More Gensan

While waiting here at Gensan International for my flight to arrive, I can’t help but recall the experience of the past few days. Let me get my PILOT pen and jot down notes on the clean backside of my plane ticket. Bad to waste precious paper.

The past few days have been extremely hot and humid. Gensan sits beside an expansive swath of dry land to its west; if not for its being beside a windy sea, we would all feel like hot grilled tuna, a fave here. Nevertheless, the days have been fruitful and satisfying. God has been good inspite of difficulties. The ministry was conducted amidst the distraction of news that my grandson had been hospitalized due to pneumonia.

I was told that the pastors who attended the mini-conference on Bibliology were very appreciative. They are looking forward to another conference next year, Lord willing. All, except three. I was told that three KJV-only pastors walked out after the first session. I guess they did not want to hear that the KJV, though a well-preserved copy of the original, was not inspired. I guess what they wanted to hear was that the KJV is the only legitimate Bible, authorized by God Himself, and all other Bibles must be burned! I pity misguided zeal.

Saturday was devoted to oversight meetings with the leaders and their wives. I emphasized the importance of the leader and his wife having a good marriage and having a good testimony before the people, which is usually the result of a healthy inner life. Brother Mario is the official leader of the fellowship, having been examined and sent by MCBC to this pioneering work. Former leader Brother Dexter will occupy a supporting role. He is not presently being supported by the fellowship but is a part-time businessman merchandizer.

The average attendance of the fellowship is about 15, a carry-over from the group that had been meeting in the heart of Gensan for three years. Two new families have been added lately and more are being invited. The place where they are situated presently may not be at the epicenter of the city but still is located in a strategic place. Conel road is a main artery connecting the city center to the housing development areas situated in the northeast part of the city. It is a rented house just beside the main highway. The address is Purok Naval, Conel Road, Bgy San Isidro, Gensan City.

The place was full during the 3rd anniversary celebration of the fellowship held in the afternoon. That was my third message for the day. We had an overflow crowd. Some of the pastors who attended the conference returned with their wives. The fellowship afterwards (plus the pastors conference fellowship) decreased the pig population of Gensan by two.

Our prayer is that the Lord would use this pioneering effort for His glory. It is a privilege to be part of it. Right now, there may be nine believers in the core group. May the Lord save more. We long to see a strong Reformed witness in this burgeoning metropolis of Gensan. Hotels are being built, megamalls like SM are blossoming, housing projects are developing. May true churches multiply too.

Mario, our man in Gensan

Mario, our man in Gensan

Dexter plays supporting role.

Dexter plays supporting role.

AM Worship Regular Attenders

AM Worship Regular Attenders

Regular Lunch Fellowship Afterwards

Regular Lunch Fellowship Afterwards

Anniversary Service in the  PM

Anniversary Service in the PM

Hard not to listen with these F15-engine like speakers

Hard not to listen with these F15-engine like speakers

Fellowship 3rd Anniversary Service

Fellowship 3rd Anniversary Service

New Family

New Family

Dinner After Anniv: the premises are spacious

Dinner After Anniv: the premises are spacious

More space here..

More space here..

Like preaching, Dexter needs full concentration cutting up the lechon.

Like preaching, Dexter needs full concentration cutting up the lechon.

Another fave here: Sinugbang panga of a 60 lb tuna

Another fave here: Sinugbang panga of a 60 lb tuna

Mountain of Clouds: Road Going to Meeting Place

Mountain of Clouds: Road Going to Meeting Place

Familiar Mansion: Mtg place is near the famous boxer's home

Familiar Mansion: Mtg place is near the famous boxer’s home

It is along a main artery, Conel Road

It is along a main artery, Conel Road

Oops! Time to board my flight.

Oops! Time to board my flight.

Back to Manila on a Rolls-Royce.

Back to Manila on a Rolls-Royce.

Gensan Conference

I am here again in Pacman country, General Santos City in Southern Mindanao, for a pastoral visit to our mission work, the Gensan Community Bible Fellowship. Sunday will mark its third year as a Reformed fellowship and I am the guest speaker.

The work was initially overseen by the Cebu Sovereign Grace Bible Church until it was turned over to us last year. Last October we sent a supported missionary, Bro Mario Betangcol, an RBIPT graduate, to work alongside Bro Dexter Feo, who has led the work since its beginnings in a rented restaurant in the heart of Gensan. Bro Dexter himself broke away from a large denomination because of his Reformed convictions.

The group has recently moved to a better place in Bgy San Isidro, not too far from Pacman’s mansion. They have also changed the name from Sovereign Grace Bible Fellowship to Gensan Community Bible Fellowship. [See related blog entitled Gensan, published May 2013]

The leaders organized a mini-conference of about 30 pastors and church leaders, just enough for comfortable seating in their rented place. I spoke on the Doctrine of the Word, emphasizing on inerrancy, authority and sufficiency–realities which are under attack in our day, and passing very quickly on inscripturation, self-authentication, perspicuity and finality.

Over-all the spirit was good. The questions during the Q & A portions were graciously and humbly asked. There were no loud voices promoting self-interest. This, in spite of the fact that there were KJV-only people, NIV users and Pentecostals, aside from Fundamental Baptists. There were also a few Bible women.

The Lord gave me help to teach and to answer questions even if I did not teach in the native dialect but in English and Tagalog. We began with a devotion from Ps 1 as I reminded the pastors to view their Bibles not as merely as a book to be intellectualized but as a book to be applied, a book that ought to change lives. I encouraged them to read it and to have their devotions and to apply the Bible to themselves and not just to their people.

I ended the conference with John 5:39-40 telling everyone that the study of the Bible is pointless if it does not lead to Christ.

Thanks be to God for His presence with us. As we sung in our opening as well as in our closing hymn–To God be the glory!

Brod Mario Leads the Sessions

Brod Mario Leads the Sessions

Gensan Pastors

Gensan Pastors and Some Wives

Discussion During Lunch

Discussion During Lunch

Posing with One of the Pentecostal Pastors

Posing with One of the Pentecostal Pastors

Had Fellowship with One of the Respected Fundamental Pastors

Had Fellowship with One of the Older Fundamental Pastors

Small Whiteboard: I hope I did not confuse them with overlapping notes!

Small Whiteboard: I hope I did not confuse them with overlapping notes!

Discussion on Tongue-Speaking During Merienda

Discussion on Tongue-Speaking During Merienda

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Pastors Having a Light Moment during Snacks

 

Closing Hymn-To God be the Glory!

Closing Hymn-To God be the Glory!

Our Mission Work in Gensan City

Our Mission Work in Gensan City

Love, Joy and Peace

We had a good attendance of 31 at our year-end youth thanksgiving fellowship. It was fun, food and fellowship. I gave a devotional on three manifestations of the Spirit’s fruit–love, joy and peace.

May these young people consider Christ as their Savior–He who is the supreme manifestation of God’s love for this world. May He be their exceeding joy. May they find in Him the peace which comes as a result of sins forgiven.

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The Famous Singing Driver

The Famous Singing Driver

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Thanks to Dinah for the food and Gina and Con for the games.

Thanks to Dinah for the food and Gina and Con for the games.

 

 

 

Welcome

Welcome to three new members, one by baptism. Two of them, Enevald and Armando, are RBIPT students while Merry is Armando’s wife. Enevald is from Mahaplag, Leyte. Armando and Merry are from General Santos and Bacolod cities, respectively.

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Armando, Baby Alana and Merry

Allegro

Thanks be to God for many new attenders at our newly opened Bible study for Allegro employees. I told the story of the parable of The Rich Man and Lazarus and drew lessons from it regarding the importance of reading the Bible, the danger of a hedonistic lifestyle, and the urgency of trusting in Christ in this life. There were interesting questions afterwards. Please pray that these attenders would come again. Above all, pray that they would show true concern for the state of their souls and a real interest in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

Sudi Introduces Me to Her Officemates

Sudi Introduces Me to Her Officemates

They were an attentive group. Majority are first-timers to Bible study.

They were an attentive group. Majority are first-timers to Bible study.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Here are some snapshots from last Saturday’s Women’s Fellowship with the theme, “A Tale of Two Sisters.” I preached on Martha and Pas. Mike preached on Mary. Twenty eight ladies were able to come. They had a time of prayer in the afternoon as well as some card-making activities. Thanks be to God for His presence with us.

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A Tale of the Oldest and Youngest Attender

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A Tale of Two Sisters

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Orange Themed Tale

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A Tale of Two Empty Glasses

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A Tale of Daughter and Mother in Law

 

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A Tale of Seniors and Seniors to Be

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A Tale of One Preacher

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A Tale of Two Long Lost Sisters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Day Worship

Twenty four pastors and ministerial students from as far as Silang in the South and Quezon City in the North braved the horrendous traffic caused by APEC to attend the pastors fraternal hosted by MCBC.

The topic was, “A Case for Whole Day Worship,” a very relevant subject in a day when many churches merely devote half of the Lord’s day to worship. The speaker was Pas. Noel Espinosa of Grace Baptist Church, Los Banos.

We were both challenged and encouraged by the message and enlightened by the discussion and open forum.

Here is a recording of the message:

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