The story of Dave Magalong.
It’s not all the time that my friends and I enjoy a treat of prime steak and mashed potatoes while listening, wide-eyed and intent, at a man whom God is raising to father Mindanao.
Pastor Dave Magalong was once based in BF Homes, Paranaque, pastoring a thriving church and leading the men’s ministry in that church. He was happy, especially since he was taking steps toward the direction of God’s work for him with OFWs (Overseas Foreign Workers) in Asia and the Middle East.
So it came as a surprise in 2006 when he received a phone call from one of his former church members who was residing in Davao. This man was looking for a teacher of the Old Testament, a subject which Pastor Dave was proficient in. “The [teaching] module would just take five days,” he said. Then a godson of Pastor Dave, also based in Davao, found out about the trip. He told Pastor Dave that his church was looking for a full-time pastor. At first, Pastor Dave shrugged the invitation off, but then the Lord started to speak to him relentlessly about Davao and why He wanted him to go there — not just to do a five day lecture, but to live and work there. The church in Davao sent him a formal letter asking him to be their pastor. Said Pastor Dave of how he felt about everything: “I had no wish to come to Davao. Never in my dreams did I wish to come here!”
Pastor Dave then issued a challenge to God: “If this is You, God, then let my church here in BF Homes release me with full blessing despite the fact that I know they won’t. Also, please tell a prophetic pastor friend whose gift I believe in what you have just told me about going to Davao.”
This pastor was one whom Pastor Dave regarded as a man who could hear clearly from the Lord. Without giving any clues to this pastor friend, Pastor Dave called him.
The pastor answered the phone and said quite suddenly, “It is God’s will for you to go to Davao.” And then he proceeded to tell Pastor Dave the following: “When you get to Davao, Satan will oppose you, but the Lord will stand with you. You will see your family moving with you in the anointing God has given you. He will also give you a mantle of authority in Mindanao that you have not experienced before.”
The church in BF Homes at first hesitated, clearly surprised with the news. Eventually, however, they released Pastor Dave with full blessing. Their board of elders said: “We cannot stop you from fulfilling what God has called you to do.”
While waiting on God for instructions, God told Pastor Dave the following: “Mindanao will be the center of My work. I will do something in Mindanao that will put Luzon to shame. A major revival will begin in Mindanao.”
In obedience, Pastor Dave flew to Mindanao with his family. Shortly after, Satan attacked Pastor Dave’s family. Their car was hit and damaged in two separate vehicular accidents in a span of two months. Later, in a span of only one week, his mother-in-law suffered a sudden heart attack and was rushed to a hospital ICU. Then, a few days after, his youngest daughter also accidentally fell and hit her head on the sharp edge of some concrete steps at home. These were the same steps which Pastor Dave’s seventy-eight-year old mother stumbled on one morning, landing on the floor due to sudden dizziness. She hit her head in the same area as Pastor Dave’s daughter, too. Pastor Dave rushed his mother and daughter to a nearby hospital. Their bloody wounds on the head required several surgical stitches to close. All the incidents happening successively could barely be chalked up to mere coincidence. The miracle was that there were no medical complications that attended the three incidents, and all three were soon released without further need for treatment. God did stand with Pastor Dave, as He promised.
That weekend, during the Sunday worship service, while in the middle of the sermon, Pastor Dave heard God say, “Stop preaching.”
Pastor Dave obeyed. He then heard God say, “Command Satan to stop all attacks against you and your family right now.” Pastor Dave then rebuked Satan out loud in front of the congregation. Then, he continued where he left off preaching. Since then, thanks to God’s protecting grace, Satan hasn’t touched his family.
2009 was a pivotal year for Pastor Dave in Mindanao. It was his third anniversary in his pastorate, and the supernatural presence of God hit him like a wave during the church anniversary Sunday service. He fell on his knees and received a vision from Heaven. In it, he saw all of Mindanao. It was surrounded by darkness, yet there were patches of light where revival was taking place. Then he saw the Lord Jesus standing, reaching out His arms to Mindanao, with His eyes revealing His heart’s longing to heal Mindanao.
In the vision, Pastor Dave was given a mandate to preach a specific message to the people of Mindanao. He was to:
1) Preach healing to the damaged identities of people.
2) Preach healing to families everywhere he went.
“Wherever you teach these things, I will move and heal the people,” the Lord said to him in the vision.
A month after the visionary experience, the first breakthrough in God’s mandate for him happened when Pastor Dave was invited to speak to political leaders in Compostela Valley. The topic he chose was “Establishing a Culture of Peace through the Family.”
God started to move and stir the hearts of the provincial governor and high ranking provincial officials. The governor invited Pastor Dave to hold seminars on that topic for all the political and religious leaders in that province of eleven municipalities. The response was enthusiastic as healing of hearts and relationships started to take place in the provincial capitol. Soon, a Barangay Family Development Program was in place. It was signed and endorsed by the provincial leaders and even by local priests. This allowed for the establishment of a Barangay Family Development Center in more than 250 barangays to provide public seminars on parenting to families in each barangay. The importance of fathers in blessing and mentoring their children was taught. The center also allowed for marriage counseling, and for videos to be shown that encouraged good family relationships.
In 2010, Pastor Dave received a new instruction from God to move on. At the end of that year, he went to Malaysia with his family to attend an international conference to seek God’s confirmation regarding directional matters, and he heard God say, “Just obey my voice. I will supply your needs.” While there, he also heard God say that God would bring healing and revival to the pastors in Mindanao. In obedience, he resigned from the church he was in, early the following year.
In a person’s journey, God allows strange detours to further a lesson. In 2011, Pastor Dave and his wife went to England. He arrived in London at the height of the infamous youth riots that broke out in the city. God spoke to his heart and said, “I want you to see what happens when the father-son relationship breaks down.”
Pastor Dave explained to us: “According to God’s Word in Genesis 18:17-19, the father-son relationship is the foundation in the building of a godly nation. If neglected, a curse can come to the nation.” In the Book of Malachi in the Old Testament, God spoke of turning “the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I [God] come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:6) Says Pastor Dave, “Revival starts with men and women who do not compromise.” The father is key in mentoring the children to be men and women of obedience; men and women who do not compromise; men and women who know who their God is and what the ways of God are. When the father abandons his role of blessing and mentoring his sons in the ways of the Lord, we will see tragedies. “The compromises of one generation will lead to the corruption of the next. Tomorrow’s tragedies are sown in the soil of today’s negligence. The righteousness of a father who mentors his children will affect the future of the nation.”
In 2012, Ezra Renewal Ministries started. The focus of this ministry are the pastors of Mindanao, including tribal pastors. It is a ministry of healing, renewal, and revival for these pastors and their families. It seeks to develop men, fathers and sons, so that revival is sustained both in the home and in the community. Society can wake up to see the righteousness of God.
Pastor Dave may have a big assignment from God. His story refreshes us and inspires us to see the righteousness of God in our country. The vision of Mindanao knowing the Lord originated in God’s heart, and is an unraveling reality in the life of Pastor Dave. Ending his story, Pastor Dave says, “The Vision is God’s. This is all His work.”
These are words from truly a humble man whom God is raising up to father Mindanao.
To find more about Ezra Renewal Ministries, you can go to: http://ezrarenewalministries.com.
Janina Marie Rivera is the author of the book, A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear and has co-authored the devotional, Dawns, published by OMF Literature. She is a contributing poet in the books Joyful Light and Whitmanthology: on Loss and Grief by Various Authors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine.