Jayson Quiniones: Finding Jesus in Midst of the Storm

I FIRST met this young man when he came over to our meeting place in Valenzuela City. That was a Sunday evening in August. The worship was done. The studies were done.  He came to visit Jay Ar, and he carried a cane. “What is he here for?” I asked Jay. “We are going to be practicing arnis de mano.” “Oh,” I said. “Good.”

Jayson was his name, and this I later learned from Jay Ar. As soon as he arrived, it was business. He was going to train another man, a much older one, I guess, whose name was not introduced to me, in the art of defending oneself by the use of the cane.  Jayson seemed to be very good at it, and I could see it from the strokes that he executed while engaging in arnis with the other fellow.

Jay Ar and I now sat before the table and invited our two visitors to eat. They both were too shy. But finally, after we were done eating, Jayson sat in front of us and started eating the food I prepared for him; the other man asked to be excused and hurriedly left.

I asked Jay Ar to buy some bread and make coffee for the three of us. In between sips of coffee, I engaged the young man in a conversation. I came to know that he is Jay Ar’s bosom buddy, that he lives in Meycauayan, Bulacan (next town to Valenzuela), and that he is now in his final year in high school. Nothing about the Bible at all. Just plain talk. But the guy knew I am a preacher.

If the good Lord of heaven sent this young man to us to be taught of His will, I had no idea then.

WEEKS WENT  by and Jayson texted me. How he got hold of my number, I would not know. Habagat, the storm that Pag-asa said  was no storm, brought more rains than winds, and rivers overflowed, much of Metro Manila including Valenzuela City were flooded, even in places where it should not, thanks to those hard-headed countrymen of mine who kept throwing plastics into the esteros and canals.  Jayson asked that he be allowed to stay in our meeting hall. I said yes. He said he would be transporting his younger siblings to another house that was out of harm’s way. I asked how he was doing. He said the waters were so deep that he and his siblings had to swim to get out of their house.

That day I took a bus going to Valenzuela and saw none but waters and a few men and women trying to cross Tullahan Bridge, the bridge that connects Valenzuela to Caloocan City. The trip that took me ordinarily 30 minutes took me an eternity. San Miguel’s Polo Brewery seemed abandoned except by the guards. The bus driver said we have to wait until Tullahan River gave up its rage. I prayed.

The trip was long but I arrived at our meeting place. No waters around us except along McArthur Highway. Jayson had braved the raging waters just to reach us! He brought nothing except clothes that had been wet. We fed him and made him comfortable.

He said he came to study the Bible. He heard Jay Ar say, quoting me, that calamities are God’s way of touching lives. It had touched him and set him into thinking. That day we finished two lessons. We did nothing but eat, and pray and study the Word. We turned on the fans to dry his clothes. For beddings he made do with cartons laid on top of plastic tables. It was the best sleep we had I think, with rains raging around us.

Finally, after two days he had to leave. But he promised to come back. And he was true to his promise. Every time he comes it’s communion of food and of the Word. He would say some in his family was sick and we would utter a prayer for them. And I would not let him leave without him bringing some medicines for the sick in his family. And he is always thankful.

WHEN WE had a relief distribution courtesy of the brethren from MARCH for Christ, his mother came to visit because she said she was wondering about the strange preacher with whom his son had struck friendship. And she saw me. We discovered that we are both Visayans and speak the same dialect.

Jayson kept studying with us. At the tenth lesson, which is about how to get rid of one’s sins, he made the decision, and that same day, Thursday, September 6, I immersed him in Caloocan church’s baptistery.

Love begets interest, and a display of love encourages another to learn to love likewise. And Jayson, seeing that Jay Ar his friend is now into evangelism, touching hearts and lives, said he wanted to learn to preach too.

The good Lord of heaven, who created storms that brought calamities, touched a life in a way that we often may not understand. Just follow His prodding, and preach. The next soul that comes to your doorstep may be one whom He wants you to evangelize in order that not you alone may enjoy heaven.

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One Response

  1. Great story!

    So many people today think it is themselves that bring others to their door steps, but IT IS

    God who “opens the door” of opportunities to evangelize.

    Does not Paul himself say so?

    We just have to be looking for those doors and step through them!

    What a wonderful blessing it is to have someone like you, Ed, going through those doors!

    -Allon

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