We celebrated Delia’s birthday one day in advance. She was up and about and all smiles when she saw our group arrive. She always looked forward to visits. This was at PGH Ward 434.
The Lord’s healing power is indeed amazing. Just a few weeks ago she was fighting for life having suffered hemorrhagic stroke due to a brain aneurysm. She was on respirator in ICU for about three weeks with bleeding in her brain, semi-comatose and 50-50. But the church incessantly prayed for her recovery.
The Lord was pleased to grant gradual healing and recovery to Delia so that by the day she slowly gained strength and progressed well with her mental faculties. She soon was transferred to a regular room.
A week ago the aneurysms were clipped thus lessening the risk of a repeat. A few days ago she was given discharge orders. When it was time for us to leave last night she even walked us to the door desiring to go home with us. But we said it was not yet time.
I thank the Lord for Delia and Nina and her loved ones who kept close to her during these many weeks, enduring the difficulties of living in a hospital and yet standing by to help.
I also thank the Lord for the opportunity to pray publicly for the five other patients in the ward and to go bed by bed to speak to patient and watcher personally in order to share the gospel of God’s grace with them. I prayed the Lord would have mercy and heal. But I told them that soul healing was much more important. I pointed all to Christ for salvation.
Though there was rejoicing for God’s goodness to Delia, my spirit was heavy that she was the only one leaving the hospital fairly well. All of her wardmates had cancer–from seniors down to a young 26-year old lady. I doubt whether some of them would be able to leave the hospital alive. But I pray for God’s mercy.
Please pray for Delia’s fuller recovery and for God to provide for financial needs. Please pray too that the seeds that were sown in every one in the ward would bear fruit. I was happy for the opportunity to speak to every soul (except one) in Ward 434 and was thankful that none resisted the sharing of Scripture but everyone appreciated our witness and prayer.
To God be the glory!
Kenneth and Loraine tied the knot Friday, July 15, 2016 at Cerca del Rio, Tayabas City, Quezon Province. Pastor Alex officiated and I preached on Gen 2:24-25. Though driving six hours to and from the venue was wearying, it was a time of reviving old friendships and enjoying the company and fellowship of God’s people.
May the Lord grant a happy and harmonious marriage to the newly weds!
We left Friday July 8 on a delayed flight to Naga. Actually, we were the cause of the delay! We arrived at the airport 9:20am for our 9:00am flight due to horrendous traffic that rainy morning but our friend who arrived ahead of us, requested the ground crew to hold the flight until we arrived. Thanks be to God it was granted. We were able to fly to Naga on that very wet day. Amidst turbulent clouds, the Lord granted a clearing and we were able to land.
We were greeted with a warm welcome when we arrived and the hospitality during the course of our stay was as hot as the laing we were served. I and my church mates from MCBC were there for the inauguration of the new meeting place of the Naga Sovereign Grace Bible Church (NSGBC). I was the invited speaker.
The group had been meeting in nondescript places for 18 years, mostly in living rooms transformed to a worship area, then in the last five years or so, in a bar-cum-garage turned worship hall. It was searing hot in that place and the acoustics were bad. But that did not affect the zeal of the people for worship.
Enter the new meeting place. It is the third floor of a dormitory owned by Deacon Tony. The air-conditioned hall which can easily seat a hundred is free for the using for five years. Hopefully, by that time the church would have increased in number to look for a bigger place. Nonetheless, the place is comfortable and very conducive for worship.
Saturday, July 9, was the inauguration service. I preached from 1 Cor 3:16-17 emphasizing the fact that the real building of God is the church composed of its members and it would not do to have a neat building and yet an unholy church. Though nice buildings attract people, the major attraction should be the lives and testimonies of the people, let alone God’s presence in the church.
Pastor Boy exhorted the people Sunday afternoon to steer clear of pride and rather to be thankful and humble. The Lord has been good to them over the years even in difficult circumstances. A new meeting place should not make them complacent.
In the morning messages, Pastor Steve encouraged the people to strive towards preserving the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Because it is said that the kind of building the church meets in shapes its life, I pray that with a better meeting place, worship would be more vibrant, preaching would be more powerful, singing would be more lively and service would be more zealous. May God use this new place for His glory! May it be filled in no time at all.
I was also able to visit and preach in a new church planting work of the church in Bgy Sigamot, Libmanan, Camarines Sur, about an hour’s drive away northbound. There are high hopes for this small group which has three persevering ladies as its core. These three ladies left a floundering church and sought to establish a church that truly preached and lived the truth. In God’s providence they were brought into contact with NSGBC.
These three ladies were so eager that they themselves looked for a property to worship in and like skilled master carpenters built their own nipa-hut worship hall. Please pray that the Lord would provide a full-time worker for this group. There are about a dozen that meet regularly every Lord’s day.
The group returned to Manila Monday morning tired but exhilarated. The fellowship was sweet and warm, the food was hot and satisfying, the days were fruitful. The Lord answered our prayers.
2nd Floor Dorm Rooms
Happy 29 years to MCBC! What we are today is a testimony of God’s power and a display of His glory! Praise be to His mighty name!
We held a thanksgiving service Sunday morning and we were privileged to have Pastor Ramen Caliwag of Scripture Alone Baptist Church in San Simon, Pampanga preach the Word to us. His text was Eph 3:20-21, Paul’s fitting doxology to the display of God’s grace in the redemption that He has purposed and accomplished in Jesus Christ. “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
The sermon had two basic points. One, that the power of God of all places is mightily displayed in Christ’s church. And, two, that the glory of God of all places is achieved through the church.
It is in Jesus’ church where God’s limitless power demonstrates itself tangibly–through the church’s endurance, through the salvation of sinners, and through the unity brought about by the merging of people from all kinds of backgrounds.
It is in Jesus’ church where God’s glory in the new creation of saved sinners far eclipses His glorious work in creation. It is here where He is glorified when the church grows spiritually and numerically.
May it be true of MCBC. May we display not the native power of sin but the almighty power of God that changes lives; may we serve not to the end that the name of people may be promoted but that God would be exalted.
We were also reminded in the message of Pas. Alex in the afternoon that in the face of God’s faithful dealings with MCBC over the years, we should reaffirm our commitment of service to God like Joshua who boldly declared that he and his family would remain true to the Lord.
May God grant renewed vigor to each one to serve the Lord wholeheartedly. He deserves our best. If the Lord will not tarry, may He in mercy give us another good year.
Thirteen couples attended our first couples fellowship for the year (although I missed one of them in the pictures). It was a day-affair held at Woodland Villas in Nagcarlan, Laguna–a get-together for food, fun and fellowship. It was also the beginning of a refresher course on marriage for the benefit of old and new couples alike.
I led the workshop on “What are the marks of a good leader?” and then asked the men to rate themselves (and the wives to rate their husbands) as to how they fared with respect to spiritual leadership, friendship and companionship, fatherhood, and being a provider and over-all administrator of their households. The results (which were in writing) would help the pastors in overseeing the couples as to what areas they need more counsel and encouragement.
In spite of the horrendous traffic returning home, the day was well spent bonding with the couples and their families. I look forward to the next fellowship.
I am encouraged that the warehouse staff in our Excelcare Bible Study in Taguig are very eager to hear the Word of God. For the majority, this is the first time that they have come into contact with the Bible, much less, join a Bible study group. From an irregular schedule, it has become more regular every Tuesday at 5:15pm. Please pray for the conversion of these warehouse workers.
I am also encouraged that our sister in church in Sta Rosa, the Reformed Baptist Bible Church, now has a deacon. For so many years, Pastor Marlon was the lone leader in the church, handling both ministry and practical affairs. Now that he has a helper, I pray that the work in Sta Rosa would grow. Sta Rosa is very thickly populated, on both sides of the South Expressway, there is much work to be done. In fact, there is room for more than one church.
I was invited to preach in a simple installation service, Saturday, May 14, afternoon. Bro. Fiel was installed into the diaconate. He seems to be a good guy. His background is Pentecostal although somewhere along the way he got exposed to Reformed teaching. Living in Sta Rosa, he searched on the internet for a church nearby and he found Pastor Marlon’s church. I pray that Deacon Fiel would truly be an asset to the church.
I was also encouraged at the turnout at the Pastors Conference in San Pablo City last Monday, May 16, sponsored by the Trinity Bible Church. I don’t refer necessarily to the number of those who attended, although there were probably more than fifty of both genders who came. I never expected many, being a Monday, and me being a lightweight in this area of ministry.
What I was encouraged with was that they came from places I never expected there would be reforming works. One came from Pitogo, Quezon; there were those who came from Calauan, Laguna; also Alabang; and Pagsanjan, Laguna. I also met a group from Tayabas, Quezon that has a core group and a preacher, just waiting to be covenanted. I was happy to know that the work of reformation is going full blast in Southern Luzon. Thank God for using the fellowship of Southern Luzon churches (Los Banos, San Pablo, Lumban, Calauag) for this purpose.
I preached three messages on the theme “How Firm a Foundation: The Authority, Sufficiency and Clarity of Scripture.” The Lord helped me in preaching and answering questions. There was a good and peaceful spirit that prevailed. I also appreciate the warm welcome and fellowship enjoyed with the brethren from TBC who sponsored the conference.
Soli Deo Gloria!