A Personal Testimony by Bro. Danny Silbor, BCBP Makati
I am Doctor Danny Silbor. If you are suffering from colds, fever or flu, please look for another doctor. However if you insist, I will give you a prescription. I am a doctor of Veterinary Medicine, specializing in PIGS. My testimony is about the lesson I learned from failing to sense the presence of God in my life.
After graduation from the University of the Philippines, I worked for a huge corporation that had its culture (and promotions) based on a nightlife spent with coworkers and customers. I was always on provincial assignments. Because of this, my wife Tess and I were staying with my in-laws who began to scrutinize and object to my habits. Soon I shifted careers from Poultry to Swine, from chickens to pigs. We then were blessed with a new small house in Paranaque.
As I changed my practice, I joined a Dutch breeding company with offices in the Philippines. One day in the office I got an inquiry from a pig farmer in Batangas who wanted breeders. That pig farmer turned out to be Rolly Ona, then the chapter head of BCBP Makati. He invited me to the BCBP breakfast … and that was the start of our life in the BCBP community!
At the height of the “Erap Resign Movement”, the company I worked for decided to shift its business away from anything agricultural. While I was given a generous separation package, and then took on some consultancy and trading opportunities, income was not at all enough. However since my son’s college years were covered with an educational plan and my wife was working, I grew complacent. I renewed my BCBP activities as I had more time, serving as a BCLP course leader, then spent several years in the chapter governance.
Although I did not actively look for another job, job offers came in. One Korean company offered me a position almost equal to the one I last had had and even with the same salary. I wavered and told myself something better will come along. An opportunity to teach in the university was offered; I declined and told myself, something better will come along. Two other job offers came my way but I decided to continue waiting for something better. After time had passed and nothing better had come along, I went back to one of the companies that had offered me a job – but the opportunity was no longer available.
It was then that I remembered the story of the guy who died in the flood while waiting for the Lord to save him. This man, call him Juan, saw the flood waters about to engulf his house so he sent his family to safety. Juan remained in his house to secure it saying to himself, “I am a good servant, the Lord will save me.” An big military truck came to rescue him, but Juan was fearful of looting so he decided to stay, telling himself, “The Lord will surely save me.” The waters rose further forcing Juan to climb to perch on the rooftop. A sleek speedboat roared up; its driver shouted, “Hey, get in, I’m here to save you.” Juan just shook his head, secure in his faith that the Lord would save him. As the waters continued to rise, a helicopter appeared out of nowhere and the pilot called out to him, “Get in, I’m here to rescue you.” Still Juan remained on top of his roof insisting that the Lord would save him. He died later that day when the floods overturned his house.
At the heavenly gate St. Peter was surprised to see him. When Juan complained to the Lord that he had not been rescued, the Lord asked Peter, “I told you to rescue him! What happened?” St. Peter sheepishly said, “Lord, I did try to rescue him. But the angel driving the truck came back and said he refused to get it. Same thing with the speed boat. The angel even borrowed a helicopter straight from Iraq but he still refused to be rescued.”
In one of my weakest moments, I asked the Lord why He had not answered my prayers. But I stopped when I realized that He had presented me several opportunities for employment. Like Juan, I failed to discern that those chances were His actions to save me. Then I realized that even during my times of “underemployment” He took care of us, enabling our family to travel and even gave me a new car!
I began to be more aware of what the Lord was doing in my life, with the help of my brothers in community. In 2004 I was surprised to meet one of my old UK business partners from the breeding company I had previously worked for. He had since established a new company in the UK and was looking for “the old guys” to help him re-establish a new business in the Philippines. What started as a helping hand led to consultancy basis and our working relationship became more serious by the end of that year. We decided to set up a new Philippines office for his business. In the most subtle, unceremonious way I found work again in the profession I had learned to love. It was as if God was saying “Stay in this world, Danny, you will always be a veterinarian. I like you here in a happy little world filled with ‘pigs’.”
I am now the managing director for the Philippine operations of the British Swine Genetic company and responsibilities keep growing. I have been accepted into the elite academic body of the Philippine college of swine practitioners composed of top swine scientists in the country. I have had speaking engagements with the British Trade section of the British Embassy here and abroad, and have thus traveled to several countries all in the name of PIGS.
The Lord declares in Jeremiah 29:11-14: “I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. … You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. …” Now I am very much aware of the presence of the Lord in my life, as I learn to listen and follow His plan in my life. I continue to praise and thank Him for abundantly showering me and my family with blessings, especially as we continue following the BCBP Way of Life. All the glory is His!