On March 20, 2018, the Maranatha Bible School held its 40th Commencement Exercises.
At 3PM, the procession of graduates began, signaling the start of the program. The male graduates marched first, followed by their female counterparts. Each graduate was accompanied by a parent, spouse, relative, or guardian.
The joy that accompanied this occasion was very evident in the faces of those marching down the aisle. The audience eagerly watching were just as happy as they looked for familiar faces among the graduates.
The graduates who are program partakers followed, bringing up the rear. The graduates were followed by the members of the MBS faculty, church bishops, Pastor Leticia Ferriol, and the MBS dean, Apostle Arsenio T. Ferriol.
The graduates then sang the MBS hymn and recited the MBS Panata (oath). Bro. Geoverick Riñon and Bro. Jomar Lagliba led their fellow graduates in these parts respectively. The venue was soon filled with lively songs of praise during the praise and worship led by Sis. Reshen Cara Vallespin. Everyone was on their feet following the energetic performance of the worship leaders onstage.
Bishop Domingo Ferriol then led the audience during the opening prayer. The reading of the Holy Scriptures followed, giving particular attention to Psalms 126 which contains the verse of the graduating class. Sis. Nareste Faith Franada announced the upcoming events in the church.
After a song of praise by selected graduates, Bro. Dante Sanchez ministered the offertory message. He highlighted the life of Apostle Paul which exemplified how every believer should give to the Lord. He also shared his personal story of leaving his comfortable life as an engineer working in the Middle East in order to enter the ministry full time.
Pastor Leticia Ferriol then introduced the members of the MBS faculty and the subjects that they teach. He also introduced the speakers in the Commencement Exercises and gave a brief profile of them. They are the following:
First speaker – Sis. Criselda Manabeng (Adelaide, Australia)
Second speaker – Bro. Reynald Sulayao, Jr. (Baguio City)
Third Speaker – Sis. Choyen Ganabol (Oriental Mindoro)
Fourth Speaker – Sis. Kirsten Michelle Ferriol (Marikina City)
Sis. Criselda proceeded to preach her topic regarding the “Works of the End-Time Harvesters of the Apostolic Mandate.” These works include preaching the gospel and sanctifying the believers. During her speech, she shared her personal experience while doing evangelism abroad. She also abandoned her dreams in pursuit of a higher calling.
Bro. Reynald discussed the “Characteristics of the End-Time Harvesters of the Apostolic Mandate.” First is possessing great strength and courage. Courage is manifested in boldness in preaching the Word of God and defending the truth. Second is being obedient even to the point of leaving loved ones and material possessions in order to follow Christ. He also used the life of Apostle Ferriol to illustrate the traits he mentioned.
The graduating class then performed “Find Us Faithful” as an intermission number. It was a fitting plea to the Lord as they begin to embark on a new chapter in their lives.
After the break, Sis. Choyen delivered her speech on the “Authority of the End-Time Harvesters of the Apostolic Mandate.” She emphasized the importance of being sent by God, having the true knowledge of Jesus Christ, serving as an instrument in building churches, having left everything for the sake of God’s calling. She then explained that their graduating class received authority through delegation of authority.
The last speaker of the graduating class, Sis. Kirsten, discussed the “Promises of God to the End-Time Harvesters of the Apostolic Mandate.”
She first explained the weight of having God as the Maker of these promises. Because of this fact, there is assurance that these promises will be fulfilled. Among God’s promises are having a victorious ministry and fruitful ministry.
A poignant moment came when she shared the fulfillment of her desire that their entire household serve the Lord. She later presided over the altar call where many guests accepted Christ as their Savior.
After the series of speeches, Pastor Leticia Ferriol greeted the guests from the evangelical community. Bishop Osinando Quillao then proceeded to hand out the awards to selected graduates.
Presbyter Charlie Magbata then presented the 104 candidates for graduation to the MBS dean, Apostle Arsenio Ferriol, who later confirmed their graduation. Afterwards, the members of the graduating class were called one by one to the stage to receive their diploma. Apostle Arsenio and Pastor Let handed out the diplomas to the graduates while the church bishops were on the side to congratulate each graduate before descending the stage.
After the last graduate received her diploma, the graduating class returned to the stage to kneel and pray. As the song, “Speak, My Lord,” played in the background, most of the graduates were in tears as they dedicated themselves anew. The Apostle dispensed pieces of advice so that they may be successful in the ministry. He offered words of encouragement and urged them to avoid the pitfalls that will lead to defeat. Afterwards, he bestowed his blessing to the graduates.
The graduates then rose and performed the very apt final number of the evening, “I Will Go.” After the song, Apostle Ferriol delivered the benediction.
After the end of the 4-hour event, the graduates were surrounded by family, friends, and well-wishers. It was a common sight to see them being congratulated, receiving gifts, and having their pictures taken. The graduates were full of hopes and dreams for the life ahead in the ministry.