It was almost sundown. We headed for the unfamiliar, dark, quiet road of San Rafael Street until we came to the familiar shape of my company logo, a box at the bottom with a triangular roof on the top except…it was three-dimensional. The dark, weary, sullen two-storey house that resembled it towered over us as we stood at its threshold.
“Ang lakas ng dating.” Gia’s eyes popped wide open. “How long has this place been unoccupied?”
“I don’t know,” I replied.
With her bible on hand, Gia prayed prayers of covering and protection and then we pray-walked through the door to every corner of the house. She did a house cleansing and casted out demons in Jesus’s name, cancelling all legal rights evil spirits previously gained in this property. I agreed with her prayers as we went along.
Now as I recall that night, it seems like an adventure as a ghostbuster torch bearer. But deliverance from demons is no laughing matter. It has spelled the difference between life and death, bondage and freedom for many people who have been through it. Thank You Lord for Gia! She now heads the women’s department of CCF‘s Deliverance Ministry team.
That was back in December after I signed the lease for the house. Several days before Easter Monday— our scheduled opening when the City Hall and BIR permits were due for release— I requested Gia to please come back to lead my staff and me to dedicate the humble little shop to the Lord. My decorator, Joi, and I were done with our labor of love beautifying this cleansed space. When Gia walked through the threshold, she was stunned as tears welled up and profusely flowed from her eyes.
“Ibang iba na ‘to. I’m awed by the transformation. God is so awesome,” she wiped her tears as she mentally saw the same picture I saw of the metaphor for what Jesus does in our lives.
Before and After condition of a house:
As we dedicated this house to the Lord, the dark, oppressed, distressed, lonely now beamed with joy, light, and beauty as it stood at the threshold of shining for Him.
Serving the Lord through the Deliverance Ministry is just one of the inspiring things Gia does. She is also manager of Heel, Sew, Quik at Megamall Basement, the go-to hospital for my weary and broken shoes and bags as well as restoration and repurpose of otherwise unusable clothes that need repair.
Funny but Gia’s other endeavor through the Lord leads one also to heal so quick! But that’s not all…
Gia is Managing Director of Beso del Sol International Inc, a manufacturer or beachwear, leisure wear, resort wear sold at upscale resorts around the country. She handles as well Production and execution of designs. Gia’s mom, Zenaida Alvarez (Tita Neni) used to own a dress shop. Five years younger than her then already dating older sister (Maricor Acenas), Gia had no playmate at home so she used to hang around the dress shop and there learned how to make clothes patterns. Tita Neni paid her P5 per pattern. Little did Gia know that helping out her mom then equipped her with skills that have launched this beautiful line of clothing.
They give livelihood to women in the provinces and even to women prisoners at Camp Karingal. Gia shares devotional books and the gospel with the workers and inmates. Sometimes, ministry work like that appears to be an endless planting of seeds but one day, she saw stark fruit when a lady inmate showed up at her Megamall shop and told her, “Mam Gia, nakalaya na ako.” She told Gia that she has been growing in the Lord. She in fact gave her testimony to the CCF congregation last month! Her name is Aubrey. [I hope someone will give me the link to her testimony so it can be shared here.]
Being a Beso fan, I didn’t realize that patronizing Gia’s business helps towards transformation of lives. Praise God! Yes, I’m a Beso fan. I love all the feminine details, the care and wear ease of every piece, perfect for running errands, lounging, girl bonding, even if I’m so far away from a beach!
Last Saturday, Gia came by the shop to oh-so-kindly pick up my skirt that needs hemming. While waiting for her Lindt Truffle Iced Chocolate drink, I randomly asked her if I could interview her for this blog.
“Huh?!” Her eyes popped wide open, taken aback! Oops, sorry, I hadn’t thought of it earlier but it just made sense to ask since I knew the drink would take a while; by God’s grace, the house was full. She took one good swallow and then said, “Okay.” And here I am sharing that chat with you!
BUTTERFLYINTHESPRING (BITS): How do you guard your walk while pursuing excellence?
GIA BINAMIRA (GB): You have to walk that extra mile. An ordinary person who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ might only do what is beneficial for them but if you’re in Christ, you do things even if it does not satisfy you because you do it for the love of God. [The irony of it is that when you do it for God, He eventually gives you joy.] Even if sometimes it’s inconvenient or you have to go outside your comfort zone but you do it also because you are pleasing your CEO and the Master of your business.
My sister and I, we dedicated our business to Him from the very beginning. We do not make any decisions without praying, without consulting Him because he’s the ultimate Director and President of the company. He’s the one who chooses for us what direction to take. Even the resorts…we do our part: talk to the person in charge, make formal letters to introduce the company, but if it is not God’s will for us to open an outlet at that resort, we don’t push it… because if it’s not God’s will for us, it’s not. And we know that wherever He wants to take us, He will really open opportunities for us. For example, the Shangrila Boracay, we did not even go there anymore; they called us because somebody saw our products in another resort and asked them, “Who’s the supplier of these clothes?” so they gave our name and we just got a call from them. That’s how we operate.
Once you know that God is really your CEO, then everything falls into place. There’s joy in what you do. Even if you have to do so many things, at the end of the day, you know that you did it for the Lord. You draw your strength from Him, not from your own abilities or powers because if you do that, you will tire easily. This is not only for the business but also in the work I do for the Lord in the Deliverance Ministry. It’s a very challenging ministry because you’re in the middle of a (spiritual) war. If you do not draw your strength from The Deliverer (which is Jesus Christ), you will easily tire and give up.
With the employees, sometimes they don’t see beyond the task at hand. So these are the things I strive to do:
1.Establish relationship with them.
2. Explain to them nicely why they need to perform.
3. Make the vision of the company clear to them and why the company has to reach certain goals.
4. I always share Jesus to them. I share with them what I do, what I do in church, how the Lord has helped me, in my walk with Him and in handling the business. They know my life testimony how Jesus has been with me throughout my life, trials, blessings. There’s no better testimony than them seeing you how your life has been transformed to love Jesus more.
As a wife, I came to realize that God really created the wife to be the helper to the husband. I started practicing this after I learned this from you because you really inspired me to really follow you [much cackling and belly-laughing from me but Gia said, “Put that in there!” I think what she means is “to really follow God!”] and I’m really seeing positive results and positive response from my husband. We’ve become closer. I pray that the Lord will continue to use me to be a blessing to my husband as he sees my walk with the Lord the way I should be as a godly wife.
Obedience for me is the key to everything because once you put God first, you obey Him, everything else in your life—your relationships, finances, health, everything will be in its place because God honors obedience, specially His children who obey no matter how difficult it is. For me, that’s the hardest thing to do— to obey. It’s easier for us to do what we want. It’s an issue of pride when we don’t obey the Lord, there’s no humility in us. We feel we should do what we want thinking we know better than God, or we deserve this but what the bible says He wants is for us to totally surrender everything to Him and let Him take over our lives.
Thank You, Lord for my sister and friend, Gia, a bundle of blessings. Thank You for her amazing talent in executing clothes, and her harmonious, Spirit-filled synergy of work with Maricor. Thank You for the example of her life being centered around You that I can’t quite say in this article which is her main work. Thank You for her generosity to share her time, talent, treasure to honor You in all she does. Thank You for the many, many women who have been freed from the bondages and shackles of past trauma, tragedy, unforgiveness, rage, and other spirits not of You through the work she and the whole Deliverance Ministry team does. Thank You for using Beso not only to give livelihood to women but to plant seeds of faith, hope, and the vision and realization of who they can become in You. Thank You for this wonderful web of faith-forged friendships, like roots of the redwood trees under the ground, supporting, loving, caring, encouraging one another in faith in You, in love for You to help one another to not only start, but run our race and finish our race well until we see You face to face and hear from You, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Please continue to bless and mightily protect Gia and her marriage and family, her business, her ministry, all her endeavors as You use her mightily for Your glory and purpose wherever she goes in Jesus’s name and for His glory, amen.
Thank you, Gia for this link to Aubrey’s testimony:
Testimony at 54:33 of this video: