LOOKING BACK; MOVING FORWARD
LOOKING BACK; MOVING FORWARD
Message delivered at the 2019 Hugyaw Sunrise Service, Tacloban City
by Trustee Ma. Elena Ravello-Mangaoil
When friends ask you, “Unsa gud nang Silliman Spirit?” How do you answer?
I quote these posts on the internet:
– Those who have passed the portals of Silliman University will agree with me that there is such a thing as Silliman Spirit.
– It seems like an unseen force has bonded us. It cannot be seen, nor can we smell or touch it. But certainly, being Sillimanians, we can feel it. We know it to be what it is. That is the Silliman Spirit.
Moingon gud akong bana, “Grabe kaayo ning mga Sillimanians. I have not seen school reunions like those of Silliman. Mang-uli gyud sila pag Founder’s Day.” There is something that draws them together and something on campus that makes every Sillimanian want to go home every Founders Day.
It is something that pulls us together, especially if we had been classmates, dorm mates, or organization mates. But even if you did not belong to the same batch, knowing that someone studied in Silliman right away rings a bell. It brings us closer to each other and the stories begin. Campus life, church life, dates, crushes and boyfriends, escapades, being caught by the campus guards, violating curfew hours for those who stayed in the dorms (strict baya kayo and mga matrons sa Oriental Hall and Occidental Hall, Doltz Hall, Larena Hall, Woodward Hall, and the coop dorms. And the “bingkongs,” the open houses, the jam sessions, student canteens, etc.
But there is a Spirit that is the ultimate Spirit, sent by the Father: none other than the Holy Spirit, our Comforter, Counsellor, Guide, etc.
I practically grew up on campus and we were called the campus kids. My parents, as you all know, practically spent their whole lives serving Silliman as P.E. teachers and coaches. Whenever I meet a Sillimanian and I introduce myself, they would ask me if I am the daughter of Mrs. Ravello, their P.E. teacher. Sus, stricta gyud kayo si Ma’am Ravello. Bitaw, I would say, na under pud baya ko niya. But, in fairness, daghan pud mi na-learn sa iya.
Who remembers the swimming classes at the Silliman Farm, where we would ride the Silliman cargo truck standing up? Or the swimming classes in the biggest swimming pool in the world – the one across Silliman Hall? We had to memorize the Silliman Song and were given tests, both oral and written.
Who remembers the white bloomers with the Silliman pocket that we wore for P.E.? Or the blue uniform of the student nurses that were all starched? Dili sila makasulod sa klase kung dili motindog ang ilang white apron nga ginawgawan until maka-stand. And the square dancing and the Friday night roller- skating sessions in the gym?
Silliman, in our days, was a lot different from what it is now. Call us the “olds” or the “old school,” that’s what we are and I love it. Back in our childhood days, our playmates were the children of missionaries (that’s how old we are). The children of the Boyd Bells, Royd Bells, the Palmores, the Laubys, the Wicklers. We used to have a Children’s Hour at DYSR with Uncle Gordon Maye, snacks prepared by Auntie Helen Maye, a stamp collectors’ club with another missionary, Mrs. Mack, and so on and so forth. We had choir practices, Galilean Fellowships, and we helped in VBS (Vacation Bible School).
We would walk to school because there were hardly tricycles but only tartanillas at that time. We used to go around riding our bicycles because that was the means of transportation on campus. Our weekly allowance was one peso a week because Coke was only ten centavos at that time. I used to go to the Coop store to buy white sugar, which was at that time three kilos for one peso, and sardines was 20 centavos per small can. Lately, one Sillimanian mentioned on Facebook about the nurses giving us sponge baths when we got sick. This is very true, and I even added that our dessert was canned peaches. Those were the good old days. I could go on and on, pero basig mahurot atong oras.
So, as the world keeps turning, we also must turn with it. Life is like a wheel, sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. We all have our valleys and our mountaintops. It is during these times – up or down, valleys or mountaintops – that we must cling to the Giver of life, the Giver of our beloved university, our Via, Veritas, Vita – the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The WAY to GOD is through His Son Jesus Christ, the TRUTH that is Himself, Jesus Christ, and the LIFE that He gives to all those who believe.
Silliman has grown from a school for 15 boys, Silliman Institute, to a now coed school with more than 9000 students, and growing. We used to know everybody on campus but now, with the growth, its difficult to know everyone.
But there is One who knows all of us, who knows our names, and even the number of hair on our heads. We, in turn, must seek to know Him. We must know HIM in person and have a personal relationship with Him so that we will never be detached from Him and lose our way. HE was born to die for us and to bring us to eternal life. He is no other than GOD’s Son, Jesus Christ. That’s why the Heavenly Father sent His Son and it’s our task and duty to share HIM and His love with others. John 3:16 says, “For GOD so loved the world that HE gave HIS only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” How do we know HIM and how do we share HIM with others?
Moving forward, it is the desire of the Father that everyone be saved and that none will perish. As Sillimanians, as bearers of the Via, Veritas, Vita, let us do our share of letting others know about Him and His love for us. Every Sillimanian should let the light of Jesus Christ shine through him for others to see. Let us be the light of the world and the salt of the earth.
I have come up with a very simple and easy tool for sharing Christ with others. It takes boldness, maybe persistence, will power, and simply the love for Jesus Christ and the love for our family, relatives, friends, and whoever is still lost and trying to find their way.
Let us go through it together:
BLACK: HEART of Sin
I am a sinner; we are all sinners. We are all like sheep who have gone astray.
– Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of GOD.”
RED: BLOOD of Christ
Jesus Christ was crucified. He shed His blood for me and I am redeemed by His blood.
–1Peter 1:18,19 – “Knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things but with the precious blood of Christ as a lamb without blemish.”
–1John 7b – “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from sin.”
WHITE: CLEANSING AND PURIFYING
When we confess our sins to the Lord and repent, we are cleansed and purified.
– Isaiah 1:18 – “Come now and let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”
BLUE: HEAVEN (Eternal Life)… a Gift
Heaven is a gift received by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. No personal efforts, good works, or religious deeds can earn you a place in heaven.
– Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death but the gift of GOD is eternal life.”
– Ephesians 2:8,9 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of GOD, not by works so that no one can boast.”
GREEN: GROWTH in Christ
The means of growth are:
1) READ the Bible;
3) WORSHIP regularly in a Bible-teaching church;
4) Have FELLOWSHIPS with other Christians who will help you grow in your faith;
5) Be a WITNESS by telling others what Jesus Christ means to you.
– 1Peter 3:18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever.”
GOLD: CROWN of Glory
Overcomers and soul winners will receive the crown of glory.
–1Peter 5:4 – “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
PURPLE: ROBE of Righteousness
Overcomers and soul winners will receive the robe of righteousness.
– Isaiah 61:10 – “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God. For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
– Revelation 19:16 – “On His robe and on His thigh, He has this name written: “KING OF KINGS & LORD OF LORDS.”
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always. AMEN.
Let us start with our Judea (family members), Samaria (outside of the family) and on to the uttermost parts of the earth (to all mankind).
The world will go on even without us sharing the Gospel. But then, we will say, ”What have we done?” And when it is time for us to leave this earth, don’t we want to hear our Savior say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter now into thy rest. Enter thou into the mansion of gold that I have prepared for you.
May I leave you with these verses taken from the book of Matthew, Chapter 20, Verses 28-30 which reads: “Go ye therefore to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; and lo, I will be with you even unto the ends of the earth.” AMEN.
Let us let the Silliman Spirit, with the conviction of the Holy Spirit, push us to greater heights by sharing Jesus Christ to the whole world.
TO GOD BE THE GLORY….