May 2011

•DCF: God’s Ministry to the Dorms (p. 2) •Photos Galore (p. 3) •A Day in Pansol (p. 4) •Praise and Prayer (p. 4)
Monthly Newsletter of Paulo Tomacder • UP Dormitories Christian Fellowship Staffworker • f.paulotomacder@gmail.com

When God Calls You into the Ministry
We were cramped inside the Ipil Residence Hall study room one fellowship night when our speaker asked, “What may prevent you from going fulltime for the Lord?” There was dead silence while each thought of the question. I also paused to think, but another question entered my mind, “Do I want to go fulltime in the ministry?” I was second year then when I began considering ministry work. But during that time, I did not imagine myself actually spending a lifetime ministering to students and communities for Christ. Yes I started to enjoy the Bible Studies and the fellowships at DCF, but I wasn’t ready to give up my passion for journalism and the media industry. Kuya Dave Griffiths, a missionary from Wales, started calling us one by one, eliciting answers. We were sitting in a circle so it was easy to predict who would be called next. When it was my turn, I said, “I want to go fulltime but I’m not sure if I’m ready and if my family is ready for it.” I looked at Kuya Dave’s face and immediately I knew he was thinking, perhaps digesting what I said. I was waiting for a comment but it never came. Instead, with a heavy British accent, he blurted his usual, “Good! Alright lovely boy, good.” Whatever that meant I never really found out. But I know for a fact that that night marked the beginning of my journey into the ministry. In the next two years of my stay in Ipil, I got more involved with the dorms ministry. I took charge of its publication, The Dormwatch, during my junior year. Then on my last year in the University, I lent my service as chairperson of the fellowship. It wasn’t easy juggling my time between academics and ministry. There were times when I really felt tired, but I could not give up what I was doing simply because I loved my work for the Lord. Undoubtedly, my senior year intensified my desire to go fulltime because I was very UP life passed by quickly and I soon found myself serving in a non-government organization called GreenEarth Heritage Foundation. I was attracted to the ministry because of its Christian pillars and values. I was their Public Information Officer slash Executive Assistant all in one. The adjustment was difficult because I felt that I wasn’t in the right place, that God wanted to use me somewhere else. Every evening after office, I would rush back to UP from Makati to join the fellowships and to lead Bible Studies. There were times when I couldn’t wait for the end of office hours because I wanted so much to concentrate with my ministry in the dorms. I felt like my real work started the moment I finished my office work. This went on for almost four months, until I prayerfully decided to resign, asking Kuya Caloy Novisteros to help me into the fulltime ministry. During this time, I was meditating on Philippians and I heard God speak to me through His Word in my Quiet Times. When I was afraid with the uncertainty of my future, He said I lift it all in prayer and He will give me peace (Philippians 4:6-7). When I felt I wasn’t worthy to go fulltime, God said “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).” I also thought of my provisions. Where will I get my daily living? Philippians 4:19 was God’s swift answer, “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” He was really talking to me. To cap His call, God drew me to Philippians 3:7-8. Here He showed me my heart’s desire, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ...” I will never regret the day I gave myself up to God for fulltime ministry at DCF.

much involved in the lives of people. I saw how the Holy Spirit worked in countless occasions—in Bible Studies, fellowships, fund raisings, camps and the Missions Trip. I particularly enjoyed the weekly BS I had with the DCF boys. I learned more when I started teaching the Bible, and it became a joy to watch the younger ones grow in faith. By God’s grace, I finished my last year in UP and was blessed with the opportunity to address the graduates at the College of Mass Communication. That was a high point in my spiritual walk. The Spirit impressed in my heart not to waste the opportunity but to use it to advance the Gospel. So with much prayer, I included the Good News in my speech. I will never forget when, coming down from the stage, I was greeted by a complete stranger— he looked like a pastor to me—who said, “God is pleased with your boldness! All praises to Him! Congratulations.”

DCF: God’s Ministry to the Dorms
It was the year 1990 when several dorm fellowships formally organized to become what is now known as the Dormitories Christian Fellowship. DCF, in a sense, is a product of unity not only among independent dorm-based fellowships but also among Christian Organizations in UP Diliman. DCF did not start the fellowships in the dorms; it was the other way around. The dorm fellowships gave birth to the organization. Such nature and network gave rise to DCF’s longstanding tagline, “The Christian Community in the Dormitories.” This is true in many ways and, perhaps, most evident in the vibrant relationship it has with other Christian orgs. It partners with the State Varsity Christian Fellowship, The Navigators, Campus Crusade for Christ, Christ on Campus, Students for Christ, UP Christian Youth Movement, Kristiyanong Kabataan para sa Bayan, Lifebox (Every Nation Christian Ministries) and the Students of Destiny. Through the years, DCF committed itself in obeying both the Great Commission and the Greatest Commandment. It currently ministers to six dormitories in the University—Kalayaan, Molave, Ilang-ilang, Kamia, Sampaguita and Yakal— and plans to start one in the newly-built Centennial Dormitory. Its leaders held on to sound Biblical Teachings, putting God’s Word above all in matters of faith and life. Strong ties with the Diliman Campus Bible Church and the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship gave its members much-needed trainings in leadership, Biblical hermeneutics and apologetics. The organization ministers on campus through evangelism and discipleship. DCFers make it a point to leave Gospel tracts room-toroom during open house celebrations. They also share to residents who are open, inviting them in weekly fellowships and Bible Studies. There are also one-on-one witnessing in the Sunken Garden and the Academic Oval. The monthly General Assemblies and dorm joint-fellowships strengthen the ties among members. Aside from this, the events are avenues to spread the Gospel and build bridges with other organizations. Perhaps, the most-awaited event each year is the Missions Exposure Trip every October. The activity gives DCFers the opportunity to experience the mission field firsthand as they reach out to far-flung provinces to share Jesus, assist in church planting and equip the youth of Christian Churches. The mission starts even before October when the fellowships gather together in prayer to commit the people and the places to be visited to the Lord. Those who consider joining spend the month prior to the trip discerning God’s will and preparing their hearts for the rigorous tasks ahead. God has always been faithful to His ministry. Members of the fellowship have witnessed how He provides to make the different programs possible. Every academic year is a testing of faith as the leaders depend on God, offering every activity at the foot of His throne, praying hard that they become a pleasing aroma before the King of Kings. The ministry is also faced with pressing challenges from different fronts. Within the Christian Community, DCF struggles to enjoin fellow Christians to be deeply rooted in the Word. It desires to initiate packets of conversation on important spiritual issues like the prosperity and popGospel, unity in the body and false teachings. In the UP Community, the organization is challenged to reach out to students with differing involvements and backgrounds residing in the dorms. If UP is a microcosm of the Philippine society, the dorms reflect the UP Community just as well. DCFers regularly interact with student activists, leaders of academic and provincial orgs, student leaders from the different college councils, and varsities among others. Thus, members watch their testimonies as they prayerfully win them through lifestyle evangelism. Ever since religious gatherings were banned inside the dorms, the greatest challenge for the ministry has been the venue of its activities. The dorm fellowships had to meet outside the halls, sometimes as far as the Church of the Risen Lord grounds, just to have proper lighting. The other fellowships resort to emergency lamps and mats on grassy areas infront of the dorms for their meetings. Despite these challenges, DCFers are encouraged by the support and prayers of their alumni. Though the network is no longer as extensive, a number of them continue to volunteer to speak, especially the younger graduates. The organization is in the process of expanding its alumni directory and linkages through the Internet (Facebok) and via SMS to better disseminate updates, prayer requests and information on events. In October last year, DCF also had its first ever staffworker in the person of Frederick Paulo Tomacder. Pau served as the chairperson of DCF in 2009-2010. He took up Journalism and graduated Magna cum Laude and the Valedictorian of his batch in the College of Mass Communication. He currently serves in the organization as a regular speaker, Bible Study leader, and trainer for evangelism and hermeneutics. He also spearheads the start of a new fellowship in the newly-built Centennial Dormitory. Aside from these, he volunteers to help in an outreach in Infanta, Quezon in a satellite campus of the Southern Luzon State University. He works with the Living Word Christian Fellowship based in the area. No one knew that DCF will last this long— more than two decades and counting. No one will also claim credit for its success because its humble beginnings and continuous survival all depended on the grace of the Almighty. As its alumni take a bold step of incorporating a DCF Alumni Association with the Securities and Exchange Commission, everyone is excited to witness the unfolding of a new chapter for the organization. The possibilities are limitless. And as long as DCF continues faithfully with the Lord, it will be used by God as He works mightily, impacting the lives of people from different parts of the country and even the world. All glory, honor and praise belong to God!

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May 2011

DCF held six fellowships during the Summer Term, culminating in three Evangelistic Meetings. Prior to that, DCFers were immersed in discussions on the Gospel and stranger evangelism.

Jayvee (in stripes) leads the Executive Committee in devotions during the Summer Evaluation meeting.

DCFers pray over the new leaders during the kick-off General Assembly in March. Kuya Dave leads the ceremony.

DCFers UPCLOSE: (from left to right) Gay, Kit, Dan, Marko, Marvee, Shine and Charm.

May 2011

3

One day in Pansol
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
-praise God for the growing passion for evangelism in DCF -praise God for the Evangelism Trainings and activities throughout the Summer Term -praise God for the financial provisions from our dear alumni -praise God for the opportunity to speak in an Evangelistic Event in Pampanga, in a True Love Waits Seminar in Quezon and in the graduation of DCBC’s Children’s Summer Bible School in Pansol. -praise God for the plan to start a DCF Alumni Association, Inc. -praise God for Kuya Caloy’s continuing support and mentoring -praise God for DCBC’s monthly allowance and support from a number of Alumni -pray that my family will also come to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ -pray that God will help the leaders of DCF to mature in their faith -pray for our evangelistic freshmen treat on June 30 -pray that the Lord will make us bold in inviting people that they may hear the Gospel -pray for provisions as we raise 10K for the event -pray also for the Discovery Meetings, an apologetics ministry of DCBC where DCF is involved -pray for the speakers that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit as they speak -pray for me as I continue to minister to the students on campus -pray for strength, wisdom and health as I prepare my Bible Study Materials for young and mature Christians for next Academic Year -Pray for continuing provision as I raise 9K each month for my ministry and provisions I noticed him looking at me from the corner of my eyes. He held a cane with his left hand as he sat alone on the foundation of one of the iron pillars of the covered court. His hair had turned gray with age, and his face was lined with wrinkles. He seemed detached from the world around him. The noisy teens playing basketball and the sweltering environment did not affect him the least. He was still and quiet but had a piercing glance. The first time I passed by Lolo Elias, I felt a tug in my heart. I had been scanning the area earlier for bystanders who might have the time to listen to the Gospel. So far I could not find the perfect person because everyone was on the move. The teens were playing in the court. The mothers were busy chatting near the Sangguniang Kabataan Hall, waiting with their sons who enlisted in the free circumcision program of our church. “If only I could muster enough courage to share to a big group,” I thought to myself. I tried sharing to the boys waiting in line but they were not in the mood to listen to spiritual talks. My guess is they are nervous of the operation. This brought me to the covered court, looking for someone to talk to. I walked past Lolo Elias the first time as I went for a drink at Ate Linette’s house. When I came back, he was still there talking to no one and sitting as still as he was the first time I saw him. This time, however, I could no longer resist the tug in my heart. As I approached Lolo Elias, I could feel the familiar pounding starting to grip my chest. I don’t deny that I’m afraid of witnessing to strangers, but when I feel like not doing it, I remember the Great Commission and how Jesus left us with the privilege to “go and make disciples of all nations…” After uttering a shot prayer, I sat beside him and said, “Lolo, I’m giving away free reading materials from our church. Do you have time to read?” “I’m already hard up in reading,” he said, “In fact, my left eye has gone blind.” “Do you have cataract lolo?” I inquired. “No. This is not just cataract. The doctors said it’s caused by something else,” Lolo Elias added. At this point, the Lord gave me an opening to share the Gospel. Because he might not be able to read the tract I was giving out, I offered to tell Lolo Elias the story of Jesus’ gift of salvation, to which he agreed.

“Are you familiar with the story of Jesus?” I opened. “I’m already old and I’ve forgotten many things,” came Lolo Elias’ answer. This took me aback because I had never personally met a person who didn’t know the story of Jesus. “God came as a man in Jesus Christ to die as a sacrifice for our sins,” I continued, “Because all men are sinful, we are supposed to die as punishment for our sins. But in God’s grace and love, He took the punishment upon Himself, giving us the gift of eternal life instead.” I paused and waited for any response. In my heart I’m not sure if Lolo Elias understood what I said. Aside from failing eyesight, he also could no longer hear well. After a minute or two of silence, I continued my explanation. “Jesus is giving us the gift of salvation, of forgiveness of sins and cleansing for free. We receive all these by putting our faith in Him.” At this point, I’m not sure if he heard what I said. I wanted to continue explaining but I felt that he would be able to understand the Gospel better if he could find time to review the tract I was giving him. I pulled a copy of the Gospel of John from my bag. I inserted the tract and gave it to Lolo Elias. “Lolo, if you have time, you can review what I said about Jesus in this tract. You can also ask your grandchildren to read this booklet for you. It’s the Gospel of John and it tells us the story of Jesus’ life,” I said. I bid Lolo Elias farewell and in my heart I prayed that the Lord would supply what was lacking in what I shared. I wanted to be able to follow him up, and so I agreed to come in the post-circumcision check up next week, praying that God will give me the chance to meet Lolo Elias one more time.

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May 2011

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