The Glory of the Small and the Simple

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Sidro's garden-2On many occasions, two preacher brothers have been discussing ways to do big things in the kingdom. Big things? To preacher brother A, that means to dream big– feeding programs for street children, medical missions, church-supported vocational school for drop-outs, radio programs, transportation ministry, etc. The list is endless. Preacher brother B feels dizzy counting.

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“The Differences Between Us and You, and the Rest of Them

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This is the letter I wrote to a young disciple:

“You asked me through text messages if there are differences between us and you and the rest of them. Answer: There are. Your father and your uncles may have read about the many segments of the Restoration Movement; yours and mine are just two of these.

“There is the ultra liberal church of Christ, to which the Disciples of Christ belongs. Some preachers in this group no longer hold to the inerrancy of the Scripture, and their authority seems to be: If the Bible does not prohibit it, then it is ok. The Disciples use instruments of music in their worship. At one time they had mission societies. They also have women pastors.

“The second group is the Church of Christ/Christian Church people, who use instruments of music in worship but have no mission societies. Oh, excuse me, at one time they had mission societies, and these too created further divisions among them. They no longer have these.

“Then there is the premillenialist wing of the Church of Christ, who believe that the church is not the kingdom promised in the Old Testament. They still look forward to the 1,000 year reign of Christ in the city of Jerusalem when He comes again.

“There is the one-cupper church of Christ, who emphasizes the use of one cup in the Lord’s Supper.

“There is the non-Sunday school class people who put more emphasis on the ‘unity of the whole church’ even during worship, so they don’t divide the members into classes.

“There is the non-institution churches of Christ… [They] have no Bible colleges and orphan homes; they also believe that the church collection should only be used for the saints, meaning members of the church only.

“Then there are churches belonging to the Boston Movement, headed by Kip McKean.

“Then there is us. We have radio programs, TV programs, orphan homes, Bible colleges. We don’t use instruments of music, and we have no mission societies.

“Some in our group have also been divided over the issues of divorce and remarriage.

“So, how many divisions is that? Nine. And it keeps growing. I decry this kind of happening in the brotherhood for which Christ died.

“Janelle, I hate division. I don’t like to be a part of the group that promotes division. I don’t feel comfortable being called a ‘liberal’ because I am not.

“I have opinions. It is my opinion that in matters of faith, all Christians should be united; in matters of opinion, we have liberty; but in all things, we should have charity toward one another.

“One time I worshipped with the church in [name of church deleted]. They are an instrumental group if I am not mistaken. But the preacher there knew that I belong to another persuasion; and that day when we worshipped, I heard no musical instruments being played to the accompaniment of the gospel songs that we sang.

“I can worship with people in your group. I did so one time.

“A church in [name of place deleted], who was started by a preacher supported by the ‘non-institutional’ brethren in the States, merged with us. These Christians never knew about the issues that divided us. We had a united fellowship in songs and the Lord’s supper and in prayer. They are now a part of the church that I had organized in [name of place deleted]. That church still remains there to this day, and they now have deacons and elders.

“At the beginning of your studies in [name of school deleted], I received an email from a certain [name deleted] asking for the church address in [name of place deleted]. I was not sure if it was you or your father who wrote me. I tried to help you find the address of the church, and I never considered the difference between us as something that should keep us apart as brethren in fellowship.

“I suggest these options:
(1) You may worship with the church in [name of place deleted]. I already contacted them, gave them your cellphone number. Anytime they might call you. It is your choice if you shall worship with them. Or,

(2) You may worship with the group in [name of place deleted]. You have gone there already. Do you like them? Are you comfortable with them?

(3) [Or your] last option is for you to worship alone, in the privacy of your room; or urge your [relatives] to come and start a group of your own persuasion in [name of place deleted]. If I visit your place I might look for your group and worship with you, if you will accept me.

“If not, I may worship alone.
. . . . .. .
“Someday, we shall meet each other, maybe not in this world but in eternity. I want you to always remember that like you, I love God and Jesus and I love to serve them. I am striving to obey His will.

“Janelle, I don’t want to be shackled by human opinions, like institutions, colleges, or rituals, like cups, or impositions like ‘church collection for saints only.’ …I want to be guided only by the commands of Jesus. Examples are not commands; they only tell me how commands were followed. I may have opinions, but as I have said, I don’t want to bind these on you.

“You have my Christian love and my prayers.

“Ed”

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News from the Field

September 22, 2007

OUR LINKS LIST
This is the list of websites and blog sites I had visited when I had the chance to surf.

The first, wordministry.wordpress.com, by brother Eusebio Tanicala. From very simple formats it has now progressed into something much better. And a better performer at that too, this blog of his is. For brother Eusebio, the best is yet to be. He did wonders to it that really amazed me when I visited it just a while ago (2:50 a.m. to be exact).

Second, http://www.theseeker.org, is by F. LaGard Smith, Gospel Advocate writer-contributor. Brother Smith has many good ideas of what constitutes true restoration. He however does not impose it. He has many good books to his credit: The Cultural Church, The Radical Restoration, After Life-A Glimpse of Eternity Through the Doorway of Death, and others. See for your self.

Next, http://www.jimmcguiggan.com, by the British preacher Jim McGuiggan. I have read some of Jim’s books and I like them. He has a very fresh approach to understanding the Word. Jim had on one occasion taught at the Manila School of Evangelism, the school directed by brother Felipe Cariaga, located on Instruccion Street, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines. I had taught in this school for less than a year. I still cherish the good memories I have of that school.

Www.heraldoftruth.org still airs the Herald of Truth program on radios and TVs. They have many good speakers on that program.

Www.cocn.org is the website of the church of Christ in Shreveport, La. I have downloaded some good materials for sermons from this site. You can also place your congregation’s address in their directory.

Www.biblecourses.com is the website of the Truth for Today magazine. It is one paper that has helped me greatly in my teaching and preaching. Some of you guys I have recommended to these brethren that you may receive free copies of the magazine. Click this site and subscribe to their paper if you have not received a copy of their paper yet. It is free.

Www.bible-infonet.org/ff/ is the website of the brotherhood publication, the Firm Foundation, that used to keep us busy, fill our days with its meaty teachings, keep us hungering for a showdown with the sects. The Firm Foundation used to be our training ground, next to the Philippine Bible College, in Baguio City. We had our fondest memories as students of this Bible college among the pines, sitting at the feet of some of the best American and Filipino teachers the brotherhood has to offer.

Oh, and last but not the least, http://www.church-of-christ.org, the website founded by brother Silbano Garcia. This is a very useful ministry by a very unassuming man who has done great for the cause of Jesus throughout the world. American brethren who wanted to come to the Philippines made it a must to first browse the international directory of the churches of Christ. Chances are, there is a congregation of God’s people in the place of their destination.

Brethren, go ahead. Surf. Enjoy.

THE JOY OF BEING WITH GOD
As a church, we are blessed. We are blessed to become a blessing to others, especially to our fellow Christians. We are blessed to be an example to others, to be able to pray for others and encourage one another to grow and reach that stage of maturity in Christ.

Seven days the Lord has given us to use every week have proved the incredible value of that blessing. These who are in Bacayan, in Babag Uno and in Maraag–three young churches–have heard us preach and teach, have heard us talk when out of the pulpit, and have seen our manner of life, and our devotion to the Lord in serving Him and worshipping Him, and our wisdom as shown in the way we handle the Scriptures. Being with these people you will hear nothing but good words, encouraging words, words of admiration for the one who brought them the gospel, for the family who made it possible for Ed Maquiling to preach to them the Word. If you would stop them in the middle of a conversation and tell them you don’t deserve any of these accolades, they would insist that those really come from the bottom of their hearts. Very simple people whose lives have not been stained by the bad examples they saw from other preachers (of the denominations).

Oh yes, they have not yet seen Christian preachers quarreling among themselves. By these I mean preachers of the Lord’s church. I hate to think about the day when they will see us preachers debating and shouting and lambasting each other. They have not seen the rest. They have only seen me. They have only seen how I treat them, as brothers and sisters whom I truly love. I will not let them see that day. That will be a day of our misfortune, the day when we will curse ourselves for not living up to the example of Jesus.

Oh, how they love each other too. No Catholic can criticize a member of the Lord’s church here, in Babag or in Maraag, without any of these Christians coming to her defense. Rodrigo Sacamay, the very first among those in Babag Uno to be baptized, told us it hurts him to hear his brothers in the flesh castigating his fellow Christian. To which all in the assembly agree. Even they themselves, members of the one body of Christ in Babag Uno, have stopped criticizing each other. They all feel that they are one body. The pains of one are the pains of all. The hurts of one is everybody’s hurts.

A question I posed to them during our Bible classes ran like this: Whom would you accept into your home: (1) A man who teaches the truth but does not live up to what he preaches? (2) A man who preaches false doctrines but lives a very exemplary life? They had no choice of either of these! Isn’t that amazing? They would rather have a man who preaches the truth and lives likewise according to the Word that he preaches.

We are here seeing young disciples having a commitment and a deeper understanding of what it takes to be a christian, a true disciple of Jesus, one who is heaven-bound. They are trying to fulfill in whatever way possible, according to the ability the Lord has supplied them, their commitment to God. They in Babag Uno told me that nothing can stop them, nothing can hinder them to fulfill that commitment to serve God and be in heaven someday.

Fulfill a commitment? These brethren do not believe that their work saves them. They know by heart what Ephesians 2:8-9 says. They trust only in Jesus’ power to save, they knew that He saved them by His blood, and they knew the blood would be powerless to make a change in their soul if they did not meet the Lord in the watery grave of baptism, and they knew that they could lose that salvation if they would not remain faithful to Him all the days of their lives. Commitment in its totality. They could not bargain for a much lesser price. It is all or none at all.

THEIR STORIES RETOLD
Boy Noval, Sam Tariman, and other men told me they already have stopped engaging in vices, no smoking, no wine-drinking.

Boy Noval told me that what motivated him to do right, to love his family, to be kind to everyone, and to stop bowing his knees to idols, was his father. His father claimed to be Catholic but did not practice it, was even very critical about idol worship. Boy stopped practicing Catholicism. His father stopped drinking after he got sick; Boy did not even attempt to try taking wine. His father read his Bible but never got to the point of obeying Jesus; Boy read his Bible and obeyed Jesus. There lies the difference.

You should see Boy Noval. His stature as God’s child is spiritually much taller, but physically he is not. For, you see, Boy wears no shoes or sandals. He’s got his feet, the fingers of his feet, and sometimes the fingers of his hand, above the ground as he moves around, and he stands only two feet tall. Deformed feet. Deformed hands. He walks like he is crawling on three legs. A pitiful sight to see, but he does not mind it now. He never pays attention to it at all. It is a physical defect that–he’s happy to know–the good Lord shall make right on resurrection day. On that day, everything about him will be normal, like us.

Sam Tariman. For all you know he could be one who knocks at your door at night begging for a chance to hear you and to be heard likewise. His agony began when he had much money and got very sick. I asked him if he meant that money is evil; he said no. Because he had read from his Bible that the love of money is the root of all evil. But when he got sicker, and spent much money for being sicker, Sam was jolted into his senses, was startled into reality that something was wrong with his soul. You see, prior to the time he had gotten into a hospital, a man (a denominational preacher for sure) came by his house with a Bible and wanted to talk to Sam about his soul. Sam never paid attention. Sam did not even invite him for coffee. Very unkind of me, he confessed. A week after that, they got him into a hospital. Hundreds of thousands of pesos spent for a sickness whose origin or cause the specialists did not even know. But anyway, Sam was given a new lease of life, so to speak.

A week after he came home, Sam visited the bookstores looking for a Bible. He bought one for himself, and devoured it, so to speak. He stopped reading only because his wife brought him his lunch, or his snacks, or his dinner. He had read the whole Bible in a short period of time.

One day Sam visited Boy in his shop, and saw Boy was reading his Bible. That story is one for those who have kindred spirits. They joined each other to listen to the Calvary church preachers. As they kept listening to the man, they found out that the man was doctrinally skewed in some places. They stopped inviting him. They stopped coming to his class. Sam asked Boy if he has a church affiliation, and Boy said yes, he had been attending a church but had already stopped going there.

And then I came.

PRAYER REQUESTS
I will need to have long hours to do this, but I am happy to do it just the same. This shows the spirit of caring that should characterize God’s people. They pray for one another.

We agreed that we are to pray for those who have been absent because they were downed by flu and other sickness, and for others who are still experiencing difficult health problems.

For those who are having difficulties with their relatives, with their neighbors, with their sons and daughters who are not Christians.

For those who are new Christians, that they may see the good examples of those who have become Christians ahead of them, and that they too may grow.

For those who are looking for jobs.

For those of us, Edward, Ed, Federico, Rodrigo and Armando, who are involved in leading many effective ministries like visitation, preaching and teaching, and counseling.

For the ladies like sister Panfila, sister Mery, sister Nene, sister Godelia, who are leading an effective ministry of counseling and visitation of the sick and praying for them.

For those who have been hurt by the criticism of non-Christians, that they may remain strong.

For the visitors who had visited our assemblies the first time, that they would be encouraged by the good that they see in us.

For those who promised to visit us in our assembly but did not come, that our courage to stand in the faith may also be an encouragement to them.

TWO NEW VISITORS TO OUR BACAYAN STUDIES AND WORSHIP LAST SUNDAY
We had two new visitors attending the Bible class last Sunday in Bacayan, both of whom are Samuel’s nephews. They are Joseph and Ryan. Hence we had three of Sam’s nephews attending, two Josephs and a Ryan. Sam has kept on recruiting more people to attend our classes not only on Sundays but also on Wednesdays. He believes that we are teaching what the Bible teaches, and since the Bible is truth, then we are teaching the truth. Those are actually his words, quoted indirectly.

Two ladies who had been attending the Calvary church in Talamban are now attending church here in Bacayan.

Furthermore, brother Boy Noval has been inviting his neighbors too to listen to the Word. All in his family, by the way, are attending our classes on Wednesday and Sunday.

The weather was not good last Sunday; it rained that morning and the ground was very wet. Wearing my rubber boots, I grabbed my raincoat and slipped it inside my knapsack, ready in case of a downpour. Safety precautions, too, because the path going to the house where we worship is muddy and slippery.

VERY CHALLENGING AND INTERESTING QUESTIONS
Very interesting questions had been asked of me in the Bible classes in Bacayan, questions which pose a challenge to my ability to give satisfactory answers. Here are some of the questions, in case you want to try your mettle and skill:

“What is the true church and where is it now?”

“The phrase ‘added to the church daily such as should be saved’ is found only in the King James Version, not in my Cebuano Bible. If the phrase is scriptural, then the KJV is correct but my Cebuano Bible is wrong.”

“The Calvary people and the Royal Christian church people are good, kind, and helpful. You mean to tell me they are going to hell?” (Note: These two sects have their group meetings here; they had been ahead of us in Bacayan by about a year).

“Show us by the Scripture that it is wrong to lay hands on people today.”

“Are all those going to heaven only baptized people?”

“There was yet no church in Old Testament times. How could they avail of the power of Christ’s blood to save them?”

Let me tell you that I had not left home without praying to the Father for help and guidance in case I find myself in very difficult situations. This is one of those very difficult situations a Christian teacher could be in.

And so I answered each of those questions. I mean, all those questions. I answered all because I knew the danger of leaving even one question unanswered. I answered each question with tact so as not to hurt, with my tone of voice quite moderate, and with a smile on my lips to show that I am a friend. In many instances I just quoted Scriptures, and allowed the listeners to make their own conclusions. Chances are, their conclusions are the same as mine.

And I tried not to argue. A brother from Banilad attended our midweek study one time, and argued with Sam. If I allowed their argument to continue, one of these people, or both of them, could lose their chance to be in heaven. But my direct action, my smile and happy mood helped to disarm both. Tact. Patience. Happy disposition. That is the secret. We need to have a large supply of these everyday.

We left each other with the promise to come back again same time, same place next Sunday.

BIBLE DISTRIBUTION
We had given away many Bibles to friends in Bacayan, in Babag, and in Maraag this week. These Bibles belong to that batch of Bibles sent to Good News Clinic by the brethren from Spokane, Wa. Thanks to the Lord’s church in Spokane.

EMAIL FROM A YOUNG LADY OF BANSALAN
Her name is Sharigift; she’s the daughter of brother Abner and sister Leah Sabute, both of whom were my students in the Bible college among the pines. I had once mentioned in this blog that I had sent lessons to brother Abner for use in teaching people in prison or out of prison (I surmised that brother Abner is connected with the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology [BJMP] in Digos, Davao del Sur). And I sent those through Shari’s email address. Now she’s asking for other favors, favors I cannot refuse.

Shari told me that many of the young people from Bansalan church have no Bibles to use during their Bible classes. She also said that the church there made do of whatever was left of the songbooks donated to the church when her uncle Tony Visitacion was still living. Now they have tattered songbooks, no covers, with pages torn, which they with patience and care repaired in order to still use them. They may have lost a great preacher, but they have not lost their zeal in serving God.

I only have four Bibles left (New King James Version), and I will send these to Bansalan. This is not enough. I have three English Songbooks (Songs of the Church) to send. Again, this is not enough. They need more than I could give.

Brethren, may we ask you to donate Bibles and English songbooks to the Lord’s church in Bansalan, Davao del Sur? For the songbooks, whatever title will do: “Songs of the Church,” “Christian Hymns,” “Sacred Selections,” etc. They will greatly appreciate your help.

You may send your Bibles and songbook donations to them directly, or through me. But I would rather that you send those directly to them. Their address is:

Bansalan Church of Christ
c/o Abner and Leah Sabute
1515 Forget Me Not Street
Poblacion 1, Bansalan, Davao del Sur 8005

MOUNTAIN VIEW CHURCH DONATES ITS CEBUANO SONGBOOKS TO MARAAG
I mentioned in this blog about a week ago that the Lord’s church in Babag Uno had bought themselves 10 copies of the Cebuano Hymnbook, the one issued by the Baptists. I got those hymnbooks at a discounted price at the OMF Literature. Their store is located on F. Ramos Street, Cebu City.

Now the Mountain View church has donated those songbooks for the use of the brethren in Maraag. They are going to have their own, a reprint of the songs that we lifted from brotherhood hymnbooks and which we translated into Cebuano. They are songs we have chosen with care, translated with much care, songs we always cherish. They are very excellent songs. Copies of those songs we have translated are stored in my computer, and in my email accounts, ready to fly on the net in case someone asks for it. Like the lessons I am distributing, those hymns also are free.

DISCOUNTS AT OMF BOOK STORE
For the information of brethren, this store is Protestant-leaning but it offers discounts to ministers of the Lord’s church. Just go there, identify yourself, make your purchase, ask if they could give you discounts. They will make you fill up a form. Then they will issue you a card. When I applied for discounts there two weeks ago, they gave discounts and bonuses: “Pastor’s” mug, nice and durable-looking, with letters embossed, and a copy of a book by Harold J. Sala, titled “God Said, So What.” Dr. Sala’s book is good defense of the authority and inspiration of the Bible. See for yourself.

FOR THE INFORMATION OF THOSE WHO WRITE ME BY EMAILS
The lessons on denominationalism we are giving for free on the net are:
(1) Roman Catholicism in the Light of the Scriptures
(2) Questions Concerning Catholic Doctrines and Dogmas Answered
(3) The Church of England in the Light of the Scriptures
(4) The Lutheran Church in the Light of the Scriptures

We also have lessons you could use in Home Bible Studies: The Truth that Saves, consisting of ten lessons.

Sermons ready for distribution are available in my sermon blog; visit this site: http://sermonsforliving.blogspot.com.

We also have lessons on the Baptist church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Iglesia ni Cristo, and the Mormon church. All four are about to be finished.

SERMON BLOG MINISTRY IS GETTING MANY RESPONSES
I have been getting responses through text messages that brother so and so downloaded this sermon and that sermon. We will keep adding to that collection. For those of you who have not heard of it yet, you may visit http://sermonsforliving.blogspot.com. Many of those sermons were skeleton outlines of sermons I lifted from denominational literature, which I changed; some came from brotherhood websites; others from Truth for Today (one by brother Olbricht, by the way, and I gave him credit for that in the blog).

Brother Neph Sico, my brother-in-law and my brother in Christ (his wife, by the way, is my wife’s sister) made a comment in one of our blogs, and asked permission to copy some of our materials in those blogs, and I told him to go ahead and copy what he wants to copy. We are happy to be of service to everyone.

WHERE IS THE MOTHER?
A piece of news that moved us, of a little boy two years old who was out playing in the rain, no, in the storm that came this week with its great outbursts of winds, showers and rain, flooding the city. The scene is near the Capitol site, where sits the head of the provincial government of Cebu. One error in construction. One defect in design. Or just plain, simple negligence. A manhole without a cover. Had anyone ever thought that that one defect would cost a life?

Where was the mother? is the next question. She was in another house, busy with something, and never noticed his son was no longer around. Someone said he saw the boy playing on street. They suspected something. The manhole without a cover. So the helpful neighbors did what they could. Some crawled into the manhole. They inched their way through the sewer, their bodies smelling of the foulness of the sewer, their faces muddied, till they reached the spot kilometers away from the Capitol site, and their search ended there. A search that took more than a day. At the mouth of the sewer by the bay fronting the city of Lapulapu, they saw a body, the body of the boy, lifeless, bluish, in its early decomposing stage. A very terrible end for so young a life.

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News from the Field

Sept. 15, 2007

WORSHIP AND STUDIES
Our Bible classes and worship services in Bacayan and in Babag went on as usual without a glitch. Brethren enjoyed the feast of the word, and one could see that joy in their eyes.

To promote a closer fellowship, we have a plan to serve some snacks, of bread and coffee for brethren to share with one another after worship. Brother Boy Noval would often insist that I eat lunch with them, and for two times I declined, but the next time he invites me, I will not.

I imagine that this must be how the early Christians held their love feasts, with the financially able among them shelling out money to pay the cost of the feasts.

Today is Saturday and I will be out visiting, although I am seeing thicker clouds above, which means it probably will rain.

My hands are full. Tomorrow morning, Sunday, I will be doing some visiting and teaching in my friends’ homes until 11:00 a.m., at which time worship and studies in Bacayan begin. We will have an hour to spend in singing, praying and studying of the word.

At 1:00 p.m. I must be off to Babag Uno, where worship and studies begin at 2:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. After the worship and studies in Babag I go immediately to Maraag. Our studies in Maraag begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m.

After the services I would spend an hour making conversation with brethren, leave Maraag at 9:00 p.m. and arrive at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., so tired I would hit the sack about half an hour later, wake up at 3:30 a.m. and have my dinner. So far so good.

A YOUNG MOTHER NEEDING HELP
Her name is Hazel Suico, mother of two. She came to our meeting place weeks ago, seeking our advice about certain domestic problems.

Hazel’s big problem was her philandering husband. While it is not our policy as a church to meddle in domestic problems between husbands and wives, we had advised Hazel to seek the way of peace, not retaliating, but enduring all insults with humility and meekness, and praying that God would touch the hearts of those who hurt her. We told her to let go.

The husband left her. Hazel followed our advice, and she said she was seeing some good results: She now could bear the pain, she felt she now could control her urge to fight back, and she said she now could forgive.

The gospel she heard awakened her interest on things spiritual. From the day she started listening to the gospel, Hazel kept coming to church every Sunday afternoon.

Hazel used to work abroad as an OFW, in Taiwan and in the Middle East. Now she is jobless. We prayed for her, and advised her to apply to a certain company which we recommended; we gave her the address and the phone number of that company. She was accepted.

HOME VISITATION: PATIENCE AND A CARING ATTITUDE GIVE GOOD RESULTS
We have shown this to be true in our visits to the home of Diosdada, who used to attend the worship of the Lord’s church in Babag Uno months ago. It is not just I, but other members of the Lord’s church also, who did the visiting; it is not just once or twice, but quadruple of times that we visited her. Seven people from the church who came showed Diosdada that the church of the Lord in Babag Uno cares for her soul.

Last Sunday, Sept. 9, Diosdada was back to worship with us.

A NUMBER OF NON-MEMBERS ATTENDING CHURCH
We are happy that Faustina, a daughter-in-law of sister Nene Jaime, was back last Sunday in Babag church after having been away for a year.

We too had Mr. Alipio, a member of Evangelical Free Church in Lahug visiting with us in Babag, two Sundays ago. He had missed a few Sunday’s visit because his relative in Leyte died and he had to pay respects to the dead.

We had Liddy, sister Mery’s daughter-in-law. We also had Arnel, sister Mery’s son and Liddy’s husband.

Mery, one of the first fruits of our labors in Babag Uno, has really been trying her best to reach out to those of her family. Mery was one of our first gospel contacts in Babag; she it was who gathered her neighbors as well as her husband to listen to me preach. As may be true in some case histories of conversion, it was wives who preceded their husbands in the kingdom of God. We have two of these in Babag Uno: Sister Mery and sister Panfila Campos. Brother Antonio (Mery’s husband) and brother Federico (Panfila’s spouse) could not have become Christians had not their spouses persuaded them to try the Lord. God bless these two women.

We also had another man, sister Mery’s brother-in-law, whose name is lost in my memory. But I will have the opportunity to know him if he comes next Sunday.

Miralyn, sister Nene’s daughter who is not a member of the church, has been attending regularly with us for six Sundays now. Because our Sunday lessons touch on man’s problems- sufferings, pains, conflicts with neighbors, loss of jobs, peer pressure, domestic fights, etc.– as well as how to solve these problems and understand why they happen, God’s word of advice from His Bible helps these people in ways they could never imagine.

During the Bible sharing session, we also touch on the subject of becoming a Christian, albeit in passing, mentioning a passage or two to explain why one needs to follow Jesus. If the non-member becomes curious about knowing the difference between “them” and “us,” I set up a class in their homes.

CLOTHES DISTRIBUTION CAMPAIGN
We have now gathered a bundle of clothings and clothes to be given away to the needy in Babag Uno. Hopefully, these will be distributed after worship this coming Sunday, September 16.

IT’S BEEN RAINING HARD THIS WEEK
It’s been raining hard this week, three days in a row, and already 17 villages and districts in the city of Cebu had been flooded. Flooding waters rushing from the mountains destroyed the road going to Sinsin, the only road that connects it to the cities of Talisay and Cebu, rendering it impassable for vehicles including motorcycles. Sinsin is a mountain baranggay adjacent to the place where I am doing mission work, in Maraag, Sudlon 2.

One of casualties of the floods whose fate really touched our hearts is this old woman, 71 years old, so says the TV News, from a mountain village below Babag Uno. Her house was beside the creek, and she was blind. When the floodwaters came rushing toward their house (that was Wednesday) the old woman’s son said he tried to save her, but the waters were too strong for both of them. Her body was found off the coast of a seashore village in Lapulapu City the next day, Thursday.

Our Bible classes had been postponed for three days because of the heavy rains and been moved to other days.

SETTING ASIDE AN HOUR FOR PRAYER TIME
We have been praying for Julie, who left for her home in Antique, Panay Island, and had not been back to us for four months now. While she was in Babag Uno, Julie never missed worship.

We have been praying for the studies we are having in Bacayan, near our home. We have been praying too for the mission work we are doing in Maraag, Sudlon 2, and in Babag Uno.

We have been praying for wives and their spouses, whose marriage is experiencing trouble.

I have been praying for my wife. She does not like to be sick. She thinks she can do her ministry of teaching our grandsons the way of the Lord if she is not having high blood pressure and pains in the joints. I agree.

We have been praying too for our kids: For Karla our daughter, who is sick and has called us for help and advice; we told her to go to the nearest hospital, East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City. And for Abby, who is out early today for a job interview.

We have been praying for the kids whose parents are members of the Lord’s church in Babag Uno, in Bacayan, and in Maraag, that they may see the grace of God exhibited in their parents’ lives, and learn from their parents’ examples. We have been praying that the Lord will touch their hearts, and make them learn the truth of the gospel before it is too late.

We have been praying that the Lord will keep using us to proclaim His will.We have been praying that we may always be able to bear the trials and sufferings this life brings; that we may become strong inspite of them, because of the Lord who keeps us through and by His grace.

We have been praying for the preachers of the Lord’s church in many parts of this country. They have told me me through text messages and by emails that they have been inspired by what we are doing through our blog, publishing sermons that could help them in edifying the church where they are ministering.

We have been praying for the preachers who are preaching in prison and out of prison; for brother Abner Sabute and his wife Leah, and for their family. Brother Abner, from what I heard, is trying to reach out those who are in prison in Digos, Davao del Sur. For brother Danny Mamugay and his family — naturally they’re not in prison — who have transferred to Bohol and established a congregation there. For brother Maymay Lagria, who is in Albay doing missions; for sister Bernie Cal, Maymay’s sister in the flesh, who is doing a great job for Jesus in the ministry she has chosen. And for Minnie Lagria. What happened to Minnie? We have no news about her. The last news we heard she’s in Africa doing missions.

We will be adding more to our prayer list. God in his abundant mercy and love puts no limits to what man can petition and pray for if the prayer is done according to His will.

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News from the Field

BACAYAN MISSION
We have begun the work in Bacayan two months ago, and we are now making much headway. We conduct classes three times a week (Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) in the home of Boy Noval alone, in which his wife, two sons, a daughter-in-law, and Sammy Tariman, a neighbor, attend.

Monday, Tuesday and Thursday we have studies in two other homes.

Last night, Friday, we had an addition, a visitor, the nephew of Sam Tariman. His name is Joseph and he lives in Danao, but works in the shop of his uncle Sam. Sam has a lot of nephews who all look up to him as the model of a true seeker of the heavenly treasures.

Tomorrow morning, Sunday, we will have our first worship in Bacayan, in the home of brother Boy and sister Conching Noval. Their place is quite small, but that will do for now. We are still looking for a much bigger worship place to accomodate the much bigger number who will attend.

SONGBOOKS
Today I have procured ten songbooks that cost P750 and are paid for by the Mountain View church. These shall be used by the churches where I am ministering, by Bacayan on Sunday morning, by Mountain View church in Babag Uno on Sunday afternoon, and by Maraag Sunday evening.

Mountain View church has been helping its sister congregations, by allowing them to use their songbooks, thus maximizing its use.

Mountain View church has also been sharing its grape juice and Lord’s Supper bread to two other congregations.

Not only that, Mountain View church also pays for my gasoline expenses as I visit and preach to other congregations.

VISITATION AND COUNSELING
We do our visitation and counseling on days we are not busy with teaching. This is a separate ministry done in the homes of those who are struggling with their faith, which means they are Christians.

We also visit and give counseling to those who are not members of the Lord’s church. Our purpose is to try to influence them to change their outlook, look to the bright side and find God, the God whom they must have forgotten.

NEW MINISTRY TO AID OTHER PREACHERS
I have been receiving text messages and emails from Christians requesting me to send them Bible lessons and sermon outlines.

Two weeks ago, we sent lessons to brother Abner Sabute who is teaching a class in a prison house in Digos, Davao del Sur. We sent the lessons through their daughter’s email address.

In the past we had sent lessons to brother Mon de Vera, brother Cabuenas, brother Aldous Echegoyen, and others whose names we cannot remember anymore. I have asked them too to share those lessons with other preachers.

If you have not received a copy of these lessons, feel free to write me through these email addresses: edmaquiling@hotmail.com, or mountainviewcoc@yahoo.com.

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Tell Simon Go Find Another Company

Ladies, you are advised not to go out swimming–alone. It is better, they say, to sink in the company of one who can swim.

Some situations in life too call for company. Say, on marketing days, Mom needs one to carry the baskets of goods and goodies (in this case a house helper will do), or someone to act the role of boy Friday, to call the police or to call an ambulance when something’s gone wrong, or to remind her, in the midst of the hassles of haggling and buying, that she has forgotten to take her Olmetic, “for the prices of commodities might raise your BP” (in which case a grandson six years old is okay).

Read on>>>

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