Edwin Rebonza

This is my second post using a prepaid internet modem that is so slow I can’t even upload or download a picture. The first post is about Mar and how our paths had crossed, as well as my first embarrassing experience at PBC, the college among the pines. I smile whenever I remember that day. I still smile today even though my days as a supported preacher is almost over.

But with regards to Edwin Rebonza, that Catholic believer whose hostile attitude to the gospel had cost him to lose an opportunity to be with Jesus, I just can’t smile. Who was Edwin Rebonza? He was a son of the village chief of Babag Uno named Ciano Rebonza who in early days sided with the government in its fight against the NPAs. Ping Lacson, the former crime chief and now senator, probably knows Ciano Rebonza. Ping wanted to cleanse the mountains of rebels and their sympathizers, and Ciano cast his lot with his cause. In one day alone, the hillside above which the church of the Lord now meets had been littered with many bodies of rebels. And to celebrate the victory over the NPAs, a Catholic chapel now stands, built, I was told, through the courtesy of Ping Lacson.

Edwin Rebonza loved his church so much. When we began preaching in the place in the year 2000 and attracted so much attention (so much so that Ciano Rebonza, Edwin’s father, began worshipping with us too) Edwin could not take it anymore. He hated me with a hatred that knew no bounds. But I had converted a big family in Babag, and they were Edwin’s aunts and uncles, and it was these relatives of Edwin who tried to protect me from Edwin. They warned Edwin not to touch me. Edwin had to keep his distance, though his hatred of me still remained.

He caused a furor in the place when under the influence of liquor he accosted me one evening and wanted to throw me out into the street. His mother had to hold him so tightly and another brother had to bar the gate of their compound so Edwin could not run after me.

Edwin had two mistresses and he knew my doctrine about polygamy, adultery and fornication. I did not mince words whenever I condemned these sins. The first mistress came and asked for our advice. We told her to go back to her people in Ozamiz City, and she did. We even furnished her the address of the church in Ozamiz. Edwin did not like the idea of the mistress that he had rejected to be converted to Christ, but he could not do anything; he too had been warned by his father and by the village chief, also a relative of his whom I had befriended, not to lay a finger on me.

A month ago I heard that he was sick. He was admitted to a hospital, and a sister paid for his hospital bills. He came out of it and was thankful that he was still alive. He had told many that he was afraid to die.

Two Sundays ago he greeted me on the road. It was the first time in many years that he had done so to me. I now thought of the opportunity of going back to his house to see if indeed he had a change of heart.

During his bout with cancer, Edwin had found out that he had been kicking against a rod and it hurt his foot so painfully— this cause of his of destroying me and what I worked for, and discouraging other people from listening to me, is a work against God. He was so sick that his body bloated in one place: it was a tumor that suddenly appeared, and it appeared so fast. But he was there smiling at me. I asked how he was doing. He could not hide the pain.

Last Tuesday, Edwin was again taken to a hospital. That was morning. He was complaining of great pain. That afternoon they brought him home: on a bier. His is a sad way to die. To die without Jesus. To die in defeat.

Mardonio Bernardo’s fate is much better.

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