The Prayers of the Righteous
As told to Eugene and Irene Cruz
Despite one very important difference between them, Romy and Bing Manalasan appeared to be happy in their marriage. Bing was a Seventh-day Adventist and Romy a member of another Christian denomination. From the outside it looked as though their religious differences didn’t have much of an affect on their relationship, but Bing was dissatisfied that she and her husband were not of the same faith. She prayed for Romy, knowing that he could be converted only through the working of the Holy Spirit. She held on to the hope that one day her husband would worship with her.
Family Ministries in Action
In February 2004 Romy and Bing were invited to the annual weekend retreat put on by Christian Couples’ Circle (CCC) of the Pasay Adventist Church, in the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, through the division’s Adventist Family Ministries Department. During the retreat Romy was impressed by the warmth and camaraderie of couples who encouraged one another in their walks with Christ.
Touched by their experiences at the retreat, Romy and Bing were inspired to start a CCC chapter in their hometown. Despite his involvement with CCC, however, Romy still hadn’t fully surrendered to the Lord.
When Romy finally retired from his job, Bing hoped that he would be baptized. Romy’s job required him to work on Sabbaths; now nothing hindered him from keeping the seventh day holy. But Romy started a business that required work every Sabbath.
A Turning Point in Korea
While on vacation in Korea, Romy, Bing, and their daughter decided to worship at the nearest Adventist church. At one of the many transfers necessary to get to church, the door of the train suddenly closed, separating Romy from his wife and daughter. He had no passport, no money or mobile phone, and worst of all, he didn’t know a single Korean word.
Terrified of getting lost in a foreign country, Romy talked to God, pouring out his fears and worries. Just as he ended his prayer, he saw his wife and daughter get off a train. Romy knew the Lord had answered his prayer.
Moving to Full Surrender
During the 2012 Pasay CCC retreat Romy shared in a group discussion the concern that was keeping him from a full commitment to the Lord—closing his business on Saturdays. One of the pastors told about a man in Guam who had closed his business on Sabbath, and how the Lord had blessed him with even more business.
Returning home, Romy met with his staff and explained that the shop would be closed during Sabbath hours. Romy expected a negative reaction from his staff, and worried that he would lose them—or even some clients. But the Lord blessed Romy’s shop. His cliental increased, so much so that Romy had to hire more employees and move his business to a bigger location.
A few months later the church Romy and Bing attended held evangelistic meetings. After years of being undecided, Romy publicly dedicated his life to the Lord through baptism in June 2012. Romy’s conversion was met with love and support from his family and friends. Bing’s years of prayer, patience, and witness had finally borne fruit.