Thanks to my friend Brian of The Emerge Network , he posted a video clip of Ninoy Aquino's interview on The 700 Club in 1981. On the clip, Ninoy had a profound message on his Christian faith, finding God and human suffering. The clip shows why I consider him as a personal hero and why I admire and consider him as the greatest Filipino who ever lived. Hope Ninoy's life will influence your views and patriotism for the Filipinos as he did for mine.
I want to share a blog post I made for The Point in 2007 for Ninoy's 24th death anniversary for all of us to to ponder on.
Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, recipient of BreakPoint’s first Wilberforce Award in 1988 and my personal hero, was a well known exiled leader of the Philippines against dictator Ferdinand Marcos. What is not well known, especially to his countrymen, is his conversion to Jesus Christ. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s Born Again, Aquino was in his prison cell when he surrendered his life to Christ. But his conversion took away none of his heartfelt concern for his nation. Aquino vowed he would one day return to the Philippines, stating that “If I’m killed, I know I’ll be with Jesus Christ..."
Aquino’s decision to return despite the risk of death made him both martyr and hero. But it was his faith in Christ that strengthened his courage to return and made his conscience not let him do otherwise. As Chuck Colson says in his new book, God & Government, “One can never quite calculate how one conversion like Benigno Aquino’s in a lowly prison cell may set a motion a train of events to shake a nation.” His return and his death sparked the well-known People Power revolution in 1986 that toppled Marcos and inspired democratic change not only in the Philippines but also around the world.
As the late Jaime Cardinal Sin of the Philippines said, “it is hard for our doubting hearts to believe that spiritual power -- which is peaceful, prayerful, humane, forgiving, willing to suffer on the side of the poor and oppressed -- can change society. We know the gospel affects the lives of individuals, but can it make an impact on institutions and governments, where the heartless realities of power pierce like a knife?” The answer to this question is, yes, it is possible. Because in the end, aligning our will to Christ compels us to surrender the worst times and the most difficult political situations into the hands of the sovereign God.
(image @ Facebook/Ninoy Aquino)