Ferdinand Ruiz BallonApril 2, 1975 - June 20, 2015
A constant figure in the church, barrel chested- necessary for his stout heart, he is a pillar, a leader wherever he stood. Ferdinand Ruiz Ballon now finds himself standing in the presence of his Master and Savior. Although his presence can no longer be seen it is felt, especially by those who have been graced to have known him well.
Bong, as he is fondly called by many was born to Felix C. Ballon Sr. and Israelita Ruiz Ballon (deceased, ’78) in the city of Olongapo, Philippines on April 2, 1975. He grew up in a large family with six other siblings: Firman Dale (deceased, ’90), Felix “Jun”, Imee, Irene, Jerahmi, and Faye.
In the early 80s the family migrated to America. Soon after graduating from Lakewood High, Bong joined and served the Marine Corps as a member of the Marine Security Forces and as an infantryman. While stationed in Japan, Bong went home for a much needed vacation. During his brief stay he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ from his siblings. He attended several Bible studies and church services. Even in the mall random people came to him to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Hound of Heaven was on Bong’s trail. Before he left for Japan, Bong surrendered his life to Jesus and went back to his unit station with a new heart, a purpose for life, joy and peace.
Upon his discharge from the Marine Corps, Bong devoted his time and energy to the local church serving in International Baptist Church, Alliance Bible Church of Downey, and Calvary Presbyterian Church. Not only did he make friends in these churches but discipled a number of them, many of whom still fruitfully serving in local churches. To further his knowledge of the Bible and of ministry he enrolled at the Los Angeles Bible Training School and eventually to The Master’s College, where he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry. While studying at the college, Bong invested greatly in the growth of South Bay Christian Alliance Church, where he was an elder. While serving the church, Bong also worked full-time at Union Tank Car Company for 15 years, a job where he was known to be reliable and dedicated. He constantly went above and beyond work expectations. This job was God's provision for him to be a faithful servant in the church and allowed him to serve on several mission trips overseas.
In one of his earlier mission trip to the Philippines he met Romina Dizon, a young woman whose beauty and character caught his attention. He would have to wait five years to marry her and like Jacob and Rachel in the Bible, Bong faithfully waited with gladness. They are blessed with three children: Emily-Joy, Ezekiel-John, and Eunice-Faith.
Bong was many things to many people. He was firm, faithful, stable, wise, and strong. These attributes have left an impression on everyone that has crossed his path, whether great or small. Bong has faithfully used these strengths to advance the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ. A fitting welcome receives him in heaven as the Master speaks “Well done good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Master” (Matthew 25:21).
*Cover made by Tricia Catan and brief Biography written by Felix Ballon Jr.