How a former trouble maker found the Prince of Peace

Antonio Pandayan is part of the B’laan tribe in Malungon, Saranggani. Before coming to know the Lord, he described himself as “miserable” and a “trouble maker.” His life was rife with alcohol and substance abuse, and would use his money to buy cigarettes for himself instead of food for his family. There was no peace in their home since he also physically abused his wife.


But God had plans for him. His daughter Gracie became a beneficiary of CCT Visions of Hope. Antonio was then hired, along with other B’laans, to construct buildings at what would become the Malungon Retreat and Training Center (MRTC). All workers were required to join morning devotions and worship services. He admitted that back then, he only attended the services because he was afraid of losing his job. He would even influence fellow workers to get drunk during work hours.


Then one day at work, he fell 20 feet to the ground and miraculously survived. But he became very ill. Both times, he begged God to let him live. God gave him another chance at life, but he didn’t recognize those second chances and went back to his vices. A pastor soon shared the Gospel with Antonio, explaining that Jesus didn’t come to earth to call the righteous, but sinners. And he knew then in his heart that he was a sinner, and yet God has forgiven him. He then decided to accept Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior. Only then did real change came into his life because such change can only be brought about by God’s grace and not by our own efforts.


Now he is working as a grounds maintenance worker at the MRTC, and currently pastoring a small CFI daughter church in Sitio Bangkal with around 20 tribal members. “Comparing my past life and my life today, I can say that a lot has changed” Antonio said. “Indeed, I can now say that a life in Christ is not hopeless.”