By Pastor Glem Melo
Aside from conducting our very first Sunday school and worship service in Iligan, we also rejoice at the fruitfulness that the Lord has blessed our team with throughout our Philippine-wide Bible Training seminars and outreaches last month. By God’s grace and strength alone, we conducted seminars and other ministry activities in 6 cities and towns. Rev. Phil DeHart and his wife barb of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) was with us.
In Iligan, since November 22, 2014, I have been conducting classes on the Basics of the Christian Faith and the Covenants of the Bible. Therefore, Pastor Phil had all the whole 8 hours of the seminar in Iligan to teach on Union with Christ. For the final 5 hours of our 3rd day there, we all toured the famous Maria Cristina Falls and the new Paseo de Iligan. What a great blessing it was for the brothers and sisters to hear and receive the teachings, and interact with the DeHarts! They were comforted and encouraged to trust and follow the Lord who has fully accomplished salvation for us on the cross, and who is now at work in their lives and families, bringing to them His soul-healing and life-redeeming Gospel.
In Cagayan de Oro, Pastor Phil and I met with Ernnel Tacandong and Bryan Ranalan of Kagay-an Reformed Church. We did our best to answer all their questions regarding the Reformed Faith and Presbyterianism. Most of all, I think that Pastor Phil’s humility and gentleness made a lasting and significant impression on their hearts. We pray that the Lord would continue to work and lead these precious brothers in Christ on the path of Biblical reformation in faith, life, worship and church government.
In San Fernando, Pampanga, I had the joy and privilege of preaching in a wedding and a worship service. We also conducted a seminar there. I continued my series on Covenant Theology, and Pastor Phil taught on Union with Christ. We also had plenty of fellowship and interaction times with some key families in our partner church. We pray that the Lord would continue among all the brethren there His work of edification and reformation by His word and Holy Spirit.
In Betis, Pampanga, I was also honored to preach God’s word during a worship service. The next week, Pastor Phil and I conducted the same seminar on Covenant Theology and Union with Christ for the brethren there. It was a joy for us to see them growing in the faith and maturing in the Christian life. May the Lord continue to give them hunger, diligence and perseverance in studying God’s word.
In Malolos, Bulacan, we conducted a Church Reformation and Discipleship Seminar. In the morning, I expounded Matthew 3:1-12 for the brothers and sisters there, and applied it to their present individual and congregational journey. In the afternoon Pastor Phil taught on the subject of Catechizing a Church. Before and after the seminar, we also spent much time listening to and counseling some of them as they struggle with various difficult issues in their church. Please remember to pray for our precious brothers and sisters in Christ in this city. May the Holy Spirit cause and enable them to act and react in Christlike ways as they deal with painful situations and seek to glorify God and obey His word in every area.
In Antique, it was joy and privilege once again to conduct interviews of new believers. I was encouraged and thrilled to see how they continue to progress in their studies and reflections on the gospel of God’s amazing grace in Christ. In the evenings, I conducted short lectures on Justification by Faith. Let us pray that the Lord will continue to nurture and grow the seed of the gospel that was and continues to be planted in the hearts and lives of our brothers and sisters there.
In all our new church plants and partner churches, there are situations of pain and hardships. Pastors, leaders and members who continue to resist Christ’s call to true faith and repentance… They are the ones who cause hurt and sufferings to those who are moving towards the direction of the “obedience of faith” (Romans 1:5). But the work of the Lord continues. In contexts of pain and suffering, congregations of Christ are taught, trained and reformed by His word and Holy Spirit. And where they are needed, new, Christ-centered, Gospel-rooted churches are planted.
Please continue praying for our mission.
Soli Deo gloria!