Inter-church prayer rally strengthens Western Visayas

Routine church prayer meetings kick up as one church unites with the rest of the body of Christ. Last June 12, 2014, churches from the Western Visayas section decided to clasp uplifted hands in fervent prayer for each other.

Western Visayas Region Overseer, Rev. Benjamin Chavez, said that this Prayer Rally is different from the usual church prayer meetings because all churches in the Iloilo section went out of their way to bond with fellow planters. 50 pastors and leaders of 10 EFC-Churches from Ajuy, Tubogan, Dumangas, Pototan, Roxas, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Jaro, Tigbauan and Guimaras met in this united prayer and fasting for abundant harvest.

The whole-day event was held at the JECPP Western Visayas Office at E. Lopez St., Jaro, Iloilo City. Those who attended testified that their spirits were quickened by the Holy Spirit and the intense prayers of their brothers and sisters.

According to Rev. Chavez, the highlight of the event was that the churches “drew lots” as they took turns praying for each other.  Every church was given an opportunity to pray for the particular church picked out from the bunch of prayer requests.  “We joined our hands together and prayed desperately for God’s power, favor and direction for churches all over the Philippines”, he said.

Exponential geographical and financial growth, healing and revival were the goals of this first Prayer Rally intended to become a regular practice in the Western Visayas region.



JECPP teachers brush up competence

By La Donna Yap

            Children’s Ministry plays a significant role in setting the foundations of faith in a child’s life.  It could be the first place where a child encounters Jesus Christ.  While parents remain as the most important faith influencers in their children’s life, Children’s Ministry comes alongside to help them rear their precious ones in the Kingdom of God.

In this light, JECPP empowers the Children’s Church teachers of EFC in Marilog District, Davao City on May 22, 2014 and in EFC-Kidapawan (with Del Sur, South Cotabato and SOCCSKSARGEN Regions) on May 29, 2014 by giving them a Seminar-Workshop on Teaching Children.  A total of 57 teachers joined the said training from 23 Southern Mindanao EFC churches.

The one day seminar-workshop was designed and facilitated by Sis. Cecille Gacasan and Sis. La Donna Yap, experienced Children’s Church teachers of EFC-Davao.  Both facilitators emphasized that Bible Teaching doesn’t have to be dull and drab. Teachers do not have to get stuck in ruts. They demonstrated the methodology in teaching children, such as drawing and crafts, demonstration, dramatization, question and answer, drills and games, music and action songs and storytelling.

Moreover, teachers were also taught to outline or plan their bible lessons effectively.  The objectives are to help the students remember the details of the story (e.g. names and characters, places, etc.); understand the conditions in the story; apply the details in real life situations that students can relate to; analyze the word of God and how the message affects the child’s everyday life; evaluate the circumstances of the characters in the story and make connections with students’ experiences and create their personal reflections or conclusion of the story. Explaining the bible verses before asking the students to memorize it was emphasized as well.

Aside from equipping the teachers with the knowledge and skills in teaching effectively, they were also given time to share their testimonies, struggles and burden in their respective ministry.  These gave them the chance to relate to each other and to encourage each other. All of them shared that the training is a refreshment for them and that it put springs on their steps to teach their classes in the coming Sundays.

Indeed, teaching children is not easy, and success is not immediate, but the rewards are sure and eternal as Jesus said in Matt. 19:14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”


Remembering Pastor Jocelyn Tubongbanua Bachoco (October 7, 1960 – June 22, 2014)

This year we mourn the passing of Pastor Jocelyn Bachoco who died last June 22, 2014. Despite the suffering, especially on her final bout with cancer on the last week of April up to the month of June, Pastor Jocelyn never doubted the goodness of God in her life. When she realized that medical intervention could not reverse her condition, she said: “Let God’s will be done; whatever happens I am ready.” This is evidence that there was peace in her heart even though cancer was draining the life out of her. She had peace that was based on the assurance of eternal inheritance waiting for her in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Deep in our hearts as family and friends, we know that she has lived out this peace. Even in her final moment, her husband Pastor Benjie Bachoco and their eldest daughter Jalyn told us of her very calm countenance.

The internment service was held on June 26, 2014 in Pastor Jocelyn’s hometown at Bantud Fabrica, Dumangas, Iloilo. The JECPP Spiritual Leaders present were Pastor Andrew Kwong, Pastor Rowena Kwong and daughter Kristy Kwong, Pastor Peter Wee, Pastor Chuck Chua, and Pastor Benjamin Chavez. During the internment service, the Spiritual Leaders talked about how they remembered Pastor Jocelyn as a wife, mother, and minister. Pastor Andrew based his message on Psalm 116:15 which says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. Pastor Andrew recalled the sufferings of Pastor Jocelyn in the last few weeks of her life, such as how she would struggle walking with measured steps to the toilet to relieve herself. As he was talking about these things, Pastor Andrew was teary eyed and very emotional, but he further stressed that, though Pastor Jocelyn suffered terribly from cancer, she did not die in vain, for at present, she is already in heaven, free from pain, tears, and the terrible suffering she had undergone in the last months of her life. Truly she is in a better position now.

Pastor Wee, on the other hand, recalled how he and Pastor Christine met Pastor Jocelyn for the first time in 1994, and how they prayed for her to meet the man of her dreams, and how that prayer was answered when in 1995, a young man named Honorio Bachoco Jr. courted her and later became her husband when they wed in 1996. Lastly, Pastor Chuck recalled how he had come to know Pastor Jocelyn as a woman of small stature but with a big heart to serve God. She was one of the first church planters to be sent out to the island of Guimaras.

After the internment service, we traveled back to Iloilo City with the joy of the Lord, because we know that death did not have the final say in Pastor Jocelyn’s life. Although we mourn her physical absence, we know our separation from each other is but temporary.

Finally, the day came when Pastor Jocelyn’s body was to be brought to its final resting place. The burial service was held at the Tubongbanua’s ancestral home in Bantud Fabrica Dumangas Iloilo on June 30, 2014 at 1:00 in the afternoon. The service was conducted by Pastor Jessie Yu, Pastor Benjamin Chavez, and Pastor Bernardo de Jesus Jr. During the service, Pastor Benjie Chavez delivered to us a message entitled: “What does a Christian gain when he dies?” The message was based on Philippians 1:21 where Paul wrote, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Pastor Benjie stressed that for a saint to die in the Lord is no loss at all but gain. Death is not a hopeless condition as many see it, but being finally delivered from the pain and suffering of the world and entering into everlasting peace in heaven.  He stressed that in death, a Christian gains “a glorious inheritance.” After this, a special tribute was given by Pastor Lilibeth Fabales and Pastor Lourgue Jimenez. Pastor Lilibeth remembered Pastor Jocelyn as a close friend, who along with her, overcame many storms in life, especially in the ministry. Pastor Lourgue, on the other hand, remembered her as the pastor who led her to Jesus. She remembered how Pastor Jocelyn’s faithful follow-up had influenced her life for Jesus.

After the service, we all proceeded to the Dumangas public cemetery where Pastor Jocelyn’s body was laid to rest. It was a very emotional time for the Tubongbanua and Bachoco families. To part with a beloved is never easy. In our hearts we said our sad “goodbyes” and joyful “see you again” to Pastor Jocelyn.  As what Max Lucado states,  “For the Christian, a goodbye today will turn out to be a hello tomorrow”.  Praise God for this glorious inheritance!

We would like to thank JECPP for their encouragement to the Bachoco family; all the WV planters for their love and support; the EFC Ajuy music team for their anointed song numbers; Jalyn and Riolyn Bachoco for courageously dedicating a song number to their mother; and all relatives and friends of the Tubongbanua and Bachoco families who have shown their love and support in this time of bereavement.