Bible classes at “My Father’s House” begins October 10, 2018.
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“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but He is (has) risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee,”
Luke 24:5b, 6
This is a reminder to keep our eyes, ears, and hearts on Jesus Christ. In this gospel account, the Lord’s disciples are reminded to exercise those senses (eyes=Why do you seek…?; ears/memory=Remember how He spoke to you while He was still-with you-in Galilee…) In the encounter with the angel the attention is directed at the source of all things, not ourselves, not the work, but on the Words of Jesus Christ, what He said and continues to say.
The Lord reminds me that I ought to look expectantly for Him to hear His voice in the ministry. Now that Nenita and I have moved to Santa Rosa, I stand guard; station myself where I ought; and I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me…”(Habakkuk 2:1-3).
Looking back, my hubris gets the better of me in specific situations; and when it does, I view such instances with a sense of finality. I mumble and say to myself, “Oh no, what have I done?” But the Holy Spirit is quick to remind me that nothing can separate me from His love; and that with God, all things are possible. The words of Jesus always comes at a time I need His assurance, “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house…” In my mind the Spring semester was in full view, but by His grace, it has been pushed to be a Summer semester for His purpose. He knows best!
The Lord has brought us thus far in the first quarter of 2018:
1) MFHBC continues with “Off-Site” classes, a.k.a. “W.o.W – Word on Wheels” beginning in April out of Santa Rosa, Laguna. Because of the move and requests from two churches, classes have been rescheduled to start on the third week of April 2018, which is summer(in the Philippines).
2) MFHBC over the last six years, continue to establish relationships with existing fellowships, rekindling old friendships not just in Calabarzon(southern Luzon) but to include northern Luzon for the “…equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry.” We continue to follow His directive that more may know Christ and make Him known.
3) During this recent “spring” break, we were blessed to visit new places. As we did, we got to pray up the people we encountered. For the most part, the Gospel needed to be proclaimed; and equally important is the need for the Word of God taught at the small independent churches.
The move to Santa Rosa was explained in a previous newsletter, and is so ordained because the move allows us easier access to the “highways and byways” for the work we have been called to(this includes you…we’re in this together).
The urgency is a reality until the Lord returns. You may remember this phrase, “Go and tell, or they will go to hell” by Nenita, so yes, the work we are called to is urgent. The call is to reach the most number of teachable saints for the work of the ministry. The upcoming 2018 semester is out of the norm and is slated to begin with two churches, Kingdom Ministries in Silang, Cavite – down south; and Rock of Refuge at New Manila, Quezon City – at the center. Keep in prayer as the Lord wills, for a class to start with a local church in the Santa Rosa area.
As part of our preparation for the coming semester, we went on a retreat (step back), to seek His face and scout the landscape beyond CaLaBaRzon. Last June 2017, we visited Mariveles, Bataan (west of Manila) for a wedding, then to Baguio (north) to celebrate our 25th anniversary, these cities mentioned are far from Santa Rosa and Tagaytay, way north.
This 2018, we attended another wedding up in Baguio. It was a ceremony that had all the elements of what a wedding ought to look like, restoration, forgiveness, reconciliation, and redemption. What a beautiful wedding, through it, God is glorified!
The grooms parents are Nenita’s friends from way back. They invited us for a road trip to a city in Ilocos Sur, named Vigan. It was a four and a half hour drive northwest of Baguio. It was cool to see this part of the country and spend time with friends…”are we there yet?”
Before the Vigan road trip, we made new friends in Baguio, the parents of one of Nenita’s doctors. Meet Buddy and Marie Jose, and Buddy’s sister Tess. It was a pleasant and fun-filled first meeting over lunch, Baguio style: deep fried bangus (milkfish), tilapia two ways (fried, and stewed in mustard leaves and tamarind), duck cooked in coconut milk…Yummm. Introductions through stories were exchanged, it was like we’d known each other a long time and were simply catching up by giving updates about our lives.
In addition to visiting the countryside and making new friends, we got to spend time with the saints of Calvary Chapel Fellowship of Baguio. The family of God is awesomely large that wherever you turn, if you remain alert, you will meet brothers and sisters in the Lord you otherwise might have ignored.
Do keep us both in your prayers to the Lord of the harvest, which indeed is plentiful, laborers are few. Let us press on together in the power of His might. Again, from Nenita and I, thank you for your faithful participation to His work through us. Praise God indeed!!! We love you.
“And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure,
for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth.”
In our theme verse, 1Peter 3:15, 16, the students of MFHBC learned and dug for gold nuggets of truth what it means to “sanctify” or “honor” Christ the Lord as holy. Looking back on our rear view mirror, it is as important as keeping our eyes ahead to 2018.
The goal that every man/woman be presented complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28) Here at “My Father’s House“, God continues to do the work He promised we (that includes you)get to be a part of. The fall of 2017 saw us planted in the heart of the city of Silang, about 10 kilometers away from Tagaytay, we came alongside Kingdom Ministries to pass on how to mine God’s truth to group leaders.
When classes began on September 5, the room was filled to capacity. The excitement of something new proved too much to resist for these men and women. They flocked to this “old” new thing, studying the Word of God as He intended for all. The sense of joyous expectancy were with these students, coming to learn NT Greek, Inductive Bible Study, Theology, and the Gospel of Luke. They shot off from the gates like a rocket…and then…the truth of the parable of the Sower soon was manifest over the coming weeks, beginning in mid October leading to December. Keep praying with us for these (Jude 20-24).
Glory and praise belongs to the Lord in all that has been accomplished in Fall 2017. The prayer of the Lord in you are being realized in this area of ministry here with us in the Philippines, such as:
1. The Lord opening the offsite teaching ministration at Kingdom Ministries in Silang.
2. The continuing partnership with the Rock of Refuge Christian Church testifies to the unique relationship that exist amongst God’s children without focusing on the “brand.” They are co-workers to the BJMP inmates in Biñan, Laguna, and together we all have been blessed by many fruits of salvation.
3. Then there is the women’s Bible fellowship, Joyful Ruthies faithfully come together. Praise God for all that He has done, is doing, and will continue to do.
Towards the start of December, Pastor Ren Sabio, one whom God has used in our lives, visited us along with his niece and parents,”Pops” and Mom. Every year since we’ve been here, God is faithful to press us forward through visits from the church, His body, through folks like you, and this year the Sabios.
Not only that, MFHBC hosted aspiring film maker Melissa, her cast Janine, Jude, TJ and Kevin for the weekend before Christmas. The Indie film titled “Enough” in English will be entered in 2018’s Cine Malaya Film Festival at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
* For the next place of God for us. Pray with us for the right place in wisdom, that His will be done on the where and when, that the how be manifest by Him (Hebrews 11:10).
* For the coming Off Site Spring 2018 semester; for current and future students to be wholehearted and steadfast in their trust and dependence upon Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith. Pray for churches to be single minded towards Christ, that we all come united in His Body being the Bride until He returns. Jude 20-24
* Pray For the BJMP prison ministry; for the inmates and the officers who are hearing the Gospel, to be transformed as they hear and believe and make confession with their mouth Christ Jesus in their lives. Romans 10:10
* Pray For our ministry partners, Rock of Refuge Christian Church(RRCC) and Kingdom Ministries of Silang (KMS), their pastors and leaders in training to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2Peter 3:17
* Pray For the Ladies of Joyful Ruthies Women’s Bible Study that by their model, other women(young and old) will know Christ in the teaching of His Word, and in their actions win many to Jesus. Titus 2:3,4
* Pray the Philippines be transformed by the Word of God. For us not to be weary in this field of dreams and to keep on being joyful in His strength as we continue to sow in the fallow grounds. Hosea 10:12
Coming this Fall 2017…beginning the last week of August 2017…
Inductive Bible Study
The purpose for this class is to teach and encourage students to study the Word of God by observing, interpreting, cross-referencing, and relevantly applying the message of Bible passages to their lives.
In Luke 11:28, Jesus says “…Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
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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.”
Coming this Fall 2017…beginning August 29…
A general overview of New Testament Greek grammar and syntax…we begin translating from Greek to English…learning grammar, syntax, exegesis, and diagramming…little memorization required in this class…we use tools like Greek-English interlinears and analytical lexicons…let the Spirit speak to your hearts plainly; “…The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.” John 16:25
English translation above is John 3:16-17 ESV
In Isaiah 55:11, God says…”So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
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