Philippine Profiles (1) “My Heart’s Desire…”

By Jim McDonald

I met Domingo Dangiwang in May 1994. He attended a lectureship Ken Marrs and I held in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. He was a Catholic when I met him and although there were several who were baptized during the days of that lecture-ship, Domingo declined. The day following the end of our lectureship Rody Gumpad and a company of others with him carried me to do some village preaching. We traveled over dust, rough roads for several hours until we arrived in Tabuk when we saw Domingo again. After having had time to think about what he had heard, he was ready to give up the religion of his fathers and I baptized both him and his wife in a drainage ditch.

The next morning Ken and I were to fly from Tuguegarao to Manila and several preachers and brethren came to see us off. Among those was Domingo. He identified himself again, although I knew him, and he had a piteous, urgent re-quest  still one any gospel preacher loves to hear. “Brother Jim (said he) all my people are Catholic and I would love to see them converted. Will you come back and preach to my people?” I assured him that, if the Lord should will, I would.

Scarcely had I gotten back to the States until a letter arrived from Domingo. He began by saying, “You baptized me in a drainage ditch and you made a promise to me. Are you going to keep it?” I wrote him, again assuring him I would, if the Lord should will.

The Lord willed. Later that year I set aside a couple of days to fulfill my promise to Domingo and arrived at his humble hut set on the side of a steep hill. His house was filled and many were both on the porch and in the yard. I had reflections of Cornelius. Several were baptized that day, the core of a new congregation.

Domingo longed to hear and even more, longed to preach. We helped supply him with a few helps from time to time and he continues to grow. And, as Domingo increased in knowledge, he increased in an unquenchable desire to go to the remote village of his relatives, the minorities or “primitives” as Domingo called them. In November 1996, once more Domingo expressed this hunger and I gave him money for transportation and food and encouraged him to fulfill his longing.

Soon a letter arrived from Domingo. He had gone home and found a receptive audience. Several were willing to be baptized, but he deferred, delaying their baptism until my next trip there. Immediately I wrote again and said: “Go home, Domingo to your people and baptize them now. Neither they nor I may be alive next year.” Once more I sent him a little cash to preach to his people.

In May I was once again in Tuguegarao and baptized about eighteen, the fruit of Domingo’s labors.

Domingo’s most recent letter tells much news of this infant church. He does not have funds for transportation to make a weekly visit: he can only go once a month to meet with and teach them. I have written Domingo to teach some of the men how to conduct a simple service so that they can worship weekly, even in the absence of Domingo. A field is white there and Domingo is the logical one to teach them but he has a family to care for. He has $50 in monthly support, but needs at least $150-$200 more. Is there some-one who can help this fervent brother carry the gospel into places where neither you nor I can go?

Guardian of Truth XLI: 21 p. 15
November 6, 1997