“Lessons from the past” – Seeds of Faith – October 1, 2018

Dear friends,
Today, October 1, 2018, Central Philippine University is 113 years old. We give God all the glory and honor for what He has done in and through CPU.
What lessons can we learn from the past?
First, struggles can be seen as opportunities to widen your perspective when you have faith in Jesus.
Rev. Eric Lund was a Swedish Baptist missionary who was sent to do mission in Spain in the late 1890s. He thought all the while that he was there to share the Gospel to the Spaniards. He struggled in that regard until one day he met a Filipino by the name of Braulio Manikan. When Lund shared the Baptist faith to Manikan, he accepted it and was subsequently baptized through immersion in Barcelona, Spain in 1898. These two started translating the Bible into Hiligaynon, and after two years they received some financial help from the American Baptists that paved the way for them to arrive in Iloilo City. The Philippine Baptist mission is a product of a struggle that was turned into an opportunity.
Second, disappointments can be turned into blessings when you trust in God.
Rev. William O. Valentine was an American Baptist missionary that was sent to Burma in the early 1900s. In that country he suffered a heatstroke that left him disappointed. He thought that he was in Burma as a missionary for life. Because of his illness he was sent back to America to recuperate. It turned out to be a blessing. It was in the hospital that he met Ina, a nurse, who later became his wife. The two of them decided to go to the Philippines to do mission. A year after they arrived in Iloilo City, Rev. Valentine became the principal of Jaro Industrial School when it opened in October 1, 1905. Jaro Industrial School is now Central Philippine University. Indeed when we just trust in God, our disappointments can be turned into blessings.
Third, biases can be overcomed, and can even become rallying points to envision new visions when we turn it over to God.
Missionary Anna V. Johnson arrived in the Philippines and started in 1907 the Baptist Missionary Training School (BMTS). This school was training ground exclusively for women. A graduate was used to be called as a “Bible Woman.” Johnson at that time dreamed that a “Bible Woman” will be ordained and will be called a pastor. It did not happen in her lifetime but the dream was continued. The BMTS was later merged to the CPU College of Theology. The building that housed the College of Theology was then aptly named Anna V. Johnson in honor of a missionary who dared to challenge the status quo. Now, her dream is a reality. We now call graduates of the CPU College of Theology as pastors, and they can also be ordained and receive the title of Reverend. Yes, biases can be overcomed when we surrender it to God. Let us dare to dream new dreams.
Happy birthday CPU!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications
Central Philippine University

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