When Grace Bible Church celebrated its 50th anniversary, a survey was published at the Gracean which lists ‘the 50 things about GBC that we should thank God for wherein it listed the Bible-based doctrine; to the Living Circle Ministry; to the church's rich heritage and history.
But of all the entries one thing caught my attention as I walked out of the church last Sunday afternoon, which prompted me to dig out that old copy of the Gracean out of my cluttered drawer and write this piece.
It was the 10th entry pertaining to Kuya Mar Cabiles, which reads:
"10. The smiling face of Kuya Mar, cool and composed..."
True enough he is exactly like that as last Sunday morning I saw him at church back with us to worship. Back from the mission field that was Kabul, Afghanistan. Back with his wife Ate Mida and their son Joshua. Back to shine a smile of encouragement to my weary soul that just came from a rollercoaster of emotions that was undergone from the untimely death of Jolas to a number of things that are now better left unsaid.
So as I shook his hand I began to remember him as he and Ate Mida gave me a copy of William McDonald's True Discipleship as a Christmas gift that I was not able to appreciate at the time because I was way too busy wasting my life in a state of hedonistic backsliding. Nevertheless I kept it, and a few years later I read it and learned from it and in its own little way helped me in bringing me back to the fold.
He was truly an encouragement and his presence at GBC is a delight that I've so often ignore during his stay there. I remember shaking his hand on right after they announced to the congregation that they're going as missionaries to Afghanistan, it was after a tearful conversation with my brother Kuya Benjie. I remember him talking about the doctrine of Eternal Security at Sunday school with Kuya Ponch.
And seeing him now makes me appreciate and feel gratitude towards the Lord for blessing GBC with Kuya Mar who has touched a number of lives including mine.
He and his family is a blessing to my spiritual pilgrimage as a Christian.
Later that morning I was also able to chat with his wife Ate Mida about their life in Afghanistan where they overhear the explosions of bombs and bear witness to the persecution of native Christians as they live life under a Muslim dominated society, and as of now as I have gone through a lot in these past few weeks it was a time of refreshing for me and the church as I was greeted with the truth of their faith most notably seen in the smile of Kuya Mar.
God bless them.