Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things.
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! ~ Psalm 72: 18-19
It's Sunday morning here in the Philippines and it gives time to sit in the warmth of the day and reflect on God's goodness. Our time here in Cagayan de Oro gave much to be thankful for. Of those we met and attended the seminars there continues to be a hunger for God's Word. There is an eager desire to follow His Word and to give careful study of the reformed confessions. It was exciting for us to see a good number of pastors and church leaders from a broad circle of churches and other ministries here attend the seminars. There is a reformed appetite that is growing and by God 's grace we hope that it would continue to grow and mature.
Our morning continued in Balalung where we were able to worship with the Balalung Reformed Church. Rev. Bouwers sermon focused on Lord's Day 36 & 37. This is a small congregation we have had a relationship with since we began here three years ago. Its liturgy closely follows that of many a reformed church back home. Having come from a Penticostal background the Geneven tunes have been like fresh air to them since in God's providence their instruments were washed away with typhoon Sendong in 2011. You might think it strange but they smile when they think of how their instruments were taken away from them. Geographically the church in Balalung is somewhat rural and this has made it difficult to attract new members. Convenient travel is something we take for granted in North America but here it can be difficult for a number of reasons. However the church, despite her struggles carries on seeking to be faithful to God's Word and a light to the community around them. What turned out to be interesting this morning is that we found ourselves worshipping with a group of some 20 young people from Faith International Academy in Davao who had come to Cagayan de Oro for a work project and decided to worship here with us in Balalung.
Having been treated to lunch we were off to the city and the Jireh Reformed Church to join them for their afternoon service. They had invited Balalung to join them and invited Rev. Bouwers to preach. The text for the sermon was taken from Mark 14: 32-42. They too desire to be reformed in their worship. Their liturgy is somewhat different than what we might be accustomed to but even with this there is a desire to learn and grow. They make use of the Scottish Metrical Psalter to sing the Psalms and they do it well. We've enjoyed their company and hospitality in the past and it was no different this time. We also want to thank them for the use of their building throughout the week as we held our seminars here, the facilities proved to be ideal. I should also mention, as I go back to my thoughts in the morning, the wonderful time of fellowship we were able to have on Saturday at what will become Jireh's Bible Camp in the mountains. It's not completed yet but it is well on its way. The conversation, the food and the sights made for great memories but more importantly strengthened friendships and gave food for thought.
It's been a joyous week. I would also like to thank the owners of our place here in Cagayan de Oro. It's been a great place to relax and reflect on our day. The owners of our condo have laboured for some 30 years as mission coordinators bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to remote areas and Muslim populated areas in Mindanoa. It can be dangerous work and so we pray for them and their ministry.
Please continue to pray that our gracious God would continue to guide these churches and others here as the Reformed faith takes hold. Please pray that God's name be glorified. Please pray that the lost and the broken here would come to hear and come to know Jesus as Lord.
May His name endure forever, His fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in Him, all nations call Him blessed! ~ Psalm 72:17