MY SHARING (Tony
First Anniversary held at UN Secretariat, Conference Room A
on Sept. 26, 2002 at 1 pm.
In February 1999 Evelyn went to Thailand
together with our daughter, to assume her new post in UNESCAP, Bangkok after passing the
UN G to P Exam. My two sons and I joined
them 4 months later in June. As you
is a Buddhist country, with only about 5% comprised of Christians and
Muslims. At that time, my family missed
our Charismatic Prayer Community in New
were spiritually thirsty and searching for a prayer community in Bangkok. I tried to set-up a prayer group and invited
some “Filipino ex-pats.” and other Thai acquaintances, but no one came on the
day that Evelyn and I invited them. So,
I said to myself in GOD’s time we’ll be able to join a prayer community.
About three months after arriving in Bangkok, I was blessed to get a short term
job at UNESCAP and was hired as one of their local staff. I’ve been longing for JESUS and HIS word and
I’ve been praying and asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in our mission to
set-up a prayer community in Bangkok. One day, while in prayer, I received a
calling to set up and coordinate a monthly First Friday Mass Devotion to the
SACRED HEART of JESUS at UNESCAP.
Although I experienced a lot of problems, distractions and religious
persecutions, I persevered. The “very
First Friday Mass” turnout was very small as what we expected, but we went on,
and for the past three years the five of us, including the priest from our
“very first Friday Mass” grew to more than 30 attendees from Catholic and other
Christian denominations including the head of UNESCAP, Executive Secretary Mr, Kim HAK-SU (South Korea) who is Catholic. The attendance is still growing. You’ll be a amazed to see Christian
Methodist, Episcopalians, Anglicans, Baptists and people from other Christian
faith attending the monthly First Friday Mass, listening to the WORD OF GOD
being officiated by a Redemptorist Thai Priest.
We had lived in Bangkok,
Thailand for a
little over two years in the summer of 2001.
We liked that country and its people and had already become very close
to the members of Couples for Christ, Thailand . We also started to
get actively involved in the evangelization seminars they were holding and we
were enjoying ourselves tremendously.
We thought that finally, everything was starting to work out not only
for us but also for our kids.
However, a few weeks later, my wife got a call from NY
informing her that she was selected for a job that she applied for earlier in
the year. While we were very grateful
for this very rare opportunity to go back to NY and with a promotion at that,
we wondered whether it was God’ s will for us.
Why now, we asked God. And why
NY, when there was much more need for His workers in Thailand?
However, since we had prayed about this from the time Evelyn
applied for it, we discerned that because she was selected, that it must be His
will for us to go back to NY.
We were scheduled to leave in November but because my older
son Michael wanted to start the school year here, he and I flew back to NY on
Sept. 3, 2001. All of you know what
happened 8 days later. When tragedy
struck on September 11, I spoke to my son and asked him to come back with me to
Bangkok. I felt that it was no longer safe for us to
stay here. I started to think that
maybe we misread God’s message. Maybe we
were not meant to come back to NY after all.
However, my son was determined not to go back because being American, he felt that he needed to stay here
I left for Bangkok
with great sadness in my heart. Evelyn and I discussed about giving up the job in NY and convincing
our son, Mike to come back to live with us in Bangkok. When we called him to reconsider, he
insisted that he wanted to stay in New
it was never an option for us to be separated as a family, it was as if God was
telling us that He had arranged for Mike to be in NJ because He knew that we
might change our minds about coming back to NY. We continued to pray about it and about two
weeks before we were scheduled to leave for NY, we received another
confirmation that it was indeed His will for us to come back, when I received a
message from my former office in UNDP that there was a job waiting for me when
I got back to NY. God knew,
that one of my concerns about coming back here was that I was going to
be out of job again and He took care of it just like that. He is really so good.
I started working
with UNDP on Nov. 08, 2001. In early
January this year, my wife asked me to attend the lunch meeting with Bible
group of Tess Castaneda at DC1 Cafeteria on her behalf, so I served as her
proxy without knowing that our Sister Tess will be passing the “baton of truth” to all of us in this
Ministry. Now we know why He wanted us
to come back here. I believe that it is
His will for all of us to work for HIM in the evangelization and renewal of the
whole United Nations and to try to unite all Christian faithful to HIM.
Brother and sisters, this sharing is but a small way of
giving thanks to God for His goodness and generosity towards me and my
family. But I think that He has asked me
to share this with you also, to let you know that no matter what happens in our
lives, God is always in control. We
should always trust HIM , persevere in His love, and
let Him rule in our lives because He
always, always knows better and has a
wonderful plan for each of us.
I would like to close by relating to you a wonderful story
that happened just very recently. As part of our first anniversary celebration,
we ordered 100 pieces of bookmarks from Kinkos, for
which they were charging us almost $200.
When I went to pick them up two days ago, I had the money ready to give
to the manager, when she just took my
hand, shook it and said that I should just
keep the money, She was giving to
us the bookmarks for free! I couldn’t
believe it. In my more than 20 years
here in America, I have never ever experienced anything like this and all I
could manage to say was “Praise the Lord”!
Brothers and sisters, I believe, in my heart, that it is
God’s way of assuring us that He is right here supporting us and that we should
continue this work for Him. Praise and
honor be to Him. HE IS TRULY AN AWESOME GOD!!!
”Let go and let
- - T. Pana