HISTORY OF BORDERGATE BAPTIST MISSION – TAGBILARAN
2009 — 2010
The year was 2009, when I and my family quit attending Bible Baptist Church-Tagbilaran (now currently situated in Dauis, Panglao) due to some doctrinal and immorality issues of the pastor. It was a very tough decision I and my wife, Sis Carolyn, had to make. We wondered why and where God was leading us to. By God‟s unfailing grace, I managed to continue one of my bible studies which was with Bro Junnel Jimenez, a Computer Technician and a band singer.
Despite what happened, by God‟s grace we managed to hold on to the Lord. So we decided to continue doing what pleases God, like sharing His good news to the world around us. We tried to invite friends and neighbors, and children were the first to respond positively. And it started with just two kids, plus our children.
As days passed by, came Sis Elenita Viodor for a visit and asked music files for an upcoming singing engagement, and also to escaped pressures from home. With husband, Bro. Jan, being an under trainee as utility man for a cargo ship, and receiving nothing from the company, not even for food nor fare allowance, she‟s the lone bread winner. And with her little income from an unstable job as a singer and as a wedding coordinator, attending to three kids pushed her to the limit to the extent of considering suicide. But praise God, the Lord led her to us. Her timely visit was when I, Bro Junnel and a neighbor were having a Bible study. She joined us, heard the gospel, and received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior, and got saved that day. The next Sunday, with the joy and peace the Lord had put in her heart, gladly brought her kids for the first time to join us.
And that was the beginning of a regular Sunday bible study. After a few Sundays of bible studies, another soul came for refuge, Sis Yas (not her real name), whose husband is an atheist. A very serious marital problem (rough, harsh, ungentle, and cruel treatment of her husband) led her to us. Sis Elen told her about her new found faith, and arranged a meeting with us on a thursday afternoon, after she agreed to postpone her scheduled meeting with a psychiatrist. And she got saved that day, and joined our Sunday bible studies without her husband‟s knowledge.
After more than a year of bible studies during Sundays, there grew a desire to make things in order. Bro Jun, Sisters Elen and Yasmin were already getting curious about tithes, and other things concerning an orderly and organize gathering.
It was so timely, by God‟s providence, that BGBC-Macau was to celebrate it‟s 20th anniversary (Nov. 9, 2011), and right after was a 3-day conference to celebrate the 400th year anniversary of the KJB, with speakers Pastors Joseph Mandrino and Jerry Locke. BGBC-Macau planned to have all supported missionaries from the Philippines to attend the said event. During which time I was already a part-time supported missionary of BGBC-Macau somewhere in 2009, for teaching Math in the Tagbilaran Accelerated Christian School (TACS, a ministry of Bible Baptist Church-Tagbilaran under Pastor Richard Famador), and also for teaching in the Landmark Bible Baptist Seminary of the same church.
When Pastor James knew about the ongoing regular bible study with these three brethen, together with my family, he suggested then if I would consider to be a full-time ordained missionary of BGBC-Macau, and do a pioneering work here in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, which was initially started already with these three brethren and my family. It was then that I came to decide to go full time in the ministry.
My ordination took place last Nov. 20, 2011 in BGBC-Macau.
We left Macau 2nd week of December 2011. And upon arrival, after two Sundays, we scheduled the baptisms of the four candidates. Bros. Lynnard Balili and Jun Jimenez, and Sisters Elenita Viodor and Yas were baptized last Dec 27, 2011 at the Knight of Columbus wharf, and were added to the BGBC-Macau roll of membership.
Things that were wanting then were set in order. We decided to organize the meetings this time to be a worship service like any typical Baptist church. So, we had then the ff. schedules within a week, though still meeting in our house in Taloto District.
Sunday Tue Wednesday Friday Sunday School 9:00 a.m. — 10:00 a.m. Worship Service 10:30 a.m. — 12:00 nn Evenng Service 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m Bible Study 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Our Meeting Place
We also had business meetings after their baptisms, drafting the vision, mission, objective statements and etc.
The year 2012, Sunday and Wednesday Services, Friday Prayer Meetings, Bible Studies, Bible Tracts Distribution continued.
Somewhere in the middle of 2012, the Lord led Bro. Santiago Alsola from Malaboyoc, Cebu, who was working in one of the supermarkets ( Marcela ) here in our place to be part of this ministry. He happens to have picked up one the Bible tracts I distributed inside the supermarket that was thrown on the floor. That was on a Saturday, so he immediately texted me that night for instruction how to reach our place. And he attended our Sunday service the following day, and got saved. Since then, Bro. Ago faithfully attended our services despite his tight schedules.
Another brother came to attend our services in the same year, 2012, who was already a Christian, who also came out from Bible Baptist Church-Tagbilaran, and left the church (BBC-T) with his family before we did. Bro. Ramoncito Racho, who had been struggling in his spiritual life because of his doubts regarding his salvation, unexpectedly texted me one night. His message to me was,…
“John Calvin was right. I‟m not one of God‟s elect. I‟m not saved Bro Richard.”
I comforted him that night, and reasoned from Scriptures that he is wrong about Calvinism. He was then in Manila attending his father‟s funeral who was a distinguished Mason. When he knew that i‟ve gotten into the ministry full time, he ask if he and his family could join our Sunday worship service.
Bro. John Viodor, Sis Elen‟s husband, after a few of months of bible studies since his arrival from abroad, was baptized together with their daughter Sis Ella Viodor sometime in Nov 2012.
Also at this point in time, Sis Yas, could seldom attend our services due to her husband‟s persecution, and also Bro Jun Jimenez because of a besetting sin.
Then came our first missions work anniversary with the theme “PRESS TOWARD THE MARK…ONLY ONE LIFE”. It was held last January 13, 2013 at Casa Rey Francis, Inting Ave.,Tagbilaran City with Pastor James Estenilo as our first anniversary speaker. We had 48 attendees then, including us.
The following Sunday, Jan 20, 2013, after the anniversary, Bros. Santiago Alsola, Ramoncito Racho, and Sis Miriam Racho were baptized, and were added into BGBC-Macau roll.
Since then, Bro. Santiago Alsola was used by the Lord in opening bible studies in their lodging house with his co-workers and also at the warehouse of the company.
Then came the time when Bro Ago decided to go full time serving the Lord. I informed BGBC-Macau about his decision, and he was accepted then as a full time church worker. Pastor James told me to bring Bro Ago, together with Sis Carolyn to join the upcoming First BGBC‟s Mission and Church Planting Conference in Iligan that year, hosted by Pearly Gates Baptist Church, pastored by Pastor Gerry Baula.
Upon arriving home from Iligan, Bro. Ago‟s younger brother, Bro. Efren, who had just graduated from high school informed Bro Ago of his plan to enter the „Missionaries for the Poor‟, a Roman Catholic missionary society. I told Bro Ago to immediately talk his brother out from his plan of joining the said organization. Bro. Ago went home to Malabuyoc, Cebu, for the Baranggay elections the month of May that year, and also to fetch Bro. Efren to join us here in Tagbilaran. Bro Efren Alsola was saved on the first sunday service he had attended since his arrival here in Tagblaran City. Though Bro Efren‟s initial plan was to stay for only one month, and then go back to Cebu to proceed college education, God neverthelss had a different plan for him. Until to this present time, Bro Efren is till working with us as a full time church worker.
Then came also another brother, Jovel Rabuya, who was a former church worker and a Bible student in Bible Baptist Church-Tagbilaran, who asked for my help. He said he wanted to work with me in the ministry. Though I knew then that this brother had been jumping from one church to another, I feel the need to give him a chance with the hope that he‟ll do the right thing this time. He agreed to be baptized again like Bro. Ramoncito Racho, so he could be properly added to the assembly. Bro. Efren Alsola also decided to follow the Lord in the waters of baptism together with Bro. Jovel on May 5, 2013.
Through Bro. Jovel‟s connection, we were able to outreach and saturate some of the nearby islands of Getafe, Bohol, like Alumar, Tuy-oran, Banacon, and Jandayan islands, and almost convince some Evangelical churches existing in the islands, who helped us in the saturation, to become Baptist churches. If not only because of the fact, that they need to be rebaptized
by the authority of BGBC-Macau, there would have been no other hindrance. We went to outreach two more additional islands, Sandingan island in Loon, and Panggangan island in Calape. Though the Getafe islands are quite very far from our place, the farthest being approx. 3hr.-ride by a motorcycle, we were able to make saturation in these islands 3 times. Sad to say, there are no Baptist churches in these islands. Evangelical churches in these islands are products of para-church ministries, like the Island Outreach Ministry (IOM).
Having Bro. Santiago Alsola and Bro. Jovel Rabuya together didn‟t turn out to be good. It led to Bro. Santiago‟s decision to give up as a full time worker. Though he remains faithful and active as an ordinary member. And Bro. Jovel, sometime later, also left the church as he usually does to the other churches where he got into.
Before the end of 2013, another family came in later, the Palomares family from Loon. They decided to be rebaptized first week of January, and were added to the roll. They are Bros. Richard, Sherwin, Joshua, and Sisters Helen and Apple.
2014 BGBM-Tagbilaran celebrated its 2nd Mission Anniversary Jan 12, 2014 with the theme, “TO THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE” at Casa ReyFrancis. Our guest preacher was Pastor Paterno Tadle of Christian Bible Baptist Church, Ubay, Bohol.
Bro Daniel Lauron came in later after the Palomares family. He was baptized last June 29, 2014.
Somewhere in July 2014, the Second BGBC‟s Mission and Church Planting Conference was held in two of the mission works separately. First at Ozamis, under Pastor Edillon Caralos, then right after, here in Tagbilaran City. During which time
then, Bro. Richard Palomares and Bro Daniel Lauron were already functioning like a part-time church worker, though they were not yet officially recognized by BGBC-Macau as such.
Somewhere, somewhow along the way, as the conference was fast approaching, I sense something undesirable coming from some of the members (Sis Elen, Bro. Richard, and Bro. Daniel). But I didn‟t expect it to be that disastrous to the membership. We lost three families a few months later after the workshop, the Viodor family, the Palomares family, and the Lauron family. There were attempts on our part to restore them back to fellowship, but somehow God did allow them to go.
Somewhere on the later part of 2014, Bro Gaylord Lagoy came into the scene. He was with the UCCP since childhood. He was baptized on December 14, 2014.
2015 – 2016 During our 3rd Missions Anniversary, 2nd Sunday of January 2015, we had Pastor Alan Quiamco as our speaker, with the theme, “UNTO HIM GLORY IN THE CHURCH BY CHRIST JESUS”
But before the event, Pastor Alan asked me if we could get in touch with Bro. Maximino Quiachon, who is a long time friend since Bible school days. So we visited Bro. Maximino with his family in Tubigon. The meeting resulted to the addition of the whole Quiachon family to BGBM-Tagbilaran, and became our Tubigon extension.
After our 3rd mission anniversary, the youngest daughter of Bro. Maximino Quiachon, Sis Maurine was baptized Feb 8, 2016, and added to the roll.
Then on May 3, 2015, my daughter Micah S. Balili was also baptized.
Still in 2015, God opened more doors in our school ministry. Through the Moral Recovery Program – PNP Values Formation Council (Community Transformtion), Inc., we were able to reach with the gospel almost all the schools within Tagbilaran City, public and private, and many more public schools outside the city in the province of Bohol.
Bro. Efren was also able to establish bible studies with the students of Bohol National High School in Tagbilaran City by way of the Ice Scramble Business. When the business started to slow down, we shifted to selling fish ball and tempura in the University of Bohol. And another bible study was established in the university sometime mid this year, 2016.
Still in 2015, the Lord opened another door in a private school, Cristal – e College, (Computer School) by allowing me to occupy the Guidance Office of the said school for the purpose of Bible study, and spreading of the gospel to the students and teaching them the Bible. This is done by giving counseling appointments (either individaully, or in groups), from Senior High School up to the graduating students.
Secondly, by handling symposiums at the AV Hall where all are required to attend with all classes cancelled.
BGBM-Tagbilaran celebrated it‟s 4th mission anniversary 2nd Sunday of January 2015.
This ministry at Cristal – e College is allowed by the Lord to thrive and continue until now, year 2016. This is at least a rough recall of what BGBM-Tagbilaran had gone through all those 4 years and 10 months of doing the Lord‟s work, and what the Lord has accomplished through it. We are running 5 years this coming January 2017.
All glory, honour and praise to God the Father, and to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!!!