DAO EVANGEL FAMILY CHURCH CELEBRATES GOD’S STEADFAST LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS FOR 30 YEARS
In Jeremiah 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.
Two missionaries, Rev. Virgilio Fabales and Rev. Lilibeth Fabales were appointed by God to carry out the mission to love and serve Him at Dao, Antique in 1992. It later became Tobias Fornier, Antique, a strange place where people have very strong religious beliefs and principles. They’ve been despised, insulted, and even discouraged by other missionaries because it seemed so impossible for them to let God’s words of truth enlighten Daonhons and turn back from their old traditional norms. Despite a great wave of trials, they were steadfast in their faith, keeping the mission and holding to God’s promise.
As a celebration of thanksgiving and triumph, Dao Evangel Family Church eagerly prepared the church. Weeks before the event, Rev. Virgilio, Rev. Lilibeth Fabales, and church leaders planned and discussed several things regarding the upcoming anniversary. It was agreed in the congregation that each family would contribute P500.00 for the food. Various committees were busy doing their own specific tasks in decoration, presentation and many other concerns. It was not easy to prepare the church for what needed to be renovated in the short period of three weeks. The walls of the church and parsonage were knocked down, the stage was transferred, and the new parsonage was still under construction; even the finishing and painting of the church were the most challenging parts of preparation. Everyone was rigorously focused on their specific tasks, not wasting any small amount of time just to meet the desired objectives. Everyone, especially Rev. Virgilio and Rev. Lilibeth Fabales, is holding on to God’s word through sincere prayer and greater faith for His financial provision. Indeed, within those three weeks, God’s blessings moved in the midst of financial insufficiency.
A beautiful day with a clear blue sky greeted the great day for Dao Evangel Family Church. Hearts were filled with joy. Everyone’s faces glowed with a smile and excitement. Ushers welcomed everyone with their warm approach and bright faces. Evangelites from daughter churches like Tagaytay Church with Ptr. Christopher Magbanua together with his family and Maybato Church made their way to come as well. The church reception was beautified with yellow and silver balloons, attractive flowers, and a long table skirted at its finest, filled with various delicacies. Inside the church, the stage was adorned with the elegance of a maroon backdrop, with a refreshing touch of bouquets of flowers, and with the joyful vibe of a beautiful yellow and silver three-layered cake on the side. The church was filled with more than 250 people.
As the service started, God’s presence flowed upon His people as Sis. April Sagudaquil led the congregation in worshipping and praising God for his greatness and faithfulness. After that, the choir group rendered a song presentation entitled “Find Us Faithful.”
Then Rev. Virgilio Fabales introduced the guest speaker, Regional Director Rev. Benjamin Chavez, for the 30th anniversary with the theme, “Changing Season, Unchanging God: Let us stand firm and see the faithfulness of God.” But before sharing the Word of God, Rev. Benjamin Chavez installed Sis. Krystle Fabales, the eldest child of Rev. Virgilio and Rev. Lilibeth Fabales, as the youth pastor of Evangel Family Church. Everyone was blessed and challenged to be more faithful in serving the Lord and continuing His ministry in the coming years as Rev. Benjamin Chavez preached the word of God.
The Choir Group once again rendered a song presentation entitled, “The Battle Belongs to the Lord,” showing that God never lets anyone of His sons and daughters feel alone and defeated, for He is great and mighty. For over 30 years, he has shown his power to Dao Evangel Family Church in the midst of many trials and given victory.
Then, the history of Dao Evangel Church and a short video clip of an interview with Rev. Virgilio and Rev. Lilibeth Fabales were the highlights, showing the humble beginning of the church with 5 children as the very first congregation to God’s blessing wherein more than 250 believers are now filling the church house in glorifying and serving the Lord.
Leaders of the church presented a plaque of appreciation to Rev. Virgilio Fabales and Rev. Lilibeth Fabales, honoring them as they faithfully served the Lord for 30 years with their perseverance and commitment to His mission. More than that, a bouquet of flowers, a basket of fruits, and a love gift were given as well, showing the love and support of the Daonhons for them as spiritual parents who were diligent and very hands-on with their flocks.
Then Brother Bryan Fables, Kate Fables, and Crizavilla Arzaga sang the theme song entitled, “The Mission,” which reflected the journey of Rev. Virgilio and Rev. Lilibeth Fabales as they carried out their mission to bring God’s word to the Daonhons to be saved. Indeed, loving the ministry of God and serving Him in following the narrow road may not be what the world wants, yet they still choose to pursue it with allegiance to God.
After that, a love gift and a basket of fruits were given by Rev. Virgilio Fables to the guest speaker, Rev. Benjamin Chavez, to thank him for his time and effort in delivering God’s message on that very special day. Then, Rev. Virgilio Fables led the closing prayer and served the food for lunch.
Everyone was blessed in partaking the food, among which was lechon, chicken curry, sweet and sour fish ball, mechado, estofado, and KBL as the main dishes, and stir-fried broccoli and fresh lettuce as side dishes, and fruit salad, spaghetti, cake, and pitchi-pitchi as desserts. Truly, God’s abundant provision filled the table and satisfied everyone.
The genuine happiness this 30th church anniversary brought was literally written on almost 400 faces on that day, in knowing God’s faithfulness and grace never fades and becomes a pillar of everyone’s life all through the years and the coming more.
From the very humbling start of a small rental house to this concrete and extended church house, God tremendously blessed Dao Evangel Family Church. In the changing seasons of the church all through the years, God’s unchanging love and faithfulness endures. As it is written, he is the same yesterday, today and forever.
As we hold on to God’s word in Jeremiah 29:11, we are so blessed by His grace for over 30 years and for more years serving Him and carrying out His mission for Daonhons.
God alone deserves all the glory and honor!