Pastor Norberto’s Testimony
My name is Norberto Palmerola, and I am from Agusan Del Sur on the Island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. I was born into a Christian family, and my father was the pastor of a Southern Baptist Church in Trento, Agusan del Sur. My mother was a Sunday school teacher and taught me about God’s love and purpose for all people.
She taught me that many people could not experience God’s purpose because of sin. According to her sin was what you say, think, and do that is not pleasing in the sight of God. She told me that we are all born sinners, and the punishment for sin was separation from God in a place called Hell. But she said that God loves us so much that while we were still sinners Jesus died for us and paid the penalty for our sin at Calgary. Through Him, there is now a way to eternal life because Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. As I thought about these things, I felt the Lord drawing me to Him. I told my mother I wanted to become a disciple of Jesus. Together we kneeled, and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
God is consistent and trustworthy in His plans and purpose for my life. After my conversion, I was devoted to serving God to the best of my abilities. I won numerous awards in physical competitions and dedicated myself to the study of the Bible. I was the favorite son of my father because of my knowledge of Bible stories and my memorization of various books from Genesis to Revelation. I became known as the “little pastor” by the people in our community. I am proud to be a Pastor as this was the profession I desired from that young age.
In my high school years however my desires changed. I was hesitant to study in the pastoral ministry because of the many discouragements I saw from Pastors who were in financially hard places as my family had been. My father was not able to support me in college because he did not receive a salary from the church. I had to work hard then study long hours to survive and attend college. I grew exceedingly frustrated and decided to stop my studies and began to be influenced by nonbelievers who did many worldly things.
I was unhappy about the things we did because I knew I was a child of God and that I was not pursuing His purpose in my life. I realized how unprofitable my life had become and decided I would return to studying pastoral ministry at the Bible School in North Cotabato. At last, I again felt fulfilled in pursuing the Lord’s calling on my life. The Lord grew within me a passion and love for lost souls, and I have carried this in my heart since that time. After graduating, I went to the CKC School of Theology and studied under Southern Baptist Professors. I then planted a church in the Carreta Cemetery in Cebu caring for living souls who lived in the cemetery. In January 2018 I was able to transfer pastorship of this area to a nearby pastor and my family, and I moved to Guadalupe, Cebu to plant a new church. The Lord is trustworthy, and we are stepping out in Faith as the Lord leads us into this new area.
We praise God for His goodness to us this past year. We still have challenges in the ministry of course, but we know that we can overcome them by God’s grace. Our church building is still in process, and we are praying and hoping that we can finish it soon.
We shared a time of celebration this Christmas, worship first and then food, and games, and the children exchanged gifts. We had a speaker who shared their testimony of thankfulness, and we offered songs of praise to our Lord. We had ice cream, which was an absolute treat for the children, and we shared some with the kids who were outside. In little ways, our church members are learning to share what they have with others. To God be the glory!
- Pray for spiritual growth and maturity this coming year.
- Pray for the commitment of our leaders, new contacts and opportunities for evangelism, wisdom, and zeal in the ministry, and protection for my family.
- Pray for our church building to be completed and for our ministry plan for this next year.
- Pray for the ICM savings group and the Multipoint Bible study to be opportunities to improve the income of the community and to share the message of salvation.