Testimony of Peter Tan Chi of Christ Commission Fellowship
As a young man with ambition, God used an incident to change the heart of Peter Tan Chi. Laying helpless in the hospital bed, he asked God to give him another chance in life. In return, he will serve Him. However, the most trying time was still to come for Peter.
The Tan Chi family was one of the rising tycoons in the Philippines in the 1970s until cronyism infected the nation. During the Marcos era, many big companies were forced to be sellouts or be part of the Marcos kleptocracy in the name of expropriation.
The family was neither, and they were forced to give up their lucrative business.
Meeting God’s best
In January 1972, Peter met the beautiful blue-eyed Deonna. She was on tour in the country as part of a Christian singing group, The Crossroads. He met Deonna at a weekly Friday night meeting of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Impressed by Deonna’s deep spiritual insight, Peter asked her out. On August 27, he proposed to Deonna, and she said her “sweet yes” as they prayed together.
Throughout their short but long-distance relationship, God spoke many times through scriptures. Deonna left the United States, and the Philippines became her new home.
Losing the family business
The Tan-Chi family owned a polyester and chemical plant and the Old Riverside Textile Mills. It was the largest mill in the Philippines. An alleged Marcos crony sequestered it during Martial Law, and Peter was fired from the company where he was the vice president.
“I could have become bitter, but I remembered Romans 8:28: ‘God causes everything to work together for good to those who love Him.’ And I knew I had to make a choice, to be bitter and angry or to trust God. I decided to trust God,” he said.
New doors opened, and Peter went into housing development in the 1980s. After martial law, the person who took over his father’s company was dying. A mutual friend asked Peter to see him.
He was reluctant, but God gave Peter the heart to forgive and even share the Gospel with the man who stole their livelihood.
Starting a church in the garage
In 1982, Peter started a home bible study in Brookside Subdivision, Cainta. Only three couples attended the first meeting. They invited others, and soon, the growing “small group” had to move into the garage to accommodate more people.
Becoming CCF Senior Pastor
Two years later, a core group of 40 people in business and professionals established Christ’s Commission Foundation.
In August 1984, they had their first Sunday worship service at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). The CCF church was born.
Tragedy strikes home
The Tan Chi family has devoted themselves to serving God, joyfully serving Him by leading Bible studies and other ministries. As great men of faith were put to the test, so did Peter and Deonna.
In 1992, his daughter Joy Tan Chi (Mendoza) was raped by seven men inside their home in Antipolo. “One Friday night after teaching Bible study in Makati, we returned home around 11 PM.
We saw police officers outside our house and realized that we had been robbed. To our shock, we learned that the robbers had tied up our children and raped one of my daughters,” Peter said.
What Satan meant for harm—God meant for good
Peter has preached on the topic of why God allows bad things to happen to good people. Still, the tragedy was undeniably challenging to accept as something good. Yet, the following Sunday, the couple went to church and worshipped God.
With tears flowing, they found it in their hearts to thank God for everything. Naturally, Satan tempted Peter and Deona—why are you still serving God? But they marched on and trusted God.
Through the years, Peter continued to face bitter envy from others as CCF grew. But the gates of hell did not prevail. Instead, the Tan-Chi family is blessed to have a big and beautiful family, serving the Lord through various ministries.
Peter Tan Chi, a father, leader, and servant
Through it all, Peter’s life can be summed up as a loving father who loves God. His parenting style was simple—he had time for his family. Despite his hectic schedule, he always attended to his kids, even for trivial matters.
Of course, no one is perfect. Tan Chi had been criticized for various reasons, particularly on how he justified Christian involvement in politics. In 2022, CCF endorsed the Christian Values Movement (CVM) which endorsed three presidential candidates.
Still, God continues to use him to spread the Gospel of Christ.
Deonna Tan Chi
Behind every successful man is his wife, which is true for the Tan Chi household. Deonna’s charm, patience, and godliness bring out the best in Peter.
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