The following is an excerpt from “Do Not Grow Weary in Prayer and Fasting,” written faithfully each week for nearly 10 years by Jerry Hale, Spiritual Emphasis Committee Chair for the Growing and Building Campaign.
Wherever you go the past few weeks, the print and electronic media have let you know that it is Mayweather/Pacquiao on Saturday, May 2 at 9 pm et, live on pay-per-view. I probably won’t be watching, but I will be interested in how it comes out. Manny Pacquiao was one of the speakers at a National Prayer Breakfast event in February. He told the audience that what he liked best about boxing was that you “get paid even if you lose.” I frankly had never heard of this young man before listening to his testimony in February. I also learned that he serves as a member of Congress in the Philippines and people closest to him believe he will be President of the Philippines some day.
Pacquiao tells a remarkable story of what happened to him on his birthday a few years ago. He was growing tired of the decadent lifestyle he was living as a well-paid professional boxer. He wanted to get a Bible, but he was embarrassed to go to a bookstore to buy one. He was afraid someone might recognize him and he wouldn’t know what to say about why he wanted a Bible.
Then on his birthday there was a knock at his door. He answered the door only to find a stranger with a package in his hand. The man told him he could not come to his birthday party, because he had to go to Manila. He couldn’t come to the party, but he wanted to give him a present. Pacquiao said he didn’t even know the man and he was sure he hadn’t been invited to his party. Yet, the man said he couldn’t come to the party, because he had to go to Manila. So he took the package from the man and opened it after the stranger left for Manila. It was a Bible, just what he wanted for his birthday.
Later, he became a follower of Christ after a vivid dream. In the dream, Pacquiao says he was in a beautiful forest when a bright light was shone upon him. He says a voice asked him, “Son why are you going away from me?” Pacquiao says he awoke from the dream in tears.
“I woke up crying. I remember I was crying in my dream and when I touched my pillow, it was wet,” Pacquiao said.
After waking up, he searched the Bible for answers to his dream and found that God sometimes talked to people through their dreams. “In the past, God talked to people through their dreams. So I told myself this dream is real and I have to change my life,” he said.
Wow! I get excited hearing stories like this in our day—in this case, a story similar to what happened to the Apostle Paul in New Testament times. God continues to work in the lives of people just as he has throughout the centuries since Biblical times. When people become aware of his presence, they respond, whether they are a professional boxer or a professional military officer. We in OCF are given responsibility to be there when God moves in the lives of military people.