Monday, 17 February 2014

Reflecting Thoughts

  Perhaps it might be good to close off this blog with some reflecting thoughts of our first training session in the Philippines. Thinking back, we can be thankful to God that all went well and that He kept us safe and was near to our families back home. We are also thankful for all the prayers and support from our Providence Church family and broader community!
  It was a joy to be of service to God and to our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. God gave us much reason for joy!  There was a genuine desire to learn of the Reformation. There is genuine desire to follow God’s Word faithfully and return to the truth contained in it. A number of pastors whom we had contact with already had a good understanding of the Reformed doctrines. This is something to be very thankful for.
   Our time in the Philippines allowed us to become more familiar with God’s people there, to strengthen relationships and make new ones.  We also were able to learn of the difficulties and concerns of those desiring to follow the Reformed faith. Following God’s Word comes with a cost and the cost for these brothers and sisters is very real. Pentecostal pastors with once sizable congregations are now pastors of congregations with few in number.   Support and finances becomes a concern. Still though there is reason for smiles. (Filipino people are known for their smiles even in hardship.)  “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”(James 1:2,3)  During our conversations it was evident that there has been blessing and a knowledge that our faithful God would continue to bless their faithfulness.  
   Please pray that these young congregations continue to stand firm in the faith, continue to be watchful and to be strong.  “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1Cor.16: 13,14) Please pray that they, and we, continue to love one another. “Love does no wrong to a neighbour…” (Romans 13: 10)
   The journey for these congregations will not be easy, but we rest in the knowledge that through the Word the Holy Spirit is at work in the Philippines. We trust that Christ continues to gather, defend and preserve a church for Himself. We can take great comfort in knowing Christ, seated at the right hand of God…seated in glory, has received all power and authority in heaven and earth. It is He who governs all things to our benefit, even at this very moment.  May God be praised and glorified! 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for writing of your time there in such an uplifting God-honouring way. It was a joy to follow this blog and to learn of the Spirit's working in the Philippines.