Sprechen Deutsche

I congratulated him in the German vernacular when his team won the recent World Cup in soccer; in turn he greeted me in the same language on my birthday. In fact, he gifted me with a nice jacket from Germany’s national carrier Lufthansa, not the one worn by aircraft mechanics, he claims, but the one worn by the managers. He thinks I look more like a manager than a mechanic. Laugh out loud! 

This was actually the second Lufthansa jacket I received from him. The first one, a rain jacket, he gave me a few years ago. Maybe that’s the one worn by the mechanics. I got promoted!

Deacon Dick has stayed put in one office for the past 25 years–the German embassy in Makati. Talk about loyalty! Even if he may not qualify to write for Der Spiegel, his long association with people from the Deutschland has made him pick up enough Vokabel to make a small German dictionary.

But it’s not only Germany that’s his business. He has been a faithful deacon for many long years at MCBC. There was a time when his forte was church fellowships; now he is in charge of benevolence concerns.

His family just moved from Paranaque to a high-rise condo in Manila for practical reasons. The children are studying in universities situated nearby the place and wife Melba is both teaching and studying in an adjacent school.

They rent a unit on the 26th floor. Didn’t they lose their exercise space in a nice, quiet park nearby their former dwelling? Not really, the family has engaged in a newly created sport called stair-climbing. It doesn’t only work during brownouts but going up and down the 9th to 29th floors using the staircase has become a regular fitness routine since they moved to this smog-filled city.

I am encouraged at this family especially in the way that both Dick and Mel have labored to rear their children in the things of Christ. God has blessed their labors by saving three of their children, with the fourth and last also professing the name of Christ. Hopefully, the last would be interviewed soon and the family would be the envy of all–complete in Christ!

Eldest Bridget is graduating from music education next year while Ingrid is taking up fashion design and at her spare time experimenting with cooking at home. Gerda is in college taking up secondary education while youngest Martin is in Grade 7 and a former class president.

With everyone professing Christ in their home, the parents are now looking beyond the borders of their immediate family. They are presently inviting their relatives over to their new place and Dick is engaging them in “dinner-evangelism” (or, more accurately “dinner (first) then evangelism”). I have heard that instead of being offended, their loved ones actually appreciated the activity and looked forward to returning! May the Lord bless these efforts in reaching out to loved ones!

Let’s be in prayer for this family: First, that the teenage children would remain pure and faithful to their profession of Christ. And then, second, that the parents would overcome particular challenges that they face at the moment, not with respect to relationship, but with respect to more mundane concerns. May the Lord provide for all of their needs!

After-dinner Coffee

After-dinner Coffee

One Big Happy Family

One Big Happy Family

Couples this time..

Couples this time..

Throwback II

Church History Course Nov 4 to 14

Church History Course Nov 4 to 14

Wacky!

Wacky!

Time to be Serious!

Time to be Serious!

SGBC Cebu Singles Visit MCBC

SGBC Cebu Singles Visit MCBC (11/02/14)

GCBC Iligan Singles join us as well

GCBC Iligan Singles join us as well

Dinner Fellowship Time

Dinner Fellowship Time

Iliganons Prefer the Outdoors

Iliganons Prefer the Outdoors

Cebuanos Prefer the Indoors

Cebuanos Prefer the Indoors

Now merging over food

Now merging over ice cream

Superbutman

You could see in her Instagram account that she loves to eat out. This may not be a daily habit, but when it happens, it becomes a sweet time of bonding with family and friends. Her fave is pizza-although she served pansit and pichi pichi when I visited her family’s hideaway just about 200 meters from where I live. At least, they all start with p.

Her favorite color is yellow although her office uniform is a striking navy blue and previous to that was fiery red. The only yellow on the logo of their company is the sun and stars on the Philippine flag emblazoned on their aircrafts’ tails.

Nevertheless, Ruth, is a picture of contentment. She has been working with the nation’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, for the past three years and she’s satisfied. Her pay will not make her rich, but that’s not important. To her, meeting people from all walks of life everyday (or should I say every night) is enriching in itself.

Her domain is the pre-departure desk that prepares passengers to board their aircraft on cue. There was a time when her shift prevented her from attending morning worship at MCBC but now things have normalized. Her shift, which begins at 9:00 pm and ends at 5:30 am handles mostly regional flights that depart late at night and the first domestic flights in the wee hours of the morning.

Ruth, alias Superbutman, was saved through the preaching ministry of MCBC in her college days. She has been a member of MCBC since 2007. She is the third in a brood of five. Her father was my jogging partner for many years. But what delights me the most about their family is how the Lord has been working to save each member one by one.

First it was the mother, then the father, then the second, then Ruth, then the first, and lately their youngest, Alyssa, became our newest member. There’s only one left and I pray he gets saved too. There may be nothing we can bring with us to heaven of our earthly possessions but to have our family intact in glory is joy unspeakable!

Pray for Ruth. Though the prospect of meeting people, a few of them famous (and having your selfies taken with them), makes her look forward to each night, she confesses that there are struggles too that test her faith and patience. Uncooperative workmates, complaining passengers and of course unbelieving suitors are part of the job and need spiritual fortitude to face.

As to church, Ruth is a quiet, friendly and unassuming member who loves kids and yet can get along well with fellow singles and older adults. She has a hospitable heart. My prayer for her is that the Lord would keep and preserve her from the many things that could distract her and cause her to turn away from Jesus. I pray too that if the Lord is pleased to provide a partner for her, that he would not come from alien territory but from the household of faith.

Fly high Ruth!

xx

I visited Ruth’s family in their new place.

Ruth wearing her new PAL uniform

With Pet Pussycat

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Can’t take you with me to work

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Off to work for the evening flights

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Posing Muna Tayo

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Brother Chebs and Mommy Alice

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Deo Gifts Me With a Steak Grilla

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Kasyang Kasya Kami sa Place Nila

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Ok a solo pix for you too.

 

 

Throwback

Deacon Mario Leads Senior Moments 10/25/14

Deacon Mario Leads Senior Moments 10/25/14

Good to see Dick and Lita attend and Lola Istang return

Good to see Dick and Lita attend and Lola Istang return

Alice is the games master.

Gamesmaster Alice tests the seniors for steady hands.

Kaya naman pala e.

“Who said I can’t do this?”

Oh no! Down again!

“Ooops! Why do these cups keep on falling?”

Posing with the October celebrators

Posing with the October celebrators

Kain!

“Let’s have some lunch!”

This time it's bday fellowship for me 10-29-14

This time it’s bday fellowship for me 10-29-14

Nice Ambiance

Nice Ambiance

Thanks for the Wednesday night fellowship

Thanks for the Wednesday night fellowship

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Alice leads a trivia quiz about me.

Alice leads a trivia quiz about me.

Clyde was the preacher of the night

Clyde was the preacher of the night

France was overall winner at 42 seconds!

France was overall winner at 42 seconds!

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Nursing cough and colds on my birthday

 

 

 

 

Youth Camp

I was invited to take part in this year’s youth camp sponsored by the Reformed Baptist Association of Churches in Luzon. The theme was “The Youth and the Church.”

The organizers, who are pastors of sister churches, informed me that they had delegated the preparation and conduct of the camp to an organized core of young people who represented different churches. I must say that these young ones did their job well. The camp was well-organized and judging from what I hear from the campers, the three-day activity was well worth their sem-break time.

There were close to 200 participants coming from various sister and non-sister churches. We ourselves at MCBC had a hefty delegation of 27. But only a few of these are church members. Most are either children of members and visitors or Bible study attenders. How we need to pray for more conversions from among the youth!

The feedback that I received from the visitors and from our very own youthful members is that they enjoyed the time and profited from the word preached and taught. They were also able to meet new friends and renew ties with old ones.

I preached on “The Church as a Means of Service to God,” outlining what the church is all about and reminding members about the duty of discovering, using and sharpening the abilities which God had given them to serve Him.

There was an open forum afterwards and I was amazed at the questions asked. They seemed out of character with a 13-21 age group merely beginning to learn the ABCs of doctrine. This group has had some exposure to God’s word, youthful though they may be.

Questions like,”What does it mean to be reformed?” or “What if one has never heard the gospel, who is to blame?” or “Am I obliged to pray for Israel and the Jews?” were asked. Thank God for the grace to answer.

Then I had a workshop in the afternoon entitled “Selfless in a Selfie World.” This was repeated twice so that all of the campers could participate.

“Selfie” is a word that basically originated from the younger generation. Though seemingly innocent, it may be a manifestation of excessive preoccupation with self or with personal appearance. I asked them to discuss four other selfies–personal interest selfie, money and things selfie, time selfie and feelings selfie. There was active participation in the discussions and there were good reports coming from the groups.

I thank God for these teenagers and I pray for their conversion and growth. If God is pleased to save, then we are witnessing the beginnings of the church of tomorrow today. We need a younger crop of believers that will continue God’s agenda in the future.

Let’s focus on working on our youth today!

MCBC Delegation as they leave for Jabez

MCBC Delegation as they leave for Jabez Campsite

b

Theme of the Camp

The View from the Pulpit (Left and Center)

The View from the Pulpit (Left and Center)

The View from the Pulpit (Center and Right)

The View from the Pulpit (Center and Right)

Pas Ferdie and Yuth Leader Robe

Pas Ferdie (my co-speaker) and Youth Leader Robert

Practicing for Fun Night

Practicing for Fun Night

Another Group Practicing

Another Group Practicing (or Chatting?)

Workshop Btch 1

Workshop Batch 1

Xavier Speaks for Group 1

Xavier Speaks for Group 1

Simon Leads Another Group

Simon Leads Another Group

There's Alyssa In One of the Groups

There’s Alyssa In One of the Groups

There's Pamela

Then there’s Pamela

Young Benj Couldn't Care Less

Young Benjamin is Preoccupied with Something

Martin is All Ears

Martin Listening Intently

With Pas Diego

With Pas Diego

With Camp Organizers

With the Camp Organizers

Meeting for Fun Night

Meeting for Fun Night

Kasalan sa Aklan

We arrived Manila 30 minutes ahead of schedule thankful to God for a safe flight and a fruitful five day trip to Aklan.

I had come to Kalibo (with Gels and Jaden) to do a wedding and to preach on the Lord’s day. The last time I was there was in 2011 when I did the wedding of the youngest of seven Revesencio sisters, Janet. Now I was doing the wedding of the second to the youngest, Betbet.

In fact, I had done four Revesencio weddings over the past years-Lalay to Andy, 19 years ago, Carolyn to Arnold, 11 years ago, Janet to James, 3 years ago and now Betbet to Ian. They have begun to call me suki. Is it a period then or a comma for the Revesencio sisters? Who knows?

I was pleased with how the ceremony went. I believe the Lord answered prayer. It was raining hard the day before but we had very pleasant weather the Thursday morning the wedding took place. The occasion was solemn and yet joyful; orderly and yet lively.

Betbet (or Novelyn during the wedding) got married to Ian, a school teacher from Sydney, Australia. Ian belongs to a church in Sydney that holds to the same truths we believe.

In the past, whenever Betbet and I met, I had always kidded her that I would look for a husband for her for as long as she shoulder the fare for the man wherever he came from. Little did I know that she was doing her own homework on the internet. I heard that Ian and Bet initially met and became friends online.

Now that the Lord has joined their hearts together I pray that they would have a happy married life. They are presently honeymooning abroad and Ian told me that he planned to settle down in Kalibo. Good for him and good for them. The Lord bless their relationship.

It was also heartwarming to renew ties with the brethren from the church in Kalibo. The members of the church are warm, friendly, and hospitable that they make you feel at home. They also make sure that you have a present before you leave for home. There was a time when a church member gave us a whole cluster of bananas which looked like they were just picked from the tree that morning. That was easy during the days of checked-in baggage; not anymore during these days of cheap no-baggage promos.

I was surprised at their number during the worship service. They have grown over the years. They had many visitors, in fact, a few of them, first-timers. The Lord is blessing their evangelism. In spite of a Yolanda-destroyed church building and a temporary semi-open humid and non-acoustic friendly meeting place, I was blessed by their vibrant worship. I must say that they had excellent singing. They were eager listeners too when it came to the preaching.

One of the leaders, Pastor Andy, is a product of MCBC. A privately practicing lawyer, he shares the leadership with Pastor Nelmar, who has left his job in a bank and has gone full time in the ministry.

The first time I was invited to Kalibo in the mid-90s to deal with a church problem, brother Andy was my “sidekick.” Little did I know that he would fall in love with an Aklanon lady, get married, ultimately settle down in Kalibo and become the pastor of the church there. I had a good time of fellowship with Andy, who remains as humble and accomodating as ever, in spite of his stature in the church and in the community.

I also did a side-trip with my wife and grandson in Boracay where we had a good time of bonding. Pastor Alan and the singles from San Pablo and MCBC were also there.

Had a wonderful time this past week. Yet nice to be home as well.

Airport to Hotel Service

Airport to Hotel Service

L stands for...

L stands for…

...LOVE!

…LOVE!

With Janet, James and Mimi

With Janet, James, Japheth and Mimi

Gels and Jaden wait at the Side

Ninang Gels and Jaden wait at the Side

With the Maid of Honor and Jaden's Babysitter

With the Maid of Honor and Jaden’s Babysitter

Revesensio Family in a Playful Mood

Revesencio Family in a Playful Mood

I Married Four of These Five Couples

I Married Four of These Five Couples

With Pastors Alan, Nelmar, Andy and Bro Jojo

With Pastors Alan, Nelmar, Andy and Bro Jojo

Pas. Nelmar Leads the Sunday Service

Pas. Nelmar Leads the Sunday Service

Pas. Andy Does the Scripture Reading

Pas. Andy Does the Scripture Reading

Congregation (Right)

Congregation (Right)

Congregation (Center)

Congregation (Center)

Congregation (Left)

Congregation (Left)

Building Construction at Full Blast

Building Construction at Full Blast

Will There be New Vehicles as Well?

Will There be New Vehicles as Well?

They Hope to Make This Usable by December

They Hope to Make This Usable by December

 

 

 

Bday Video

I’ve been very busy on travel this past month that blog time was not on my side. In the meantime that I gather my wits to resume writing, here’s a video of the 80th birthday of our regular attender Monina Visitacion which was held in their farm in Calinan, Davao City recently and where Bro. Boy was the guest speaker.

I was told that the family was blessed by Bro. Boy’s preaching. Here are some snippets: