PADRE GARCIA- BATANGAS
The town’s name is derived from one of its most famous sons, Padre Vicente Garcia. He was among the first to defend Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere. Padre Garcia is home to the province of Batangas’ largest livestock auction market. It is now known as the “Philippine Cattle Trading Capital.”
After eight months of intensive training in “ECME,” God sent Pastor Domingo and Pastor Vivian Galagata to Padre Garcia Batangas to start the JECPP work. At first, they did not know how to begin, but persistent prayer taught them how to launch a ministry. Every afternoon, a large number of children plays outside their rented apartment. They met these children and later agreed to learn Godly songs with them. Later, they agreed to learn Bible stories. Ptra. Vivian began teaching eight children while Pastor Domingo was busy preparing their snacks.
After hours of fellowship, they were encouraged to return the following Saturday and invited some friends to join. Indeed, Saturday came, and there were 25 children who attended. While Ptra. Vivian was teaching these children; their parents came to find out what they were doing. The parents were welcomed and they had the chance to explain that they were missionaries. The Parents had a fun conversation and fellowship with the pastors, and the pastors took this opportunity to share the good news about Jesus Christ. Gladly, they accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and Lord of their lives. Later on, 5 Bible study groups were opened in the houses of these parents, which began their house-to-house Bible Study ministry. On Sunday, December 16, 2006, they prepared a Christmas party for the kids and their parents, where all the attendees accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
This is how their Sunday Worship Service began and is still practised today. They also started regular discipleship training every Wednesday and a prayer meeting every Friday. They were able to train leaders so that the vision of “JECPP,”, which is to plant more churches, will become possible. Since then, they have opened cell churches in different barangays in Padre Garcia’s province. With blessings from heaven, constant prayer, regular discipleship, and evangelism, the good news spread, and many were saved.
This vision remains alive: to keep the fire burning in believers’ and leaders’ hearts to win souls. In the state of what was being done together to make the vision come true, a problem shook the faith of these followers. The pastors needed to move to a smaller house that could not accommodate their Sunday service and prayer meetings. An Aratiles tree became the temporary shelter for their gatherings for four months. Despite this situation, the pastors saw that the love of God did not change. Even if the members needed to walk more than a kilometer on a muddy road only to reach the tree to attend a mid-week and Sunday worship service, they were urged to continue trusting in God, praying, and asking for the perfect place for the ministry. After much prayer and faith the time came when they could already rent a building that used to be a restaurant, even without a down payment. Indeed, in God’s time, He makes all things beautiful.
Many years have passed, and EFC Padre Garcia continued to live by the word of God and spread the gospel in any way possible. September 15, 2011, is the day they transferred to the new building. Members and leaders of the church are delighted to celebrate their pastor’s birthday and the victory of the new house of the Lord.
Romans 10:11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” In 2014, a strong typhoon named Glenda caused damage to the Batangas region. The ceiling of the church collapsed. The founding chairman of “JECPP,” Rev. Dr Robert Lim, sent financial assistance. Along with the roof reconstruction, they extended their hand and distributed relief goods to 200 affected families in Padre Garcia, for which the Sangguniang Bayan gave them a commendation in recognition of the humanitarian aid they gave. This also resulted in establishing Bible study and cell groups, and many souls were recognized, saved, and returned to God. While God continues ushering, saving souls, and bringing them to church, they continue strengthening discipleship training. Our goal is to win souls and make disciples.
Matthew 28:20: “And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Time flies and December arrives, and God’s beautiful works is evident again with a triumphant and victorious church anniversary.
The church continues to focus on fulfilling the end vision of God. “A crowd of people that no one could count, they were standing in front of the throne of the Lamb, they were wearing white clothes, which means they are saved,” says Revelation 7:9. Souls are the heartbeat of God, and this is the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ—our mission to fulfill. The leaders are already equipped and trained. They can open bible studies and cell groups, and now they are holding cell churches in different barangays around Padre Garcia. Through this, we have seen God’s exuberant grace and favor. After four beautiful years, the spirit lives on, and the leaders and members never stop sharing how great God is. December 2018. We had an eloquent and fruitful anniversary. We celebrated the spectacular works of God in the ministry.
Ptra. Vivian Galagata handled and took over EFC Taytay Rizal in 2019. She travels almost 2 hours from Batangas to Taytay Rizal to preach the gospel. Indeed, our labor in the Lord will not be in vain. That’s how we love God and his people.
Eighteen believers decided to follow Jesus. They are elated and willing to undergo water baptism. And now, EFC Taytay Rizal continues to change and grow by God’s grace and favor.
As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked its havoc in the world, it caused some of their cell churches to close. But despite this, God’s favor continued manifesting in each believer’s life. This year everyone is recovering from the disaster brought on by the pandemic. During the height of the pandemic, we’ve got the chance to help the community through a community pantry. In this way, we can show the love of God to our neighbors and friends. This ministry allowed the members to develop deeper relationships in the community. It started with sharing the gospel, followed by serving a warm meal like sopas and pansit, and eventually led to creation of a new community church. They are so blessed and inspired to be the channel of blessing for these people. Aside from that, EFC Padre Garcia and its leaders are molding young generations, led by Youth Pastor Bro. Aljon Fababaer. These young generations are the same kids who grew up in the church. Of course, the numbers have now doubled. This ministry is helping young people become competent disciple-makers who can stand up for Jesus Christ no matter what happens.