by APMM Staff
“God loved me so much,” Maru Cepeda Javier told me, “that He healed me before I became a Christian. I hadn’t even surrendered my heart to God but He was already working in my life.”
Maru Cepeda Javier is beloved by many of us for her music and radio shows produced in the Philippines in the 70’s and 80’s. She was a member of Papuri Singers, and host and producer for the award winning program Filipinana, and Inday Masaligan. Maru, her husband Art and her son, immigrated to the States in 1992. Now, she and Art have returned to the Philippines to live permanently. Although officially retired, Maru radiates energy and joy.
Maru grew up in a loving, but non-religious family, in Bacolod, Negros. Church going was mostly limited to Holy Week or Christmas. When she graduated from high school she was diagnosed with a toxic goiter. She took medicine to curb the goiter, but the side effects were terrible; she lost weight, her eyesight deteriorated, and her eyes began to protrude. Finally, Maru told her father that she preferred to have surgery than take the medication. On the day that she was preparing for surgery, her father had a fatal heart attack. So of course, the surgery was cancelled.
Two weeks later, Maru was in mourning, and was worried about her health and the canceled surgery. Her half sister invited her to church and promised to pray for her there. Maru, dressed in black, attended a sing-a-long at her sister’s church. Hoping to learn some new songs, Maru brought her tape recorder and her guitar along. The first song that was sung was one that began “Nothing is impossible when you put your trust in God…” Maru liked the song so much she recorded it. “I didn’t know how to pray yet, but I just said to God, ‘If nothing is impossible with you, take away my goiter please.’”
After the sing-a-long, Maru went home to her sister’s place. The next morning, she played her new song over and over. She kept repeating “Nothing is impossible with you I know, I know, I know you are God.” For three days Maru prayed, and then she said she heard a voice. “God said, ‘You have no more goiter. You have no more goiter. You have no more goiter.’ He said it three times.” From that time on, she never had any more symptoms. That was the night she became born-again.
Maru said she had a total change in her thinking, her attitude, and her lifestyle after conversion. She began to ask herself how she was going to serve God. She said, “It started with singing. God is so amazing! He spoke to me first through a song because He knows I love to sing. So I started singing for Him and the next steps were the radio programs.”
“I have served Jesus for 46 years. There are times I get tired, especially when fellow Christians disappoint me. Sometimes God speaks to me and says, ‘Well, you see it differently from them.’ So I say, ‘Lord, you can see what is in me, you can see in that person, too, I put everything in your hands, so you change the person. Or you can change me so we can both focus on Jesus.’ Whatever I do in the end I have to honor God. If God is honored I know I am doing it the right way.”
I asked Maru, what were her plans for the next season of her life. She said, “My ultimate goal in life is to be like Jesus. He is the center of everything I do.”