by Ptr. Ley Taberna
I have endeavored to write his story–the story of a classmate and friend for four short weeks. The story of Mon Ariel.
It begun one morning on a noisy classroom at PUNP. My campus.
It was the opening of the semester and students are busily and noisily walking around the corridors trying to find their rooms. With my schedule on hand, I sighed in relief when finally, I found my room- the room where I’ll have to learn about Economics, a minor subject which the Registrar required for me to take in order to finish my BSE-English degree.
I sat down on an empty chair near the back, a 26- year old pastor invading the world of young and barely legal collegiate students.
It was probably 15 or so minutes later when he sat beside me and told me that he had known me from attending summer youth camps at my old Bible School. He jovially introduced himself as Mon Ariel.
We talked while waiting for the professor who seemed to be taking forever to arrive.
On that first meeting, I learned two things about him: (1) he was once a believer who have now lost his passion for God and the church and (2) he had been sick, really sick. He had this vicious heart ailment which had him suffer for many long years as a child and as a teenager.
Two times each week, Mon Ariel and I will talk about God and His love for him. I told him one time that if he will ever come back to God, he will find Him waiting for him with arms open wide because He loves him so much. I told him about the prodigal son who needed a prodigal love which only a lovesick and prodigal Father can give and prayed for him.
Our times together lasted for only four short weeks because for some reason, I had to change schedule to accommodate one of my major subjects. I wasn’t even able to say goodbye to Mon Ariel– not until I received a call from a friend months later asking me to preach at his wake.
As it turned out, Mon Ariel sought out my friend who pastors a church near his home and committed himself to a life of service to God once more. Up until his sudden death a few months after we prayed together at that room in PUNP, he endeavored to make up for the times he had lost and loved God.
Many times I thought about how many Mon Ariels may be waiting for us in the noisy and busy rooms of our school campuses. And everytime I do, I always find myself lingering in the thought that even if it only be for a single Mon Ariel in the campus, I wouldn’t stop praying and radiating light wherever God leads me.
Anyway, I always end up where I love to minister the most– in the dark rooms and hallways of a college campus.