Monday, March 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Evelyn's Big Day - 1968 - by MaryLou Engle (1930-2003)

Evelyn Balanag – Pakistani – Deathbed Conversion and she lived to tell about it.

On Monday, January 29, 1968, Ken and I wanted to do visitation of BSA students for a rally on the 31st when Bob Harrison would be here, also Dad and Mom Brooks. Before we went out, I went to visit Evelyn Balanag to enroll her in WBT if she wanted, also to invite her and her husband to the Wednesday evening rally. She was most eager to study the course, and said she wanted to come to the rally. She had been ill for several days as she had had a miscarriage and was still feeling rather weak.

On Tuesday morning, the 30th, she brought me her whole course, completed and wanted to talk and ask questions. We had a good time of discussion over coffee and cookies. She wanted to enroll in the next course, Lessons for Christian Living. So she took that book home with her.
On Wednesday, her house helper came to tell me that she would not be coming to the rally as she had just been taken to the hospital because of bleeding……..She said that Evelyn would have an operation Thursday morning.

We had the rally with good attendance, Bob Harrison sang, Dad Brooks spoke and it was a very good evening……But we were disappointed that Evelyn and her husband Fred had been unable to come. Bob Harrison prayed for her in the hospital…None of us really knew her true condition at that time.

Thursday, we found out that she had been very ill…..that she had almost died Wednesday night. I went in Thursday morning just after she had come back from surgery, and stayed a bit. She was much improved by then.

Friday, I went to the house to visit her after she had come home from the hospital. She then told me her story:

She said that she was barely conscious at the hospital because of weakness due to lack of blood. But near midnight on Wednesday, she suddenly felt worse, and called “Doctor”, then passed out. For the next two hours, doctors worked over her….oxygen, fluids, medication. They called her husband to the hospital because they said she was dying…….She came back to consciousness during these attempts to save her, and saw her husband crying at the side, and noticed a needle going in each arm with fluids…..

While she was unconscious, she said all she can remember is a vision of God Himself…sensing that she was dying, that she was floating on stars……….then when she came to consciousness, her first thought was, “Oh, God has spared me! If I had died, I would be in hell right now.”….”I want to accept Jesus this minute.” And she, by faith accepted the Lord in the split second of consciousness……All that she had studied in WBT flooded her mind, and she took that step of faith, believing in Christ as her own Saviour and was saved!
The doctor said to her, “We think you should have the priest here for last rites.” But she told him that she did not want a priest…because she was right with God, could confess to God Himself, and anyway, why should she need a priest when a priest is a sinner, too. The doctor was somewhat shocked at this statement of heresy, but sadly nodded alright.

She told me that she knows that God has saved her physically so that she could be saved spiritually, and she was so happy, and so radiant!

Her father had laid the background for this decision many years ago, when he told his children stories from the Bible. He is a British Anglican, married to a Pakistani lady. He has read the Bible through many times, although he himself gets drunk time after time. So we do not know if he is a born-again believer. But he realized the importance of spiritual matters, and of the reading of the Holy Word…and imparted this to his children. However, she knew nothing of spiritual life through Christ when this contact was made. What she had learned had been through the correspondence course, WBT, just 48 hours previous to this physical crisis in her life.

She completed the second course, brought it to me, and asked for the third, Guide to Christian Growth. She said that she used to read paper-back books, but they made her feel dirty. She said, the reading of these courses makes her feel so clean, inside and out….She has started a Quiet Time using Daily Bread of Scripture Union Notes…….She also is interested to begin a ladies class in her living room, teaching WBT first, with me there as an advisor.
It has truly been a work of the Holy Spirit in her heart and life because I have not really done much talking with her…there wasn’t time. Things happened so fast. It has been thrilling to our whole family of what can really happen when a person accepts the Lord, and the change in her own life. She has begun witnessing to all who come in contact with her.

She finished GOG in three days, then went on to SUMMARY OF THE BIBLE which she did in 4 more days. Her husband stayed up late at night to help her as it was quite difficult. They both memorized quite a bit of Scripture…..He was not saved yet, but was quite interested and sympathetic. She said that she felt so clean when she was studying these courses. On Feb 12th, she finished it, and took home WINNING SOULS THE BIBLE WAY, also she enrolled in the memory course of BIBLE MEMORY ASSOCIATION. She told me how distasteful the movies are to her now, and other amusements…that she has begun to use less cigarettes now…She used to smoke 20 in a day, but is down to 8 now. She hopes to be off them completely very soon! She had no prompting from me in all these decisions to drop things out of her life. Just the presence of the Holy Spirit has convinced her that she should not do certain things anymore. She is praying fervently that her husband will accept Christ soon so their family can be united. It is a wonderful thing that he is so sympathetic and is learning Scripture. They have pored over the Bible Atlas trying to straighten out in their minds the divisions of the land in Joshua! He is fascinated with the book. Tomorrow morning, I am going to teach her how to make bread!

Friday, January 11, 2008

More Pics - Click on Picture to increase SIZE

Engle home 1967-1970, 55 Malvar, Aurora Hill, Baguio. Location of the first assembly meetings, and where Evelyn came to visit with MaryLou, and to get her Emmaus correspondence courses.

Dad Brooks standing next to Evelyn, Fred Balanag in the brown suit, and Joyce Hardisty in the foreground on the left. Probably around 1977.

Singspiration at 55 Malvar. Evelyn in the center, Rudy Ponce Deleon sitting next to the door.

some of the leadership in the assembly around 1974. Picture was taken at the Engle home at 30 C.M. Recto, Navy Base, Baguio.

One of the earliest bible studies, 1968, at 55 Malvar, Aurora Hill. MaryLou standing, Evelyn is wearing the checkered sweater, seated in the same chair with Mrs. Jaleco, with Mrs. Badilla on the other side of her.

Balanag Family and some other misc pictures

Family picture of the Balanags around 1974 taken in their Navy Base house. Boy,Frankie,Dolly,Polly and Ferdie are in the pic, so we presume Molly had not arrived on the scene yet.

Fred and Evelyn visiting Ken and MaryLou at the C.M. Recto House, 1975

First Baptism 1969. Ken Engle along with all who were baptized: Fred Balanag, Sgt. Jaleco, Sgt. Badilla, Becky Engle, Evelyn Balanag, Karen Engle. William MacDonald (1917-2007) conducted the baptism, and gave a word from the scriptures.

Three elders 1974: Jaleco, Balanag, Badilla

Walking down the road away from Navy Base 1971, after a meeting in the Guardhouse (also affectionately named by the believers as the "Godhouse"). Anna "Mom" Brooks, and Evelyn in the center.

Federico and Evelyn Balanag with Dolly 1963?