Posted by: Admin | July 25, 2016

Meet Brother & Sister Magalona

By Sister Nancy Asbill

On this day, June 27th 2016, I am attending a seminar held at the Karaga Hotel in Butuan City, Philippines. The seminar’s focus is to teach and instruct over thirty young adults in the truths from God’s Word about God’s plan for men and women as laid out in the pattern God gave Moses. The four day seminar began on Monday the 27th and would continue through Thursday the 30th.

Edmar & MedlynSince we are in the Philippines we need a translator and that would be Brother Edmar Magalona. He and his wife, Sister Medlyn, brought these thirty plus young people to the seminar. This is not an unusual thing for them to do as they have had a burden to spread the gospel for over twenty-three years. This is not the first seminar the Magalonas have attended at the Karaga Hotel. The first was back in 2012 when, for the first time, they heard the Kingdom of God message and how God is looking for perfected sons, as the word says in Matthew 5:48, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. As they were hearing this word, something began to stir within Sister Medlyn’s heart. You could see them as in Acts 18, Aquila and Priscilla standing before us. I am jumping ahead a bit, so let me come back to the Karaga Hotel today.

During the lunch break I sat down with this special couple to talk with them about their marvelous testimony. We need to go back in time over thirty years ago to begin to unfold to you, the reader, how God moves in mysterious ways.

Brother Edmar C. Magalona was raised by his parents with his three sisters in Bangonay, Jabonga, Aguson del Norte, Philippines. His parents were of the Catholic faith, so all the children followed as well. Since Brother Edmar was the only son, his parents favored him very much and had hopes and plans for their son.

As a young man he found himself drawn to those in town that liked their alcohol, so he began to drink. Over time, alcohol was not enough and he began to use drugs. At the young age of thirteen he found himself going down the wide path to hell and destruction. The militants were gathering the young people and Brother Edmar found himself amongst the ranks of activists.

At the age of twenty Brother Edmar, with a fellow militant, sneaked into the Filipino Army base and stole guns, running back to the mountains where the group was hiding out. Of course the army was not going to put up with that so they sent soldiers to Brother Edmar’s parents’ house and threatened his mother, “you get your son to come down from the mountains and surrender,” or else the mother and father would pay the consequences.

Even though Brother Edmar had been a rebel now for a while, he still loved his parents and agreed to come down from the mountains. A plea bargain was worked out and the Army agreed to only put Brother Edmar in prison for three months. Brother Edmar would not like to relive those three months because of the beatings he was given, but something amazing was at work even during the prison time.

In the same village of Jabonga there was a young lady two years yonger than Brother Edmar and her name was Medlyn. Sister Medlyn grew up in Jabonga with her three sisters and four brothers. Her parents knew Jesus as their Savior and when Sister Medlyn was ten years old she went to a camp where an evangelist brought the gospel message and she gave her life to Jesus. From that point on she wanted to know more of Jesus and when she grew up she wanted to marry a Pastor. Having been raised in the same village at one point, Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn met. Sister Medlyn’s goal was to get Brother Edmar saved; Brother Edmar’s goal was to marry this beautiful young lady.

When Brother Edmar was twenty and Sister Medlyn was eighteen, they made a commitment to each other to get married. Sister Medlyn’s parents were not in favor of this idea at all. Sister Medlyn kept praying for Brother Edmar. When he went to prison Sister Medlyn brought her Pastor to the prison to speak to Brother Edmar the gospel message. Sister Medlyn would bring her guitar and sing gospel hymns to Brother Edmar, hoping that would soften his heart.

During this time Sister Medlyn was having doubts about her commitment to marry Brother Edmar and she went to his parents to ask them to release her from this commitment. Sister Medlyn had an uncle in Cagayan de Oro City and so she “ran away” to go to his Bible school.

When Brother Edmar heard about her decision, he became quite discouraged and when he was released from prison he fell back into his old ways of alcohol and drugs.

At this time Sister Medlyn still liked Brother Edmar but was afraid of what he was involved in. She asked her uncle for permission to write Brother Edmar and invite him to a Bible seminar to be held in their church. When Brother Edmar got the letter she wrote, he decided to go. It was through these meetings that Brother Edmar came to know Jesus as his Savior.

This was in 1985 and now Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn went back to Jabonga to be married. Because they both now had a desire to know more about Jesus they decided to go back to the Bible school in Cagayan de Oro City.

Their first son was born a year later. Since all they had been taught in their church and school was in order for them to spread the gospel, Brother Edmar needed to be a Pastor. So that is what his pursuit was after.

They lived in Cagayan for ten years, Brother Edmar working by day at the steel mill and weekends and nights pioneering a new church. Four children were born during this time: Johannan, 28; Mamre Joy, 23; Zimrittope, 22; and Dexto Ray, 19.

Through these years Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn worked together opening churches and doing an outreach to the mountain people.

In 1996 Sister Medlyn and the children moved back to Jabonga, while brother Edmar continued working at the steel mill and coming home on weekends.

Sister Medlyn said Cagayan de Oro City seemed like the land of Canaan to her and Jabonga like the land of Egypt. Sister Medlyn’s uncle was concerned about their decision to move back to Jabonga, “how will they financial handle it” he said, but they wanted to minister to the young people and reach out to the natives in the mountains.

She prayed five years for her husband to be able to quit his steel working job and to be with her in Jabonga.

When Brother Edmar joined his wife in Jabonga, they began to do mini-crusades and through that began to build house fellowships. It was at this time a friend approached them with the thought of opening a Bible school of their own.

Some of the young people they met needed help, some from broken homes and others in various sorts of difficult situations, so before they knew it they had many young people living with them. At this time they have 20 young people that have lived with them for 12 years.

As the result of encouragement from a missionary from America as well as a friend from Cebu City, they opened a Bible school in Jabonga. The whole thought of the Bible school was to train these young people to be pastors until one day in 2012 when God began to show them His plan.

Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn in their walk with God have desired to know the truth.

When they came to that first meeting in 2012 and heard about the Tabernacle and God’s desire for man to only have one head and that is Christ Jesus, it all seemed so new to them. At first Brother Edmar did not like what he was hearing, but Sister Medlyn’s heart began to burn within her knowing what she was hearing was ringing true. After the meetings they would go home and look up the scriptures and discuss the word.

It took some time, but after much prayer and seeking God both Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn began to understand what God was saying in Ephesians four, how God gave the five-fold ministry for the perfecting of the saints. That God uses His people to spread the Gospel, but that God wants a body of people working together in total obedience to Christ the Head.

As Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn began to see the truths in the Word of God, they shared their excitement with the missionary and also their friend, but to their surprise the missionary and their friend rejected what they told them. It resulted in the Magalonas having to move their Bible school from the facility their friend donated and losing the financial support they were being given.

Today Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn see God’s hand of grace and mercy throughout the whole situation. Now the Bible students are more involved in learning the Word as they want God’s truths. They no longer want to be pastors but want to be sons of God, because that is what they have discovered in God’s Word.

As Sister Medlyn said, “We really received what we have desired not just to be open in our hearts and minds but most of all to LIVE the truth in our lives and to bring us in the knowledge of knowing to be a son.”

The Magalonas have been married 29 years now and rejoice in all God has done for them.

They shared this testimony as an example of how God’s divine hand of protection has been with them. One day the Magalonas were traveling from Butuan City to Jabonga on their motorcyle. By the way, sometimes the whole family would be on one motorcycle with Brother Edmar driving with two children seated in front of him and his wife and two other children in back of him. On this trip it was just the two of them and Sister Medlyn had not put her helmet on but was carrying it on her arm, when she heard a voice softly say, “Put your helmet on.” She obeyed the voice and within minutes a dog ran out in front of them and Brother Edmar could not avoid the collision. Sister Medlyn went flying over her husband approximately 18 meters (59 feet) and then she rolled over and over six times. Brother Edmar in the meantime is concerned for his wife but he is suffering some wounds to his face, shoulder, and arms. Eye witnesses could not believe it – Sister Medlyn was unhurt with only a wound on her left fingers. Praise God!!

Through this couple’s testimony and desire to see people saved, many have come to know the Lord including Brother Edmar’s parents before they died.

The Magalona’s feel very blessed to see God moving over and over again in their lives. They are also quite happy to have a 2 year old grandson and 3 month old granddaughter.

Meeting this happy couple has truly been a blessing and we pray with them as said in their own words, “God bring us into all truth!” Amen!

Edmar & Medlyn 3

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