How are you? I know that’s a loaded question and many of us don’t even know how to answer that question.

This week has been quite a roller coaster ride emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually.

We have not seen this kind of involvement as Filipino citizens in a long time, especially with the students and the next generation. The passion, volunteerism, and investment have been beyond extraordinary.

But if I can be honest, even as a pastor, it hasn’t been the easiest. Speaking with many of you this week, together with our other pastors and campus missionaries, there are those who are grieving and there are those who are celebrating. 

While we rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15), questions loom in our minds about what happens from here.

What does the future hold for our nation?

What will our history look like?

Will we see national transformation or deformation?

But as a church family, what are the commonalities we can stand on?

We have a common allegiance – Jesus.

We have a common purpose – the glory of God.

And we have a common enemy – the devil and his works.

And on practical terms, what can we do?

— CRY OUT to God for His purposes to prevail in our nation. If, as Filipinos, we don’t, who else will? 

— CONTINUE to represent Christ and represent Him well. We live our lives before an audience of One, and yet we live for the witness of many. Let us speak the truth yet speak the truth in love and with respect.

— UPHOLD our leaders in our prayers. We are commanded in 1 Timothy 2:1-3, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior.

— STAND UP for righteousness and justice. These are the very foundation of God’s throne (Psalm 89:14). Do not tolerate, accept, or turn a blind eye on unrighteousness and wickedness. 

Call it out.

With newly-elected officials, both in the national and local sphere, let us hold them accountable to the promises they’ve given and to uphold righteous governance.

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

— PRAY FOR HEALING of relationships between parents and children, officemates, friends, neighbors, schoolmates, and in the church community.  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32)

— HONOR GOD with your life and help others do the same. Let us remember that real and genuine transformation can only come as one surrenders his or her life to the lordship of Jesus by accepting His sacrifice on Calvary.

As Christians, we remember that we are citizens of another kingdom (Philippians 3:20). But while we live as pilgrims in this world, we continue to pray for His kingdom to come and His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven—to seek justice, correct oppression, to bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause. (Isaiah 1:17)

I know it will take more than a letter like this to process all that we have been going through as a church family, and as a nation. We also recognize that there are questions and even hurts at the present time.

If you want to have a conversation, please feel free to connect with me or one of our pastors. We may not have all the answers, but we want to pray with you and walk with you during these important moments in our history. Please don’t hesitate to approach us or message us or just even share your thoughts. My email address is paolo@victorybgc.church.

In due season, I pray that we will reach a common ground that is based on truth, righteousness and justice. Pray for us also as leaders. We are figuring things out and are painfully learning through the process. And we humbly apologize if we have missed opportunities to serve you and communicate with you in a way that would be helpful to you at this time. There are many things we could have done better. We are learning through this experience.

May God give us grace to continue to look to Him during these times.

“We don’t know what do to but our eyes are on You.” 

(2 Chronicles 20:12)

In Christ,
Paolo Punzalan
Senior Pastor
Victory Fort