GMA Report 2015

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Featured News, Grace Ministerial Academy

GMA Report 2015

Noel A. Espinosa

The school-year 2014-2015 closed with a lone graduate in the person of Ramen Caliwag, pastor of Scripture Alone Baptist Church in San Simon, Pampanga. While Pastor Ramen is a lone graduate, that does not make the school-year lean in harvest. On the contrary. Ramen came from the Bible Baptist affiliation, with all its reputation for excesses of views and haughtiness. HetestifiestothetransforminginfluenceofhisGMAstudiesonhislifeandministry. Hecounts,asthelastinginfluenceof GMA, “the pastoral applications in every lesson… reminding us that theology must result to Christlikeness.” Our singular graduate of 2015 represents the mandate of GMA – a man trained, “to preach the Word of God, and pastor the Church of Christ.”

After a brief ministry as an interim tutor – teaching the important Pauline letters of Corinthian correspondence and Romans – we bid farewell to Pastor Gilbert McAdam. He is scheduled to leave the Philippines for good to settle in a pastoral ministry in his native Scotland. He will leave a vacuum that we look to the Lord to fill with a good tutor. This need is intensified by theanticipatedretirement(forgood?)ofPastorEllisfromteachingtheHistoryCourse. Itisaretirementthathadtobe delayed due to exigency, but he intends to make good of it after this semester. His tutorship is irreplaceable. But it is requisite that we have someone to fill that vacancy. Pray that the Lord may touch the right men for the positions. Tutoring in GMA is never just about the substance of teaching; it is about diligence, scholarship, and character.

At the opening of the school-year 2015-2016, there were six new students who enrolled. One of those, Jun Medalla, is a deacon of our church. He had to go into semi-retirement from his job to handle the load of GMA. He has a supportive family. His wife and two children – twins! – are members of the church. Another member of our church, Ben Patrick Vispo is hoping to graduate in March. We anticipate eight students to graduate. This will be the most number of graduation in our history. Pray that each student graduating will represent a church in our community of Reformed Baptist churches. We have one fulfilled last January 16 when Erwin Cadalin (Batch 2010) was ordained as pastor of the newly covenanted church of Morong. We thank the Lord for this bountiful harvest!

During the first semester of 2015, we had a guest who sat in all our classes. David Birse is a member of the First Baptist Church of Leominster in Massachusetts, where Dr. Lars Larson is the pastor. At the end of the semester, David gave a gracious testimony of his experience of GMA. Excerpts of his testimony are printed in the GMA Progress Report of First Semester 2015. A very encouraging note are his words: Grace Ministerial Academy may well be the best kept global secret in all academia. The world naturally would not recognize its worth, being in darkness. Yet it’s a treasure, a diamond in the proverbial rough.

In the mercy of the Lord, I have enjoyed stable health in 2015. No hospital and no absence, like there was in 2014. Ironically, it was in 2015 and early this year that I saw a number of dear brethren and loved ones pass into eternity. This culminated in the demise of my father, which I learned five minutes after preaching in our afternoon service of Jan 10.

Amidst these difficult losses, a decision that has been hanging needed to be done. After almost a year of prayer and dialogue with Pastor Rodel Lasco of San Pablo, under the counsel of Pastor Brian Ellis, we have come to a growing conviction of a call for sacrifice on both of us and our churches for the sake of reformation cause. Last Sunday, Jan 17, we simultaneously read a joint statement to our churches. In summary, we intend to make the year 2016 a year of transition. When the transition runs its course, I will seek retirement from my church ministry to give myself full time to reformation work. Pastor Rodel, contingent on congregational consent, will seek the pastoral office of GBC. This announcement, Rodel reported to me, was met with a lot of objections in his church. In my church, because it has had more years of preparation, people know it was forthcoming. Still there was a sobering hush in the congregation broken only by sobbing and tears. Both Pastor Rodel and I are pledged to proceed to this only as we have the conscience and consent of our congregation. It goes without saying that this intention is forged in the furnace of agonizing reflection. Pastor Rodel and I, after more than three decades of ministry, are knit to our churches. It tears our souls. But we both agree that the interest of the kingdom Christ must be above personal interest and convenience.

As GMA approaches its 20th year of ministry with a lot of challenges, I look back with incredulous amazement that such a milestone could be reached. It would have been impossible without the consistent support of your eldership and membership. Your consistent corporate commitment to this noble task, without doubt, will cushion my own difficult transition. Let us together face the challenges of 2016 with Paul’s words to Timothy ringing in our ears, O Timothy, guard what was committed to your trust! (1 Timothy 6:20). May the Lord’s countenance shine upon our every step this year.

Your Servant in His cause, NAE

CRBC Newsletter for April and May 2014

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in April 2014, CRBC Newsletter, Featured News, May 2014

 
 
O Christians, remember, you bear his dear name,
Your lives are for others to view;
You’re living examples — men praise you or blame you,
And measure your Savior by you – ANON

Contents

  • News & Thanksgiving
  • CRBC Ministries…
    • Christian Compassion Ministries (CCM)
    • Drop-in Centre Ministry (DnC)
  • Haiyan/Yolanda Relief Work, Tacloban…
  • Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS)
  • Prayer Requests…

Click the link to read more: Newsletter for April and May 2014

First Lord’s day of March 2014

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Baptism, CRBC, Featured News, Lord's Supper, March 2014, Membership

On the first Lord’s day of March 2014, by the grace of the Lord, we witnessed 2 baptisms, 3 additional people in membership and 1 testimony of an applicant for membership.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the morning, we baptized Ethan Smith and  Tabitha Anne Macapagal (also known as Abby). Abby is the eldest daughter of our Pastor Ramon Macapagal. Ethan Smith started attending CRBC last year.

Elders and new members

Before we celebrated the Lord’s supper, we accepted Ethan, Abby and IS (Immanuel Samuel Bautista) into membership for which we give thanks to the Lord.

Testimony of Norwina Cruz

We also heard the testimony of Norwina Cruz. She is the wife of one of our members, but her desire to become a member of the church came later. She said that she was confused as to why they have to leave their former church whom she already have friends. However, after hearing the teachings and messages in CRBC she was convinced that she has to become a member of the church.

Praise the Lord for all the work of salvation in the souls of these people. Soli Deo Gloria!

Ellis’ Personal Letter from the Philippines December 2013

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in December 2013, Featured News, Pastor Brian Ellis

Pastor Brian and Necy Ellis

Pastor Brian and Necy Ellis

Dear Friends,

We would like to greet you in the glorious Name of the Lord Jesus Christ as the end of another year approaches. We are in the long holiday season here in the Philippines.

We rarely write a personal letter these days as we have given over the task of writing prayer letters to Pastor Mon Macapagal. He produces our church Newsletter which contains most of our news. Certainly the news of the ministry and work of Cubao Reformed Baptist Church.

This year has been a difficult one for Necy who was taken ill in February and spent one week in hospital. Brian was able to leave for deputation ministry in the UK in March, and to attend the 250th Anniversary of Wattisham Chapel our home church in the UK. However members of Necy’s family called Brian back in May, a week or so earlier than he expected, as she was quite ill again.

We thank the Lord that she has been making a slow recovery but has lost some of her strength and cannot walk as well as she used to. A recent visit to two of her doctors meant they took her off most of her medication for which we are thankful. We go to see our usual doctor soon to see what his recommendations are. Please continue to pray for Necy’s health as old age increases and strength fades. That is now true of both of us.

Necy still continues however to translate the Daily Readings which are written by Alex Taylor, into Tagalog. She also keeps busy around the house. However we have had to take on another girl in the home to help her so that she is not left alone at home when Brian is away. We now have Hanah, the 17 year old daughter of one of our GMA students living with us. She is in her first year at College studying to be a school teacher. Beth who has been with us now about 5 years and who is a gem, is of great help to us. She is in her last year of college. However she plans to stay with us after graduation although we hope to encourage her to get a job outside. Please pray for Beth. She attends the adult Sunday School Class and the morning Tagalog service and our family devotions. Yet we have no idea where she stands spiritually. Please pray for her conversion and that of Hanah who has grown up in a Christian home.

Brian told the church he would retire when he reached 75 which is now past but retirement seems still a long way off. He keeps as busy as ever and particularly at the moment handling most of the correspondence due to the very important relief work which the church is conducting. Reports on that can be found on the CCM website at www.ccmmanila.org. We are astounded in many ways at the kind and gracious response of friends all over the world to the terrible event of Typhoon Haiyan. The numbers of dead still slowly climb as more bodies are being discovered aside from those which probably will never be found having been washed out to sea. Our teams have been active and working through evangelical churches in two of the main areas affected in Samar and Leyte provinces. We are now beginning to plan to help with reconstruction of at least small homes to help some of those who have lost everything. What we are doing is in some ways like a drop in a bucket among all those involved in the relief effort, but every drop helps in the great need that is everywhere. Pray also that through this terrible tragedy there will be those who are awakened to their spiritual need of the Lord Jesus Christ and that God will be pleased to save many to His glory. Pastor Mon and Pastor Ismael have been actively preaching to those being helped by the relief effort and literature has also been distributed as well as Bibles. This work will continue well into the New Year. Thank you again to all those who have given so generously to this work. Thank you also for all your loving prayers.

Brian is still the main preacher at what is now our English Service on a Lord’s Day afternoon. Numbers are usually about 120 or so. The morning Tagalog service however sees our Worship Hall almost full with over 200 in attendance. We rejoice in the Lord’s goodness and mercy to us in that this past year we have seen 12 added to the church and 5 of those by baptism. Currently we have about 10 people applying for membership and they will be interviewed and expected to give their testimonies probably in January. A number of those will also be by baptism. Two of them are young ladies from the CCM Homes.

Brian continues to teach a class in Church History at Grace Ministerial Academy. He had hoped that someone else could take over but we have not been able to find anyone as yet. Pastor Noel Espinosa carries the heavy load as the main lecturer. He is a very gifted man and we value your prayers for him. He is sometimes unwell. Pray for continued strength and enabling. We are again looking forward to our Pastors’ Conference, the first week of February, in the will of the Lord. This is a gathering where we usually have something like 300 pastors and preachers coming together for good ministry for 3 days. It is also a time for distribution of good God honouring books. Three different books are given away each day. The Lord has been using the Conference over the years to bring many men to a much more biblical position in their ministry and churches. Please remember the preparation for the Conference.

Christian Compassion Ministries, the church’s Foundation which helps children and the poor and needy, usually receives a fair amount of publicity. Brian continues as Chairman of the Board which oversees the work of CCM. They often meet for much of a day once a month. We do thank the Lord for the marvelous staff the Lord has given to us in CCM. They do a great work and often for little reward. We seem to be constantly under staffed and are particularly in the need of Social Workers who are essential to the ministry. Currently we are one short in the Children’s Homes as Virgie Biala marries John T. Sparrow and moves to England in January. We are however short of 3 in the Educational Assistance Program and Community Development work. This is headed up by Cathy Gacutan. The staff are under great pressure. We are also losing Xander Maniwang in the New Year which makes a large hole. One of our problems is that our pay scale is often lower than many other organizations, together with the fewness of evangelical Christian Social Workers. Please make this a matter of priority prayer. That we will be able to find the right staff to work among the poor in the Cubao communities and among the homeless. Continue to pray also for the large sums of money that we constantly need for the whole program CCM is involved in. We also still have our vacant lot ready for a new Boys’ Home but our current funds fall far short of even beginning to think about building.

Evangelical Outreach, our literature work struggles as printed books are being superseded by books on line. However books do continue to go out and we pray the Lord will speak through their pages to the blessing and encouragement of the readers.

We rejoice that our outreach work in Lubao, about one and half hours north of Manila has now been constituted as a church with Gilbert Lugtu our member now installed as the Pastor of this small church. He is doing a fine work for which we are truly thankful. They are small but slowly growing. We still give oversight to the work in Tondo which up until a month or so ago has been without a pastor. Larry Malabayabas has now been installed as Pastor. He is the father of Hanah (see above) and a GMA Student. He however has previously pastored other churches. He has eight children and his family live on the island of Marinduque.

We would like to express our gratitude once more for all your loving prayers for us personally and for the ministries of Cubao Reformed Baptist Church. We do thank the Lord for all those who hold us and the work up before the throne of grace. We also greatly appreciate all your love and practical support which we very much need.

The Lord richly bless you and grant you much joy in believing.

Yours through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Brian & Necy

Leyte and Samar Relief Work

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, December 2013, Featured News, Relief Operation

Typhoon Haiyan ravaged a large part of central Philippines. Due to its distance from us here in Manila, a team of two, Levi and Henry, both from the affected region, were sent to Leyte to survey the area and help us plan how to go about the relief work. They initially went on Nov 18th to Cebu City in order to find prices of rice, canned goods etc as well as to find a truck to transport the relief goods to Leyte. A sister Baptist church in Leyte, (AFBC) helped them in the survey. Pastor Jovert, one of the pastors of this church, joined Levi and Henry and helped establish contact with churches there as well as local government units (barangays). After four days, Levi and Henry returned to Cubao to report to the relief coordinators and plan the distribution.

1461834_10152542751935200_1326167077_n

Based on their survey it was decided to buy most of the relief goods in Cebu, and repack the goods in Leyte. Levi and Henry left on the 25th to do the purchasing and arrange for the delivery of the goods. Cathy Gacutan, (CCM EAP Director) and nurse Joy Putal (CCM Staff) left on the evening of the next day to help administer anti-tetanus shots in Palo, Leyte where Reah (one of CCM’s Board members), is currently assigned. Cathy also surveyed other places in Palo and Tacloban. Pastor Mon Macapagal and his wife Bekha, together with Reddy Gonzales (CCM staff) followed on the evening of the 27th in time for the packing of goods in Abuyog the next day.

Packing of relief goods with the help of Abuyog Reformed Baptist Church members

Packing of relief goods with the help of Abuyog Reformed Baptist Church members

Everyone was shocked at the devastation they saw upon arrival in Tacloban. Pastor Mon and Bekha were there earlier in January of this year and their hearts were crushed by what they saw as compared to what it used to be. From Tacloban City all the way to Abuyog, (more than an hour’s drive), they saw the same thing over and over – the ruins of large and small houses, trucks, cars and other vehicles smashed into buildings, fallen coconut trees, posts, people living in tents, mass graveyards and most of all people begging along the highway. It was a sorrowful sight that would shatter anyone’s hope.

The team of seven from CRBC and CCM all arrived in Abuyog and started packing goods immediately before it got dark – since there was no electricity. They repacked 200 sacks of rice (50 kgs per sack), 20,000 cans of food, bottled water and lighters (for lighting fires) together with gospel tracts. All in all, this made 2000 relief packs. They were assisted by the members of the Abuyog church until it became dark.

Pastor Mon Sharing the gospel

Pastor Mon Sharing the gospel

Early the following morning, the relief goods were loaded onto the truck, which was generously loaned to us by one of the deacons of the church. The relief distribution started in Tacloban where almost 400 recipients were waiting. Our contact there was with a local pastor. Pastor Mon from Cubao then shared the gospel to the awaiting crowd. It was obvious that these people desperately needed the relief goods as they patiently waited for their turn.

The next stop was in Calogcog. Pastor Jovert, who joined us from Leyte, gathered the residents along the highway before Pastor Mon once again shared the gospel to them. This time, tickets were used in distributing the relief goods for 50 families. It was also in Calogcog that the relief team met the group of Americans from Texas whom CRBC has been assisting. They had just come from Samar where they installed water filters in different communities.

Our American brethren set up water filter stations in various different parts

Our American brethren set up water filter stations in various different parts

The Relief Team then proceeded to Dagami, a very remote area in the province where we had a contact called Pastor Roel. Pastor Mon again preached the gospel. People with their tickets patiently waited in line as 300 packs of relief goods were distributed. While this was going on, our American brethren set up two more water filter stations.

Queues form behind the truck loaded CRBC/CCM relief goods

Queues form behind the truck loaded CRBC/CCM relief goods

The following day was Abuyog, Leyte’s turn to receive relief goods. There was much devastation here again – destroyed homes, mostly without roofs, fallen trees and of course no electricity. Very early in the morning people flocked to the street where the church is located. After Pastor Mon’s preaching, an orderly distribution ensued with the use of tickets and priority numbers for 650 packs. However, after these were served, there were still about 300 people waiting patiently for a share of relief goods. The volunteers were seized with fear and apprehension as the crowd had started to become unruly. For a time, they decided to stop the distribution.

The 5th distribution this team made - at one point the crowd became unruly

The 5th distribution this team made – at one point the crowd became unruly

However, as they saw the desperation of the gathering, they were deeply moved. When one lady sprained her ankle in the crowd, they knew that these people had to be served quickly. The volunteers decided to repack packs for another place so they could give 300 more to the crowd. Our men asked them to kneel down and encouraged them to pray, after which there was an atmosphere of order and calmness. All those waiting were then served and the volunteers felt the hand of the Lord upon them as more than 950 relief packs were distributed. In the afternoon of that Saturday, the team set out for Baybay, Leyte where 120 packs of relief goods were also distributed.

The whole family living in this house died when the typhoon hit

The whole family living in this house died when the typhoon hit

After the Lord’s day, the volunteers started on the long journey to Samar, another province badly hit by the typhoon. A church in Tacloban received 50 packs while three other churches in Samar received about 250 packs.

CCM's Cathy Gacutan helping coordinate

CCM’s Cathy Gacutan helping coordinate

Seeing the place where the storm surge had occurred was a very distressing sight for the volunteers. They felt that what they had done trying to meet the great needs was so insignificant, just a drop in the ocean. They wondered what more they could do. The whole province is in a state of calamity, such as they have never seen nor known before. The whole team were gripped with pity for the people they left.

The signs say 'Thanks to those who help - those local and foreign sponsors thank you'

The signs say ‘Thanks to those who help – those local and foreign sponsors thank you’

The members of CRBC then met on Sunday afternoon, Dec 1st to discuss what still needs to be done. Together with the volunteers for Basey Samar, the Leyte relief volunteers all agreed that we still have to do much more to help in these two provinces, maybe to give more relief goods, but also this time tools and construction materials are needed for the victims. Foremost in our minds are how we can provide livelihood for these desperate people. Please pray for us as we explore how we might go about this.

Rebecca Macapagal

Typhoon Haiyan Report – Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, Featured News, November 2013, Relief Operation

This is a short report on CRBC/CCM Relief Work in some of the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

Levi (our member and GMA student) has gone with member Henry to the island of Leyte. Both of them are from that island. They are working together with the Sovereign Grace Bible Church of Cebu (SGBC). Pastor Paul Cuevas has already been visiting Leyte and particularly areas where there are churches. Our men have also gone there taking a truck of relief goods from Cebu City for distribution. However we have had no word from them due to the lack of communications in the area. Many of the places they were going were very badly affected. This area is south of Tacloban City one of the worst hit areas.

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Our other workers have gone to Naga City in Bicol where we have been able to set up a small warehouse to sort relief goods. (Photo). Glen one of our men is overseeing the packing of relief goods. Members of the Naga Sovereign Grace Bible Church are doing the packing. In the photo are sacks of rice. They purchased 200 sacks as well as canned goods mainly sardines, biscuits and other foodstuff including bottled water. This is being sent by truck (see photos of truck) to the island of Samar.

Erwin who is our full-time church worker was able to get to Samar and has been delivering relief goods to some areas but mainly surveying what the needs are in areas not reached by government supplies. These are outlying villages many of which have been totally destroyed. He described to me this morning by phone how some away from the coast but up in the hills were devastated by the 200 mph winds. Nothing has been left. Many have died. He himself seems somewhat traumatized by his experience. He is weary and tired. He has been helped by a number of pastors of evangelical churches in that area.

Basey, Samar

Destruction at Basey, Samar

Pastor Ismael was going to join him by bus but has been stuck at the port in Sorsogon just north of Samar. One has to take a ferry for several hours to get to Samar. There are long lines of relief vehicles waiting to get across to Samar. It is a logistical nightmare. Relief is being flown in now to Tacloban by various planes, Filipino, USA and Korean etc. There is much need in Tacloban but how to get it from there to those in desperate need far from the main centres.

Erwin was describing how helicopter drops of relief supplies in outlying villages means the triumph of the strong. They get to the drop first and take the supplies. The weak and the marginalized, the ones in most desperate need are not being reached. He has been in tears. He also reports that kerosene (paraffin) needed for cooking stoves and lights has more than tripled in price due to the shortage. Some of the people of the world are often quick to make a profit out of others adversity.

Matt Gamston has gone down to help Pastor Warlito Monsalud and the brethren in Iloilo City. They are going up to the north of Iloilo province to seek to bring relief particularly to churches in those areas badly affected. In the goodness of the Lord we are expecting six brethren from churches in the USA to arrive tonight with portable water filtration units and other supplies. They hope to be able to help in Samar and possibly Leyte. We shall be sending someone to help them with translation.

Naga City

Goods were loaded ready to be delivered

Also next week we should be seeing a small medical team consisting of doctors and nurses also being able to go to Samar or Leyte. Dr Delia Lim, sister of our deacon Louie is planning to go with another doctor and backed by several of our CRBC lady nurses. We are expecting some of our CCM staff to also join the relief work by next week once we have more information of what we need to do and which areas are not really being reached by government.

One of the difficulties though is people have jobs and they cannot just up and leave without the permission of their employers.

Please continue to pray for us. Those of us who seek to hold the ropes in Manila as well as our members on the ground. Pray for the tracts and the opportunity to speak to people about Christ as well as the greatly needed practical assistance of food, water, medicine and loving concern.

There are many needy children. We could possibly take up to 12 more children

Naga City

A truck was hired to deliver the goods from Naga City going to Basey, Samar

in our CCM Children’s Homes. Reah Medenilla one of our CCM Board Members is helping with the relief work through another agency and will make known the possible help of CCM.

Many have lost their livelihood and have no immediate means of earning money. Fishermen have lost their boats and their nets, farmers have lost their crops, many have lost their homes, and others their loved ones. May the Lord help us to bring relief and hope. Above all may the Lord be pleased even to use this massive calamity to awaken many to their need of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all your loving support and prayers.

Please see www.ccmmanila.org for information how to help practically the ongoing relief work which will continue for a very long time due to the need for shelter as well as food.

Pastor Brian Ellis

Yolanda (Haiyan) Relief Work in Action

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, Featured News, November 2013, Relief Operation

Basey, Samar

Destruction at Basey, Samar

Basey, Samar

Destruction at Basey, Samar

Basey, Samar

People in Basey, Samar

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Packing of goods in Naga, City. Glen Manuel organizing the work

Naga City

Canned goods packed in Naga City

Naga City

People from a church in Naga City graciously helped us to pack the relief goods

Naga City

Relief items were bought from Naga City

Naga City

A truck was hired to deliver the goods from Naga City going to Basey, Samar.

Naga City

Goods were loaded ready to be delivered

Roro Naga City

The truck was loaded to a ship to travel by sea going to Basey, Samar. The whole travel will be about 12 hours

Relief Goods

Trucks containing relief goods from different organization are at sea

 

CRBC Update and Typhoon Yolanda Relief Work

Written by jorupacs on . Posted in Christian Compassion Ministries, Featured News, Grace Ministerial Academy, November 2013, Relief Operation

Elders of CRBC with Matthew Gamston

Elders of CRBC with Matthew Gamston

“This is the day that the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it” Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

The Lord is truly wise in giving this day for His people to worship Him and rejoice in the coming of His Kingdom!  Today, the Lord blessed us by gathering His people and opening His Word in preaching.  We are reminded of the great opportunity we have as a church being spared in the great catastrophe brought about by typhoon Yolanda (or Haiyan).  But even then we are also reminded that as Christians we have the obligation, privilege and the opportunity to serve those who are badly affected by the storm by providing for them their temporal and spiritual needs.

Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr

Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr

In the morning worship service, Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr. preached from the first and the beginning of the second chapter of Job.  He exhorted the church by showing that in the midst of great suffering, difficulty and trouble, the response of those who fear God like Job is worship.  While Satan accuses Job before God and the angels in heaven watch as to how will Job respond in Satan’s accusation, Job showed that he is a man who is in total submission to God.  There are times when we do not understand the things that are happening, yet the great call of the believer is to worship God.  This message is given to encourage the church in the midst of the present suffering brought about by the typhoon.  Indeed a timely reminder for all believers.

Matthew Gamston

Matthew Gamston

In the afternoon, our brother Matthew Gamston preached to us from Luke 7:18ff.  He showed us from the text that while God’s work is mysterious, be should fully trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  There are times, when things that goes along our way may bring us to doubts, yet we must be assured that first Jesus is our Messiah and secondly, the Lord exactly knows what He is doing.

We thank the Lord for Matthew Gamston.  Matt will be leaving to be a pastor in the UK.  He was instrumental in beginning a ministry for the homeless people which we call Drop-in Centre. Just this week, the work celebrated its 10th year anniversary.  It is a taxing ministry yet God blessed the church’s effort by giving conversions from it.

We are glad that the Lord has given a pastor for Providence Reformed Baptist Church in Tondo, Manila in the person of Pastor Larry Malabayabas.  Pastor Brian Ellis went to Tondo this morning to conduct the ordination service.  Pastor Larry is currently a student in Grace Ministerial Academy, currently on his second year.  We pray that his pastorate would truly be a blessing for the church.  For a long time the church in Tondo prayed for a pastor.  Indeed, God is a God who answers prayers.

Relief Operation

Relief Work Meeting

Relief Work Meeting

Members of the church met this afternoon to discuss the upcoming relief work in partnership with Christian Compassion Ministries.  Currently, Erwin Cadalin is in Samar surveying the places that needed relief. This evening Glen Manuel will board the bus going to Naga City to oversee that packaging of the relief goods to be transported to where Erwin is. While here in Manila, Glen’s wife, Adette, is coordinating the work.  Next week, Lord willing, we shall organize a second round of relief operation which will be done in Leyte.  Brother Henry and Levi will oversee the work.  Aside for the two provinces mentioned, there are still other places where relief is needed, we hope and pray that we will be able to reach them too.  Two of our elders, Pastor Ismael Montejo Jr. and Pastor Ramon Macapagal will share the load of preaching to people in the areas where relief will be distributed.

We thank the Lord for friend from abroad who has pledged help for the relief work.  We also are glad for local churches who already gave donations and are organizing to give some amount or items for the work of relief.  As we assess the need we see that the work for relief will last for a couple of week and may be even a month or two.

This week Dr. Ian Densham will teach in Grace Ministerial Academy. Please pray as he will be teaching on the Pentateuch for the next two weeks.

We hope that you will be in prayer with us to thank the Lord for all of His blessing and for the graces that we need to do the work which He has entrusted us.