By Bro Rene Medrocillo, BCBP Imus, Cavite
Breakfast Testimony given during NAC 37, Cagayan de Oro
I work as the manager of Festo Didactic, a division of Festo, a German company which is engaged in industrial automation. My division’s business is selling high-technology training equipment in Industrial automation, such as control systems, mechatronics and robotics to engineering and technical schools, maritime training centers, and mostly state universities and colleges. I have been in this company since 1992.
I married Chinggay in 1993. In 1996 we had a son whom we nicknamed Red. In December 2001 we became members of the BCBP Imus.
My BCBP life was a total conversion and commitment. I have been through the various services in the BCBP community: from music ministry up to the governance team. I thought all along that the community challenges I faced was all there is to it. But Jesus Christ has a way of calling me to a higher conversion, firmer commitment, and braver commissioning, all part of a tough and bold discipleship. And He did this in a very challenging way.
In 2008, I retired from Festo and went to China to work in a printer manufacturing company. At that time my salary could not afford our big dreams for our son Red. To work in China came as an opportune solution. But that would mean leaving my work at Festo, leaving my family and especially the BCBP service. But work in China gave us high hopes of fulfilling our stewardship and our dreams for our son.
We planned that 5 years of work in China would be enough. But that also meant 5 years of being away from the BCBP. But as we know, God’s ways are strange and totally unpredictable. That year 2008, a global financial crisis hit the world. After only eleven months in China, I decided to go back home to the Philippines. I felt like a failure. My dreams for my son were crushed, and I was jobless. It was a case of jumping from the frying pan into the fire. My amazing wife Chinggay did not worry. She prayed and trusted that God would provide for a job and other needs, while I planned to teach in a university while waiting for the crisis to end because education was not a crisis area.
But unknown to me, God had installed some safety nets. Just 2 weeks after I got home from China, my former employer, Festo, heard that I was back, called me up and asked me to work again with a better package. The reason for the offer: he wanted me to do this job with the same excellence that he had seen me perform before.
Excellence was the key to grace. And excellence is a shining Christian value in the BCBP. And because I was already back in the Philippines, I rejoined BCBP Imus Community and served again.
And the hand of Jesus Christ intervened graciously again. Just exactly two years after I returned to Festo, I was promoted as Manager at Festo. And almost simultaneously, exactly two years after I returned to BCBP Imus, I was installed as Chapter Head of the Imus Chapter.
Looking back, I see God’s providence:
–I had prayed to God that I did not want to leave my work as an employee of Festo, God answered by bringing me back to the Philippines and making me Manager of Festo.
–I remembered that I had prayed to God that I did not want to leave my service in the BCBP, and God answered and quickly brought me back from China and made me Chapter Head in the BCBP.
–I prayed to God that I did not want to be away from our son, and I surrendered him and his dreams to God. God answered and brought me back home to guide our son, and as Divine Providence would have it, He gave us much more than we asked for when He graciously gave our son Red a full scholarship for his chosen engineering course at the De La Salle University in Manila.
–God truly supports my work, my service and my family.
God knows best. With God on my side, who needs to work in China? Our son Red is now in his 5th year and is an on-the-job trainee at Unilever’s Manufacturing Excellence. Divine Providence took care of everything. Praise and thanks be to the Lord.
As a manager of Festo, my marketplace became a challenging venue for our BCBP advocacy and Christian values of honesty and integrity. After God had shown support for my work, my service and my family, I felt I could take on any challenge in my life.
Sometimes, biddings were opportunities for corruption by overpricing and manipulations. There were many offers to buy our products, with a promise of monetary rewards and sure sales for me if I would give in to their demands for big commissions from pre-arranged transactions and overpriced products. So many times I have said No to bribery and dishonesty. In every occasion, no matter how difficult, and especially when it is difficult, God provides the victory, because God is Divine Providence in our lives.
God has allowed me surprising honest victories in the business even in the midst of poor market cooperation, and strong dishonest competitors. I call these victories — miracles.
Just to name a few miracles that happened during some of the biddings:
–although we have the most expensive brand, we would come out as the lowest bidders.
–our competitor would come late and thus get disqualified because of traffic.
–our competitors would be disqualified due to missing important documents.
–during one of the biddings, when at one time it was a done deal and our competitor was favored to win, the auditor had to go on an emergency leave and was replaced by someone who favored to do it the honest way. We won.
–And many times, customers just wanted honest-to-goodness upright dealings.
One time I was asked about my key business strategy for continuing good sales despite the aggressively dishonest business culture, I just said: my secret cannot be presented in any report and my strategies cannot be included in any excel or powerpoint presentations, because my business strategy is honesty and faith in God.
As a Christian Manager, I am torn between two forces. As a Manager, I must win the sales at any cost. But as a Christian, I must follow Christ whatever the cost. I have learned to pray for my bidding documents before submitting them. I even pray for our sales team, our competitors and our customers… including those in-charge of the bidding. The costs of equipment that I sell are easily in millions of pesos for one order. In my job, selling is not difficult: what is difficult is selling honestly. I have been asked for illicit commissions as a condition for buying our products.
We all have financial needs. It would really be an easy excuse to give in to temptations especially when easy money from corruption offers us relief from urgent financial problems. But God is my strength and my shield. I have learned to say NO in a simple, polite and straightforward way. Nothing offensive or self-righteous. They always know what I mean. When they hear that the reason is about my Christian values, they stop insisting.
So as David fought Goliath not as a soldier but as a shepherd, I believe God wants me to fight a corrupt transaction not as a savvy cunning businessman but as a strong faithful Christian. Because the power that I have comes from God.
That is why I am also known in our business circle as the manager who wins biddings without bribery. And I take that as a compliment.
And one shining moment of witnessing: the finance manager of Festo Philippines found himself at risk of being severely disciplined for poor collection of my customer’s account receivable. My customer refused to process payment of my delivery because I refused to give him illicit commission, and he was 7 months overdue. When asked at the meeting in Headquarters for an explanation why the customer would not pay, our finance manager candidly explained to all that Mr. Medrocillo refused to give 10% illicit commission. Everyone at headquarters understood and appreciated that. Absuelto agad.
Jesus commanded in Matthew 5:14.16 during His Sermon on the Mount. “You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
Now I am going to share with you a profound experience I had, which takes Honesty to an even higher level.
A few weeks after we had won a relatively large bidding transaction, someone who introduced himself as the president of a university texted me one evening asking if we could meet in Quezon City. He told me that he was angry because nasty insinuations and rumors had come up that he received money from us in exchange for winning the bidding. He said that some people may have represented him to ask for money from me on account of the bidding that we won. He said he couldn’t sleep because of these allegations, and he was fearful of the damage to his reputation. And so he wanted to know from me the true story.
So I told him the whole honest truth. I candidly and respectfully told him that I did not know him and I had never met him. I also assured him that no one had come to me to represent him to ask for money. I emphasized that if there was anyone, I wouldn’t allow it anyway, as it is my personal Christian principle that I do not offer money nor receive money or favors in exchange for winning a transaction.
And I told him, if he goes to court because of this, I am willing to appear in court and testify to defend him. And if he needs me to talk to his people to clear his name, I will be willing to do that. And if he needs to quote me on this, he is most welcome to do so.
He replied to me, saying: “Now I can sleep peacefully. Thank you very much for your principle of honesty. With your help, I can face everyone with peace of mind.“
By this beautiful experience, I realize now, brothers and sisters, that we are not the only ones who are made secure by HONESTY. By our HONESTY, the persons we deal with enjoy peace of mind and security too. So, HE WHO WALKS HONESTLY empowers others to WALK SECURELY also.
Therefore, in conclusion of my sharing….
My place of work is a showroom not only of our company products but also of my Christian values of Honesty, Integrity and Excellence. And my colleagues, customers and competitors are the people who witness how our products, business and my Christian values work together in harmonious action.
My dream is to make everyone in my marketplace realize that the power of God in Honesty is more powerful than fixed deals. That with Honesty, there are better gains.
And slowly and surely, with Honesty, Integrity and Excellence, we can bring Christ into the marketplace. We are in the mission of transforming our business with Christ.
My dear friends, God bless you all.