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Covid Impact: Taking the Gospel Out of the Box—as in Outside the Church Premises

IMAGINE THE IMPACT of Covid 19. We are forced to take the gospel out of the box—church building.

Photo Credit:* Wuhan Christians Preach Gospel on Streets Amidst Nobel Corona Virus Outbreak

Here are the top ten reasons why it is so:

1. FAMILY. People are confined in more intimate familial settings. So there could be a more sincere conversation amongst members of the family; conversations that could lead to spiritual matters.

Act 16:31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Act 16:32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

2. TIME. People are restricted for an extended period. A month-long (enhanced) community quarantine from March 15- April 14. So much time in our hands.

Family living room worship service.

3. LOCATION. People are staying in a stationary area (i.e., the entire Luzon, mind you), therefore the conversations amongst loved ones and small cluster of relationships could progress and can dive into more about the meaning of life and its eternal implications.

Photo Credit:*

4. TECHNOLOGY. People are in a better time when the online technology is in place on a massive global scale.

5. ACCESS. People have more access to videos because of the proliferation of smartphones.

I took the liberty to cut and paste this Viber message from one of our long time Victory group leaders: “Hello! I just want to share…natutuwa ako kasi yung mga unexpected ko na tao mag-watch ng online service nag joined. Officemate ko sa una kong work, my aunt from US, my HS friends, college classmates na nasa cruise ship, sister ko, tito ng ex-bf ko. Kahit ubos load ko, still grateful for this online service. Yung mga yun unexpected na nag-join. Thank you Lord!”

6. DESPAIR. People are asking questions that are leading them to seek life’s meaning—all because of Covid.

I heard of a story of one of BDO’s vice presidents that after watching our morning prayer (Monday, March 16), she said this, “I told my officers and staff that we would have corporate prayer at 9 am. Please pray for me. I am planning to share what Ptr Ferdie shared today at the 7 am prayer mtg.*”

7. BORDERLESS. People are connected extensively in social media and that a worship gathering live streaming could make fellow believers be reconnected regardless of where they are around the world.

8. EAVESDROPPING. People from the outside world can now look into the fellowship and worship of the people of God that they can also declare, “truly God is among you.”

1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 1Co 14:25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

After last Sunday’s online sermon, one of our volunteers has this to say: “Share ko lang. I saw one of my college orgmates join the live. He is an agnostic and I’m sure hindi accident na he clicked the video and joined in. I hope we also include them in our prayers as we see people who do not usually go to our church join in our live videos. Grabe, God is still in control. Praying for everyone’s safety and peace of mind.”

9. PRODIGALS. People who have been away, whether by neglect or by choice, can now be without excuse to come back home as the Holy Spirit brings them into the fold.

One of our pastors had been ministering to his parents for quite a while. Last Sunday, as an OFW assigned in the Middle East, his dad watched the online worship as his son ministered the communion, corporate prayer, the altar call, and the benediction. I am still wondering how a dad would respond to a son’s plea to surrender to Jesus. What a moment when the son did the altar call for people to come to Christ.

10. MISSION. People in the church should embrace the fact that by being in this technological age, they might as well accept the inevitable reality that they are virtual online missionaries. We could truly be accessed and be ‘present’ in every corner of the earth. Well, as long as there is a wifi or an LTE.

Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.

I can‘t help but revisit a passage of scripture in Genesis. I know Covid 19 may not necessarily be man made per se, but nevertheless appropriate for this discourse:

Gen 59:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

My prayer too would be “that many people should be [made] alive” by the gospel of Christ, “as they are today.”





Gayle, Rhoda. Wuhan Christians Preach Gospel On Streets Amidst Novel Coronavirus Outbreak. 10 February 2020.

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways*—possibly a thousand times over. Since it’s our 29th, let me cite some.

1. I love how you have come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ way back in ‘84.

Judy’s baptism. July 1984.

2. I love how you’ve carried yourself in confidence and beauty that genuinely made me nervously smile every time I try to look at your direction. 

3. I love how you’ve shared your life with other young women in discipleship unabatedly. 

4. I love how you said ‘yes’ to me when I proposed marriage to you on February 14, 1990. I am thoroughly grateful for the gift of marriage He has given to both of us. 

5. I love how you’ve been showing honor to your parents, especially to my mother-law up to this day.

6. I love how you’ve taken good care and love our daughter even the first time we laid your eyes on her on April 25, 1992. 


Cutie baby Elizabeth

7. I love how you would even plan ahead of time whether to have a dad-daughter dates or simply attend her recitals in ballet, piano, school singing, and dancing activities, going to her “Moving-up” ceremonies, and graduations from elementary to the university.

8. I love how you’ve made sure that we would have a great community with our neighbors in Mandaluyong that enhanced great childhood memories for Elle. Calling Bea M. and Matthew M.

9. I love how you have agreed with me to let a professional driver teach Elle by enrolling her in a driving school. I don’t know why. 

10. I love how you would do you heart-to-heart talk with her and imparted to her your love for learning—reading books. 

11. I love how a television screen has not been a central feature in the house. And you’ve maintained it that way all these years. That explains the love for learning and book reading. 

12. I love how you’ve handled yourself despite being surprised when we had Philip after 12 years of waiting. 


Relaxing Philip

13. I love how you’ve maintained composure amid that one month of Philip’s hospital confinement.

14. I love how you’ve found ways to be self-taught and have taken the initiative in handling our son’s condition. The few trips we had to Singapore made us more confident to raise a child with special needs. 

15. I love how in the midst of this, you’ve agreed with me to be Elle’s chaperone for her 18th birthday US trip ten years ago instead of her going alone on a backpack. Just because I watched the movie “Taken.”

16. I love how you’ve supported me and asked me direct questions of why I run ultra-long distances. I knew you liked my answer—“adventure,” but you controlled yourself and just simply said, “mid-life crisis!”

17. I love how you’ve been doing a balancing act on me in my running. When I go extreme in my training, you tell me to slow down. But when I started becoming a couch potato, you would almost kick me out of bed to make sure I get to see my running coach again. 

18. I love how you’ve given me support to run different races. From the first one, 10k, then 21k, to my first marathon—“Takbo para Sa Pasig.” 

19. I love how you’ve embraced my plan to do trans-Pilipinas, multi-day for 44 days of running 50 kilometers a day. 

20. I love how you collaborated with volunteer Victory pastors who took upon themselves to be part of my crew, to contact local officials to be prayed over, running clubs to be able to run side by side with me in almost every city along Maharlika Highway from Mindanao to Luzon. 

21. I love how you’ve refreshed me when you showed up with our kids at Acacia Hotel just to meet up with me since I have never seen you and been running across the Philippines for more than 30 days.


Happiest family moment.

22. I love how you have prepared Philip to welcome me back home after the grueling Run50. 


The boy Philip is the happiest. Glad that dad is home.

23. I love how you have kept pushing me to finish the book Pastor Steve has assigned me to write. Even Walter Walker, who co-wrote with me, saw your sacrifice in helping get it done. He then convinced me to write the dedication of the book just for you. 

RUN Book Cover. Now available via Amazon on Kindle Edition and Paperback. This book is dedicated to our RealLife scholars and fellow donors.

24. I love how you would wake up very early in the morning just to help me get a Grab taxi on your app so I can catch my out-of-town morning flight. 

25. I love how you conscientiously assisted your daughter to have a memorable wedding that everyone’s raving about. 


With Pastor Steve and Debra

26. I love how you have been the kin keeper of the Cabiling home that even Philip would, at times, remind everyone that its time to pray already before going to bed at night.

27. I love how you’ve exemplified generosity in our home. At times people would thank me for the check that we gave them. Hmm, no wonder why you would ask me sometimes to sign extra checks! Seriously, there are times when your number is higher than the amount I thought of. I am blessed to have a crazily, generous wife. 

28. I love how strong you are in facing adversity for almost three decades; at times, you have become my barometer. Indeed you’re a woman of strength.

29. I love how you would prioritize your daily devotion to Christ in prayer and the Word, and that explains 28th.  

Christmas 2019

Judy, we have come a long way. 

I know God has something more that He has in store for both of us. 

And every time I see you, I am reminded of God’s grace in my life. 


My ever dearest, Judith.

Happy Anniversary!

I love you.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. 1806-1861. How Do I Love Thee (Sonnet 43).

TOP TEN Reasons Why Believers Evangelise

1. The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of many

Rom 1:16  For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

2. The ultimate motive to preach the gospel—to please God

2Co 5:9  So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

3. Knowing that we will all face God someday—in holy fear, we persuade others

2Co 5:10  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. 

2Co 5:11  Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. 

4. The love of Christ compels us to preach the gospel to everyone

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;

2Co 5:15  and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

5. Given a ministry with a message of reconciliation

2Co 5:18  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 

2Co 5:19  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 

6. The Spirit’s power poured out upon us to be his witnesses 

Act 1:8  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 

7. The right thing to do—letting others benefit from the good news

2Ki 7:9  Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news. If we are silent and wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. Now therefore come; let us go and tell the king’s household.” 

8. Answering the call of the harvest— laborers sent out to the field 

Luk 10:2  And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 

9. Obeying the call of heaven—personally yield to the mission of God

Isa 6:8  And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” 

10. Moved by the call from hell, we respond to the gospel’s appeal today

Luk 16:27  And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house—

Luk 16:28  for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’

Luk 16:29  But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’

Luk 16:30  And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’

Luk 16:31  He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’”

“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treadi

“Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” #Deut 25. O.T. “oxen” = N.T. “pastors” 1Cor9.9, 1Tim5.17-18. AMAZING.

“As part of your equipment have somethi

“As part of your equipment have something to dig with” #Deut 23. God is interested in the DETAILS of our lives.

“Make tassels on the four corners of th

“Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.” #Deut 22. NOTE TO SELF: As His ppl, we are SET APART for God.

“anyone who is hung on a pole is under

“anyone who is hung on a pole is under God’s curse” #Deut 21.Thank God that CHRIST was hung on a tree & has become a CURSE for us .

“When u go to war against ur enemies…

“When u go to war against ur enemies…do not be afraid of them, bec the LORD ur God will be with u.” #Deut 20. God fights for His people.

“I will raise up for them a prophet lik

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers” #Deut 18. The Prophet here is no other than JESUS CHRIST!

“he is to read it…so that he may lear

“he is to read it…so that he may learn to revere the LORD” #Deut 17. FOR LEADERS: The higher the position, the greater the responsibility.