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.
Tower of Power: 3rd Floor Meeting Place
Talk About Visibility
2nd Floor Dorm Rooms
Stairs Going Up to the Meeting Place
Previous Meeting Place Down Below
The Leaders and Their Wives
The Plurality of Elders and Deacons
Pillars of Sigamot Group: Putting Their Senior Years to Good Use
Before Leaving for Naga Airport Homeward Bound