Monday, 15 February 2016


It's been two years now since I wrote this blog and I struggled with taking it up again. I'm not a writer,  the pressure of keeping up with it and the fact that others would read it can be a little intimidating. I skipped over a previous trip I made last February. But as I read through the old posts, I realized how nice it was to reflect on God's goodness and the grace He has shown to us. It also has been a benefit for our instructors with whom I have shared it. 
      This is now TAP's fifth trip and my third. To date Dr. Bredenhof has taught Church History, Rev. deGelder ; Church Polity, Rev. Sikkema went through the Heidelberg Catechism. Rev. Witteveen gave instruction on preaching Christ from the five books of Moses and held some seminars dealing with proper exegesis of scripture. This trip, Rev. Bouwers will focus on the Canons of Dort. 
We've just completed our weekend stay in Manila and as I write we are currently traveling to Cagayan de Oro in the southern province of Mindenao. All the hustle a bustle of Manila is quite an experience no matter how many times you have been there. It certainly is an eye opener as you see the many people going about their day. Poverty, squatters and  filth, along with the smells draw your attention. But there is also material weath, beautiful sights and impressive infrastructure. 

      The Filipino people are a people who always have a smile on their face and I haven't come across any who were not ready to help. We had this experience the very first day. Normally finding a taxi  isn't a problem but outside of where we were staying things seemed different. We got directions to where we would find some taxis. I guess we were heading in the wrong direction. The fellow who had told us where to go saw our misdirection and offered to help. "Hop on", he yelled.  So the three of us climbed aboard his trike and took us there. "Free", he says with the biggest smile. It must have been quite a sight, I think everyone was smiling. 
        I mentioned poverty. But we need to define poverty. The poverty we are concerned with is a poverty of having a broken relationship with God.  So we have come to assist church leaders gain a better understanding of God's Word and the confessions that ground us in our understanding of God's Word in order that they might be better equipped to share with those around them the riches that are in Christ Jesus.
   Saturday  we had the opportunity to travel to Imus, just south of Manilla. Our hosts the Zion Cornerstone Reformed Church had advertised the lectures for the last month. The day involved five lectures covering the Canons of Dort and the comfort we find in them.
        Attendance neared  sixty participants most of which were young people not of a reformed church but who were struggling with what they were hearing in their churches and they were looking for answers. It was reported to us that a young man who was struggling with questions had even begun to attend the church's inquirers class after hearing about these lectures. Glad to say he was at the seminar and very attentive. He had done a lot of pre-study. We pray this day was a blessing for the church leaders who were there but also for those young people who came. May the amazing grace of God be granted to them in knowing Jesus with a better understanding of this confession. May they find comfort in the teachings of the Canons of Dort. 
     Sunday we were able to worship with two congregations, the one in Imus and it's sister church in Pasig. Rev. Bouwers was asked to preach at both these services. His theme "Bearing One Another's Burdens" from Galations 6:1,2. It was wonderful to gather with God's people and rejoice in Him with them. May God continue to bless these church's that they may be a blessing and a witness to the community around them.

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