April 2009 News

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Men after worship serviceIt’s already summer vacation in the Philippines (April-May), and it’s supposed to be dry and hot and humid, but instead we’re getting an almost daily dose of rains. The weather people are now predicting that the country is experiencing a change in its annual weather pattern–a rainy season two months early.

This is a blessing in disguise for our mission church. Because of the rains and the overcast, temperatures have been abnormally lower, so our Sunday worship services are not as uncomfortable as we expected because of our lack of an air-conditioner.

We have had a few visitors these last few Sundays, so we now have up to 12-15 adults sometimes. Because the six children are very young and hard to control, Rachel started a Sunday school for them. They have enjoyed learning and singing together, but we need to get a better curriculum for them. Also, she has missed the preaching since she started teaching, and we have to rely on the printed manuscript and give

We have been going through the book of Numbers these last couple of months, with the theme “Pilgrims in the Wilderness.” I didn’t expect to learn so much personally from a book that many others shun because it is boring and “irrelevant” to Christians today. But like Israel sojourning in the desert on the way to the Promised Land, we too are pilgrims and strangers passing through this world on our way to the heavenly city of God.

Nollie and Evelyn with Allen Vander PolOur Sunday catechism lessons after the service are suspended for the summer because of the heat. But three of our regular attendees have expressed their desire to make their profession of faith before the elders of the United Covenant Reformed Church in San Carlos City, Pangasinan, so I’m now conducting a member orientation class for them. The profession of faith is planned for May3 at our retreat in Tagaytay City, Cavite, about two hours south of Pasig City. The four little children of one of the “professors” would then be baptized. That would be an exceedingly joyous occasion for our covenant community.

Everyone is looking forward to our retreat on May 1-3 in a resort house that we rented for a whole month (much less cost-effective to rent for just a weekend). We anticipate a packed house because two to three other families might join us. We will be studying 1 Peter with the theme “Strengthened–not Surprised–by Suffering.” In his letter to our first-century brethren who faced untold persecution and hardship during their own time, we too are encouraged by Peter to persevere to the end. Evelyn feels overwhelmed by all the preparations.

We appreciate your continuing prayers and support of the Philippine mission.

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