Saturday, 18 February 2017

TAP VI Nurturing God's People in the Faith

By God's grace and wonderful provision we were able to arrive here in Manila safely. This is now my fourth visit to the Philippines on behalf of TAP. But it is our sixth time here as TAP providing theological instruction. During those visits we have been able to meet many people, many believers in Jesus Christ. It has been a wonderful experience to cultivate these friendships. The Filipino people are a relationship oriented people and this will serve us well as we speak about our covenant relationship with God. Dr. Art Witten will be our instructor, he has been a Christian educator, an elder in the Canadian Reformed Churches  and involved in various committee work for many years. We are very thankful he is able to serve God, TAP and the churches in the Philipinnes in this way.

 Today we have traveled to Malolos, a city north of Manila, about an hour, or two, journey north of where we are staying, which happens to be close to the international airport in Manila. The title of the presentation this morning is "Nurturing Covenant People in the Faith". The presentation is based on the late Clarence Stam's book, "The Covenant of Love -Exploring our relationship with God".   In the afternoon the presentation will revolve around the work of the Elders within this covenant relationship. 

 By my count there are some 45-50 people in attendance this morning.  A wonderful turn out, many of which traveled quite a distance to be here....although I'm quite confident not as far as us. Still it speaks of the eager desire to learn and to want to know God better. To navigate the streets of Manila is no easy task... at least not to these eyes. Navigating though God's Word can sometimes be difficult as well, so as we explore the beautiful relationship we have with our covenant God , may God be glorified and honored...may we be blessed. That is our prayer.

  This morning in our devotions we read from Acts 1: 1-12 and were able to reflect on those verses.  In those verses we read, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." The Holy Spirit continues to work and continues to be faithful in this promise. It's not to say the Philipinnes is the end of the earth, with tongue in cheek , I can think of other places that might fit that description better.  My thoughts turn to how humbling it is to know and to be a witness of the Holy Spirits work in the Philipinnes. The reformed faith is growing here, there is a hunger for the truths of God's Word and a real desire to witness among their communities, among their neighbours. 

"Today on weary nations the heav'nly manna falls; to holy convocations the silver trumpet calls, where gospel light is glowing with pure and radiant beams a living water flowing with soul-refreshing streams."

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