Naawan is a small town of Misamis Oriental, consisting of 10 barangays with a population of about 15,000. It is located 60 km away from Cagayan de Oro City. Most of the residents are farmers and laborers, and some are professionals. There are few small businesses- one rural bank and one cooperative bank, and the rest is comprised of market and sidewalk stalls. There are educational institutions in Pre-school, High school and College. The Mindanao State University(MSU) campus in Naawan helps the town’s economic growth and boosts the income of motorcycle and “side car” drivers. The languages spoken in Naawan are mostly Visayan. There are ten evangelical churches in Naawan, including Evangel Family Church.
EFC-Naawan is pastored by Rev. Marlon Yaun with his wife Rizaly. They have a five year-old daughter named Yinshin. Pastor Marlon graduated at EMS (Evangel Missions School) in 2008 and served his first assignment as an associate pastor in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. Before his full-time ministry in EFC-Naawan, he worked for a Japanese employer as a store manager of the four branches of Musashi Foodcart in Malate, Manila to financially help his parents. He married Rizaly in 2007, and after their baby girl was born, Pastor Marlon was reminded of his calling, so he decided to resign from this job.
In April 25, 2010, Pastor Marlon conducted the first Sunday service of EFC-Naawan. The vision of this three-year old church is to reach out, train and involve MSU students in Naawan in building God’s kingdom in their community. The church also envisions an orphanage and provides sponsorship-based education and livelihood projects for the indigenous families in the area.
In January, 2010, Pastor Marlon and Rizaly started out with a group of students holding Bible study and prayer meeting under a mango tree beside their home. They challenged them to share the gospel to other students, and that sparked a campus ministry. From Monday to Friday nights, these students gathered for prayer meetings and dawn prayers every Saturday.
The Lord kept adding more students as members of the church. They tripled their previous number though some of these students have left for home or jobs as they have now graduated from their courses. EFC-Naawan spread out to 10 cell churches, and by August 17, 2012, the main church transferred to its new permanent place which is double in size compared to the previous house church with roof made of nipa leaves and cogon grass.
Pastor Marlon could well remember the time when they could feel raindrops on their heads as they worshiped on rainy Sunday mornings in their old place. Back then, he knew that the Lord will provide. And God did in miraculous ways. The members initiated in their giving. One lady from Butuan (a sister of their member) whom they did not know personally asked the church to pray that her sugarcane harvest would be successful. The Lord answered their prayers, and she gave P10,000 for the church music instrument, as she promised if given a good harvest. Two years later, she got saved, and she travelled for 12 hours from Butuan to Naawan just to be baptized in EFC.
God was faithful in confirming His words with other signs and miracles. A landlady came to Pastor Marlon’s house asking for help as one of her boarders was demon possessed. This person’s body levitated, but her condition returned to normal as the believers started to sing worship songs to God. After that, she received Jesus Christ, and she was free indeed. Another was a young nursing graduate, struggling with a stage 3 cancer, who came to EFC-Naawan. She wore a wig to cover up her bald head as a result of her chemotherapy. She came to the church exhausted and devastated as her boyfriend left her due to her condition. She went to the church looking for comfort and healing. The church fasted for her. She is now free from cancer, married and blessed with a child. Praise God that His faithfulness continues to inspire the church to persevere until He comes.