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Rose's Letter to Jeiel

12 June 2000

Dear Jeiel,

I know that it will be a long while before you will be able to read this and perhaps even longer before you will be able to understand it. I do hope, though, that when that time comes, you will feel the same sense of overwhelming gratefulness that I am feeling right now towards God, our Creator and loving Father.

By now, you are on your 37th week inside my womb. Having you has been quite an experience. It's a bit difficult describing it in words. Of course, it has been wonderful, as any mother would testify. What makes my experience unique are the numerous occasions when we thought everything was okay and then something would turn up that would make us anxious all over again. But always, they turned out to be occasions for trusting God even more and for witnessing how God works in powerful and loving ways. I have compiled a chronicle of these experiences in the pages that follow.

We are naming you JUAN JEIEL. The name JEIEL is taken from the bible. The name appears in 1 Chron. 15:18, 21 and 1 Chron. 16:5. He is one of the musicians appointed by King David to "minister before the ark of the Lord, to make petition, to give thanks and to praise the Lord" (1 Chron. 16:4). He plays the harp and perhaps even the lyre, too. I believe that the first music he played was for King David's psalm of thanks written in 1 Chron. 16: 8-36. Some phrases are popular choruses being sung to this day:

Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name;
Make known among the nations what He has done.
Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;
Tell of all His wonderful acts.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice
(vv 8-10)

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name
Bring an offering and come before Him;
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness
(vv 28-29)

You see, Jeiel, music plays a big role in our lives. Although your Papa and I have known each other since we were just kids, it was through a Kid's Praise concert which I directed and where Papa played the role of Psalty (the singing book) that we got to know and appreciate each other better. Papa sings tenor 1 and I sing soprano 1. I also sometimes direct the choir. Being able to sing for the Lord is one gift we will always cherish and one that we hope to share with you.

The Jeiel in the Old Testament played the harp and perhaps also the lyre. Both are stringed instruments which produce sweet and soothing sounds. I am pretty sure they will not sound right if played to the tune of rock music. No, the music has to be sweet, gentle, relaxing Our prayer is that, apart from singing, you will also be able to play music for the Lord, something which we are not able to do.

The name JUAN is from my grandfather, who is therefore your great grandfather. He was a good man. Intelligent and articulate, he could have been a lawyer. My mother related to me an instance when he defended his relatives in a court case over a land dispute. He won the case for them but did not ask for anything in return. He was unselfish, perhaps even to a fault.

Very skillful with his hands, he could have been an artist. He would always do my school artwork- they were so good that I always had a dilemma of not submitting them because it was obvious I did not do them myself but at the same time, wanting to show them off. He even drew the building plans for the IEMELIF church in Las Pinas despite having no formal training.

He could have been an architect. But he chose the noblest of callings, he became a Pastor. Our prayer, Jeiel, is that you will grow to be a man of God, and that you will use your gifts and talents firstly to glorify God and to help others. And if and when God calls you into fulltime Christian ministry, that you would not hesitate to heed the call.

All throughout my pregnancy, brothers, sisters and friends have continuously supported us in prayers, encouragement, counsel and expert advice. You will read about these as you proceed. But there are so many more of these that are undocumented, mostly coming from brothers and sisters in the Philippines and churchmates from Diliman Campus Bible Church. In time, you will get to meet them. We will always be thankful to them.

You are God's precious gift to us, Juan Jeiel. And you are one most awaited gift. Your birth will be a testimony of the power of prayer and God's faithfulness in answering them.

With much love,
Mommy and Daddy

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