Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Go Rest High On That Mountain

 Sometime in the overnight hours (our time) a half a world away, a blood family, and a church family will gather to bid farewell to Pastor Dominador Valdez. "Doming" as he was called by family and friends was the founding pastor of the New Life Christian Church (SBC) in Upper Batinguel barangay of Dumaguete City, capital city of the province of Oriental Negros in the Republic of the Philippines.

Doming was a former boxer and security guard, who many years ago, gave his live to Jesus Christ, and surrendered to the call of God to a ministry of evangelism, church planting and pastoral duties in his beautiful native land.  He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. I know he will be deeply missed by his friends and neighbors and the precious faith family of NLCC.

I became acquainted with Doming in February, 2000 on my first overseas short term mission trip to the Philippines with a group of pastors from Eastern Kentucky.  It was a trip that changed my life and my ministry forever.  My assignment while in Dumaguete was to partner with Pastor Doming and his brand new church planting work in Dumaguete and its outreach ministries in the surrounding areas which included rugged rural mountain regions and coastal areas of southern Negros Island.

This assignment led to a ten year partnership with Pastor Doming and a lifelong friendship with this quiet, soft spoken man who had a desire to reach lost people in his country, with the life changing gospel of Christ.

I remember the night we first met at the passenger terminal at the Port of Dumaguete.  Rev. Charles Davis introduced me to this diminutive dark haired smiling fellow, whose English language skills were not the greatest. Bro. Davis said, "C.J. you'll be working with Bro. Domingo here."

"Your name is Domingo?" I asked.  "Like Spanish for Sunday?"
He broke into a large grin and said in his broken English, "Yes! Sunday! Like Billy Sunday!" (making reference to the fiery American Evangelist of the early 20th Century).

I liked him immediately.

I could go on and on here with stories about the blessing of the 10 years of working together with this kind pastor.  Through the people of Ashland Baptist Church, Westmoreland Baptist Church and the many friends of Beacon Ministries, we were blessed to help them in their ministry in numerous ways.

  • Financed and help construct two permanent concrete church buildings (in Dumaguete and Mayapusi)
  • Purchased numerous musical instruments, keyboard, guitars, and electronic equipment
  • Provided hymnals, and an overhead projector, and volumes of discipleship materials
  • Purchase about two hundred plastic stacking chairs for the churches
  • Traveled hundreds of miles together over highways and rough, rocky, (sometimes nearly impassible) mountain roads and trails
  • Held numerous home Bible Studies in numerous preaching points around the area
  • Held scores of crusades in villages throughout southern Negros Island
  • Walked miles together in house to house evangelism
  • Assisted in baptism services on the beaches of Negros and in beautiful pools of water in the mountains
  • Celebrated anniversary services of NLCC together over that decade.
  • Purchased a motor bike for Doming, and another motorbike for one of the young pastors of their satellite churches
  • Purchased hundreds of pounds of rice for their feeding ministries.
  • Purchased several thousand Bibles in the Cebuano dialect and help distribute them along with hundreds of Gospel tracts.
  • Held a two night mass youth rally at the Nino Aquino Freedom Park Amphitheater on the grounds of the Provincial Capitol Building
  • Worked together to host a two day Pastor and Church Leader Seminar in the Bethel Guest House in Dumaguete City, which was attended by 74 pastors and leaders from varying Evangelical denominations.
  • Provided those pastors with nearly a thousand dollars worth of Bibles and resource materials,
  • Doming and I even did a Wedding ceremony together!
One project that Doming always talked about was his vision of building a prayer retreat  that he called the "Nagabe Prayer Mountain".  He would often ride his motorbike (and also walk) to a remote area in the mountains overshadowing his home in Upper Batinguel. His family spoke of him spending days at a time "Praying in the Mountain".  He loved that area and hoped to obtain the property and build a retreat there that could be enjoyed by many.  A stroke several years ago not only brought about a curtailment of his physical ability to do many of the things he enjoyed, but also ended his efforts to develop the Prayer Mountain.

Even though circumstances brought our official partnership to an end in 2010, I still counted Bro. Doming as a dear friend, brother, and co-laborer in Christ.  Last week, on September 11, Doming's weakened body finally succumbed to the mounting illnesses and complications thereof, and his spirit flew away back to the Father he sought to serve so faithfully in his life.  My deepest condolences go out tonight to his wife Evilla, his son Dave (and wife Michelle), his daughter, Noemi Joy and his grandson, Genesis David.  My thoughts are with the Valdez and Dales families and to my many friends at New Life Church, as you grieve your loss. The Good news is that Doming is more alive today than in all of his years on this planet. He is with the Lord he loved and served, and he waits for us to join him in his heavenly home.

Knowing this man, remembering his life, and his dreams, I could not help but think of the words of a song written by Vince Gill. It's called "Go Rest High On That Mountain". I think it is appropriate. It goes like this:

I know your life on earth was troubled
And only you could know the pain
You weren't afraid to face the Devil
You were no stranger to the rain

Go rest high on that mountain
Son your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son

Oh, how we cried the day you left us
We gathered round your grave to grieve
Wish I could see the angels' faces
When they hear your sweet voice sing

So go rest high on that mountain
Son, your work on earth is done
Go to Heaven a shoutin'
Love for the Father and the Son


Anonymous said...

Thank you very much Pastor C.J. Adkins. God bless you more.

Darlene said...

Thank you Ptr CJ for this heart-warming and sincere message in loving memory of our truly beloved pastor doming...Thank you for being such a blessing to us and being part of a great and memorable journey with pastor doming in the ministry.