By Alex Rhowuniong
Years ago, Lou Calipusan literally walked the ground of the City of Babylon in the Bible. In fact, he had photos of himself standing at the entrance of the gate of the ancient city. But, Guam typhoons blew all of his pictures away. “Nothing left,” he said.
Elsewhere in the desert of Iraq, about 248 miles NE of the ruins of the ancient City of Babylon, Calipusan received an invitation to a simple three-man Bible study group. He began a wonderful and exciting journey with the Lord!
Calipusan Receives Jesus
Calipusan and thousands of other co-workers were building the modern city of Anah, Iraq, from the ground up. That’s where he first met and accepted Jesus Christ. Calipusan’s story flashes a somewhat striking resemblance to that of King Nebuchadnezzar, the ancient City of Babylon’s monarch! In his story, King Nebuchadnezzar took 7 long years to put up a fight against God’s will for his life. He paid with 7 years of grazing time in the field, like the wild animals, before finally submitting to the Creator God.
Now, Calipusan, on the other hand, took only a couple of Bible studies. However, 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 and fulfill your needs anywhere, anytime! Just be open and he’ll do the rest!
One of the habits Lou developed was looking for Christian radio stations to supplement his weekly Bible studies. Another favorite activity was memorizing Bible texts. At the time, his favorite was 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. “I always prayed to obey Matthew 6:33.”
In 1993, Calipusan came to Guam to work on housing projects, mostly on the military bases. In no time, he found JOY FM (affectionately known to faithful listeners today sometimes 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 wake up and listen in the middle of the night, and at 4 a.m. in the morning also.”
Stroke and Baptism
As the former carpenter continued studying the Bible on his radio station he fell victim to stroke. Stroke is “a disease affecting the arteries leading to and within the brain.” (The American Stroke Association at www.strokeassociation.org.)
The debilitating disease landed him in a clinic where his doctor started sharing Bible truths Calipusan had not heard before. After a series of Evangelistic meetings, Calipusan was finally baptized. 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.”
Today, the 56-year old has become almost completely blind. He’s no longer able to read his Bible. But his blindness, he said, may be a blessing in disguise, leaving him more time waiting on the Lord and listening to JOY. “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.
“Trusting your life into the hands of God, your future is always sure,” the soft spoken Calipusan said. “He has a purpose for everybody’s life.” That’s the hope and reality of Calipusan’s life. God works out all things for Calipusan’s own good on a daily basis.
Joy FM 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!”
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. The New Jerusalem is a place Calipusan could live forever!
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