanting to just stayed at home and waited for the next work day. So, I throw a question at her while helping one of the girls cook our breakfast one morning, “What’s your purpose in life Jenny?”

“None,” was her quick reply, “I do not know, I am confused.”

I let her own words sunk deeply inside her boggling thoughts. It is good to be curious about things especially about on what to do with your life.

She’s looking for something “different.” I was pretty sure at that.

We let that day passes by. Then a second time she visited us, about a week later, still stayed with us but this time a bit longer, 3 days. The day is Sunday. As normally I have my coffee, it’s time to call her up and sat under the tree with some chairs around the table sipping my coffee.

“Hi Jenny, good morning.” I started to initiate some discussions. “Have you done your coffee time yet? Can you come over and sit with me for I have something to tell you.”

“Alright Uncle,let me finished cleaning the hut and then I’ll join with you.” She answered back. When she’s finished she sat down on a chair right opposite to me, there’s another vacant sit on my left side. [See how this chair was being prepared by, later.]

The two of us started a conversation:

“So, you like it here Jenny?” I started, “Why?

“Something just different Uncle, I wanna learn what they learned.” Looking at the people around working something.

I look her in the eye and said plainly, “If you want to become a part of my family, then I have to make you a disciple. You like that?”

“Sege bah.” She said it in cebuano word means “Yes, for sure.”

“Unsaon mana?” [How was that?] She inquired.

“You’re 21 and says you have no purpose. That’s pretty normal life like anybody around but until you start something new in your life then you be like everybody else. Imagine what you’re doing today is the same yesterday, what do you think would happen to you tomorrow?”

“Hmnn….of course nothing. Yah.” She keeps hearing me.

“No purpose right? How do you think you would find your purpose? Where do you think you could find it? If I will buy a TV set and I do not know how to use it then where should I go? Where should I look to find how my TV would function?”

“To the manual!” she answered quick.

“Who made the manual Jenny?”

“The one who made the TV.” she said.

“Like us then, God created us and after that He made a manual on how we should function as humans, as who we are created to be.

Jenny, your longings for family and purpose is wonderful for that’s how we are created. It’s good, but until you understand the story behind all of this then we cannot go on making you a disciple and be a part of my family.”

“My family here, all of us living here is called Jesus Family. We are followers of Jesus, He is our King and as much as we can we will obey Him. To make you a disciple is one of our job. You want to become a art of us, of course, as we know you little by little we also want ourselves to become a part of you.”

“Sege na Uncle, unsa man.” [Tell me now, come on!] she blurt out.

“There’s something that you want to know.” She eagerly listens. “You’re dead.”

She look at me in the eye, and said calmly, “What do you mean?”

“When Jesus died for you, that means there is something wrong in us. Sin does not only make you hide from your purpose in life but also hide yourself from God. That means, because of sin, you’re dead. And you know that dead person could could not communicate. You’re dead. And you needed to be raised back to life.”

“Should I do ‘good’ works?” She offered

“Good works? How can can a dead person work Jenny?”

“Oh, so you mean, what will happen to those people who does good works?” She reason.

“What’s the difference, everybody does it right?

At this very moment, remember that empty chair on my left side? It was now occupied with my mother holding her cup of coffee and just speak out, “Relationship my dear, they have no relationship.”

I stare at my mom with amazement, “Whew, what a good timing!” I said in my mind. I think I could not answer the way she answered! It’s just perfect time. Much more she continued…

“God loves you and there is nothing you can do about it.” Well, there you go. And honestly, to our whole conversation with Jenny to the end, at this point, mom just left without notice! It’s just like the Holy Spirit, the wind blows wherever it wishes. You don’t know where it’s coming and where it’s going but surely you can feel it!

She’s gone, and I think she goes somewhere in my Filipino hut watching TV?

“Exactly,” I pointed out. “You may know our president and may want to do something good to offer him. But the question is, does he knows you?”

“Probably not.” She answered in dismay.

“God loves you Jenny, and there is no ‘good work’ that you can do to make Him love you more. He should have not gone to that cross if only good works could save us. He already did so much good works like healing the sick people, raised up dead people and feed the poor. But why He needed to die for you? Because you cannot do it, I cannot do it. Only He can do it.”

Right from the beginning when we sin we’re already dead in our trespasses. Nothing we could do with that except we be buried to the ground.”

She’s an intelligent woman, she certainly understand these things.

“Jenny, you’re dead,” I said bluntly, “until I bury you you cannot be a follower of Jesus. See, if anyone follows Christ, He will kill him or her….” She stares with astonishment as I speak these strange words to her. “Until you denied yourself,” this time I am more clearer, “until you realize that the life that you know has now come to an end, you cannot follow Him with your old life because He cannot give you His new life.”

“So, what should I do?” she was so curios at this time.

“Well, what should we do with dead people?” I ask her

“Aw, Elubong! Elubong ko nimo Uncle?” [Well, bury them. Are you going to bury me?]

“Yes. Because Jesus will kill you, that is why I shall bury you.”

This time, she laugh in astonishment. “Did you get my point Jenny?” I ask.

“Yes,” she said.

“I will baptize you in water.” And I said to her plainly, “Just as Jesus died and was buried then you also must die with Him in baptism. And just as He raised Himself from the dead you also will be raised in new life.”

“Mao diay na?” [I see, that’s it?]


“But I was already baptize when I was young.” She inquire.

“Well, burial is 6 feet under the ground. Are you sprinkled or ‘buried’ under the water? Have you seen anybody was buried by sprinkling some soil?”

“Well, no.”

“When a person ‘realizes’ that he is dead then he would realize that he needed to be buried right away or else he be stinky soon enough!” She laugh hard at this time. “A child doesn’t even know what’s going on when he was poured out with water.”

Death to self is very important in making you a new person. It’s how the Kingdom of God works!”

I must baptize you right away.”

“Now uncle?” she ask.

“Yes, or you start smelly.”

“Yes,” she said with a smile, “OK. but I got no dress to wear?”

“Don’t worry. the way you look just fine.”

As normally do, the way we make disciples is as quick as 6 to 15 minutes. With Jenny is about 15. I took my daughter Shirley Faith with me and her cousin Kimberly. Rode on my bike for 7 minutes and dump her in. I prayed a short prayer of thanking Father,immerses her and gave a hug and said, “Welcome to my family, the family of God. You are now a part of us, we are now a part of you. We’re family.”

When we get home, our eating together is as normal as the Lord’s Supper, ‘accepting one another’ in the Lord. I handed her a book, “Back To The Basics” a good introduction as a babe in Christ.

Our last partings statement just before we went to the sea for baptism:

“Jenny, the difference of what you see in us here?….is Jesus.”

“Ah, mao diay.” [Ah, I get it]

discipleSHIFT: from one-man discipling to one-another making disciples

30 11 2010

One of the biggest shift is that the next generation can be able to make disciples to their next generation without us! How can this be?

The modern discipleship that we see in today’s church is so weak in that without ‘the pastor’ the church or the work dies. Someone’s got to do it? We have so neglect the work of the Holy Spirit Who can be able to mature the person without human intervention. Inspite of the heavy materials and schedules [you need a ‘shcedule’ in order to answer the ‘materials’] and ‘services’ and ‘programs’ and ‘methods’ of discipling their members, still the work isn’t done, even ‘turning their own city upside down’ it didn’t happen. For more ‘additional’ trainings they even built ‘Bible Schools’ and do ‘seminars’ and ‘conferences’ about it, yet somehow the answer to the question, “Discipling? How long?” can never be answered.

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