May the peace and joy of Jesus Christ be with you always, is my earnest prayer. Brother Edmar and I had the joyous privilege of seeing how the brethren in Negros happily accepted the Three Angels’ Messages. Let me share the story with you.
Before we went to Negros Oriental, Basak, I dreamed I was riding my motorcycle and unintentionally entered a camp and to my surprise big killer black dogs silently attacked me. The dogs did not bark. They were just silent as they ran toward me. In my extreme fear I shouted to the Lord for help and miraculously I was able to jump my motorcycle to other fences. I suddenly awoke with my whole body shaking and I related to my wife my dream and we both were unable to understand.
To get to Negros, we must ride a bus for seven hours to Cagayan de Oro then take a ship for another day and then another bus to Toledo for an hour and then on to another ship for 1½ hours to San Carlos, Negros Oriental. On our arrival, the weather turned immediately bad. Only two days after our arrival, all ship travel was cancelled due to the bad weather. Prior to this several ships had capsized during inclement weather conditions causing the death of many passengers. But we arrived before the cancellations, safe and sound. We took our rest in Pastor Gregorio Caburog’s home with his family.
The first morning that we were there, Mrs. Caburog related one of her dreams to us. She had planned to attend camp meeting only on Sabbath because she had many responsibilities at home, but then she had a dream. She dreamed that night Jesus spoke to her, while wearing a white dress and having a lovely countenance. He said, “You must attend the camp meeting from the first day to the end. Support the work. I am coming very soon.” She suddenly awoke and decided to go with us that day to the camp meeting at Basak.
We held some preliminary meetings at the house of Brother Jun Caburog, where Sabbath services are held each week. His house is on the top of the hill overlooking the villages beside the seashore, about a kilometer from the highway. As we traveled to his house, we looked about at the neighboring villages and realized that most were struck by a heavy flood and storm. Several houses were being flooded and damaged and the road had been severely damaged. Miraculously, however, the village of Pastor Caburog was safe and we had a restful sleep that night. Praise God! When we arrived at the camp, the rain started to fall and within a few hours a strong wind blew through our camp, so that we eventually had to transfer the meetings to Brother Jun’s house.
On New Year’s Day in the morning while the storm was still striking us, I presented a sermon to the brothers and sisters about the importance of searching our hearts during this camp meeting. I talked about how we mustn’t allow common things to consume us so that we do not search our hearts and make sure that our lives are ready. After my sermon, Brother Edmar was to preach on health, but he had suffered severe pain of his throat before his time. We all prayed that he would be able to speak and we claimed the precious promises of God. Miraculously, when he got up and started to speak, his pain disappeared. But now, I lost my voice. Fortunately, I had already given my presentation.
I then remembered my dream of the silent attack dogs, and realized that these must represent the silent attacks of the devil. At 2 a.m. I awoke and started pleading with the Lord in my own behalf because of my pain. Afterall, I was scheduled to speak at 5 a.m. but I had no voice. Something like very sticky phlegm was blocking my throat. I tried to gargle with hot water and cayenne powder, but it didn’t help. Finally, I got up to speak, but I still had no voice. I tapped on the microphone and then said, or rather tried to say, “mic test, mic test,” but still no sound came from my lips. What was I to do? I bowed my head right there in front of my brethren and silently prayed, “Lord, help me!” Then I lifted my face to audience and said, “Good morning!” I had said it. I could speak. I continued to share with the people what the Lord had laid on my heart for an hour without losing my voice. I give all the glory to God for His tender mercies.
After my sermon, when I wanted to speak again, I discovered that my voice was gone. The Lord had given me the strength that I needed for the time that I needed. I later delivered other sermons on Revelation 7:1-4 and on the sentence from The Desire of Ages, page 34, which says: “Even one wrong trait of character, one sinful desire, persistently cherished, will eventually neutralize all the power of the gospel.” I was able to present both messages with a clear strong voice, only to lose my voice on completion of each of my sermons. This pattern repeated itself for every one of my sermons during this camp meeting.
Brother Edmar also presented more inspiring messages and too quickly our camp meeting came to a close. At the end of our camp meeting, we noticed a sudden change in the weather. The storm abated and the sun came through. We all realized that the devil had been doing everything in his power to destroy our camp meeting. He had sent terrible storms. He had caused voice problems for the speakers. He definitely was going about as roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.
My brethren, let us ask God to help us to be more earnest, for the harvest is very ripe already. If we will not ask for God’s power, Satan will do the harvesting and then present us at the Judgment as slackers. He is very busy today, not only spreading his wrath to the unprepared poor and weak souls, but he is also making efforts that he may claim to God that we are his own and unworthy of salvation. Let us pray as Jacob did. Nobody will get to heaven through the final events without experiencing a struggle like Jacob. May the Lord open our eyes and strengthen us by His Spirit.