Honoring for Toto de la Cruz by Frank Padilla
As has been his practice, he has gone on ahead of us. He has always been a trailblazer. He was among the first full-time pastoral workers, and there has been no stopping him ever since. Even death has not done that, as he has now moved on up there, where he can intercede mightily for our life and mission.
Toto was a modern-day St Paul. His zeal and passion for the Lord’s work was great and legendary. Like Paul, he experienced deep personal conversion that turned his world topsy-turvy. He let go of his worldly existence, one of power, position and worldliness, and totally embraced his new life in Christ. He had become God’s soldier. He was persistent in seeking to conquer new territories for Him.
Toto was a man of faithfulness and commitment. He lived out his community covenant and expected his other brethren to do so too. He was tireless. He was persistent. He worked in season and out of season. God had called him, and he was determined to serve his Master. He was always focused on the mission. To sustain his work, he was a very prayerful man.
Toto is a prime example of true servant leadership. Having been a leader in the secular world, he knew what he was not to be. He was now a man of God. He now spoke on behalf of God. He took seriously the task of leading God’s people, caring for them and keeping them on track. Where the Lord brought him, he followed. He had given his life to Jesus, and would willingly have died for him.
Toto was a man who manifested great love. He loved his wife Delia. (Delia, I honor you for being the loving support that enabled Toto to respond fully to God’s call.) Toto loved his children. (You can truly be proud of the legacy that your father has left, especially as he touched the lives of very many people.) Toto loved his community Couples for Christ. (The CFC-FFL young fulltimers present here did not have the privilege of knowing this man, but what he did is what endures, and what has paved the way for your own work.) Most of all, he loved the Lord. Jesus was his all.
It has been my great privilege to have known and worked with such a man as Toto.
Farewell. Till we see each other again.