Justification Conference

In light of the 2017 commemoration of the 500th year of the Protestant Reformation, we chose the theme Justification by Faith Alone for our 4th annual Davao Pastors Conference held in Tagum City, last March 30-31.

Although many who intended to come were hampered by rains and floods which prevented them from attending, about 50 were still able to attend the conference, some coming from as far as Agusan, Surigao and Comval provinces.

I preached five messages on justification by faith alone and my co-speaker (Pastor Mike) preached on the Causes of the Reformation and did a sketch on Martin Luther.

The spirit of the conference was very good; there were no heated debates or hostile discussion. In fact, feedback from our missionary in Tagum and organizer of this conference, Bro Jonard, was that the majority appreciated the clear teaching of the word, admitting that there were some things they had to correct with respect to their understanding of justification.

May the Lord bless the spread of the truth in Davao and its outlying areas.

Venue: An Open-Minded Pentecostal Church

Group Picture Day 2: Many could not attend due to flooding

The Organizer: Bro Jonard, Our Missionary to Tagum

Bro Randy Asks a Question During Open Forum

Spacious Parking Lot

Participants came from as far as Surigao and Agusan

A Round of Applause to those who Helped

It rained hard just about the time of the end of the conference.

Visited Bro Jonard’s House on the Outskirts of Tagum

Jonard and Maricel

Pastors from Surigao came with us to Jonard’s. They have a long way to go.

Feeling Greenbelt in Tagum

Tagum City has Seven Big Malls

After Day 1: Time to Take a Bite at Mang Inasal

Back to Davao City after Day 2: Sinugba Dinner at People’s Park

Davao Covenanting

To God be the glory for the formal constituting of the Reformed Baptist Fellowship in Davao. It is now the Davao City Reformed Baptist Church. It was born April 1, 2017 and it was for real.

The pioneering work began close to two decades ago when a group of young couples from Mintal, situated on the outskirts of Davao City, left their former denomination to start a new church based on their newly found convictions. The services began in a dusty warehouse along the main highway, then rented by one of the brothers who was into the construction business. That was 1998. The group was called the Church of the Sovereign Lord, but it was really a fledgling fellowship of young believing couples.

Come 2017, nineteen years later, the group blossomed into a stable work. But the journey was long and at times difficult. There were ups and downs; there were additions and subtractions; there were trials and blessings. Mid-way through the group’s journey, Brother Boy, one of the leaders, decided to go into full-time ministry, leaving behind a fairly well-paying supervisor’s job in a banana plantation in order to spend three years in rigorous pastoral training at the Reformed Baptist Institute for Pastoral Training (RBIPT). He testified that it was time to leave secular concerns in order to serve the Lord in a more focused way for the rest of his life. 

He graduated after three years and spent some time helping out in the ministry at MCBC and in a sister church in Laguna. But after some time, he returned to his hometown of Mintal to lead the small group who held fort even in his absence, assisted by some of the men. Gradually, more men and families became regular attenders of the fellowship.

Ultimately, the group would meet at Brother Boy’s residence, gathering in the living room for the Sunday services in spite of the noisy neighborhood. As the attenders could not fit the small space of the sala, some of them, especially the latecomers, sat outside the front porch and had to strive to listen amidst blaring Karaoke speakers. After a few years and increasing attendance, the group decided that it was time to move to a more spacious place.

The Lord showed them a nice piece of property at quiet and clean Green Meadows subdivision which they are presently renting. Although the meeting space would hardly fit 50 people, this has been their home for the past few years and the environment is much much better.

The covenanting activities began with interviews of prospective members a few weeks back. Five of those accepted were baptized in a swimming pool at a nearby resort on the day of the covenanting. After the baptisms, a covenanting service was held where 12 founding members affixed their signatures on a document containing the church covenant. All of them vowed to fulfill the duties of a faithful church member. 

The next day, the new church met after the morning service and nominated Brother Boy to be the pastor of the new work. I led the examination based on the stringent requirements of 1 Timothy 3 and on the whole the meeting was encouraging. Brother Boy was unanimously recognized and Pastor Mike, my co-worker, and I laid hands on him in the installation service in the afternoon. He is now Pastor Boy of the Davao City Reformed Baptist Church.

I pray for the Lord’s blessing on this new church. It has a lot of potential as it is ideally situated in a university belt alongside huge housing projects. May the Lord give zeal to this new flock to saturate this densely-populated area with the gospel. May the members work hand-in-hand to promote the purposes of Christ’s kingdom. May the risen and reigning Christ always be given glory in DCRBC!

Candidates for Baptism

Jonathan gives testimony at covenanting service.

Kristine gives her testimony.

The 12 covenanting members

Posing with guests

Men gather for prayer before Sunday service

Bro Jonathan leads the morning service

Pas Mike preaches

I lead meeting for examination of Bro Boy

I pray for Pas Boy during the installation service

Jean and Terence

Marcial and Jane

Melanie and Randy

Tim and Kristine

Bing and Boy

Nathan and Yoly

Damian

After the Installation Service

 

Batch 8

The Lord be praised for the 8th batch of graduates of the Reformed Baptist Institute of Pastoral Training (RBIPT). Brothers Armand Rutor of General Santos City and Enevald Capungcol of Mahaplag, Leyte received their diplomas after three years of intense study. They looked congressional in their well-ironed barongs as they each gave their farewell speeches to the congregation. May they be vessels fit for the Master’s use wherever Jesus would call them. Pastor Steve led the service and Pastor Rene gave the address which he took from Acts 20:28. May the message be taken to heart.

Jayson and Hannah

I married my eldest daughter Hannah to her long time fiance Jayson last Saturday Feb 18, 2017. It was a solemnly joyful occasion. The Lord answered prayer. Thank you to those who came and to those who helped in various ways.

May the Lord in His kindness grant a happy and harmonious relationship to the new couple!

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Visitors from Abroad

It was a blessing to have Pastor Jeremy Walker of Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, UK and Pastor Wei En Yi of Shalom Reformed Baptist Church, Singapore minister the word of God to us yesterday. Pastor Jeremy was here in 2015 and it was a delight to renew fellowship with him. He taught on the life and works of Matthew Henry in the Sunday School and preached to us an encouraging message from John 17:4 in the morning.

Pas Wei meanwhile preached to us from Eph 6:14 in the afternoon, pointing us to Christ and to His righteousness in the midst of discouragement on the one hand and self-confidence on the other. It was his first time to visit MCBC.

It was a fruitful day and especially a restful one for the elders of MCBC.

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Look at my Sunday School work

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Pinoys in Ties and Westerners in Barongs

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Lopez Clan

Reserve a Dozen Seats for the Lopez Clan Every Sunday

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Why Are You Looking at Me That Way Huh?

Pas. Wei En Yi

Pas. Wei En Yi

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RBIPT Mini-Reunion

With Friends at CRBC Pastors Conference

With Friends at CRBC Pastors Conference

It's a boy for Bro. Mario and it was Leo and Gigi's 14th anniversary.

It’s a boy for Bro. Mario and it was Leo and Gigi’s 14th anniversary.

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Happy Reunion of Five Batches of RBIPT Students.

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Reliving Past Memories and Telling Stories of the Present

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Gensent Betangcol was born Feb 7 while Daddy was away in Manila.

How's about a selfie?

How’s about a selfie?

Deacon Jerry Catches Up

Deacon Jerry Catches Up

Kobe’s Baptism

Kobe is the son of Rosanna and grandson of Linda, both long-standing members of MCBC. He has a younger sister Chalsea who was just recently baptized and accepted as one of our newest members.

Kobe’s is a surprising conversion. I told the congregation in my morning message that if Kobe’s family were all saved in God’s mercy, I had expected Kobe to be the last. That’s because based on my observation, he was the least interested in the Bible and in the things of Christ among the siblings. There was a time when I conducted a Bible study in their family and the whole family was there seated in the living room but Kobe was still at the computer screen fighting it out with whoever he was fighting with in an imaginary computer game. Gaming was his life. This was his joy. This was his god.

But the true and living God works mysteriously and amazingly. After I taught on the subject of faith in one of our Sunday Schools this past December, he approached my co-pastor and asked to be interviewed. My co-pastor did not expect that he was interested in being a church member. Even his mother was surprised as we informed her later.

We interviewed him as soon as we could and he told us that he spent many sleepless nights examining his life and seeing the vanity of his worldly pursuits. He realized that his life was aimless and his happiness at the keyboards was shallow. God was convicting him of sin and cyberspace idolatry.

Thanks be to God, that through His word, He revealed to Kobe that true and lasting peace and happiness can only be found in Christ. It is only in Him and through Him that sin can be forgiven. He died on the cross for sinners. And Kobe admitted he was one.

I had the privilege of baptizing him yesterday and I rejoice at the newest addition to our ever-growing young people population. May many more young people follow the footsteps of Kobe. May God save more, young and old alike!

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Hugs from Lola Linda and Sister Chalsea

Hugs from Lola Linda and Sister Chalsea

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Plus One for the Youth

Plus One for the Youth

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Visitors Dan and Susan chat with Pas Alex

Visitors Dan and Susan chat with Pas Alex

Dr. Jim Renihan preaches for us in the PM

Dr. Jim Renihan preaches for us in the PM

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The Avengers Arrive from Mindanao Today

The Avengers Arrive from Mindanao Today