Yesterday, the church remembered the goodness of the Lord in the life of Pastor Brian Ellis. The church prepared a short program after the afternoon worship service. Pastor Ramon Macapagal (one of the three elders of the church) hosted the program. He together with his wife prepare some questions about the life of Pastor Brian so that the people in the church will be able to know more about him.
In answering the questions, Pastor Brian was able to give us a glimpse of his life and his experiences. He shared to us that back in England he no longer has a family. He is the only child of his parents and he doesn’t have any relatives. He always stresses to us that everything that happened in his life is because of the providence of God. Because of that he was able to give his life to missions and the work here in the Philippines. Before he was a missionary, he worked as a school teacher. He taught math and later on he was assigned to teach science. He told us that while conducting an experiment in a chemistry class, he was trying to extract hydrogen. . His experiment went wrong and blew up the school. He just thank the Lord that at that instance no one got hurt. We also know now why he doesn’t like the color violet, particularly light violet!
Pastor Ramon also asked about Pastor Brian’s hobbies. Of course for many of us, we know that he really like to go out and do bird watching. On one occasion when the Christian Compassion Ministries staff went for a retreat, his camera, instead of having pictures of people, was filled with pictures of birds! Before, Pastor Brian enjoys growing orchids in his garden. But when personal computers became a hit, he totally left taking care of his orchids and spends his time learning how to use the computer. He was so enthusiastic to it the he learn how to make a network. He even was the one who made the very first website of Cubao Reformed Baptist Church. But in the process all the orchids died. Then he also shared with us that when he was young he used to join long distance running. He also like to drive in a car race. Pastor Ramon joke and said that when you are in a vehicle and Pastor Brian is driving, you will become more spiritual!
Pastor Brian told us the story of his conversion experience. It is not dramatic, but he knew very well that the Lord dealt with him. There were people who came to his life that God used, for him to start going to church. But he knew that the Lord particularly dealt with him when he participated in a camp in Keswick. They went to hike in one of the mountains in Keswick, but he was too sick to continue. He stopped and laid down because of fatigue and he said that it was there that he was converted.
Later on, he joined the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. From England he traveled by ship to Singapore because it is cheaper, but that takes longer. Going to the Philippines was not his plan for missions. His first choice was Japan, but that didn’t materialized. He thought of going either to Laos or Thailand. Later on, OMF decided that he will be sent to the Philippines. He mostly work in the island of Mindoro, that is at the south west end of Luzon before Palawan.
It was at Singapore where he first met Ms. Necy Goco, who later became his wife. Ate Necy (as people use to call her) was Pastor Brian’s Tagalog language teacher. When Ate Necy visited Manila from Singapore to study, Pastor Brian took a plane and visit her. His flight back to Mindoro was delayed for some days, because the runway in Mindoro was made of grass and frequently flooded. Because of the situation, he surprised Ate Necy a visit everyday.
Back then, the regulation of the OMF was a hindrance for him to marry Ate Necy and then continue stay in the Philippines as a missionary, but again by God’s providence, they were able to. On the day of their wedding, Pastor Ellis was sick with German measles. He said that his cheeks and the back of his neck was very red, but that didn’t stop him from going to the wedding. They were married in an Alliance church and had their reception at the original Max’s restaurant down in Quezon Avenue. The cost per plate back then was 15 pesos!
We ended the program by singing the hymn Light up this house with glory Lord, which was Pastor Brian’s choosing. After the program we shared a very nice meal prepared by the ladies of the church by the leadership of Deacon Louie Lim.
We truly thank the Lord for the life of Pastor Brian Ellis. The Lord our God by His providence truly used him for the life of of His people in Cubao Reformed Baptist Church, the children of Christian Compassion Ministries, the students at Grace Ministerial Academy and also the churches of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ both here in the Philippines and abroad. To God be the Glory!