Sample #1: lou calipusan
Lou Calipusan posing with his transistor radio where he listens to Joy FM 91.9 daily.
“I always prayed to obey Matthew 6:33 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,'” Calipusan said.
BLIND LISTENER: 'Joy (FM) is my life!'
By Alex J. Rhowuniong
Years ago, he literally walked the ground of the City of Babylon in the Bible!
In fact, Lou Calipusan had photos of himself standing at the entrance of the ancient city. But, Guam typhoons blew all of his pictures away.
“Nothing left,” he said.
THE EXCITING JOURNEY BEGINS
Elsewhere in the desert of Iraq, about 248 miles NE of the ruins of the ancient city, this wonderful and exciting journey with the Lord started with an invite to a simple three-man bible study group for the former carpenter 33 years ago!
It all began during a time Calipusan and thousands of other co-workers were building the modern western Iraqi city of Anah, "from the ground up."
An interesting backstory, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, is that Anah---with a 6,197 population today sits on the Euphrates River on a main road connecting Iraq and Syria. It used to be a "local trade center for crops grown in the fertile strip along the river below the cliffs of the desert.
"A town with a similar name existed on or near the present site (of modern Anah) at least since the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC."
By the 14th century BC, the town eventually became part of and island in the middle of the river. Three hundred years later, however, Anah was back again onland as part of both river banks.
During this period, Persians raided the city many times, leading to its decline. But "it remained a staging post on the route to the Mediterranean Sea until the advent of motor transport."
Anah, today, is now confined to the river’s south bank in the desert of western Irag, where Calipusan helped built it up in the 80s.
Back to our main story...
CALIPUSAN RECIEVES JESUS
Anah is exactly the location where Calipusan first met and accepted Jesus Christ. This Philippino's story flashes a somewhat striking resemblance to that of king Nebuchadnezzar... the ancient city's monarch!
In his own story in Scripture, the Babylonian king took seven long years to put-up a fight against God's will for his life. He paid dearly with a lot of grazing time, also seven years in the field like the wild animals. Eventually, he finally submitted to the Creator God.
Calipusan, on the other hand, took only a couple of bible studies before he saw his need for a Savior. Then he surrendered completely!
Both stories tell about exciting experiences with the Lord in the desert of Iraq with one major take-away: God can, and, will meet you wherever you are and fulfill your needs abundantly!
"Just be open to him and he'll do the rest!" said Calipusan.
Because that’s where you will find the elusive happiness that everyone is looking for.
Now, Calipusan's amazing story opened with him learning about the truth, and on his way to becoming a member of the Assembly of God Church.
One of the things Calipusan developed a habit of doing since becoming part of his newfound faith, was to look for a Christian radio station to supplement his weekly bible studies.
Another favorite activity was memorizing bible texts. And in the desert, his favorite was Matthew 6:33.
“I always prayed to obey Matthew 6:33 'Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,'” Calipusan recited with ease.
Then in 1993, Calipusan came to Guam for the first time to work on housing projects—mostly on the military bases. In no time, he found Joy FM (sometimes, affectionately known to faithful listeners today as simply, 'Joy'). And his now on-going love affair with Joy soon began.
“I listened from morning till 10:30 p.m.,” he said, “I still do, sometimes I'd wake up and listen in the middle of the night, and at 4 a.m. in the morning also.”
STROKE, A BLESSING IN DISGUISE
As Calipusan continued studying the bible on his radio station, complementing his weekly studies at what is now St. Paul's Assembly of God in Dededo; he fell victim to stroke... “a disease affecting the arteries leading to and within the brain.” (The American Stroke Association at ).
The debilitating disease landed Calipusan in a clinic where his doctor started sharing with him bible truths he had not heard before.
After being invited to a series of Evangelistic meetings, the bible worker was convicted about the new truths he had just discovered from the Bible. Soon, he was baptized into the new Church where he discovered new truths.
The Dededo resident said looking back on his life now, he could see clearly the hand of God directing his life, answering the deepest prayer of his heart: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness.”
The new truths he discovered were part of God's righteousness, he also said. They are all part of God's precious kingdom!
Today, the 56-year old has become completely blind. He's no longer able to read his bible.
But his blindness, he said, is definitely a blessing in disguise, leaving him more time to wait on the Lord and listen to Him through his favorite radio station.
“Joy (FM) is my life,” said Calipusan, smiling as he fished out his small transistor radio from his pocket. “Without JOY maybe I cannot live.”
Calipusan was not always this way. But when he was struck with blindness, he lost a profession he loved for many years—carpentry. The Lord replaced that with gardening!
Armed with a green umbrella rolled up as a walking stick, Calipusan is happy tending to his garden of fruit trees and veggies, while listening to JOY.
Your future, he explained, is always sure trusting your life into the hands of God.
“Just trust in the Lord,” the soft spoken Calipusan added, “he has a purpose for everybody's life.”
That's the hope and reality of Calipusan's life... God working out all things for Calipusan's own good on a daily basis.
“Perfecting his strength in my weaknesses,” he also said.
JOY FM RADIO FEEDS HIM WORD OF GOD
“You know, I grew up—spiritually—in Joy FM,” he softly said, “and (the station) was very important to me when I was just beginning to learn and grow. But it's even more important now that I cannot read my bible anymore. (JOY is) where I'm feeding on the word of God!”
But if JOY was not there helping him stay in the Lord everyday, Calipusan explained he might have contemplated suicide.
“Without the Lord, maybe I was six feet under already!” the carpenter turned farmer said, seemingly looking past his trees into the past.
Such are the wonderful workings of God, always: "for the good of those whom he loved,” explained the apostle Paul in the Holy Bible.
Just as God eventually brought the ancient king to his knees to graze in the field, waiting on the Lord; He is doing the same to Calibusan. But, only, without the grass.
LOOKING FORWARD TO A PROMISED MANSION
Calipusan's journey with God began with a visit to the ancient City of Babylon. But as impressive as that historical city is, the city of his dreams is a much more desirable city, New Jerusalem promised in the Bible. That is a place Calipusan longs to live forever!
With each passing day, Calipusan looks forward to his promised mansion in New Jerusalem---a city awaiting God’s people, constructed out of pure gold!
Perhaps, such concept might have had a part in inspiring the idea of the so called 'city of gold' left in ruins years ago, which king Nebuchadnezzar built with "his own hands!"