THE SERVANT GENERAL
MISSION AND MONEY
September 8, 2009
On the 12th death anniversary of Jun and Ben
A servant is one who is a slave of Christ, who belongs totally
to him. As a slave, a servant has no rights. He is to simply
obey the commands of his master. His very life is in the hands
of the master.
Jesus was the suffering servant of Yahweh. He washed the feet
of his disciples, taking the lowest place. He suffered and
died on the cross, winning for us our salvation.
As the servants of Jesus, we are to follow him. When we follow
him, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross. When we
follow him, he leads us all the way to the cross. When we
follow Jesus, we must be willing to give up our lives for
him, just as he gave up his life for us.
for the cause
Today I honor, once again, our brothers Ben Donato and Jun
Frias. They are our first martyrs. They died 12 years ago
in Vanuatu while on mission. They gave their all, to the offering
of their very lives. They died with their sandals on. They
were true missionaries and servant leaders.
Today we persist on our mission and our work. We are an evangelistic
and missionary community. We continue to field our missionaries
to different parts of the world. And there will be more of
them to come.
Our missionaries face hardships (just listen to their testimonies)
but rejoice in the privilege. And our missionaries lay their
lives on the line every day for Jesus.
Our missionaries in Ghana had an encounter with death. Our
brothers Mike Javier from Canada, Deks Gonzales from the Philippines,
and David from Ghana, had a terrible road accident. Their
Ghanaian driver was killed. They were bloodied and bruised,
with cuts and broken limbs. They needed to be hospitalized
and operated on. But they lived.
Recently also, while on their way home from our conference,
our brethren had a serious accident in Italy. The car was
a total wreck and cannot be repaired anymore. But thank God,
all four passengers were unharmed.
In the Philippines through the years, there have been various
vehicular accidents involving our brethren while on mission,
causing various injuries and also deaths.
Paul, the missionary par excellence, suffered a great deal
(just look at 2 Corinthians 11:23b-28!). He made four missionary
journeys. He did not have the modern conveniences of vehicles
or the Internet. His was a hard life. But he rejoiced in the
privilege of serving Christ, and especially in suffering for
Today we do mission, and our missionaries indeed suffer. But
we have not been lashed or stoned. We have not been shipwrecked.
We have not been imprisoned. But we do face the possibility
of serious accidents and even death.
Not everyone is privileged to do mission. In that our missionaries
should exult and rejoice.
There are many more opportunities for us to do mission. The
potential missionaries are there, especially among our young
single brethren. It is of course not limited to them. Ben’s
very own widow Menchie has gone to many different and difficult
mission areas, all by herself.
But our big problem is finances. There simply is not enough
This is tragic. How I wish that we could simply call on God
to send His angels who can bodily whisk away our missionaries
to Africa or to Latin America or elsewhere. But every time
I pray, the Lord says the same thing, “You need to buy
a ticket.” It sounds funny, but I am not laughing. I
How can we let such a mundane thing as money prevent us from
serving the Lord more, from being the missionary community
that we are called to be?!
It is doubly tragic because it is not for a lack of money
on your part. If only every CFC-FFL member gave some amount
every month, no matter how small, we would have more than
enough for mission. Is that too much to ask? I am not wringing
blood out of you. Far from it! You would not even notice what
you forgo if you give.
People at times ask why God does not provide for our needs.
But God has indeed already provided. Whenever we respond to
His authentic call, then He will provide. So where is the
money? It remains in your pockets and purses! “Dare
a man rob God? Yet you are robbing (Him)!” (Mal 3:8a).
What a tragedy for our mission. What a tragedy for you.
In the accident in Ghana, we needed to raise money for the
hospital and for operations. You responded! Do we have to
wait for such serious accidents before we give for mission?
Does the Lord have to allow an accident before you take out
your wallet or purse?
People continue to die in their sins. They are the object
of our evangelization. Physical death, especially martyrdom,
is not tragic, for we live and die for Christ. But spiritual
death is tragic. And for you who already know the Lord and
are striving to live a truly Christian life, failure to give
is even more tragic. You are accursed because you rob God
(Mal 3:9). But this does not have to be. You can prevent this
by your giving.
Ben and Jun died on the birthday of Mama Mary. So death and
life come on the same day. But our brothers’ death has
led to eternal life—their own and those they have helped
evangelize. This is the wonderful work that we have been given
the privilege to do.
Our singles, couples and handmaids are stepping forth and
willing to become missionaries. They know the hardships this
entails, and even the possibility of death. But they persist.
You can do your part, from the comfort of your homes, in the
presence of your loved ones, without the threats to life that
they face. You can pray for them. But you can also make it
possible for them to be sent as missionaries, by your giving
of your finances. This can be your way of going on mission.
call as servant leaders
We are all servants of Jesus. And our community has been tasked
to raise the leaders who will pursue the work of Jesus, that
of evangelization and mission. There is much to be done, and
we must give of ourselves so that we can lead the way for
As servant leaders we must take on the mind and heart of our
Master. We must be willing to give our all, including our
very lives. And if we are to give our all, we certainly must
be willing to give back to God what He has entrusted to us—our
time, talent and treasure.
Today we honor our brothers Jun Frias and Ben Donato. Thank
you, Jun and Ben, for your ultimate sacrifice.
May there be more of them, including those who will give their
lives for the cause.
May our community be so blessed.
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Servant Leadership (Part 10) [PDF]