This is an attempt to write an article for my spiritual father, Ptr Dick Carumba. I was thinking on how I will greet him for his birthday and I thought writing down my three favorite memories with him will be a nice way to remember this very special day.
It was the morning of Christmas, my birthday, and I was planning to have my “me time”. Ptr. Dick called and said to come to church because we will be preparing some grocery bags for the brethren. I quickly prepared and went to the church. We went to the grocery, packed and off we went to the community. We distributed the grocery bags to the families, who were very surprised for the blessing. On our way home, Ptr. Dick told me to always remember to think of the brethren’s needs. “How can you enjoy eating your noche Buena if there are people who have nothing to eat for dinner?”
That day I was changed. I was only thinking of my birthday and Christmas, and yet the Lord opened my eyes to this reality, through Ptr Dick. He is a true shepherd. He thought me real love for the flock.
Another memory was in Camotes Island in Cebu. Ate Amber and I asked Ptr Dick if we can have some talk time with him. I was actually praying to have this time to submit something. Ptr Dick is very generous with his time. I think he has more than 24 hours in a day. He never rush, especially when you are sharing your heart and life. Anyway, back to Camotes. That night, I submitted to Ptr Dick that I was praying for this brother but I was afraid because it may mean that I will leave the church (then I cried…thanks Ptr Dick for being patient with all my drama 😊 ).
I did not expect his reply. “Jam, our fullness of joy is Jesus, not the church, not the leaders or the members. Our joy is to be with Jesus, to follow Him where He wants us to go.” That night, I received the faith to follow my call for missions. I also learned that true shepherds will never hold their members in the church, but will always guide the flock to seek their calling in the Lord, whether in the church or in another place.
Next memory is not mine, but still somehow connected to me. A brother also had a “talk time” with Ptr Dick and also submitted something. According to the brother, he fasted and prayed before this talk, he knew it will be the most difficult talk. And he was right. They talked until 1 am, before he got Ptr. Dick’s approval for him to propose to the sister. It was really like entering a needle’s eye. That brother, is my husband, Ptr. Fegie. Haha. (Thank you Itay for giving your YES!) We are really grateful for his guidance and love all throughout the season of waiting, engagement, wedding and until our marriage life. We really felt his fathering to us, he makes sure that we will hit our call. I think, all my sisters in the Lord will agree that we are so thankful to have our husbands go through this “talk” with Itay. 😊
I have more stories in my bag, it has been a decade of adventures, battles, seasons and victories with Pastor. 😊
This is Ptr. Dick, a man of God, visionary, a heart like David, a true shepherd. The message of Zion and the cross is written all over his life. What a blessing to have him as a spiritual father. My husband and I can only pray that we can also do whatever he has thought us and has shown us through his example.
I don’t know how to end this, it’s hard to encompass the grand picture of Ptr Dick’s life and ministry. So let me just say these:
Thank you Itay for giving your life to the Lord, I have a life that was changed. I and my family is forever grateful.
We really miss you Itay. But it is our joy to continue working with you in advancing the Kingdom of God, preparing His bride and bringing the people to maturity, all by God’s grace.
Happy Birthday po Ptr Dick! We love you!