I was overjoyed to see a good turnout at our Allegro Bible Study last Tuesday, January 10. It was a rainy day and I expected a low turnout. We hold the Bible study at the Audio-Visual Room of Siena Park Condominium and though Allegro is just a stone’s throw away, people have to walk about a kilometer after office hours to go to our meeting place. We know how it is when it is raining.
Instead, we had 27 attenders, the highest turn-out ever. It was a good start for the year. My prayer is for the salvation of the majority who attend the Bible Study who are not yet saved and for the edification of those who are. The big problem is that most of the attendees live in outlying areas as far as Cavite and Laguna and there is no way they can attend our church on Sundays even if we invite them. We have directed some to just watch our live-stream of services on Youtube every Sunday.
At the beginning of the year, we had an opportunity to visit a couple who is connected by employment to three members of our congregation. Andy was a former supervisor of one of our members and Jing is presently a co-worker of two of our own. Andy suffered a heart attack towards the end of last year which left him semi-comatose. He is still confined at Mary Chiles Hospital in Manila. I was able to visit him twice during the holidays to share the gospel to him and to his wife. The couple attended our anniversary two years ago and we had a one-shot Bible study in their home last year. May the Lord be pleased to use this trial for their salvation.
Thanks be to God for a new outreach at Chile St in Better Living. A member who is engaged in the pet business opened his place for a Bible study and I was told by Pastor Mike that the workers who attended were very eager to listen to God’s word.
The Cooper street Bible Study continues as well. Last Saturday, there were about 30 attenders. Ten of these attended our morning worship. I prayed with them and for them after the service. I pray that these lady overseas foreign workers would be kept safe by the Lord and delivered from harsh employers. I pray that they would be given a chance to read the Bible and to attend worship. We have posted on the doors of their rented facility, the addresses of Reformed churches in Malaysia and Singapore where these ladies are headed.
We are off to a good start. May this year bring in a bountiful harvest of souls. To God be the praise.
We were invited by a member of the Grace Baptist Church (GBC) in Los Banos (actually Bay, Laguna) to attend their 35th year anniversary service last Sunday. It was a joy to share the occasion with them as quiet attenders of their afternoon worship service. We were delighted to renew fellowship with the old-timers of GBC and also with familiar brethren from other sister churches.
The Reformed Church has proliferated in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila. But there was a time when they were scarce. My wife and I were then attenders of a Fundamental Baptist ministry in 1982 when I personally got introduced to Reformed Calvinistic teaching through my younger sister, Tess, who was then Sunday School teacher for ladies of the Fairview Fundamental Baptist Mission, the progenitor of GBC.
It would not be long when our hunger for the truth would bring us to Los Banos to attend the services of what was renamed the Puritan Baptist Church (PBC). We were then working in Manila. But having studied in UPLB for four years, being familiar with the place and loving its ambiance, it was no problem for us to drive the 100 kilometer back and forth journey to attend the services of PBC.
The church was still situated in a small apartment in Villegas Compound near the St Therese Catholic Church; then afterwards moved to the ACCI Auditorium located in the college where I graduated. Then we moved to the INSAET Auditorium. This was in 1983.
Although our stint in PBC was relatively short, maybe lasting less than two years (we moved to Cubao Reformed Baptist Church later on, being nearer our place) both my wife and I were converted (a few months apart) and baptized in PBC under a Reformed ministry.
I remember Pastor Noel as being a tireless servant of God. We would have at least four ministries on Sunday–Sunday School, morning and afternoon worship, and afternoon doctrinal class. He would be a one-man force and do everything from leading, to playing the piano and then preaching. It was a delight to listen to him preach as he was exceptionally gifted in clear, focused, doctrinal and expository preaching. The Lord used this to point us to the way of truth in Jesus.
Now 35 years after, the church has grown tremendously. There are more men, more young faces and more ministries. I pray that from among this crop of men, future leaders would arise to continue the work that was begun 35 years ago. After all, the theme of this year is “Passing the Baton” to the next generation.
Pas. Ramen capped the service with preaching on 1 Sam 8:1-9 outlining to us the difficulties and the dangers of transferring leadership and how to properly address it in the blessing of God.
It was a fruitful and encouraging visit. It has also made me pray for more young people to be saved in MCBC. Thank God for our young people. Thank God for Pas Mike, a young pastor in his early thirties; I pray the Lord would add more young leaders. We have to pass the baton too. Our church will be 30 years old next year Lord willing. How time flies!