Mild Stroke! By God’s Grace He Saves Indeed

On the 6th of August 2019, I was hospitalized at St Luke’s. Doctors saw through MRI, a blot clot in my brain. Their diagnosis- a mild stroke! Somehow, numbness was felt in my right arm and my pinchers (pointer finger and thumb) could hardly move.

My wife was beside me all the time. She was weary and sad but I knew she prayed intimately. It was her comfort that Father God will just be right there to stay with us. She knew that all will end up in His glory. She is a breast cancer victim and she is surviving it. Oh, how noble she was by watching over her sick husband. All we had was to trust in God’s mercy as we have always done in the past. He has never forsaken us who sincerely beg for His help.

Another day of observation at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was necessary for a possible deadly recurrence. Doctors advised a regular check of vital signs. For me it was a moment to call on Father God again. Coming to Him has become a recourse whenever we encountered an emergency situation like this.

My blood pressure began to normalize surprisingly! The attending doctor told me I was fortunate because nothing worse happened. Except for the slight numbness in my right arm the rest of my motor skills were functioning well. I saw it as another blessing instead! Now my right fingers are back to normal. Father God, once again, has made Himself felt in us.

Today there are two witnesses for you of God’s love and sincerity- my wife who has a breast caner (3rd stage b) and I who was hit by a mild stroke. These are only among many miracles we experience in our daily life. Obviously, He touches us to return to Him. He is indeed real!

He is waiting for you!

My Wife Has Cancer; By God’s Grace She Is Surviving It!

In 2017 my wife, Melba, was diagnosed with cancer. She submitted herself to a laboratory test and it was indeed confirmed that she had breast cancer, a very unwelcome news.

It was however an opportunity too to become more closed to the Almighty who makes all things happen. He will do something great again as He has always done to us, we believe.

A friend helped us to a very good doctor of a Foundation. She was asked to undergo six chemotherapies with an interval of three weeks each. The protocol was later changed to an additional of 12 weekly sessions.

Midway along the weekly therapies my wife decided to stop because the regular blood tests prior to the chemotherapy were hurting her hand. She found recourse to taking natural and fresh food. She would prepare fresh juices in the morning like lemon grass (tanglad), avocado leaves, and cucumber among others.

Our meals included fresh vegetables for her salad and mostly unprocessed fish for the main menu. She takes meat once a week.

She gets good sleep, drinks plenty of water, keeps herself busy with spiritual things and most of all avoids stressful thoughts.

Her daily routine consists of praying after rising, fixing the bed, going to toilet and preparing the breakfast. Most of the day she reads and listens to wise discussions and teaches our grandson, Zion.

This year, 2019, my wife Melba, by the grace of Father God is doing well. She feels no pain. We could only thank Heaven for keeping her healthy and strong! Then we remember- in 1997 we decided to offer tithes (10% of our gross income) and even now we continue to be blessed by the promise (in Malachi 3:10 ) that He will take care for those who obey His commands.

Why I Offer Tithes

In July 1997 my wife and I decided to pay our tithes- ten percent of our gross income. We did it to thank Father God of the blessings He bestows on us and my children.

Saipem, an Italian Oil Company in which I have been employed for many years, assigned me to work offshore Baku, Azerbaijan exactly when I had just finished my duty as the 1st Councilman in a Philippine community in Pasig City. Obviously, it happened by the grace of God. The timing was indeed perfect!

It was however, an unusual experience because just after a few days of commitment an incident happened on board the Pipelaying Vessel  “Israfil Guseinov”, where I worked as a Purser. One of our crew, seemingly having  a personal problem came to my office and confronted me. I was upset by the way he raised his voice and so I shouted back. Angrily, he punched my face three times. I did not fight back! Perhaps I was in a high spirit at that time having paid my first tithe. I felt God was just there around to protect me!

The news spread fast. My boss offshore, Carpaneda Renato heard about the story and he was not happy about it. On the other hand, after an hour, the man who hit me, returned to say sorry. He wrote a short note of apology highlighting that he would pay US $ 3000 to compensate for the moral damage done.

I immediately informed my wife about what happened. Jokingly, she said why I did not offer the other cheek? I was amused. I laughed!

Today, we are enjoying the promises of good returns of doing God’s instructions of tithing as according to the Bible in Malachi Chapter 3:10. My wife who was diagnosed of a breast cancer (Stage 3b) three years ago is surviving the trial. I, myself, was confined to the hospital on the 6th of August 2019 at St Luke’s in Makati of “stroke” and it did not harm my body. I was released three days later with my motor skills all intact. We believe that better things are coming ahead in the next days to come, by God’s grace.

To us tithing will never be a burden rather it is like a “key” to peace of mind and joy of heart. Please try it because the Lord promised He would “open the gate valves of heaven and pour out the blessings”. My wife and I are continuously seeing the miracles it brings.

We Crossed The Atlantic Ocean and God Was With Us

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Castoro 10, an Oil Pipelaying Vessel was towed from Curacao to Congo on the 6th of August 2014. It was a month-long journey cruising the Atlantic Ocean and a great experience crossing the  Equator too. I was on board together with sixty-eight others.

There were mixed feelings , perhaps, when the trip started. We were travelling on a vast space of nothingness but still I have seen the beauty of life! A pair of doves was with us!

One morning before sunrise, the brown bird joined me in the helideck where I have started the day praying the rosary! Amidst the blue skies, floating white clouds, and the bright orange sunrise on the horizon of the dark blue ocean I realized it was a perfect day acknowledging the Author of the beauty of Creation.

It was so refreshing to feel the seabreeze and the splashing of the waves on the side of the ship made me felt really close to heaven. I could only thank God for the new day, another experience of His great love. He is indeed real and for the moment I knew with faith that I was sitting on His great Hands. I had so much joy!DSC00548

Tithe, Trouble, Triumph

Tithing photoMy wife and I decided to pay our tithes (to donate 10% of earnings to support the Church)not just because we thought the Lord wanted us to do so but also to thank Him, the Source of all good, for the blessings we had been receiving . It may have looked strange but the Company I had worked with ( Saipem) had recalled my services after 3 years of being out of work.

As a blessing in disguise, just a few moments after we decided to offer our tithes an unfortunate thing happened in 1997 in the  office on board “Israfil Guseinov” , a Pipelaying Vessel in Azerbaijan. I had an argument with one of the Inspectors regarding his complaint about his lost luggage at the airlines when he arrived on site. I would confess that I did raise my voice during the exchange in opinions  and that made the other person lost his temper and  patience and hit me straight to my face. I was surprised!

At that time, I was on a very high morale, perhaps due to the fact that we had finally committed ourselves, my wife and I, to the Lord by way of tithes. And so the punch was not able to jar the spirit! I did not fight back. Revenge did not play a part. I prayed silently inside of me. I started to talk to God. How could this happen after one has finally returned to accept Him? And before I could even hear an answer the second punch hit my face again and finally a third strike. So much of a test of faith! At that instant the Purser next to me , a colleague of mine, stopped the man for further proceeding  with his brutal act. Some blood gushed out of my bleeding nose. Dr Milorad Prso attended to me in the medical clinic.

An hour later when things pacified the man approached me to ask for forgiveness. He explained that he had just received some  bad news that  his wife abandoned  his family and so he lost control of himself. He was so sorry. He wrote his apology in a piece of paper and at the end of the line he promised on his own accord to pay me $3000 for the mistake that he had done. The trial was over! I passed the test! Forgiveness triumphed and I knew God smiled. I thought I heard Him said, “ Well done my faithful servant!”  Humanity has inched forward a bit.

It was not until another 3 years later when I discovered that giving tithes is the most rewarding thing one could ever do in this life. John Huntsman of America was interviewed in the CNN while I was in Nigeria and I could remember him saying that in the Bible, in Malachi Chapter 3,  we are obliged to give part of our income in order for the Church to be able to perform its responsibilities.

But why 10%, one may ask. For me it is comparable to someone purchasing a piece of property. Isn’t it that a down payment is necessary to show the commitment? Well, likewise with tithing, setting apart the 10% of our income proves our real trust in the Lord. It’s the best litmus paper  test  to see what is inside  the heart and soul. Moreover, doing it consistently shapes one’s  character making him detached in material concerns keeping the closest relationship with the Almighty.

I believe this is the key to human happiness! We need to connect to Him! We need to commit! We need to show our trust! We need to live with Him. Feel Him as He touches your heart while reading this story. Hold on to Him. This is true. The experience is being shared for you! He has been waiting…..

Since then, my family and I have been seeing the mighty works of God, Opus Dei. Life has become more beautiful and so meaningful! Eureka!

Malachi 3:10

“10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”