Volume 16 / Issue 62 / 2019
To Start a Relationship with Jesus Christ Admit you have sinned. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 Believe that Jesus is the only Savior. “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 Confess and leave your sin behind. Stop doing and thinking things that displease our Heavenly Father. “If we confess our sins ….” 1 John 1:9 Invite Jesus to be your Savior and the Lord of your life. “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 To continue growing in your relationship with Christ, have fellowship with other believers, read the Bible and pray.
L-R: Patrick, Delsey, Johnson, and Evelyn
MOMS EDITORIAL STAFF Editor: Evelyn Damian Distribution: Johnson Li Cover & Layout: Patrick Tan Editorial Consultant: Delsey Garner
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From My Heart
In our society today, change is constant. Whether in fashion, jobs, means of communication, peoples’ perspectives, and even genders, most of us just take it and adapt! But when we know deep in our hearts that this change is not right, do we push God away and make up our own rules to justify what we do? In the end, we are broken, spiritually, relationally, sexually, mentally, and generationally. This brokenness can cause us to lose hope. The good news is, there is Someone that can bridge that brokenness so that we can become whole. In this issue, you will read an article about a man who made the wrong choices and how he was transformed. There are also articles on the generation gap and how people can deal with identity struggles. Enjoy reading. God bless you. Evelyn Damian, Editor
Table of Contents EDITORIAL
From My Heart 3 CHIKA-CHIKA
Building Bridges with the Next Generation 4 WISE CHOICES
Bagong Pag-asa 6 MAKE A DIFFERENCE
“Saan Papunta ang Life Ko?” 8 FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING
Health and Beauty
Burgers with Sour Cream Sauce
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
I think my son is gay... 14 3
Building Bridges with the Next Generation by Erlinda S. Apoli
he home is where good, personal, intimate, and harmonious relationships are supposed to begin. If there is harmony in the home, it will most likely be carried to work places, schools, and other venues. However, a loud cry is heard among teenagers complaining that parents donâ€™t understand them and vice versa. This condition creates a gap between the parents and their kids. According to American Heritage Dictionary, generation gap is a broad difference in values and attitudes between one generation and another, especially between parents and their children.
A loud cry is heard among teenagers complaining that parents donâ€™t understand them.
Moreover, the teenage years often brings behavior that causes relationship conflicts to emerge. Unresolved, these conflicts may lead to vices or even depression. Depression-related suicides are fueled by feelings of not being heard or being misunderstood. How can parents reach out to save them?
The answer is simple–communication! One of the reasons why teenagers keep silent is because they are afraid of rejection. That is why they express themselves through social media, thinking that they are accepted there. With the advent of social media, virtual communication became the norm and face-to-face conversation is becoming less comfortable. An improper balance of social media and actual communication can cause the gap to grow wider. But, there is no gap that cannot be bridged. Spending quality time with our teens will make them feel valuable. When our kids were younger, my husband worked abroad. During that phase, I felt that communication between them and their dad was virtual and unreal. Though I tried my best to make my kids feel valued, there’s still something missing – it was the presence of their father. My husband and I realized that our relationship with our kids is more important than money. Good communication begins with parents who model the character of Christ in their lives. Remember, kids often follow what you do rather than what you say. Teach good values by acting on it. Bear the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Certainly, they will bear fruit in the lives of your teens. Your character will create a concrete example of God’s character as well. A little gesture of love and concern goes a long way. Set a time for pep talks at a dinner table; attend parents’ meetings in school; help with their homework; and do other acts of love. Moreover, allow them to express themselves freely without making them feel embarrassed or agitated. Avoid nagging or criticizing them. If children feel they are important, they will open up. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise—so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth” (NIV). This command carries a promise of a good and long life for the children who obey. While this is true, the responsibility does not rest on the children alone. Ephesians 6:4 states, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (NIV). There may be a great difference in values and attitudes between our children’s generation and ours, but putting on the values and attitudes taught to us from the Word of God can surely make a difference in the lives of the next generation. With dedication, patience and faith, we can indeed bridge this generation gap. 5
An excerpt from an interview with John Zulueta
A few years ago, we had the privilege to interview Mr. John Zulueta, executive director and a full-time counselor at Bagong Pag-Asa, an organization founded by a former gay man that was transformed when he found Christ. Bagong Pag-Asa helps people struggling with same sex attraction leave their lifestyle and embrace their full identity in Christ. We feel the need to publish a part of that interview to help people deal with their struggle with gender identity. What are some of the causes of homosexuality?
he first cause is an identity problem. People going through identity crises embrace homosexuality as a false identity because they think it is better to have a false identity than having no identity at all; it’s better than not knowing whether they are a boy or girl. Our society, which is very affirming to gays, entices many to believe that it’s okay to assume this false identity. But because it is false, the people who take it up have false hope which results in further conflict. The second cause is when there are relationship problems which prevent a young person from feeling secure in their gender identity. Children need models to show them how to become a man or woman. If the relationship that should do that is missing in childhood then people search for that type of relationship into their adulthood. A third possible cause is when children experience rejection from their peers. Maybe they were bullied or labeled. Rejection like that makes them feel isolated and different from others. This breeds homosexuality in a child. Finally, many homosexuals have experienced sexual molestation. This created a deep wound in their soul. Maybe they went through this issue without anybody to help them sort things out. That is why it is not sufficient for a person to simply read the Bible, pray, and perform spiritual disciplines in order to change. They need to deal with the issues beyond their homosexuality because homosexuality is just a symptom of deeper issues. People who experienced sexual molestation can move in different directions—they can become alcoholics, drug addicts, homosexuals, engage in multiple relationships and many other mal-adoptive coping mechanisms. It is best for people who have been sexually molested to seek professional help. Other factors that contribute to the problem are upbringing, environmental influence, unmet needs, technology, and media. How can we help a person turn back from the life of homosexuality? First, the desire to change has to come from the person himself. Change is possible if the person is willing. They should recognize that homosexuality is a problem, and every problem has a solution. But, change will take time and a lot of effort. As friends
perhaps we can help them evaluate the direction they are taking and somehow express our confidence that they can actually move away from homosexuality and they need not feel trapped by their attraction or emotion. If you want to help someone turn back from homosexuality, you can start by exploring. Ask the individual how they see themselves. Are they happy? If they say they are, then you cannot do anything except tell them, “Okay, you may be happy but as a friend, I feel like this lifestyle may not be the best direction for you. Should you want to deal with your homosexuality, I will refer you to some people I know that can help you.” Explore the possibility that they need help. Ask them how long they have felt this way and what they have done so far. If they are not ready to change, you can remain a friend and love them. Never under estimate the power of prayer. There is great hope for people struggling with same-sex attraction. They need not stay in that condition the rest of their life. 1 Cor. 6:9-11 states, “Neither the immoral, the homosexuals …would inherit the kingdom of God…you have
“There is great hope for people struggling with same-sex attraction. They need not stay in that condition the rest of their life.”
been washed, cleansed and sanctified by the blood of Christ.” It says there that you were in that state before but not anymore. People can change but of course, change is a process and they have to have a realistic expectation as to what change will be like in their life. Also they should not embrace the post-modern worldview that homosexuality is an identity, because doing that, is like sentencing yourself to be that way forever. Many people have moved out of homosexuality, therefore people that struggle with this are not alone. Help is available. They can walk with other people who have similar struggles and who are seeking to pursue a more meaningful life. There is hope! Know that homosexuality does not define anyone’s worth or entire life. It is just a problem that can be dealt with. It will not measure anyone’s value as a person. 7
“Saan Papunta ang Life Ko?”
The story of Ronnie Ventayen as told to Evelyn G. Damian
After his unsuccessful suicide attempts, Ronnie Ventayen in his desperation, posted this question on his Facebook page. Let’s read his story and find out where this post led him.
ng buhay ko dati ay base sa nararamdaman ko. Feeling ko noon babae ako kaya lahat ng ginagawa ng babae, ‘yun ang ginagawa ko. Sinusunod ko kung ano ang gusto ng laman ko. Wala akong pakialam if it’s wrong.” Ito ang pahayag ni Ronnie Ventayen. Ronnie Ventayen was the third child in a brood of 7. Their father was a security guard but he hardly had money to support his family. Ronnie says, “Sa isang linggo, minsan lang siya umuuwi. Kung minsan walang sahod, nag-iinom at nambababae pa.” Their mother had to engage in illegal
Ronnie Ventayen (photo by Alvin Abad)
activities to augment their income but later on, she became a drug addict so their father left them. Ronnie recalls, “Nagkawatak-watak kami. Ang ate kong panganay ay napilitang mag-asawa para makaiwas sa kapahamakan dahil napabarkada ang nanay ko at marami siyang pinapapuntang lalaki sa bahay namin. Ang pangalawang babae ay ibinenta naman niya. Iniwan din kami ng nanay ko at sumama siya sa lalaking addict din.” “Nakita ko ang kapatid ko na kumakain na ng panis na kanin at naiyak talaga ako. Ang pangarap ko lang noon ay maiahon sa hirap ang pamilya ko,” Ronnie continues. I was seven years old. Ang edad ng mga kapatid ko, 5, 4, 2 kaya ako ang gumagawa ng paraan para kami kumain. Sa umaga ay naghuhugas ako ng mga pinggan sa karinderia tapos ang mga left-over food ay iniuuwi ko sa mga kapatid ko. Nag-iigib din ako ng tubig. Sa tanghali naman, nagbobote-bakal ako, tapos sa gabi, basurero. Naranasan ko ‘yung dinadakot ko ‘yung mga basura ng kamay ko. Eventually, nagkatotoo ang pangarap ko pero hindi ganoon kadali kasi habang inaabot ko ang pangarap na ‘yun, dun din nagsimula ang pagkalulong ko sa immorality, homosexuality at Cybersex.” After a couple of years, Ronnie’s father came to take them to the province to live with their grandfather. He says, “Pinupuntahan kami ng father ko doon once a month pero nandoon ang takot ko na kapag hindi siya dumating, wala kaming kakainin. Kung minsan isang pack lang ng noodles ang pinaghahatian naming magkakapatid. Nang hindi na nakakauwi ang father ko, nagbenta ako
ng isda o kumukuha ako ng mga suso at kabibe tapos ibinebenta ko para maging bigas at mapakain ko ang mga kapatid ko. “Nang dalhin kami ng father ko sa probinsiya, nangarap ako ng magandang buhay, ng mga taong magmamahal at mag-aalaga sa amin pero hindi ‘yun ang nangyari. Mas naging worse ang buhay namin doon. Walang pakialam sa amin ang mga kamag-anak namin. Namolestiya kami ng paulit-ulit ng taong akala ko magmamahal sa amin. Hindi kami nagsumbong agad kasi natakot kami.
“…Nakapikit ako nang na-feel ko, niyakap ako ni Lord…parang sinabi Niya, “Anak, andito na Ako, tutulungan kita.” “Nasa Grade 1 na ang sister ko nang magsumbong siya about the abuse and our relative was imprisoned. Itinakwil kami ng mga kamag-anak namin, pati father namin nagalit sa amin. “So at an early age, nakaharap na ako sa abogado dahil sa kasong’yun. Sobrang hirap! ‘Yung dalawa kong kapatid ay kinuha ng DSWD, ‘yung bunso, isinama ng mother ko. Ako ang natirang mag-isa. Nakitira ako sa ibang bahay. I worked for them na walang sahod, taga-laba, taga-igib, tapos sinasaktan pa. Continued to next page
MAKE A DIFFERENCE
“I was about 10 years old nang maospital ang tatay ko. May sakit na pala siya kaya hindi siya umuuwi sa amin. Bago siya namatay, nakipag-reconcile siya sa amin, nag-sorry. Mas inisip niya kasi ang kahihiyan kaysa sa amin. Noong nasa hospital pa siya, ako ang nag-solicit ng tulong para sa mga gamot niya, hanggang sa mamatay siya. We were banned sa burol dahil sa pagpapakulong namin sa nagmolestiya sa amin. “Noong 2002, kinuha kami ng ate kong panganay. That time, nakakapunta na siya sa Japan to work. Hindi man ako nakapag-aral agad pagbalik sa Manila, naka-graduate din ako sa high school at the age of 21. Nang mag-stop si Ate sa pagpunta sa Japan noong 2008, balik na naman kami sa hirap. “Ayoko ng bumalik sa hirap so lahat ng trabaho, pinasok ko, mabuti man o mali basta makakatulong sa aming pamilya, ginawa ko. Na-expose ako sa maraming bagay, sa Cybersex. Hindi ko inisip na kasalanan ‘yun kasi ang mindset ko that time was wala akong ginagawang masama. Computer lang naman ‘yan, walang mawawala sa akin at wala din akong inaagrabiyadong tao. Nagtatrabaho ako ng maayos at ibinibigay ko kung ano’ng gusto ng mga customers ko. Ang alam ko ay mabuting tao ako dahil napapakain ko ang pamilya ko at naibibigay ko ang gusto nila. “Besides being able to support my family, I had a boyfriend at 8 years na kaming magkasama, tapos tanggap at mahal ako ng parents niya so bilang isang bakla, masayang-masaya ako.” But Ronnie’s happy world began to crumble when he found out that his boyfriend was having a relationship with 10
a girl. Ronnie continues, “Hiniwalayan nya ako dahil meron na siyang babae. Ang sakit, hindi ko matanggap na iniwan ako ng boyfriend ko. Ibinigay ko sa kanya ang lahat, tapos niloko nya ako. Doon nag-start na sirain ko ang buhay ko. Naglasing ako, nakipag-sex kung kani-kanino, gumamit ng drugs, hanggang na-diagnose ako with severe depression. Dahil nagbago ang hormones ko, siguro nalito na rin ang utak ko. Nag-consult ako sa psychiatrist. I took a lot of pills for my panic attacks pero hindi ako gumagaling, mas nagiging worse pa ang condition ko. Itinatakbo ako sa hospital but they would send me home. Wala daw akong sakit pero may nararamdaman ako. I tried to commit suicide many times. Naglaslas ako, tumalon sa first floor ng bahay namin, uminon ng uminom ng alak, because that time, alam ko na ang pag-asa ko na lang ay kamatayan. “After ‘nung mga suicide attempts, nag-post ako sa Facebook, “Saan ba papunta ang life ko? Parang paulit-ulit na lang. Magpapakamatay ako, magsa-cybersex, itatakbo sa hospital…paulit-ulit. “Then someone replied, “Mahal ka ng Diyos at tutulungan ka Niya.” Ang nag-reply na iyon, naalala ko, when I was 8 years old, naka-attend ako sa church nila doon kasama ang dalawa kong friends. I was expecting that God will do something. Nakasuot kami ng dress kaya akala ng Pastor mga babae kami. Sa harapan kami umupo. Ang saya-saya ko, then, during praise & worship, napaiyak ako. Nakapikit ako nang na-feel ko, niyakap ako ni Lord. Ang yakap na iyon ay hindi ko naranasan sa mga nakarelasyon ko o sa family ko. Parang sinabi ni Lord, “Anak, andito na Ako, tutulungan
Ronnie and his small group.
kita.” Tapos, sabi ng Pastor, “If you are tired, this is the right time na isuko mo ang buhay mo kay Lord.” Ang prayer ko pa noon, “Lord, kapag hindi Mo ako tinulungan ngayon, mamamatay na ako.” And God answered my prayer and He helped me. That moment, pinagaling ako ni Lord from my depression. Never na ako naospital, wala na ding gamot, pinagaling ako ni Lord! “Nagpatuloy ako sa pag-attend sa church. Nag-attend ako ng kanilang 3-day Encounter God Retreat at doon na-feel ko si Lord. Ipinakita Niya sa akin kung bakit ako naging bakla, kung bakit miserable ang buhay ko. Sinabi rin ng Lord sa akin na, “You need to forgive. You have to forgive yourself. You have to set your life free from guilt and anger.” Then I forgave. I released everything na nasa puso ko kaya paglabas ko, para akong lumulutang sa saya. That was the time that I decided na iwanan na ang trabaho ko. “Nang iwanan ko ang Cybersex, hindi natuwa ang pamilya ko. Baliw daw ako kasi dun ako kumikita. But eventually,
pati ang pamilya ko, from my mother to my niece and nephew, ay naka-encounter na kay Lord. Nag-iiyakan kami sa bahay while sharing the word of God during our devotions. Nakita namin na binabago ni Lord ang buhay namin. “Full-time ako ngayon sa church as a volunteer worker. ‘Yung ibang mga nadala ko sa masama ngayon sa biyaya ng Panginoon ay kasama ko na rin sa church. Ang isa ay naka-graduate na sa college, ‘yung isa naman ay working na at hiniwalayan na rin niya ang nakarelasyon niya. “Naniniwala ako na kasama ang temptation sa buhay kaya dapat you are watchful, dapat naka-full armor ka palagi. Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” Everything that we do is our choice. Simula nang makakilala ako kay Lord, wala akong palya sa aking devotion. Nabasa ko na ang buong Bible. ‘Yun ang napapalakas sa akin!” pagtatapos ni Ronnie. 11
Health and Beauty
by Dr. Sol Sernal with APMM Staff
o matter how one looks, we are never contented. There’s always something to complain about. Everybody has their own idea of what beauty is, and nowadays, if we don’t have it, we can have it, as long as we have money. Currently, there’s a significant growth in businesses that have anything to do with beauty. But not everything we can get is beneficial to us. Let’s take a look at how two of the most popular enhancement medicines widely used today affect our bodies. Glutathione Pills So many brands of glutathione pills are out in the market today. There are billboards of famous people showing their glowing complexions because of glutathione pills. Consumers are more interested in its skin whitening effect rather than its health benefits. Glutathione is a substance contained in our cells. Not only does it help our bodies fight free radicals that damage body cells, it also detoxifies harmful chemicals, pollutants, and drugs. One of the side effects of glutathione pills is it makes the skin lighter by protecting the cells responsible for skin pigmentation and blemishes from free radicals. Taking glutathione supplements long term has been linked to lower zinc levels. Inhaled glutathione may also trigger asthma attacks in people who have asthma.1
Hormonal Pills The ovaries secrete two main hormones, estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen promotes the development and maintenance of female characteristics in the human body such as breast development, pubic and armpit hair growth, the regulation of the menstrual cycle, and reproductive system. Estrogen is responsible for making the bones smaller and shorter, the pelvis broader, and the shoulders narrower. It increases fat storage around the hips and thighs making the body more curved and contoured. It helps to slow down the growth of females during puberty, and increases sensitivity to insulin which influences the amount of body fat and lean muscle a person can develop. It makes the voice box smaller and the vocal cords shorter, giving females a higher-pitched voice than males. The more common side effects of estrogen are breast pain or tenderness, headache, diarrhea, gas, constipation, heartburn, mood changes or depression, and nervousness. Progesterone helps maintain the uterine lining throughout pregnancy
and is necessary for breast development and breastfeeding. The side effects of progesterone may include breast pain or tenderness, dizziness or light-headedness, swelling of feet and lower legs and vaginal bleeding. A former gay man I know said in an interview that he had taken hormone pills because he wanted to change his body shape. High levels of estrogen in men can lead to infertility, erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer, and the development of larger breasts known as gynecomastia.2 Taking these supplements without a doctor’s recommendation can be dangerous to our health. If we take them just to look beautiful and gain praises, think again. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised.” (NLT) 1 http:/www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-717/glutathione 2 http://www.endocrineweb.com/endocrinology/overview-ovaries
Burgers with Sour Cream Sauce by MOMS Magainze Staff
Ingredients • ½ k ground lean beef • 1 tsp salt • ¼ tsp ground pepper • 2 tbsps butter • ½ c chopped green onions • 1 c sliced fresh mushrooms • 1 c dairy sour cream • 1tbsp chopped flat parsley Procedure 1. With a fork, toss the beef, salt and pepper until well mixed. 2. Shape into 4 to 6 patties. 3. Heat a saucepan over low heat. 4. Melt the butter and sauté the onions and mushrooms. Cook until the onions are transparent. Reduce heat to very low.
5. Add sour cream and parsley. Add a little salt. Simmer but do not boil. 6. Heat a skillet over mediumhigh heat. Place the patties and fry on both sides until desired doneness. 7. Serve hot with the sour cream sauce. 13
ANSWERS TO YOUR QUESTIONS
Just Asking with Peter Banzon
I have friends who are gay and I know their struggles. Now my 7-year old son thinks and acts like a gay person. I want him to live how God designed him to be. What should I do?
our seven-year-old son is beginning to embrace a homosexual orientation. Homosexual orientation is understood to mean sexual attraction to other members of the same sex. At this stage of development, the best intervention is a truth encounter. Unless resisted and overcome with God’s help, this orientation can lead to homosexual behavior which is understood to mean participation in sexual activity with another of the same sex.
As a parent you must affirm your love for your son and continued acceptance as a person.
Your son should be lovingly confronted with the truth. As a parent you must affirm your love for your son and continued acceptance as a person. Acceptance does not mean approval of the sexual orientation he is leaning towards. Our source of truth about this issue is God’s word the Bible, not man’s opinion. God created human beings and made them male and female and nothing in between. (Genesis 1:27). This is the order of life. Jesus Christ affirmed this divine design in Matthew 19:4. Every person must abide with the Creator’s design. To violate God’s intended design is sin against a loving Creator. The Word of God speaks strongly against homosexuality. Leviticus 18:22, 20:13. Romans 1: 25-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9–10, I Timothy 1:9–10. Because God loved the world, He sent Jesus His Son to bear the penalty for all of our sins, our shortcomings and our failures. When your son surrenders to Jesus Christ and acknowledges God’s divine design, he will be able to live as God intended him to …male not female. God’s design goes much deeper. He created us to have unbroken fellowship and relationship with Him. But sin entered our world bringing brokenness, separation from God and death. Jesus Christ came to make all of us whole again and restore what has been broken by sin. 14
Bridge The Gap | Moms Magazine 62