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LIKE A WATERED GARDEN

bcbp-canada“… and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose water never goes dry” – Isaiah 58:11

By Sindulfo Etchin Sumagang, BCBP Canada GTA

First of all I want to congratulate Sis. Weng Odina and the couple Bro. Francis and Sis. Lea Balcruz for boldly volunteering to set up and print the first issue of the “True North,” the first BCBP newsletter in North America. Your boldness to use your God-given gifts is awesome!

About two weeks ago, as I reflected on what to write in the True North, I tried to review my BCBP notes and prayer journal when we had our first prayer meeting around two years ago. My notes stated, “Where can I run from you Lord? Wherever we go, you are always present. We planned for a vacation, but you are here pushing us to work on our BCBP mission.” This was verbalized by Bro. Doy Andrada, now one of the newest members of the BCBP Board of Trustees. It was not a coincidence that God sent Bro. Doy and Sis. Precy to attend our first prayer meeting because He will always send someone to witness His goodness and to manifest His plans for Canada.

Another message in the same prayer meeting was expressed by my wife Sis. Odit Sumagang, “I brought you from the ends of the earth; I called you from its farthest corners and said to you….you are my servants. Go and bear much fruit.” (Isaiah 41:9)

When I checked the third message in my journal, it really made me teary-eyed because He said, “And I will always guide you and satisfy you with good things. I will keep you strong and well. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water, like a spring of water that never goes dry…” (Isaiah 58:11)

A few weeks ago, when we were discerning for the theme of this year’s anniversary, Sis. Agnes So shared her vision of a beautiful garden full of flowers, towering trees, plush vegetation and sparkling stream of water. It must be the beautiful garden that our God, the Master Gardener, has prepared for us when He said, “I will be with you, that is a promise!”

etchinThe whole country of Canada is a great and bountiful garden that God has given to all of us. To preserve its beauty, the Master Gardener expects us to exert our best efforts to maintain it. We should not allow dandelions or other weeds to sprout at anytime to destroy its beauty nor allow wild animals to prevent us from doing our work. There are lots of things to do, but God said that He will guide us continually and He will be with us; it is His promise.

As members of BCBP, we are His gardeners. We need to give our quality time – not just extra time – to work hard to beautify the garden. We need the garden more than the garden needs us. Similarly, we all need the BCBP more than the BCBP needs us. We should align ourselves to be like the beautiful flowers and trees so that our beauty will radiate not only in our workplaces but also in the whole expanse of Canada.

How do we achieve it? We are so blessed that we belong to a community that gave us a simple, yet very powerful guide in living out our BCBP way of life – the BCBP commitment card. It contains our covenant with God. We should make it a habit to check it regularly to gauge where we are in our commitments. By doing so, we will know if we are beautifying the garden or we are slowly ruining it.

One of the most important ingredients for a healthy garden is water. Isaiah draws a beautiful parallel between what the Lord wants to do for us and what an unfailing spring provides for garden-life. That leads us to the second part of our 2nd Anniversary theme taken from John 15:1-8. We have to stay connected to the main source of the Living Water. By doing so, we can continue to be healthy and strong and certainly bear much fruit. Consequently, our community will grow and God’s name will be glorified.

Rest assured that the newly installed leaders of the new BCBP Canada – Greater Toronto Area Chapter will work doubly hard to ensure that all of us will be spiritually guided to live out the BCBP way of life through proper introduction of the support structures, teachings, guide-lines and community activities. We will strive to make all our BCBP activities joyful, meaningful and spiritually fulfilling experiences so that we will together enhance our relationship with God and with our brothers and sisters. Once we have these foundations in place, we will be able to live an evangelistic lifestyle while following our BCBP way of life. We should be the face of God in the marketplace. Collectively, we will work hard so that our individual efforts will help beautify the garden and bear much fruit. Then God’s Name will be glorified.

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It is a challenging task but together we will cling to the True Vine who will guide us continually. With Him, we can spread BCBP all over Canada.

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This sharing was first published in the KAPATIRAN in October 2014. The brothers and sisters there have ably met the challenge. Upcoming is the 4th Anniversary Breakfast of Toronto Chapter on October 15, 2016 at Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, and the Inaugural Breakfast at Calgary on October 16, 2016 at Four Points by Sheraton, Calgary Airport, 2875 Sunridge Way NE Calgary, Alberta T1Y 7K7 Canada.

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2 comments

  1. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the BCBP decision to go global was announced at the Brotherhood National Congress held in Subic in 2000. If memory serves me right, the initial plan was to organize outreaches in Asean cities because they were closer to home. But God had bigger plans. Now, we have overseas chapters and outreaches in the US — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, West Covina, Sacramento — and in Toronto and Edmonton in Canada.

    As we strive to share the good things God has given us and our loved through the BCBP we cling to the Lord’s promise in Matthew 20:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    Tatang Sadie Saguisag started it all in San Francisco and LA in 2004, just like he did earlier in the Visayas and Mindanao in the 80s. Now Bro. Etchin and Sr. Odit are doing the same in Canada, just like they did in Mindoro and other provinces in the 90s and 2000s.

    Praise God for these missionaries and the so many anonymous BCBP brothers and sisters who are responding to His call.

  2. Jose R. Penas, Jr.

    It is so inspiring to read about the garden that Bro. Etchin and Sis Odit planted and nourish in Canada. I cannot help but reminisce the indefatigable efforts they made to prepare us in the BCBP Davao Chapter Music Ministry to be worthy singers during the NAC 30 in 2010.

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