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Pastoral Workers For Christ – Part 1

Boni Capuyan, CFC Northern California, USA

A Boy’s Encounter

I have had numerous encounters with our Lord. The first occurred when I was just 13. I was so moved and touched by God that I was able to complete the novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus at that age, and was also inspired to bring little girls from our neighborhood to the annual Flores de Mayo (May flower festival in honor of the Blessed Mother). In college, I felt I grew even closer to the Lord as I would spend the break periods between classes meditating and praying at the Manila Cathedral.

My family and I emigrated to the United States in 1973, and it was here where I experienced another powerful encounter with the Lord when He called me to the Cursillo movement in 1978. Still another powerful encounter happened in 1985 when He invited me to join the charismatic movement.

Small Faith Community

As Cursillistas, my wife Baby and I were really committed to live out our 4th Day in our environment just as it was taught. However, it was difficult for us to do this and live out the teachings since we were left basically alone by ourselves to seek our “small faith community.” We experienced one roller coaster after another, seeking desperately for the right “small faith community” and support. Another difficulty we encountered was that we did not have the proper mechanism to live out in a Christian community. We made several attempts at it and tried very hard, starting first with forming a. Bible study group to get our community together but it failed. Next, my wife and I, along with some other cursillistas tried holding prayer meetings but most of the time, these evolved more into social gatherings. Something was definitely lacking. We felt we were not being nourished spiritually. We were losing our members interest fast, onetheless, we continued in our quest and persevered, even if unintentionally, these wound up as mere social gatherings.

In retrospect, the journey was well worth it because the Lord was preparing us for something incredible. The good Lord heard us and answered our prayers in His right time. He provided the mechanism for us to leaven our environment - Couples for Christ (CFC) - but that is going ahead of the story.

Enter CFC

Our introduction to CFC began in the summer of 1992 when one of the couples from our Bible study and prayer groups, Loy and Mely Salgado, visited their family in the Philippines. While there, their daughter Cora invited them to attend a Christian Life Program (CLP). They attended only 2 sessions before they had to return to the U.S. Before leaving Manila, however, Loy asked for a copy of the CLP manual and tapes of some of the talks. In our first meeting after their return, we discussed and agreed with some hesitation to start our own CLP. We studied the manual, listened to the tapes and shortly thereafter, gave the CLP talks to ourselves (originally 6 couples). That is how CFC began in Northern California. We truly believe that it was the power of the Holy Spirit guiding us because we neither had any idea nor experience as to what we were doing. We also did not have any contacts with any established CFC group and thus lacked pastoral guidance and direction because we were situated in too remote an area. We learned eventually that our initial experience of giving the CLP talks to ourselves was an incorrect way to start CFC in a new area, but who are we to question God's ways?

Transformation

Now, as CFC members, my wife and I have undergone many significant changes in our lives - in our relationship with each other and with our children and in the lives of our children. Our priorities, friends, and over-all way of life have changed for the better. We have also been blessed to witness the changes taking place in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Northern California, as well as in other areas of North America. It is very exciting and inspiring! Through CFC our family has discovered the meaning of having a real relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ and we are not going to let go of Him anymore! I would say that this has been my most powerful encounter with Jesus and still continues to be!

Serving Full-Time

The desire to serve as a fulltime CFC pastoral worker began in 1995 which led me to discussions with Lito Urgino, CFC Country Coordinator for the U.S. After much prayer, however, I decided it was not yet the right time because our children were still in school and we still needed to provide for their education and other needs. But in September 1996, the Lord granted my heart's desire to serve Him full-time. He provided a way for us. He took care of our financial needs and allowed me to retire at the age of 49 from my work as engineer for 22 years at the Pacific Bell Company. At that point, I had already lost interest in my job. I was consumed with thoughts of the ministry and working only for the Lord in CFC. He even threw in a bonus. After 10 months, He blessed my wife and enabled her to retire also from her career as a chemist. Now, my wife and I serve side by side in the CFC community. The main thrust of our service is to open up new areas for the Lord through CFC in the states of Alaska, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. By God's grace, we started the first ever CLP in the “sin” city of Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Family

The Lord has really blessed and continues to bless our family. I believe He wants each one of us to serve Him in CFC and the family ministries so that we can be living witnesses to others around us. Our eldest daughter Marie and son Bon are both CFC Singles for Christ (SFC) leaders serving in CFC Youth for Christ (YFC). Our youngest daughter, Tin is also actively serving in YFC. Our other daughter, Gigi was a YFC member and will be undergoing an SFC CLP.

God is truly good. May He be praised forever!

Continue to Part 2

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