…winding down Summer 2018…
The midpoint of 2017’s third quarter is upon us with summer winding down. In many parts, it means harvest time is near. What does the harvest mean for us? In yesterday’s reading in John 4:34-38, what ought to grab our attention is Jesus Christ’s statement in verse 35, He commanded the disciples, He commands us, “Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”
Someone has already been used to spread the seed of the Gospel, it is God who makes it grow. Our part is to participate in His harvest, whatever the season. We ourselves are answers by someone else’s prayer to the Lord of the harvest, cool huh?
In just over a month, the seventh semester at My Father’s House begins. It would have been the eighth but we took leave in the Fall 2016 as part of my recovery from the heart operation the Lord deemed necessary. So here we are, preparing for the new season as we lift up our eyes that we may see what Jesus saw that afternoon in Sychar, “…the fields are white for harvest.”
You have been a part in this work God has wrought us through. In four years, we have not been in lack for any good thing. The Lord shows Himself a just Employer through His body, the church. What we may view as hindrances, bumps or bruises, these are interruptions that Jesus Christ be glorified in our lives. It has once been said, “All we get to do is be a spectator and sit back, relax and behold God work.” Exodus 14:13
Unless we make the time to listen and lift our eyes to see Him, we will miss out, not only the opportunity to be used by God, but to witness God work through us.
There is much to be done, keep praying the Lord for the people of the Philippines, for the city of Tagaytay and beyond. The fallow ground has been sown with seed meant to bear not the fruit of the Spirit, but of the flesh. Pray that we may be quick and willing to lift up Jesus Christ by the teaching of His commands. (Matthew 28:20)
“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.” Revelation 3:7
Speaking of fruit, here is what the Lord continues to do:
1) The Rock of Refuge Christian fellowship came alongside us last year while I was recovering from my operation. They joyfully took on the mantle in ministering to the inmates of BJMP (Bureau of Jail and Penology) in Biñan. This includes fortnight teaching of the Word of God.
Four years ago the Lord opened the door at BJMP. What was at that time a mere 20′ x 20′ enclosure (with a population of 100 or something with no ventilation)has been transformed as of this writing. The size of the jail facility has multiplied 5 times the previous size in order to accommodate the more than 600 men and some women(and still growing). Three tiered bunks have been constructed and still some sleep on the floor.
The other piece of good news is that the facility now has an exhaust system that brings in fresh cool air and pushes out the old, stale air. Praise the Lord indeed. “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them…” Hebrews 13:3
2) Joyful Ruthies is a women’s bible study fellowship meeting twice a month. Nenita is used by the Lord to facilitate the study. The women’s fellowship includes Grace, Lani, Lei, Marg, Fae, Espie and Garet.
The ladies are now in the 4th chapter of Ephesians. The fellowship gave Lani a baby shower, her first child. “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” Titus 2:1
3) We look forward to receiving more students this coming Fall as He directs us. Opportunities abound in the areas of ministry outreach and church partnerships.
Consider that an outreach to a small town in Bagac, Mariveles in Bataan which is part of Central Luzon be had. Mariveles happens to be the starting point of the Bataan Death March. We had the opportunity to share the Gospel to a family and many more awaiting our return.
In that same town, an Aeta community exists. These Aeta is one of many indigenous groups in the Philippines considered still a minority. Pray for an outreach to this town in Bagac, that we get to minister the word of God.
As it relates to church partnerships, there is opportunity up in Baguio, Benguet in Northern Luzon. This would be to come alongside the pastor in teaching on Saturday’s.
We have a desire to go and help, yet there is pause because of the logistics. The distance is far from Tagaytay. Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines, is almost 200 miles away with a travel time ranging anywhere from 6-9 hours away from Tagaytay.
What we get to do for now is pray the Lord for these places, in Mariveles for the family and the Aeta’s; and for the church in Baguio, both places in need of workers.
It was true then, it still is true today, laborers are few…thank you for your love in prayer and joy in giving to the Lord for His work through us.
“Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”
“Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked? In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him.”
1) To fix the mind on with a view to a careful examination
2) To look attentively; observe; examine
3) To have regard to; take into view or account; to respect
Praise the Lord for the semester that has been, a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving. Spring classes has just wrapped and it really is a time to “Consider the work of God…”
The Lord brought to the center this 2017 Spring semester: Marjorie, Cathy, and Ryand. Marj and Ryand join us for the first time, while Cathy has been with us consistently the past four years. Marj manages a small family business in the next town of Silang, she joins us with a heart to know the Word of God personally and deeply. Nenita is being again used by God to mentor this young woman. Ryand, on the other hand has been called by God via Negros Oriental, one of the islands in the central Visayan region. Cathy, a single mother of three, continues in her desire to be used by God in her Jerusalem.
Keep praying for these three whom God has sent that they “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2Peter 3:18
Doy and Jackson, our two brothers in the Lord who faithfully serve the inmates of BJMP in Biñan continue in their call to teach the word of God. They travel a long distance in obedience to the call God has put in their hearts, sort of like a Paul and Timothy, “Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them…” Hebrews 13:3. Praise the Lord for Armand and the whole brethren at the Rock of Refuge who comes along side us in the work of since my operation last year.
Speaking of last year…every newsletter/blog we get to publish is a herald of Praise and Thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus Christ for His work in us, for us, and through us, that includes you. Here is an excerpt from what God revealed of Himself to me a year ago, Praise Him indeed.
May 25, 2016
Philippine Heart Center, Quezon City
Last night was the straightest sleep I’ve had back here at the Philippine Heart Center since my re-admisssion last Thursday. After turning in at 9:00 pm, I took my ½ dose of diazepam, better known as valium, I woke up sometime between 10:30-10:45pm. My wife was sound asleep, so I tried to be relieved of the usual 2nd order of business of the day…no success. Once again almost by default, I found myself opening MUHH for the day. The Lord highlighted the coming day/s for me, beginning with… Matthew 6:25
“Jesus sums up common sense carefulness in a disciple as infidelity.(Oh boy)
Take no thought …”—don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself. It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives, and it is never anything else that worries us. I will not trust where I cannot see, that is where infidelity begins. The great word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.”
After reading and ingesting these words, the main word amongst all those I listed, the Holy Spirit quietly whispers to me continually, “abandon.” What now? I turned the TV on for a half hour and watched tennis and only then did I fall asleep at 12:00am and awoke at 6:30am this morning.
It was not till I literally abandoned myself to the caring hands of my Lord and Savior and God, Jesus Christ did sleep find its way back to me since last Thursday. There have been concerns on my heart that included escalating costs and my sanity of being confined to bed for nearly 4 weeks now. But as He whispered, “abandon” to my whole being, it spoke volumes that brought a quiet calm, bringing rest and peace for the day.
Today He assures me in His word through Isaiah 30:15a “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” That is what He has chosen for me today.
This is a moment by moment practice that needs a lot practicing for me, even in the little and mundane things. Where do I start?
Visitors for the day: Auntie Betty, Uncle Ruding, Errol, Cynthia, Lorenza, May, Neny, Mars, Beth, Dina
My CABG operation took place late on May 28, 2016…The hours passed for how long I do not know…The first voice I heard was an unfamiliar but respectful one. I wanted to respond andsay something…but could not…I wanted to open my eyes…but could not, I had to be abandoned to His care. The hope of seeing or hearing a familiar face did not come till later, my beautiful wife.
It truly has been a time to consider the work of God. Every page written in my life, I ought to be consider as His. Am I quick to receive what He reveals? Praise Jesus for His patience towards us. Yes, it has been more than a year since that stretch of abandon. I have to exercise daily what He has already put in, it is to be abandoned in His grace…one baby step at a time.
Thank You Lord for watching over me, for bringing a throng of Your people to come alongside my wife and I, thank You for our children, dearest family members and friends…Beloved, Keep remembering us in your prayers.
“Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.”
Two weeks before the semester starts…August 25, 2015
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”