November 11, 2015
Surigao Presbyterian Church
Surigao City, Philippines
ccm Cross 0092
Additional Photos after Testimony
3950-52 cdd Born to Lead
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 16 Number 244
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Romans 12:8b
“If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously” NLT (Bible Paraphrase)
Hello, my name is Pastor Agosto Azarcon from The Surigao Presbyterian Church in Surigao City, Philippines. And this is my Cross Testimony of how Jesus stood His ground in my life until I finally served Him and Him alone.
I grew up the fifth of six children. Our father was a good man who made his living between farming and ocean fishing. When I was ten years old a friend invited me to church. I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord in my life by raising my hand, but I always wondered what that meant. It was the beginning of a walk with the Lord that would take many years to develop due to my resistance. I may have been born to lead but I had no idea!
I attended church from age 10 through age 17. Then peer pressure from my friends drew me away. I entered the wasteland of the world. I finished high school and became a Tricycle Driver. You would call it a Taxi Driver. The difference is I drove a motorcycle with a cart attached where my passengers rode.
At age 24, the wasteland I found myself in was going nowhere fast. I met a very nice girl who had more of a cult background than Christian background. After a short period, Esther and I were married.
We began going to church and I adjusted my lifestyle accordingly. It would be fair to say I was a walking hypocrite. I may have adjusted my lifestyle but I did not adjust my heart.
One year later I was in church listening to my older brother preach. He had become Pastor of the church and his walk with the Lord was light years ahead of where I was. I was listening to him speak about the love of God. I heard that God, through Jesus, loves each one of us. I heard that Jesus died and rose from the dead for even me. As he spoke a light exploded around my brother’s head and his heart. The Lord revealed His love for me right then. It melted all my hypocritical defenses and I finally understood the question that rang in my ears since I was ten years old. (What does it mean that I accepted Jesus Christ as Lord in my life?) I understood that my accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in my life gives Him access to change me. Change me into His image. It was my moment. It was my time.
After the service I asked others about the light over my brother’s head and heart. Repeatedly I heard, “What light?” Then things for the Lord began to happen.
My wife with her cultish background entered a ladies Bible study. In that group she became born again. We grew hungry for the word of God together and we had three children. It was a busy time of life. We put the Lord first and he didn’t disappoint us.
By age 46 I was ready to step out for the Lord in a big way.
We had learned over the years to trust in the Lord for small things. And he provided. We weren’t wealthy but as a Tricycle Driver we were provided income to live and meet our needs.
Then it was time to take a Big Step. Attending Bible School on paper at such a late age appeared to be foolishness. We currently had just enough income as a family to live, but I would need to stop working and concentrate for three years on studying the word of God. We prayed and decided Jesus alone would provide. Looking back he generously supplied. Not only did he provide the money that supported us, our lives changed in ways we could have never comprehended. Soon the three years were over.
I graduated from Bible School at age 49.
It was time to lead. It was time to stand up for Jesus and begin to shepherd his flock. I joined my brother, as an assistant Pastor, and learned from him the skills of Pastoring. I’ve always enjoyed people and now that enjoyment over flowed with the love of Jesus. Freely He gave to me and freely I passed on to all who wanted to receive the salvation that stands in Christ alone.
Through the years my love for people has taken me to a whole new level with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has given me two specific gifts. My first gift is a Word of Knowledge for people who don’t even know they need it. The Holy Spirit will reveal a situation in a couple’s life that they have struggled with for years. The struggle is hidden deep in their hearts and the Holy Spirit prompts me to action. Time and time again when speaking with couples I will ask specifically about their issue which is buried so deep and they are shocked. I hear, “No one knows that! How could you possibly have known that? Where did you get that information?
Most of the time the couples are relieved that the Lord exposed the issue and we pray about it and release the bondage accordingly. Those who are content with the bondage will leave and we never hear from them again. That is until the situation pops up again and they desperately need prayer and help.
My second gift from the Holy Spirit is comfort which the Apostle Paul so eloquently defines in my favorite Bible verse: 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words. NKJV (Emphasis added)
My job is clear. I am called to prepare everyone I can for the Lord’s coming and give comfort to the saints awaiting His return. The Holy Spirit has equipped me beyond measure for the task.
The Cross is our identity as Christians. We don’t worship the Cross or such things, but we respect the Love of Jesus which is symbolized by His Cross.
This Cross planted stands at the intersection where the busiest farmers market in our area meets. One day a week all roads lead to the doorstep of our church. All the streets are closed and vendors and customers barter for food, clothing and necessary items. Now, because of you and your readers the most necessary item for each of their lives has arrived — The Cross. We must all come to the Cross of Christ for it is the entrance established by Jesus to heaven.
John 14:6 “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’” NKJV
Pastor Bill we find great comfort in this Cross your readers have provided. Thank you. And thank you for your faithfulness and obedience to the Lord which will bless our entire community for years to come.
And thank you for providing us an opportunity I’ve often dreamed about — your donation of loud speakers and an amplifier will help me lead and enhance our posture throughout the community. By adding these speakers behind the Cross and playing Christian music throughout the day we will no longer acquiesce the air waves to the Islam call to worship. Now the praises and glory to our Father will be broadcast for all to hear. To God be all the Glory.
Prayer: Father thank you for the praises streaming from these loud speakers giving You glory and honor each and every day. Protect the Pastors, their congregations, the Crosses, the amps and the speakers. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Street vendor setting up
Delivering cement blocks
Crates for use
Breaking down market
Cross ready for lifting
Street seller in action
Crane lifting Cross
Carefully moving the Cross
Cautiously moving the Cross around power lines
Cross in position
“FIRE IN THE HOLE”
Securing the Cross
Mixing cement to make concrete
Pastor Agosto securing the plaque
Philippine AMP to be used for streaming Christian music over the community
Speaker on pole pointed out away the Bible college into the community.
Speaker tucked under entry way at Surigao Bible Presbyterian Church pointing into the market area
Surigao Presbyterian Church Cross planting volunteers
Meet Pastor Agosto
Plaque “Declaring God’s glory over” Surigao city and Mandingo Island, Philippines