Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Life Well-Lived

Every so often God raises up an exceptional person whose great positive influence changes their family, friends, community, culture, country and even the world. Such a man was Doming Lucasi who was buried on January 28, 2007. Over a thousand people attended his funeral. A taxi driver passing the funeral was overheard to say, “He must have been a very important person.”

You might have imagined, as you passed by, that this person had been a wealthy businessman and great philanthropist, someone who had lived in a grand villa overlooking the ocean. But none of that is true of the Doming Lucasi that I and so many others knew and loved.

Doming was a Balangao—one of a people group found in central Luzon in the Philippines. His childhood home was nestled among nearly inaccessible thousand-year-old rice terraces that stair-step their way up the steep slopes of the surrounding mountains. Doming’s early life was not easy. There were no roads, no electricity and no running water. The Balangaos, while culturally rich in many ways, were former headhunters who lived in constant fear of spirits. Vengeance on their enemies was one of their highest values.

But in 1962, their lives—and Doming’s—changed forever.