Rebecca S. Caparas from Lagundi, Plaridel, Bulacan is among the 22 students enrolled this schoolyear in Berean School of Ministry for Church Planters, Roxas City. I first met Rebecca last summer during the training for SOS 2011 hosted by CLDC. It was the second time she joined church planting through SOS. Rebecca testifies that although she has been privileged to have Bible School training through a span of 8 years through BBC extension classes, and to serve in her home church, she has always yearned to go out into the harvest field.
These are her words at the beginning of the school year here in BSM: `I am here in BSM because I want to be trained as a church planter. It is my heart’s desire to be an effective witness to the unsaved and to win more souls for Jesus. Even though I’m already 58 years old, I want to serve Jesus to the fullest and to the maximum. I will serve Jesus with the remaining years of my life.’
For the past 5 months as a student here in BSM, Rebecca consistently demonstrated eagerness and excitement to learn both academic and practical aspects of ministry, responded very well to mentoring, and demonstrated academic excellence. She was like one who was always learning at the feet of Jesus. She cried over every sermon she hears in church and during almost every class session. Her joy was evident when she speaks of the prospect that this coming summer, she will be a pioneer pastor in one of the SOS targets in their district. She plans to plant a church in San Ildefonso, Bulacan.
Last October 9, during a Tuesday morning chapel time, Rebecca fainted in her chair, was rushed to the hospital and was found to have a mild stroke. After coming out of the hospital, she stayed in the BSM ladies dorm, cared for by her daughter and a private nurse, for a period just enough for her to be able to travel. She has to go home to be with her family where she can have regular therapy until her slightly paralyzed left side is restored.
Today, we said a TEMPORARY goodbye to Rebecca. She is very sad to leave, and we are equally sad to see her leave. But Rebecca knows, and we believe with her this event in NOT A DEFEAT. I sat down and exchanged insights with her on what happened. She bursted into tears when she realized that her adversity can be a message to others. A message to the young and strong for them to serve God in the prime of their youth. A message for pastors to invest their people for the last day harvest. She is going home with these messages to challenge others.
Pray with us as we pray for her quick recovery. We do not see her as one quitting, bus as one who will return and graduate with her classmates this coming March 2013. She left words to her classmates – who are mostly much younger than her – for them to continue to serve God while they are young. She said that their motivation must be not from men but from God alone. She added the a line from their class theme song: `It is not easy, but is it worth it’! Rebecca, you will come out of this testing as another precious jewel in the master’s hands – Ma’am Zeny Calusay.