I went to a memorial service tonight. A teacher, missionary, and more than anything mentioned, he is remembered as a godly man. He is Pak Ban Garcia. He passed away on Tuesday after a long comma, exactly two years and two months of being unconscious, he was called back home. No more pain, no more tears, as He has promised that He will wipe away the tears and cast away the pains. This is really a story of a man that has responded to God’s calling all his life, leaving his homeland, traveled a long journey to a no land, serving the people until the very last breath of his life. I know of his family, not so closed, but being exposed to their life, I am amazed and thankful to witness such devotion, willingness, and love, especially from his wife. We usually call her Ibu Ban. This lady, let me tell you, she is a humble, ladylike, and strong one. Knowing her from afar, seeing her life, and getting in touch with her for a little while has taught me many things.
From this very event, I learn many things. Really.
In the service, there were some people invited to share their testimony about Pak Ban. He really is remembered and known as a man of God. He is known as more than just a smart person, he is remembered as a man who has devoted his very life for the sake of God’s glory. More than remembered as a rich man, he is remembered as a missionary that has left everything in his homeland, Philippines, to go and reach out to the people in remote place in Toraja, Indonesia. He is remembered as a runner of the Gospel that has left a legacy for the people behind him to go on the race after him. He was a godly man. No more words. He really was.
His wife, Ibu Ban, is also a godly woman. She has the heart for mission and together with her husband, they have become example for other people. Ibu Ban is known as a humble person, her beauty shines right from her heart, her very heart for the people. And really, looking your loved one lying down helplessly in bed for more than two years is more than difficult, but this lady, she still has that real joy to share to her surrounding. I once visited Pak Ban in the hospital, and I met Ibu Ban there taking care of him. I saw her holding Pak Ban’s hand and talking to him. I was struck. I was amazed. This one is true love story. More than what movies and fairy tales could ever show.
I feel so blessed to witness such thing.
I really see the life of the people who put God first and how they live their lives, they have made a difference in this fallen world.
I asked Ibu Ban if I could hug her before I left.. she said why not? and she hugged me. I said thanks that she has taught me so many lessons, then I left.
Pak Ban is not here anymore, physically. But I see that part of him stays with Ibu Ban that will surely continue to work on what her husband had worked on.
I question myself,
What kind of legacy I want to leave to the people when I die someday?
Tough. But this very question refers us back to the very purpose of our life. Maybe today or tomorrow. We never know.
Rest in peace Hidalgo Ban Garcia. Thank you for the legacy you have left behind.