Ange and Wilma Dames

This week, Pastor Walton spoke with Ange and Wilma Dames about meeting each other, learning to be generous, and growing in their daily ministry for Christ.

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Episode transcript:

Chris Harper: Welcome to Harvest Time. My name is Chris Harper, and our host on this program is pastor Gary Walton, the lead pastor of Harvest Baptist Church. Every week, we spend these 25 minutes together telling you the stories of our church by interviewing our members and other friends of the ministry. We’d like to invite you to join us at Harvest Baptist Church this week. There are 2 services on Sunday, 1 at 8:40 5 AM, the other at 10:45 AM.

We offer Spanish translation during the 8:45 AM service, Japanese and Korean translation at 10:45. And during that service is also when we live stream at, This week, we’re back in our series, just keep walking, how to live a refreshing Christian life, and this week from Philippians 3 13 through 21. Let’s begin today’s harvest time by welcoming pastor Gary Walton. Hi, pastor.

Gary Walton: Hey. Hafa adai, Chris. I’ve really enjoyed this series that we’ve been in for 3 weeks moving forward. We’ve, been talking about the the theme of change and spiritual change. How do I grow in my spiritual life?

And each of the Sundays, we’ve taken a text out of the books of Galatians, Ephesians. We’re gonna get Philippians and Colossians. And, we’ve taken one key text that describes for us what the spiritual life looks like, how do we grow in our walk. And, well, actually we have been using that theme. The Bible uses a number of analogies to describe the Christian life, and the most common analogy is this idea of walking.

And so often in the scriptures it talks about our spiritual lives in these terms. And so, we’re looking at Galatians 5, Ephesians 4, Philippians 3, and Colossians 2. Each one of those has a very key concept in them about walking the Christian walk. And we’ve just been taking each one and discovering what God has to say about our lives and about, our spiritual journey with him, and it’s been thrilling. We’re gonna come up to, Philippians chapter 3, just a number of key truths in there for this week.

And we’d like to invite you to come and join us on this journey as we, encourage each other to just keep walking in our faith. How to live a refreshing Christian life. We’d love to have you join us. Well, I’m very thankful and thrilled to be able to introduce, our radio audience to some people that are special to us here at Harvest. Welcome to Ange and Wilma Dames.

Thank you for being with us on Harvest Time.

Ange Dames: Thank you for having us, pastor.

Gary Walton: Ange and Wilma have been a part of Harvest for a couple years. I think became members last year.

Wilma Dames: Yes. Yes.

Gary Walton: And you both have been such a blessing to our church family. It’s been thrilling to get to know you, to see God’s work in your life. And I’m excited to be able to share, have you share your testimonies here today. You know, harvest time is conversations with our harvest family about life and their relationship with God. And it’s so encouraging for others to hear what God has done in our lives.

Ange, you grew up here on Guam. Right?

Ange Dames: Yes. I did. I, my father brought our family here when I was 5. So that was in the fifties, the late fifties.

Gary Walton: Okay.

Ange Dames: And,

Gary Walton: You grew up in which village?

Ange Dames: I grew up in Tamuning. I’m a Tamuning boy. Yeah. I I yes. Yeah.

Gary Walton: And I think you’ve told me you grew up in the, in the surfer, you know, group. Right?

Ange Dames: I I did. I was always, interested in sports.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Ange Dames: But, around, 14, I got into the water and I haven’t left. Yeah. Yeah. So, I’ve been surfing pretty much, all my life. And, I’m still considering myself a a surfer.

Although I’m I’m really old.

Gary Walton: Oh, man. I don’t think I don’t think you’re slowing down a bit, Ange. But, yeah, you’ve surfed in a number of places even around the world, but Yes. Grew up here.

Ange Dames: I grew up here. This is my home.

Gary Walton: Yeah. We’ll come back to that in a minute. I’m really in God’s work in your life and his story in your life. Wilma, you did not grow up on Guam. Right?

Wilma Dames: No. I grew up in Manila in the Philippines.

Gary Walton: Uh-huh.

Wilma Dames: Yeah. And then, I studied there, finished my college, worked in a company, and then we we organize our own company there. We are one of the exporter of Filipino products and fruits, frozen fruits and vegetable that you can see in American grocery. We’re one of the exporter until we closed the business lately.

Gary Walton: Okay. Was it a family business then?

Wilma Dames: No. This is all my friends.

Gary Walton: Oh, your friends.

Wilma Dames: We are working this in the same company.

Gary Walton: Okay.

Wilma Dames: And then when they changed the organization, we just decided to put up our own. Yeah. And, some of our, some of our buyers come with us, so that’s where our business started.

Gary Walton: Yeah. It’s a good way to start a company when you have relationships already developed and wow. That’s great.

Wilma Dames: Yeah. And that company also is, you know, we started a bible study, and it grow. And then we asked the help of our church to, because they want a church. They want a service. They want a Sunday service, so we ask the help of our pastor.

And now because of that company, there is one church that, organized in that area.

Gary Walton: Wow.

Wilma Dames: We have our own building, and now, we have different set of officers and that manage the church.

Gary Walton: So the company has been closed, but the church that came out of it is still growing. Yes. Wow. That’s fantastic. Good.

I wanna ask you as well about your faith journey here in a minute. You you have a family. You have a daughter. Is that right?

Wilma Dames: Yes. My daughter is Stella. We have only 1. We started late. That’s why we have only 1.


Gary Walton: So it’s great. She loves Jesus and, thankful

Ange Dames: She does.

Gary Walton: For her, as well. And, Ange, you guys you have a family business here. Right?

Ange Dames: Yes. We’ve been, had a small business since 1990. And I I ran it by myself until Wilma came Mhmm. With our daughter Stella. And we still run a very small business here on Guam.

Gary Walton: Tell us a little bit about your business. What do you do?

Ange Dames: Well, we, we were doing a lot of food items. We had coffee from Indonesia, which we, private labeled with our own trademark, Guam Cafe. We had our coconut and papaya soaps, which is Island Secrets.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

Ange Dames: And, we, had our cookies and, other food items from Thailand and that that also had a private label with g heart AM.

Gary Walton: Oh, yeah.

Ange Dames: That was that was our that was our brand. But, last year, was it about a year ago?

Wilma Dames: 2 years ago.

Ange Dames: 2 years ago, we did sell the food business. And we just do our local locally designed t shirts for the tourists in local market.

Gary Walton: Yeah. And you sell those, like, in Kmart. Right?

Ange Dames: Yeah. We sell to Kmart and a few other stores.

Gary Walton: Okay. That part’s still continuing on.

Ange Dames: That continues and, keeps me working Mhmm. And,

Gary Walton: Traveling a little bit. Right? For products?

Ange Dames: We still travel a little bit. We came back from Bangkok about 3 weeks ago.

Wilma Dames: Yes.

Ange Dames: 3 weeks. Yeah. We still get that in there. And so that’s, it’s a blessing to be able to do that. And, yeah.

Gary Walton: Okay. It’s a blessing. Great. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that with us.

Well, I’m interested in your families and what it was like growing up. Maybe, Wilma, I’ll start with you. So you grew up in in Manila, large family, small family?

Wilma Dames: Just a normal family. I have, 6, siblings.

Gary Walton: Okay.

Wilma Dames: Yes. And, we grew up in the province, and, I’m blessed because I got an scholarship, so I was able to go to Manila and, study there and, got my degree.

Gary Walton: Okay. Great. And then, Andrew, we already talked about you. You grew up, there in Tamuning. You have family, brothers, sisters?

Ange Dames: Yes. There are 6 of us. And my mother is still with us. She’s 94 now.

Gary Walton: Wow.

Ange Dames: And, the 4 of us that are living here on Guam, we we take turns, staying with her. Mhmm. She’s still cognizant, still walks 3 laps a day around her, condo.

Wilma Dames: Mhmm.

Ange Dames: But at 94, she’s just losing a little bit of her memory. Yeah. And, we just like to be with her to, make sure that, she’s okay.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s great. I mean, the Bible encourages us to honor, our parents. That’s right.

And, God is pleased when we do that, and and it’s a good reminder of the importance of family there.

Ange Dames: I hope he is. Yes.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. Well, everybody likes to hear good romance stories. So, Wilma, tell them tell us about how you guys met.

Wilma Dames: Go ahead, Ange. You have more memory.

Ange Dames: Well, I, I was, I was in my late forties. I thought I was living the life

Gary Walton: Uh-huh.

Ange Dames: Single, traveling a lot, surfing a lot in different places. And, and, guy, I think he worked at one of the stores that we serviced. He asked me if I was married, and I said, no. I’m not married. And he goes, I got the girl for you.

I said, okay. Fine. And, he gave me Wilma’s picture and and address. So sent her a short note, not really thinking anything would come of it. But I believe it was a month or so or it it just a short time.

I got a return letter.

Gary Walton: So this is actual letter like in the mail. Right? Oh,

Ange Dames: yeah. Yeah. No. We did not

Gary Walton: Not emails, not text.

Wilma Dames: Not email, but there’s a fax that I’m Oh, yes. So sometimes I fax my letter.

Gary Walton: Oh, wow. Fax. There you go.

Ange Dames: But, you know, this went on for 3 years. Yeah. Two and a half for 3 years. Wow. And finally, on one of my trips, I just decided to lay over in Manila.

I got into a cab, got some flowers, and I brought her some Guam chocolates. Uh-huh.

Wilma Dames: Oh, I didn’t remember that. You don’t remember that.

Ange Dames: I do. I remember that.

Gary Walton: Well, remember now, Chocolates are the key. Right?

Ange Dames: So I, went to her office, popped right in, and everyone kinda looked at me like, woah. What is this?

Gary Walton: Who are you?

Ange Dames: Who are you? And, when it dawned on them as to who I was and why I was there, it kind of relaxed. So they took me out for lunch because they own I told them I only had a few hours there and, I remember this. They said, we’re gonna take you to lunch, but you’ve gotta sing for your lunch. And I go, okay.

Do you remember the song?

Wilma Dames: Yes.

Ange Dames: Yes. Well, it was the the, the song in Casablanca. Oh. You must remember this. That one.

Gary Walton: Yes. It’s not a case. Yes. So, Man, you guys should just go ahead and

Ange Dames: sing it.

Gary Walton: No. That was a great start. I love that.

Ange Dames: So this they made me sing. We went to lunch and they dropped me off at the airport.

Gary Walton: Wow.

Ange Dames: And this went on for another 2 years. Years to years. A long time.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Ange Dames: And finally, I don’t know There’s conflicting stories here. Because, 1 one night, I was there for the weekend, and, it was like our real first real date, isn’t it? I you don’t want me to tell that story. Anyway, that’s

Gary Walton: Wilma saying she’s shaking her head no. No.

Ange Dames: She did tell me that, you know, she loved me and and, she would she wanted to to marry me. And at this point, I was still kind of, you know, well, like a deer facing those headlights. And so I had to make a decision and I did. And she got a big laugh out of it because I told her, I said, you have to do everything. Buy my barong, your dress, the food, arrange for pastor George to, you know, marry us.

And, I I told her, send me the bill. And she did. She, she took care of everything. I came with my family here from Guam, my mom and dad and, my youngest sibling, and we were married.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That was how many years

Ange Dames: ago? 1996.

Gary Walton: 1996. That’s 28 years ago.

Ange Dames: 28 years ago.

Gary Walton: Very good. Yeah. Let me ask you about, your spiritual stories. In fact, maybe, Wilma, let me start with you again. Tell me about how you came to know Jesus, what’s your spiritual background was.

Wilma Dames: Ok. I accepted Jesus Christ 39 years ago. That was November 1989 back there in the Philippines in our bible study in our my workplace. The general manager started a bible study during lunch break, and he shared the gospel to us. And I’m one of the employees that accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and savior.

Then he invited us to his church, a Christian church, and, through this, I learned more about Jesus. But before that before I accepted Jesus Christ, I’m not a religious person. I go to church, when there’s an occasion, birthday, funeral, anniversary, and I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that he is the creator of heaven and earth. I believe that I’m saved because I do good works.

Mhmm. Actually, I’m helping my because I I finished my degree and have a a stable job. I helping my siblings, to earn their college and education. I also had, I have a brother that, was sick before. He had a leukemia, and I’m also helping him and helping him on his medication, blood transfusion.

When I get my paycheck every month, nothing left for me. It’s all them.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Wilma Dames: So like, I get tired of helping. It’s like I’m unhappy already. It’s all the the burden on my shoulder is heavy. But I continue I continue to attend the church, and there’s one verse that really strike on my heart, in, 1st Corinthian, and 1st Corinthian 1031. It says, therefore, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Yeah. And it’s really helped me, change my, attitude, change my perspective, change my, my my my my, good works. It’s not it’s not because of me, it’s just because of God. I will help them because of God because that’s what God wants me to, to do, and God is, using me as an instrumental blessing to them. And, you know, God is really, you know, bless us so much that until now, we’re sending nephews, nieces to to to school.

We we pay for their education. And if there somebody’s sick in the family, we pay for the medical expenses because our attitude now is different. Because we know that God our blessing come from God, and we use this blessing to help others.

Gary Walton: Amen. Well, ma, the generosity that comes from a joy filled heart.

Ange Dames: Yes. Yeah.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Wow. That’s great.

Wilma Dames: I mean, I’m so emotional when I

Gary Walton: no. Don’t be sorry.

Ange Dames: It’s,

Gary Walton: tell that it’s straight from your heart what God’s done in your life. Thank you for being willing to share that. Ange, what about you? Did you grow up religious?

Ange Dames: I my memories are, they’re vivid, but before I accepted the Lord Jesus as my Lord and savior, I lived in a family that had religion on Sundays sometimes.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

Ange Dames: Easter, Christmas, we celebrated those things. I didn’t pray. I didn’t have any interest in knowing God. I lived a pagan life, basically. This happened more often than not.

When I would be surfing, I remember paddling out in early mornings and the waves are perfect. Everything was beautiful. So this is god’s glory being visible here. And I remember saying, thank you, god. Mhmm.

But I really I knew there was a god but Yes. I I didn’t have a relationship.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah.

Ange Dames: So times like those, would come and go. And, this is the pattern for my life growing up into young adulthood and even into my middle years. I I believe there was a God, but I didn’t know Him. And so I I accepted the Lord, June of 1996. And this is the year, we were married.

But I remember, because Pastor George, her pastor, told me straight up, he goes, Ange, we love Wilma so much that I cannot give him, give her to you. I won’t do it. I said, well, why is that? He said, well, you’re not a believer. And, he asked me, do you believe in God?

I says, I do. And my heart was overwhelmed. I was nervous. I was my heartbeat was just going off the charts. And that was when he asked me, Are you willing to accept Jesus Christ into your heart?

Accept Him as your Lord and Savior? And I said, I will. So he led me through the prayer, but I I did not have this Paul and the Damascus road experience.

Gary Walton: Yeah. We’ve talked about that before.

Ange Dames: No flashing lights. Nothing. It was like I thought, oh, okay. So it’s been a daily activity, daily, grind for me. So it’s a day by day.

And, this is, this is the the the the pattern that it’s established. And even now, I I continue to grow my faith and trust in our Lord Jesus. And this will be the pattern for me. Others have their own walk, but for me, it’s a day by day, and I will continue this pattern until I see Jesus and am face to face with my savior. Now, I’m 78.

The Bible says threescore and 10. I’m I’m way past that.

Gary Walton: A little past that.

Ange Dames: So now I, my prayer now is to be is to enable to share my faith and the truth of the gospel with others.

Gary Walton: Amen.

Ange Dames: How we’re doing that, I I sometimes wait for the the right time and, opportunities. But, I I don’t know the bible but I know the bible. I know what I know. You do. So I just wait for the right times and sometimes it’s, it’s a good experience and other times it’s, I think I’m a little rough.

I I’m not soft.

Gary Walton: Well, we’ve been talking about that. Yes. Yes. I I I’m sharing my faith that we have we all have different personalities and you may tend to be in the confrontational part of it. And god will use that.

He is using that. Yeah. Yeah. You know, both of you have testimonies also following Christ in baptism. You were baptized in in the Philippines.

Right? And then, Andy, you were baptized later here in?

Ange Dames: I was baptized at Ypao Beach. Yeah. That was the, Christ Bible Fellowship

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Ange Dames: Baptistry.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s

Ange Dames: Very public place.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Yeah. It’s fantastic. And, Ange and Wilma have continued to live out their faith. Actually, I love the story of right now, even as your, you know, your business life, it’s still active.

You’re still involved, but it’s it’s slowing down some purposefully on your part, slowing down some. And your work for the for for God is growing. Just

Ange Dames: I believe it is. Yeah. I believe it is.

Gary Walton: I believe it is too. Just your desire to care for others. I know you’re involved in, you know, feeding, homeless, you know, each week and Yeah. Wanna share your faith and involved in bible studies. Ange and I are in a bible study together and inviting people along.

Wilma Dames: And I

Ange Dames: enjoyed that so much.

Gary Walton: Yeah. It’s really fantastic to see your faith even now, you know, at this stage of life continuing to blossom and flourish and Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Yeah. To see God using you in the lives of others.

I my prayer is that these years would be the most fruitful of all the successes that you’ve had in life, in business, you’ve got a great family, all that, that maybe these years would would see you would see them as your most fruitful spiritually. That’s my prayer for you. Yeah.

Ange Dames: Thank you.

Wilma Dames: Thank you.

Gary Walton: Thank you. Thanks for being willing to share your testimonies.

Ange Dames: Thank you.

Chris Harper: And thank you for listening to Harvest Time. Of course, at this point in the program, we always wanna invite you again to services at Harvest Baptist Church. We meet at 8:45 AM on Sunday morning and 10:45 AM. There’s Spanish translation during the 8:45 AM service, Japanese and Korean translation at 10:45 AM. That service is also available here on 88.1 FM and on

We certainly hope to see you this weekend.

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