Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, allow me to start sharing my testimony with my favorite Scripture from Psalm 23, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need. He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. Even if I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid Lord, for you are with me, your shepherd rod and staff protect me."

Indeed every word in this Scripture truly applies to my life from the beginning until now, as I tell you why.

I was born of February 15, 1958 and was baptized a Catholic and given the name Frederic Anderson Uy Yap. I'm the second child and have 6 sisters and 1 brother. We came from very poor parents, as my father was merely an employee of a shirt factory while my mother was just a plain housewife. Although poor, my parents struggled and managed to raise us all and provided sufficiently for our college education.

Our family was a typical nominal Catholic family, not so religious. Despite this, we were fortunate enough and by God's grace we were educated in Catholic schools in the latter part of our schooling years. I studied my first two years of grade school in a public school located in the central city with my elder sister. By the grace and design of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, I successfully acquired my elementary and high school education in the Sacred Heart School of Cebu.

I remember quite well that even then when our life was hard especially with my parents having to provide for so many children, we were happy and didn't feel the difficulties they experienced because we were too young to realize then and life was much simpler and uncomplicated unlike present times.

And yet we were not conscious of God's presence in our life and in our minds. We seldom went to Church and we rarely prayed at home. And although my mother is a Catholic, my father didn't have any religious disposition probably because he was too preoccupied trying to earn a living.

But nevertheless, from then until now my father always taught us that honesty and integrity are the most important traits in a person's life. Poverty is never an obstacle and though poor, you just have to work hard and ultimately you will be rewarded accordingly. In Jeremiah 17:10 the Lord says, "I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to what his deeds deserve."

As we were growing up, our lives were tumultous and not as smooth as it should have been, During 1969 to 1981, within our family, my father went into business with his second eldest sister who was based in Cagayan De Oro. They engaged into various businesses dealing with rice and corn distribution, trucking, shipping, cement and logging. Business was good which translated into the rapid improvement of our family life financially, though sadly not spiritually.

Ironically, our lives were mostly in turmoil. There was constant fighting between my sisters, they couldn't get along with my father. For his part, Father sort of neglected us in terms of discipline since he was almost always out gambling with his friends. Pride and arrogance set in during those times, as he was becoming hot-tempered, frequently angry especially during times when he lost in gambling.

His uncontrollable outburst of flaring tempers were in the form of throwing things, even food to anyone who would reprimand and answer him back. Being an obedient son, I was always the family mediator who would often mediate and calm everyone down when everybody was already fighting.

In Sirach 3, it is written: "Children listen to me, I am your father, do what I tell you and you will be safe, for the Lord has given father authority over their children and given the children the children the obligation to obey their mothers. If you respect your father, one day your own children will make you happy, the Lord will hear your prayers." Maybe during those trying times, I had prayed and God faithfully answered my prayers. I had always given my parents the respect that was due to them.

In 1982, we had a wake-up call and my father's business which was doing very well, suddenly went bankrupt. Romans 11:20 states: "Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. Indeed arrogance brings upon downfall." His sister partner stopped all supplies, the bank took all his money, and all his friends abandoned him. We had almost no money left and my father was already contemplating suicide.

But something deep inside me told me that we could survive this unfortunate event, I now realize then that it was God's voice reassuring me, since everything I have prayed for in my own little way; God was always there to answer.

Although all of our life's savings were exhausted to pay for our debts, still we were fortunate enough to have retained our house along with only one vehicle which I used going into business with the concerted effort of my parents. We had to, because there were still younger sisters and a brother to send to school.

Slowly and painstakingly, we recovered and eventually got back on our feet. For God had humbled us, when we prayed, He heard and granted our prayer requests. Matthew 7:7-8 affirms this, "Ask and it will be given to you, for everyone who asks receives; he who seeks, finds." We went into a small business, things started to get better.

One very important thing I learned, that if you are totally honest, God is there to reward you. My ultimate reward came in the person of my wife. She is my angel, as she is one of the most hardworking, loving, understanding and supportive woman I have ever met in my life. She unconditionally accepted me as I am, even though I was a poor man compared to her family who was much better off financially than we were.

She went on and trusted her judgment in choosing me to be her husband in spite of so many suitors. After we got married in 1986, things started to get much much better and this I attribute to God's great love for us in the character and person of my wife. We now have 2 lovely daughters.

Another great blessing we received from God after our marriage came in the form of an unexpected phone call from our supplier in Manila. During that time, I went into a small business of selling wallpaper and blinds. He was one of my few suppliers at that time. We had met only once or twice briefly and talked on the phone a few times, and suddenly there it was a phone call from him which changed our entire lives. What we have today we owe it all to him, as I now fully understand that he is our guardian angel, an instrument and messenger from God.

As the story goes, he called me and asked me to go to Manila to see him and discuss a business proposal he was offering to us. My wife and I agreed,most especially my wife, since she is from Manila and of course will have the opportunity to visit her family.

When we arrived at his office, he immediately conveyed his desire to help us start out a new business; that he would supply us with all the materials and stocks needed for the store that we would open with unlimited credit and with no time limit.

Imagine, the great joy we experienced at that miraculous moment. Here was somebody who would start us on our road to a better life. Immediately, we accepted the offer and gratefully acknowledged that it was God's grace that lead us to Him. God really works in ways which we can never understand, for His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. There are really no words to express our gratitude and to thank God for His innate goodness, wonderful graces and infinite blessings. Our God is a loving and benevolent God, and one needs to only ask with faith, and He shall grant it.

Another proof of God's merciful love was to unfold in my family life. In 1992, when our eldest was 4 years old, she was at home with my Dad, my Mom was out while we were at the office.That fateful day, God worked another great miracle and mercifully saved my daughter from physical harm.

At first, my Dad was about to leave for his usual afternoon outing to go to a cockfight; but decided otherwise since my daughter was still sleeping. As she woke up about 3:30 PM, grand daddy decided to take her along with him to the department store. At exactly 4:10 PM, our home was forcefully intruded into by 5 men heavily armed with guns who tied up our maids, ransacked the whole house, took all our valuables and belongings, boldly threatening to come back.

I find comfort and security in Psalm 91:1-4, as it is written, "Whoever goes to the Lord for safety, whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty can say to Him, You are my Defender and Protector, You are my God, in You I trust. He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers and all deadly diseases, He will cover you with His wings. You will be safe in His care, His faithfulness will protect and defend you." Imagine, if my Dad and my daughter had stayed at home, I shudder at the thought at what terrible accident would have happened to them? I praise the Lord and thank Him that they were not there. In His great mercy, we were protected by God and His angels.

Proverbs 13:10-12 states, "Arrogance causes nothing but trouble, it is wise to ask for advice. The more basically you get your wealth, the sooner you will lose it. The harder it is to earn, the more you will have, when hope is crushed, the heart is crushed but a wish comes true fills you with joy." God was so good to us that after we were robbed, even though we lost so much, we worked hard and with His blessings, had regained it in 3 years.

It was then that arrogance and pride came into my life. To quote from Sirach 1 Verses 29-30, "Be careful about what you say and don't be a hypocrite, don't be arrogant, you may suffer a fail and be disgraced." I learned a valuable lesson during the years 1997-2002. I became arrogant because I thought I was already wealthy, spoke harshly and was very boastful. We were badly hit by the Asian Crisis and we lost money equivalent to our 10 years of hard work.

The good news is that God is merciful and is forgiving. He brought me down to my knees and humbled me. I realized even after I have sinned and repented, He will unconditionally welcome you back and turn your misfortunes into fortunes. God is infinitely good; even though I owed the banks substantial loans, I eventually was able to pay back every cent we owed.

It was only in 2005 when I joined the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP). Actually, I should have joined earlier than that since Brother Mario Sino had been actively recruiting me 3 years prior while Brother Willy Puno had been persistently asking me since year 2000. I realized now that had I heeded their call to join earlier, my life would've been much better before, but it's never too late.

Since I joined BCBP, my total outlook, spiritual life, and personal attitude has changed for the better. I have received great, numerous and constant blessings, graces and favors from God. My family and I have had more peace, greater prosperity, constant health, stronger love, deeper understanding, patience and humility as we never had before.

And not only that, I think that even my siblings brother and sisters have received similar blessings that has been given to my by our Lord, as I also see their own lives improving. financially, emotionally even spiritually. What a great and good God we have!

Even after finishing the Brotherhood Christian Life Program 24 up to now, I have felt the constant blessing of our Lord in many ways, one of them is His generous provision for the medical expenses we regularly incur for my Mother. We are so thankful that despite the tremendous cost, God has never let us down. There's always money coming in for her continued dialysis and medicinal necessities. God truly understands, for He is a great Comforter, the benevolent Provider, and He is always there to listen and help when we pray to Him.

From 2004 up to 2006, I was stricken with an explainable condition, a malady of some sort, which even expert doctors cannot explain. Whenever I suffer attacks, I would almost always pass out, my vision blurs, as my arms and legs go numb, I experience indescribable fear, anxiety, pain, difficulty in breathing, while strongly feeling the presence of certain near death. I sought the medical expertise of 16 specialist doctors and went through a battery of rigorous routine medical examinations to determine the cause of my predicament, but came up with nothing concrete. They just couldn't find anything wrong with me. All medical test and results point to the startling fact that I am fit.

In my desperate quest, I even went to the extent of mistakenly consulting faith healers, witch doctors, feng shui masters, magicians, card readers, albularios, including people who performed trances, all to no avail. I was exasperated, so desperately confused and didn't know what do anymore. Finally, I put my trust in the Lord and I prayed fervently and accordingly in His time, God uceasingly answered my prayers.

Though the process of self-transformation is difficult, God showed me His ways. I went to daily Masses, monthly confessions, daily Scripture readings, with the end in view to change for the better and stop sinning. God showed me His way. And that way is "FAITH". Faith in God and in God alone will save you.

I am so thankful that God has patiently led me to the path of a meaningful life by adopting the teachings of Jesus Christ. Seek the Lord first in your life, for He is just there and you will always find Him, whenever you seek Him. Seek first His Kingdom and all good things shall be added unto you.

These days, whenever I feel down and beset by so many problems, I pray to the Lord and entrust to Him and surrender all my problems and afflictions. Whenever you put your trust upon Him, your burdens become lighter and your life becomes much easier. The way to a joyful life is to love and serve the Lord with all your heart, with all your strength, and with all your mind.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus understands and appreciates our situation, so He tells us, "Cast your burdens upon me, all who are heavily laden and I will give you rest." St. Theresa concurs when she says, "Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, all things are passing. God alone does not change, patience achieves everything. Whoever has God lacks nothing, God alone suffices."


Frederic Anderson Uy Yap
Mandaue City,
Cebu, Philippines