Daddy Johnny, 64

We fondly call him “Daddy Johnny” or “Tito J.”

People remember Architect Juanito Carlos as the 60 plus-year-old who untiringly played badminton or tennis with those old enough to be his children, encouraging them to keep on playing when they could not keep up with his seemingly boundless energy. We also remember him as a prayer warrior, a soul-winner in our visitors’ room, a discipler with his wife, Mommy Deng, in our seekers’ team and a Circle of Care shepherd. To all of us, he was a dear brother in the Lord. He was so passionate in serving God.

It all started when he noticed his gums bleeding more than a week ago. He went to his doctor for consultation. Blood tests showed that his platelet count is way below normal. Immediately he was confined for blood transfusion and to determine what caused the low platelet count. His blood pressure was erratic. His platelet count remained critical. He went through further tests. Even before the result of his bone marrow test was released, he went home to be with the Lord last Tuesday, around 3:40AM, barely five days after he was admitted in the hospital.

The outpouring of love from people touched by his life was so overwhelming. They all have a story to tell about Daddy Johnny. When Deacon James Tioco visited him in the hospital, the first thing that he said was, “How was your recent talk that we prayed for?” Instead of giving a litany about his pain, which would have been really understandable, he thought of others first. My last talk with him was when he attended our Midweek Gathering one week before he got sick. He bought some bread for his construction workers who were working overnight in a project. He was such a gentle, caring person. A friend who went to the wake said, “We all lost a father.”

Though grieving with his family, we also rejoice with them because we know this is just a temporary separation. For we fellow believers will have a joyful reunion with Daddy Johnny. When he died, I thought of Psalm 116:15 “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (ESV) It is not death per se that is precious in God’s eyes. It is the death of His people. In Hebrew, the word “precious” means “prized, weighty, precious, rare, and splendid.” According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “The death of a saint is not something the Lord considers as cheap; He does not let His people die for no reason.”

Brethren, our loss is heaven’s gain.

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