Christmas is giving to children

(Gift-giving for Leyte and Samar kids)

The Christmas holidays in the Visayas region, strikingly 2011 up to 2014, have been ravaged by typhoons with shocking death tolls and destructions. For those who have witnessed in the news the horrific climate crises in the Philippines, one can only imagine the sufferings of children in the provinces of Leyte and Samar, Eastern Visayas.

JECPP churches in the Visayas region have since taken part in the nationwide relief and humanitarian aid to trauma and grief-stricken victims. This Christmas 2014, JECPP aimed to soothe the pain of the weakest victims, yet packed with God-fashioned strength and resilience in their soft hearts and quick smiles despite tragedy after tragedy. The hope of Christmas belongs to them, the Filipino children of Leyte and Samar.

Last December 22 and 23, Evangel Family Churches in Leyte and Samar spent the Christmas break gathering about 600 children from various barangays. The little kids were treated to a party filled with games, prizes, food, toys, and most of all, a Christmas Bible message of love and hope. The children were introduced to their strongest advocate and defender, Jesus Christ himself, who calms the storm and the fears it brings.

In Ormoc City, Evangel Family Church-Ormoc spearheaded the event they called GASA: Kids Christmas Party and Gift Giving 2014.  The activity, from the Visayan word gasa which means gift, was well appreciated by one hundred children from two barangays who flocked to the church for a morning of fun-filled party led by Pastor Bobby Subong and the energetic Hearts on Fire (HOF) youth.

The GASA team proceeded to two other barangays where 52 children awaited them in the afternoon of the same day. The next morning on December 23, another group of 83 children in Brgy. Talisayan, Albuera, Leyte received the surprises, and so did the 65 kids in Brgy. Montebello, Kananga, Leyte.

Children’s laughter rang loudly not only in Leyte but also in Calbayog City and Sta. Margarita in Samar on December 23. Evangel Family Church-Calbayog also launched the same gift-giving event they called Evangel Children Christmas Party Samar Section led by Pastor Gerry and Pastor Ailene Fernandez. About 200 children from three barangays in Calbayog City were the recipients of this activity as well as the one hundred children from Brgy. Magsohong, Sta. Margarita.

The children gave their merriest “thank you” to this generous project of Rev. Dr. Robert and Rev. Marion Lim and all JECPP Spiritual Leaders and church volunteers.


School and feeding programs reward faithful attendees

Nine feeding centers,

52 feeding workers, 810 children, one community, one church and one God have this one vision – to see the younger generation rise up and become the future Christ-centered leaders and values-driven professionals through education, pursuit of one’s dreams and fulfillment of every child’s God-given purpose.

Last  May 22, 2014, 26 workers gathered at EFC-Cebu to pack bags of school supplies for  the faithful graders, and gifts for the non- schooling kids from

the different feeding centers. Gail Eviota, one of the packing volunteers, commented that the entire packing session was carried out systematically with everyone really enjoying his or her task. “Everybody wanted to wrap everything up quickly to finish the packing period earlier”, she added. The packing started at 10 am and ended at almost 6 pm.

Segregating the supplies for various grade levels, packing them in plastic bags and envelopes, labeling them with the children’s names and distributing the bags to the feeding centers tired the volunteers.

The anticipated kids’ smiles, however, replenished their energy and excitement. The awaited day finally came. The feeding workers arrived at Riverside, one of the feeding centers, where the program would be held.

After settling down, an opening prayer was delivered and followed with an energizing song. The children’s excitement was so evident particularly the faithful ones who knew that before the afternoon ends, they’ll be bringing home the reward of their consistent Sunday attendance. But before the presents were handed out, a short inspiring speech conveyed what the children say when asked what they want to be in the future. Becoming doctors, nurses, and teachers were common responses.

Teacher Sheryl Gabule of Tejero feeding center said that after hearing the Tejero kids’ aspirations, she sees hope for our nation – a kind of hope that needs to be ignited from the children’s hearts and be nurtured in God’s direction. This is also hope that calls for more ates and kuyas who shall be God’s means to mold these precious ones. Priceless smiles flashed as more than 700 children were called one by one to receive their faithfulness reward. Ronnie Sevilla Jr. of Laurente feeding centersaid that he is very glad seeing the kids happy and encouraged to do better in school. Although not everybody met the required number of Sunday meetings, nobody went home empty-handed. Everyone received a snack, but above all, they were challenged to excel in their studies and receive another faithfulness reward in next year’s back to school program.

When all the faithful kids got their gifts, a group photo was taken, together with the feeding workers, marking another special day full of childlike joy.


by Djoanna Crystie Anne Gocotano, RMT

“Asia is the future of the world. Youth is the future of Asia. Hence, youth is the future of the world.”central_&_eastern_visayas

                Last April 16, there were 209 young people from Central and Eastern Visayas who gathered for the long-awaited “Empowering the Nex Gen” conference to enlighten our young minds with what God has in store for the next generation. In between the morning and evening sessions, there were four workshops to attend. The Music Ministry Workshop led by Brother Govi had 67 registered attendees, Youth Ministry Workshop led by Pastor Jay had 70, Children Ministry Workshop led by Pastor Em had 41 and lastly, there was the Family Life-Raising Teenagers Workshop led by Pastors Allan and Constant with Pastors Chuck and Jocelyn. These workshops, with their Spirit-filled mentors helped many teenagers, young adults and even those young at heart. It was designed to develop Jesus-centered gifts, talents and skills for the service and honor of our Savior King.               

              pastor_allan_litOur guest speaker, Pastor Allan Lit, shared his life and experiences with us—how he had been called to minister as an assistant prison chaplain in his early years in Singapore and how he became a missionary in Hong Kong to train workers for church planting among the teeming millions in mainland China. He taught and fed not just our minds but our hearts and souls with empowering truths as well. It was a very refreshing experience that stirred our hearts to hunger for more. Personally, I learned that we behold a God of UNLIMITED CHANCES. This conference was indeed God’s marvelous plan to grab hold of us for the empowerment we have been prepared for. These are highlights of the lessons we learned at the conference through God’s humble servants:




A vision begins as one encounters the Almighty One. The word “vision” is usually associated with something that is ahead of us like a goal. This is the mission statement of our lives. It is initiated by the King of kings Himself. We then experience Him like we had never experienced Him before. We begin to see things around us as opportunities, not just problems. We seize every chance for the completion of the vision entrusted in our minds and hearts by God.


                 Where we come from does not determine where we are headed. In other words, our past does not define our future. Dwelling on past failures, mistakes and “should-haves” are useless. When we live in the past, we cannot move toward the goal of being the empowered change agents in this world. We cannot be the person He wants us to be when we keep looking back. He is asking us not to regard the past but to focus on the work and the blessings He has for us today. Deuteronomy 28 records a long list of God’s wonderful blessings in place for His people. We must live our lives with His blessings that chase us. As one of the “Nex Gen”, it is inspiring to know that we can be a man and a woman of influence, great reputation and success. Our Lord desires nothing less than the ultimate good for His people.



                 Our church is only one generation away from extinction if none from the new generation will rise up. There are two keys in effectively reaching the next generation. One is to renounce selfishness. King Hezekiah in the Old Testament sadly represents one who was selfish and failed to reach his next generation. 2 Kings 20:19 relates what this king was like. He was shortsighted and self-preserving. Consequently, a few generations away from his reign, his descendants were held captive and taken to Babylon just as God’s prophet had declared. What if those whom we consider as spiritual parents and older brothers and sisters were like that? Would we be able to determine right from wrong in the near future? This must be our plea and our cry: Fight for our children and the hope of the world! The second key to reaching the next generation is to receive spiritual power. Only the anointing and the power of God can break the bondage. Without our most powerful, ever-constant loving God, we are indeed nothing. Only God can convict hearts and touch lives. Our present generation must receive spiritual power to release spiritual power to the next generation.cebu4


                 Water baptism is not just a ritualistic deed; it is an act of faith and obedience to God’s Word. Before we started our night session, five of our brothers and sisters in Christ obeyed the command to be water baptized. Listening to their testimonies, you could really sense the Holy Spirit’s evident working in their lives. Truly, God has lifted these five Christ’s followers to a higher plane of commitment, and thus inspired others to do likewise.water_baptism


                 When we exalt God, we are exalted together with Him. It is important for all of us to have that spiritual ambition for God’s glory. We must be eager to do great things for God. Then we begin to work  that desire into action. The anointing of the Holy Spirit comes through our doing something for His honor. He then sees us as a good deposit, and He will dwell powerfully inside us. As we continue to trust His promises and faithfulness to us, the staying power for spiritual ambition will be all the more evident. When life throws at us defeat, discouragement and disillusionment, we do not stop. Instead, we march on towards Him more and in fact, supersede with the work He has done in and through us. Deep inside, there remains a holy dissatisfaction but yet filled with clear destination and sheer determination. Then, we know we are gaining breakthrough.



                 Loving is never easy. Why must we love God then? Several Scriptures in the Bible tell us that the One who first loved us commands, compels, convinces and consolidates us to love Him. Loving is a task, and we must impart that love to the people around us. When we give God our whole hearts, we should not worry; He’ll give us plenty more and more and more back to give to someone else. We begin to show our love for Him through serving Him and people too. Service becomes our will, our commitment and our character. We become more of a lover than a worker. Hence, we do things out of marvelous love. In return, the Great Lover Himself is mindful to reward us with divine creativity, comprehension and confidence.cebu6

                   All these truths and principles are so essential to becoming the generation that can change our world. Messages in the conference from the servants of God were truly timely and heart-piercing. The amount paid for attending the event was far outweighed by what we received spiritually. From the first day until the last, we were eating, grasping and confronting truths we could hold on to for life. We were taught to heed God’s calling for our generation. Some might have and some might not have realized yet their calling. However, the important thing is that we are all willing to obey God totally and wholly.

                  On April 19, 2014, all the city church and outstation delegates returned to our different churches and homes more fulfilled and ready to take on the challenges. We’re ready for God to reveal His vision and calling for us. By this, I celebrate that God exists and truly cares for the young. He is at work in us. I say, ‘AMEN’ to that!

                  We are deeply thankful to God for leading the Spiritual Leaders of JECPP to hatch the plan of hosting the “Empowering The NEX GEN” youth conferences in the different regions. Great appreciation is also extended to the leadership of JECPP Central and Eastern Visayas for organizing and raising the resources to empower our emerging generation for Christ.­­­­­­­­








An Overcoming Year (7th Graduation Exercises of Evangel Futurekids Academy)

by Nilo Bautista

The education component of the Robert and Marion Lim PEACE Foundation embodied by Evangel Futurekids Academy (EFA) marked its 7th year of existence. It has continued to provide premium basic education at an affordable cost in M.J. Cuenco community despite the overwhelming challenges faced by the school management headed by Rev. Jocelyn Chua. School year 2013-2014 saw a giant step taken in opening up a class for grade 4 pupils. Total student enrollment was 140, an increase of 20 pupils from the previous year.

The year was filled with tough challenges. On October 15, 2013 a strong earthquake hit Cebu City and Bohol, which resulted in the cancellation of few school activities. The EFA school building came under thorough inspection for safety by authorized structural engineers. Thankfully, Cebu Liberty Lumber building where EFA is located was declared safe for occupancy. Thus, we were able to move on with the school operations to this day.

The following month, ‘Yolanda’ made history as the strongest typhoon (international codename ‘Haiyan’) the world had ever experienced hit our region. Hence, classes had to be cancelled, and the children had to attend make up classes on Saturdays. God is good in enabling them to work hard and focus on their studies despite the different calamities striking the Visayas. The children’s parents rose to help the victims by giving relief goods through EFA, especially for the victims in Tacloban City.

The graduation and recognition ceremony was truly one of the most anticipated events of the year considering all the ‘hardships’ our little kids had to face. However, it was rescheduled one week later as 30 pupils and their families were the unfortunate victims of the biggest fire that hit MJ Cuenco community. The fire destroyed hundreds of houses in Brgy. Lorega. Thankfully, no life was lost. Thus, Rev. Jocelyn Chua and the Board of Trustees decided to reach out to the victims and postponed the graduation and recognition.

Tough challenges indeed – EFA went through the fire, earthquake and typhoon! Thanks to God’s faithfulness; a total of 24 Kinder II pupils got to graduate. The ceremony was well attended by the parents, friends and relatives of the graduates and honor students. Kinder 1 pupil Keziah Joy Miego opened the entire program with a very moving prayer. Her family was among the victims of the fire incident in Brgy. Lorega.

The Spirit of God moved in the entire program, and many could testify that God indeed did a good work in the lives of the little ones and their parents. The graduating class first honors, Isaiah Florida, gave an impressive speech that cheered the audience.

The selected honor students from different levels presented the song ‘Yesterday’s Dream’ which lifted the spirits of the parents and guests. The program was also graced with special numbers from Grade 3 pupils with their beautiful Flute Rendition and Grade 4 pupils with their patriotic Speech Choir. The highlight of the day went to the students of the Graduating Class with their outstanding song number “I Am A Promise”, who received thunderous applause from the audience.


rev_chuck_chua_giving_an_inspirational_messageRev. Chuck Chua gave the inspirational message with a powerful quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. to both parents and teachers that says: INTELLIGENCE PLUS CHARACTER – THAT IS THE GOAL OF TRUE EDUCATION. The core of the message was taken from the life story of Daniel and the three Hebrew boys. He then closed the message by pointing out the 3 Pillars of Education using the acronym of the school, EFA which speaks of Ecclesia=Church, Family=Home and Academy=School.


Most of the EFA Board of Trustees and the Robert and Marion Lim PEACE Foundation Trustees attended the graduation rites as well. By God’s grace, it had been a year of overcoming challenges, remarkable growth and continuing pursuit to better educate the children in every aspect necessary.

We look forward to seeing the many plans of God unfold this coming school year 2014-2015. We want to acknowledge the different groups and individuals who supported the ministry, especially Pastors Robert and Marion Lim together with Evangel Family Church Singapore headed by Pastors Dale and Chui Lim for their constant prayer and support. May the good Lord continue to open doors for the ministry to expand this year for His glory!


JECPP Bohol Relief Operations 2013

1,000 Times To Bless

JECPP Bohol Relief Operations on October 21 & 29, 2013

by Dr. Gracia Nina R. Bongabong

intensity mapThe 7.2 magnitude quake tagged as the 5th deadliest earthquake in the Philippines since the 16th century struck the entire Visayas region and as far as Masbate Island in the north and Cotabato provinces in Southern Mindanao on October 15, 2013.

 A series of aftershocks, expected to last for months continued its assault on victims and survivors. One week after the quake, PHILVOLCS (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) has recorded more than 2, 000 aftershocks; 57 of which were felt.

The experience of an aftershock, however, is more than just the physical tremor. Fear, panic, trauma, depression and grief for lost loved ones are worse emotional aftermath.

In response to the plight of earthquake victims in Bohol, the 682 JECPP Churches all over the Philippines wasted no time to help. One day after the quake, Pastor Chuck Chua and Pastor Jay Bautista of EFC-Cebu met with Pastor Bene Cabase of EFC-Bohol to survey the destruction. They selected the five most affected towns, namely, Cortes, Antequera, Loon, Maribojoc and Sagbayan ( the epicenter town) for the first Bohol Relief Operation on October 21, one week after the disaster. Packs of goods were distributed by JECPP volunteers to 500 families. This was followed by the second relief operation on October 29 which helped another 500 families.

Blessing one thousand families (multiply by 5 for an average size Filipino family) would mean that together, we were able to bring a smile to at least 5,000 Boholanos. This number of time bless is certainly higher than the number of aftershocks they may still be experiencing!

On October 19, JECPP posted a video ( to appeal to JECPP churches to lend a hand to fellow countrymen. One can have a glimpse here of the devastation of the earthquake in Central Visayas.

 According to news reports, 198 were dead with 185 of them in Bohol, the epicenter. reported 53 thousand damaged structures; most notable were the national historical churches in Bohol and Cebu.


The first JECPP Bohol Relief Operation is a combined effort of 24 volunteers from EFC-Cebu and EFC-Bohol. It was done in two separate routes; one by land for Cortes, Antequera and Sagbayan and the other by sea to reach Loon and Maribojoc. God’s touch caused each team member to be courageous enough to leave home in spite of themselves and their families experiencing turmoil caused by the quake and ongoing aftershocks.  

The preparation of 500 relief goods was quite a challenge for Pastor Bene Cabase’s team, with only one shopping mall opened for the entire city of Tagbilaran, Bohol. He and his wife Pastor Leah had to plan thoroughly the transportation goods considering the destroyed roads and bridges.

As prayers were poured out on the day of the relief operation, there was an impending super typhoon of 200 kph threatening to enter the Philippines. There was a downpour and strong wind early that morning. One of the vehicles for the relief operation broke down. Prayers were urged again from the different JECPP churches, and God be praised as the two teams told their stories on that one wonderful day:

(Account of Pastor Jay Baustista on the 1st Bohol Relief Operation, October 21, 2013)

The bad weather delayed us. On the previous night, one sailing boat capsized in the same route we were about to go. Pastor Chuck advised us to wait at Tagbilaran Manga Fishport while he asked prayers from the different JECPP Churches. The sun came shining out not long after. Our team of volunteers and some Boholano friends loaded the relief goods into motorized banca- a small wooden fishing boat. Seven banca were used by the team to carry all supplies. It’s risky to sail on a small banca that could seat only a maximum of 3. But we believed that our God is able to keep us safe. Half an hour later, we reached Maribojoc and saw the collapsed houses and electric posts by the seashore.

We noticed that mainly the men were queuing to receive the relief goods for 100 families. We learned that they evacuated their wives and children to safer and higher area away from the landslide. They were gripped with fear, so they chose to stay in their secure place while the men looked for food and water. The giving of the goods was so orderly that we were actually surprised and impressed. They were gentle and grateful people.

The next town was Song-on, Loon where we saw the mountains fell with the devastations seen in the lowland. While other islands in Bohol were reportedly sinking, Loon town was experiencing a phenomenal land elevation; thus, their seashore was moved about 600 meters away exposing the precious corals. As we started the distribution, we were overwhelmed with joy seeing the recipients display the spirit of bayanihan (comradeship) as they passed the goods from one person to the next while standing on the fragile corals. Their “thank you’s” were unending. We could only be grateful to God and to the people who contributed to help the 100 families there. 

For the other three towns, we went by an open truck filled with 300 relief goods. The smaller vehicle designated to carry the rest of the volunteers broke down because of the unpaved, muddy road, so all the volunteers squeezed into the open truck.

 The first town we went to was Loreto, Cortes whose people braved to go to our meeting place despite the bad weather and long walking distance. Sister Gina of EFC-Cortes gathered the people in an open field by the woods. The waiting crowd was so overjoyed to see us. We saw the smiles of relief and sincere “thank you’s” from their lips.

When we reached the town of Antequera, we did not only distributed the goods but lent our listening ears to the stories of the victims. Some lost their loved ones especially in the landslides, while some had amazing stories how they fortunately escaped from their collapsing houses. We thank God for the opportunity that we could pray with them. Truly in this operation, we had more than just the 500 relief goods. We had the unending supply of God’s joy, love and peace in Christ! 

Sagbayan was almost two hours farther from Antequera. Traveling there, we saw the placards and children along the road requesting for water, food and PRAYERS. The sights moved the volunteers deeply. The famous Chocolate Hills were not all intact as some were ruined by the quake. We saw more destroyed houses as we keep on our journey. Experts said that 90% of these homes are considered unsafe for living. My ancestral home which I had not seen for 24 years was not spared.  My cousin who was our contact person in the town showed me how she escaped in that house. Finally, the distribution of the goods was so touching upon seeing their very appreciative eyes and the sweet Boholano smiles.

That relief operation concluded with testimonies at the new and better sanctuary of EFC- Tagbilaran as their previous place had major damages, including the almost half-split steel gate. Pastor Bene gave thanks to God for the protection of his family and church members. He also expressed his deep gratitude to all the JECPP churches and leadership, especially to Pastor Robert Lim and the Regional Leaders for the generous help to the Boholanos to whom he has been a missionary for almost two decades. The youth of EFC-Tagbilaran testified with tears of joy that the Lord used them to help their fellow Boholanos, thanked God for no casualty especially among their loved ones, repented from spiritual lukewarmness. As we worshipped the Lord on that thanksgiving night, there was still the insatiable cry in our hearts to do more for the people there.  Our surprise came when Pastor Chuck announced to the the entire Bohol Relief Operation team the overwhelming response of the JECPP Churches. Thus, a second relief operation to bless another 500 families was about to happen!

(An account of Pastor Bene Cabase on the 2nd Bohol Relief Operation, October 29, 2013)

A day after the first relief operation, I had to admit my wife Pastor Leah to a hospital as she experienced some sort of food poisoning. She collapsed while in the comfort room. Thanks be to God that she had a speedy recovery then. We spent the week planning how  to go back to Maribojoc and Loon. Daily news reported that some have already died of hunger in those towns.

The young people and the adult in church worked hand in hand to pack the 500 relief goods after our Sunday Service up to almost midnight. Nineteen volunteers were willing to go with me through the seas to bring the relief goods. We decided not to bring the team through the small ‘banca’ anymore as advised by Pastor Chuck as the risk was pretty much higher. I couldn’t find a boat that could accommodate the 500 relief goods and 19 volunteers as there were no commercial fishing boats in Tagbilaran. However, God directed us to another island, and there we found a big diving boat in Panglao!

Tuesday early morning that week we sailed together to Maribojoc, specifically to the people in Brgy. San Vicente. The mangroves in this barangay were quite thick that we took some time locating the seashore. Thelma, our contact person, met us with a group of fishermen in their small banca right on time. Ten of us volunteers went in the small banca as the fishermen brought us to the seashore. Reaching the shore we saw the numerous families waiting for our arrival, a very touching sight. We lent our listening ears to the stories of each individual. Some stories were amazing escape from death while some were painful losses of their loved ones and friends. They were filled with thankfulness for the help. We thank God that we could be there for them even for such a time!

We sailed then to Basdaco, Loon, but this time the island was noted to have experienced continuous changes in its landscape. The exposed corals had become further from the seashore compared to the previous week during our first relief operation. I thought of asking again for a small banca to help transport our goods and volunteers over where the people were. Unfortunately, no banca could be provided this time. Carrying the goods to the shore line would not be possible because of their weight, and stepping on the fragile corals would mean we might injure our feet. So I instructed all the recipients to form a long line from the seashore to our diving boat and pass the goods one to another. With the helping hands of the Boholanos themselves, we finished giving them the hundreds of remaining packs. They waved a big thank you to the volunteers as we went back to Tagbilaran. It was a very heartwarming sight.

It is the greatest joy of a victim of any calamity to know that someone cares for them. We are glad that our dear Lord Jesus Christ uses His church to respond to the cry of the needy, homeless and grieving.

Celebrating God’s Faithfulness…….EFC Cebu at 25

Evangel Family Church Cebu celebrated its 25th anniversary with the theme: “25 Years Of God’s Faithfulness”.  A church that was consigned to be closed down after a few years of existence is now a vibrant community of believers impacting lives in Cebu City and throughout the Central and Eastern Visayas Region.

The Call – Hard times, Faithful God

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations”  Deuteronomy 7:9

EFC Cebu came about as part of God's vision through Rev Robert Lim, the planting of 100 churches by year 2000

It all started with a vision. A vision by Rev Dr Robert Lim to plant churches in the Philippines to touch lives and point them to the most faithful one, our Lord Jesus Christ.  In 1993, a young missionary couple, Revs Chuck and Jocelyn Chua, answered the call to lead EFC Cebu after four hard years of pioneering work by Revs Andrew and Rowena Kwong, followed by a year of interim service by two young lady missionaries. Since its inception, countless challenges of some sort confronted the ministry that at times shook the foundation of the church to its very core. Praise be to God that the leaders stood still! From the house church with a few attendees has emerged today a dynamic disciple-making and missions-minded church, deeply rooted in the scripture and reaching a needy community along with 157 outreaches across the Central and Eastern Visayas. Truly, God is faithful forevermore.

Anniversary Service

As EFC Cebu marked its 25th anniversary, we looked back on the people who shaped the church to where it is today. Rightly so, it was fitting and proper to honor Rev Drs Robert and Marion Lim on such an occasion.  Activities included a serenade by the community choir with a Chinese song entitled “Path of Grace”   and a song presentation from the Bautista Clan. Known to many in EFC Cebu, the Bautista clan is a clear testament of God’s faithfulness. The godly heritage that cascades down to the younger generations traces its root to the family patriarch, the late Bro Auguro Bautista Sr, an early pioneer and faithful member of the church. Glory be to God.


The celebration last June 9, 2013 was a day worth celebrating with the presence of God’s faithful servants, Rev Drs Robert and Marion Lim. Truth of the matter is, we dearly consider ourselves part of their spiritual heritage. Little Chelsea Bautista presented a beautiful bouquet to Pastor Marion, and ElRoy Chua honored them with a hand-painted portrait done by Bro Antonio Vegas, an artist from our community who was powerfully converted to Christ.

Pas Marion preached about the Foundation of IntegrityRev Marion Lim shared on The Foundation of Integrity.  She stressed on the pressing issues of honesty and justice or impartiality to be embraced by Christians.  She also underscored some practical teachings like integrity in paying our tithes, first fruits, pledges, paying off our debts and integrity in dealing with people.  Truly, the people felt so blessed and motivated to walk humbly with Jesus and experience His faithfulness.  Indeed, it was a timely message for the occasion. God is strategically re-positioning us for His divine manifestation as Evangel Family Church Cebu launched into a new era.

Though it was good to see the hall being jam-packed with people, let alone the door gifts, the celebration was ultimately not about numbers. The 25th church anniversary celebration was a celebration of God’s great faithfulness.

Well Done!

Following the joyous Sunday morning celebration, the church leaders organized a special dinner at the Ching Palace Restaurant to continue its celebration of God’s faithfulness by honoring yet again Drs Robert and Marion Lim. The event was also graced by the presence of JECPP’s Section Leaders of Central and Eastern Visayas. The picture of all the different generations of leaders of EFC Cebu was quite a sight.

Grace Bongabong and Sheryl Gabule emceed the entire evening with Govardhan Requierme as the worship leader. Sumptuous dinner was served with gladness by the restaurant personnel to the joy of all. It was indeed a very delightful dinner as the ‘sweet’ fellowship around the table was evident in the faces of the Evangelites.

Segment of the video, 'The Heritage' dedicated to pay tribute for the lives of Pas Robert and Marion Lim and their significant contribution to EFC Cebu

Pastors Robert and Marion Lim were overwhelmed at the creative expression of the leaders’ gratefulness to both of them. ‘The Heritage’ was a 16-min video shown to remember how their lives were instrumental in planting the Cebu work in the 1980’s, salvaged it in the 1990’s and helped it grow through the years. Their exemplary lives and works for almost half a century have been bearing fruit like a heritage tree and are inspirational in the formation of the Robert and Marion Lim PEACE Foundation. The said foundation is EFC Cebu’s answer to the five global giants in our community. Thus, the leadership deemed it appropriate to honor them for the godly heritage we truly are proud of.

Elroy Chua chose a very meaningful song entitled, ‘Pastors We Love You’  that was rendered by Christine Mae Diaz. As all the leaders sang in unison the chorus with the last phrase, ‘my child well done’, it made Pastors Robert and Marion Lim closed their eyes in thankfulness and worship to the Lord for such an honor He allowed them to receive. Pas Chuck Chua, Pas Jay Bautista and Grace Bongabong’s family paid them tributes and testified how the Lord used the couple’s lives to help them grow in their Christian walk.

Pastors Robert and Marion were completely unaware that the dinner was specially planned in their honor. But they stood up with such thankfulness and humility at the wonderful works God had done these past 25 years to the church through their lives. Pastors Chuck and Jocelyn Chua taught the church to always remember where we come from and to give honor where honor is due. However, to their utter surprise, Pas Ammabelle Bautista, the one who spearheaded the entire event, also presented to both Pas Chuck and Jocelyn Chua a beautiful family portrait and a bouquet. Gratefulness begets gratefulness indeed!

Pas Robert Lim in his short but powerful message to EFC Cebu...every seed is a forest

Pas Robert Lim gave a short message encouraging the church to continue to nurture leaders for the next generation. He ended his message with a very striking phrase that ‘in every seed is a forest’. It was amazing how his message was in line with the theme of the video presented for them on the ‘Heritage Tree’, depicting their lives as a seed that grows to be a huge tree that is bearing so much fruit up to this time.

With such an inspirational night, it was indeed a job well done by the Board of Trustees of the Robert and Marion Lim PEACE Foundation, who cooperated and contributed to its victory in teaching ‘thankfulness’ to the younger generation by honoring Pastors Robert and Marion Lim as well as our Senior Pastor and his wife, Pastors Chuck and Jocelyn Chua. To God be the glory for giving us a momentous 25th anniversary. Amen!

A Call for Fresh Imaginations and New Stories In JECPP

Imagine a visual and hearing impaired child. Do you envision remarkable and unique abilities? Or you only see specific needs and limitations? For most people, the special child compared to the typical kid, is obviously the inferior one.

Now imagine again. This time, dream of better things. Can you see lively colors dancing away in the shadows in his eyes? Can you hear laughter and music streaming in to the silent void of his mind? Can you see and hear the call for a brand new world? Jesus said, “I am making all things new”.

The challenge for fresh imaginations in the Philippine cities and villages marks JECPP’s National Church Planters Convention this June 2013. Conference speakers Rev Dale Lim, senior pastor of Evangel Family Church – Singapore and Rev Dave Gibbons, founding pastor of New Song Church in Los Angeles, courageously echoed the call of Jesus to renew His church.

This year is JECPP’s 20th in the Philippines. Many years ago, JECPP imagined to plant 100 churches before the year 2000. In December 1999, the vision was fully realized. Looking back and now realizing the fruits of its labor, this ministry has built more than 700 churches all over the nation and deployed 18 batches of bible school graduates to the field. The small team of Singaporean missionaries from Singapore has now multiplied to more than 600 JECPP pastors and volunteer church planters laboring in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Pastor Dale especially took note of all the minister’s grown children, representing the past years their parents have dedicated to the ministry. “I look at our missionaries’ beautiful sons and daughters, and I wonder what God has in store for them. Humans long for a better world. What do you imagine God can do for your children and your community?” Pastor Dale threw the question to the more than 200 JECPP ministers from Luzon, Central and Eastern Visayas, Western Visayas, and Northern and Southern Mindanao regions during the three-day convention held at Cebu Parklane International Hotel, Cebu City.

For the church to “re-imagine” means it must constantly find its relevance to the society instead of clinging to sluggish practices inside church buildings, he said. Pastor Dale pointed out that we are called to participate in God’s imagination of a new heaven and a new earth in Revelations 21:1-5. Since Genesis, we are part of God’s story in creating a new world. Just like Adam, we are also tasked to till the ground to make it fruitful. It’s not a perfect world yet, he said.

For JECPP to be able to discern the needs of the cities and small communities, Pastor Gibbons, on the other hand, emphasized the prayer of Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:16 where he asked for strength to the “inner man”. The church can become a new man of understanding and power and love to be able to experience God’s immeasurable ability to transform societies, he said.

JECPP plays a special part of God’s geographic revolution. JECPP’s churches are mainly concentrated on rural and tribal communities which are very precious to God. Jesus was a carpenter from an insignificant village. “That’s why he loves the villages”, he said.

To emphasize that “big things” can happen in small communities, Pastor Gibbons shared about a community in California called Sta. Ana. Recently, a young man with his group went out to the streets to share Jesus. He chanced upon an elderly woman who was being revived by the paramedics due to heart attack. He accompanied her in the ambulance. On the way to the hospital, however, her heart stopped. After the woman was declared dead, the young man asked the medical team if he could pray for her. Five minutes after the prayer, the dead woman sneezed and woke up. The paramedics were shocked. “Do you believe in God,” the young man asked one of them. “How could I not?” came the reply.

After the message of Pastor Gibbons, Rev. Andrew Kwong led the closing prayer. “We have to reimagine our ministries,” he continued to stress. “Our church attendance and prayer meetings are not picking up. We can’t rely on what we know and want. We’ve got to ask what the Holy Spirit wants.”

Pastor Dale also continued to challenge the pastors to imagine new places. By the prompting of the Holy Spirit, the burden for Philippines a decade ago has now expanded to new ministries in Japan, China and South Africa. He also cited examples of how church growth in EFC-Singapore is manifested on helpless communities of children. In Cape Town, South Africa, EFC-Singapore has opened a ministry for children afflicted with HIV. In Singapore, the church supports a non-government organization, called “the Lighthouse” that cares for and educates visual and hearing impaired children. Because the Lighthouse population is relatively small, it has not met the government’s
criteria for funding.

But seeing the need, EFC-Singapore donated computers and other technological facilities that would give way to the Braille Refresher, a breakthrough of the traditional Braille system. Through this technology, these special children’s learning and recreation are now enhanced.

God must have done lots of imagining when he built the heavens and the earth, but human kind is the ultimate point of God’s imagination because we are His highest creation, Pastor Dale said. He encouraged the JECPP pastors to keep on despite failures and disappointments. He said God continues our stories even though there are dead ends in our lives. “With Jesus, we can imagine again,” he added.

“We came to Lighthouse without any religious agenda. Jesus did not tell us to go there and let them say the ‘sinner’s prayer’. We went there to help. We dare to re-imagine ourselves.”

Free to Roam The Earth

Why did God confuse the ancient builders so they could not congregate in a tower that reaches the sky?

Big is good, but it is not the definitive calling for the church, said conference speaker Rev. Dave Gibbons in JECPP’s National Church Planting Convention this June 2013 at Cebu City. Pastor Dave has just confirmed JECPP’s God-given direction of birthing “rabbit churches”. Compared to a mega elephant church, a rabbit is a fairly small but lithe and fertile creature that produces many young. These little agile ones can swiftly roam the land and reach nook and cranny of the harvest fields.

Pastor Dave cautioned the church to remember the Tower of Babel where God’s people thought they could dominate the earth through a massive structure. God’s calling, he said, is not for the church to go up and reach the sky. “We are called to spread and fill the whole earth. We are called to be free.”

The stark imposing tower represents man’s prideful idea of what a great and successful ministry is. One problem of this belief is when it reduces the minister’s focus to activities inside the church building, putting too much emphasis on control, structure and numbers.

“Man’s direction is to be famous. We thought the bigger the buildings, the more people attending the services, the better. We thought that if we have to reach the city, the church has to be in a prime location. But what would the church look like if it’s not placed on a piece of land?” said Pastor Dave, referring to the misplaced importance on established order instead of people.

Another Tower of Babel mentality, according to Pastor Dave, is when the minister has become oblivious to unique God-given dreams to individuals in the church. “We believe that people in our church are there to carry out our vision? Where is that in the Bible?”

When the church does not welcome individuality and differences, people are placed in a box. “When we are kept in a box, we start to act weird. We look and sound the same,” he remarked. “We think we are so cool, yet we are just one box.”

He challenged pastors to release people and affirm the destinies and dreams God has placed in their hearts in their own communities. “Our job is to empower people to follow their own calling so they can have an impact right where they are. Why are we taking much of their time coming to a building?”

Pastor Dave said that the church must recognize every member as an ambassador, and believe that God gives each believer wisdom to reach his or her world. He cited a “borderless” church called “The Legends” made up of more than a hundred fashion icons, business executives and artists who meet every Thursday night in their own offices to pray for New York City. “They are not meeting in a church building, but they are a congregation too,” he explained. Two years ago, three individuals from the top fashion industry decided to meet weekly to pray for the city. This calling is now catching fire.

Aside from the calling of the church to free people, another key point shared by Pastor Dave is for the church to bless the whole earth. “When you face your congregation, do you see a crowd or you see faces? Blessing is seeing them and knowing their stories.”

When God disrupted men’s massive masterpiece, there was disorder and misunderstanding. Eventually, however, the people were forced to scatter on the face of the earth as how God intended them to be. “Chaos, criticism and confusion are context for creativity,” was Pastor Dave’s encouragement to the JECPP spiritual leaders and pastors. Recently emerging from last year’s turbulent organization crisis, JECPP is now at the crucial juncture of healing and restoration.

“If you’re not being criticized, then something must be wrong with you,” was Pastor Dave’s straightforward cheer to the more than 200 JECPP workers who responded with laughter. “It’s normal for warriors to feel hurt,” he said.

Again, God’s boundless re-imagination for JECPP continues this year and for years to come ‘til His return.


“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.” – Joel 2:28

Compelled by the desire to see transformation in the lives of young people, Evangel Family Church Cebu held a 2-day youth camp with the theme TRANSFORMAKERS – Choose Not To Live An Ordinary Life” in Loboc, Bohol last April 2-3 followed by an outing in Panglao Beach on April 4, 2012. The main objective was to see the young people filled with the Holy Spirit and equipped for the greater task of spreading God’s gift of salvation and bringing transformation to others.

Around 60 campers set out excitedly on their sea journey to Bohol on a Sunday evening. Behind their smiling faces and   cheery chatting was a great sense of hunger and expectation of what God was going to do in the camp.

After several hours of sailing and another hour of land journey the campers finally arrived at the campsite, a picturesque place replete with natural beauty. God stirred the hearts of the young people that very afternoon in the two opening sessions with Pastora Jocelyn and Pastor Jay speaking. That same night Pastor Chuck Chua shared a wonderful message on Gideon being transformed from a coward into a conqueror. Indeed, it was a timely message for the campers to experience God’s touch and to hunger for more.

The campers welcomed the second day with personal devotion and time with God. God’s Spirit again was evidently at work in both the morning sessions as His Word was shared. In the afternoon, the campers enjoyed a thrilling time of games and fellowship. Some were already sharing the things done in their hearts and God’s refreshing touch as they received His words in the different sessions.


A marvelous move of the Holy Spirit took place among the campers on the final night. Following Pastor Chuck’s wonderful message on the Spirit of Transformation, the campers were challenged to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit. God’s gift was freely granted to those who sincerely asked. The Spirit fell and filled each of them and they began to speak in other tongues. Different manifestations were unveiled as God’s Spirit flowed freely. A total of 14 campers were baptized in the Spirit for the first time!

In behalf of the Hearts On Fire youth in Cebu, we would like to thank Pastors Chuck and Jocelyn Chua for believing in the young people, for their love and desire to see them empowered and used by God. Our gratitude goes to them for spearheading such a fruitful undertaking. Special thanks also to Pastors Jay and Em Em Bautista for their undying love and support to the young people and for their hard work in making the camp a fruitful and successful one. And most of all, praises and thanks to the Holy Spirit who never failed to manifest Himself throughout the camp. All glory, honor and praises be to God!