On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
As you have known, we just started an outreach in Cebu. This requires a regular preacher to minister to God’s people there. We need to pray for the Lord to send a labourer for His harvest. Last week’s meeting saw 27 attendees and we thank the Lord for it exceeded what we have expected to come the second time. We trust the Lord will bring them to the Christian Bible Fellowship regularly.
One of the means that the Lord laid upon my heart in order to have more labourers for His harvest is to equip those pastors in village churches. Although they did not undergo formal Bible seminary or college training, they are zealously serving the Lord in their respective churches. To equip them is to teach sound doctrines of the Bible that they may nurture their people well. Out of these well-fed churches come sincere and true servants who will dedicate their lives to serve the Lord. Shallow preaching these days brings no conviction to the hearts of our young people. They rather love to go into secular work than serving God because they find God’s service as not important. I know it requires God’s call to the person but no one will respond to it without genuine conviction which can only happen when there is faithful feeding of God’s Word in the churches.
As we have equipped them, may we have the desire to support for their needs. We cannot just bid them farewell after the seminar and training. God ordained the church as His body to send forth these labourers into His harvest. Thank the Lord that we have few of them who are now starting their own churches. We should learn to invest in them for they are doing the King’s business. For sure the profit is eternal and the reward is everlasting. We must take heed to God’s charge to us His children to be co-labourers of His work.
Let us pray the Lord will give us the burden to support these labourers of Christ and send them off to places God has assigned them to be. As Paul wrote, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:13–15, emphasis mine).
Bible Equipping Seminar and Training (BEST): An Update
The session on October 22–25, 2018 is the 7th of the 8 sessions of the Bible Equipping Seminar and Training (BEST). The program deals with Systematic Theology and it is now in the first half on the last subject of Eschatology. I praise the Lord that there are still 21 pastors (from perfect attendance to at most 2 absences only) who are attending out of those 36 who started the program. Many of them still come but they have incurred more than 2 session absences that forfeits their opportunity to receive a certificate this coming December 10–12, 2018, the last session of the program.
There are many factors that affect their attendance. It is related mostly to clashing schedules with church events. Others include health and financial problems. There are some also who stopped attending due to pressures from their leaders as there are many who are suspicious to the doctrines taught in BEST that might undermine their being “Baptists.”
One important manifestation of God’s working in the lives of these pastors is that they are not just hearers of God’s Word but doers of it. They take heed the Great Commission to go and teach the Word to the different places in Mindanao (Matthew 28:18–20). Their monthly soul winning has been regularly conducted and thank God for TLBPC-FilBF which supports them financially (100 SGD/month). They go to villages where fellow workers are ministering and they help one another in evangelizing the whole village.
There are few of them who left their churches due to church practices that do not agree with scriptures. Others left to start their own work and to avoid being controlled by church leadership. One of them is now starting to evangelize to a far flung village per request of Rev Robert Kluttz to send a missionary there. Pastor Kluttz happened to minister a Filipina in Japan whose parents are still Roman Catholics. Ronel Libertad, an active student of BEST, is now there, may the Lord help him to reach out for souls and plant a church there in Ezperanza, Agusan del Sur (“Esperanza” is a Spanish word which means hope or expectation!).
Pastor Mark Albeza, another student of BEST is now planting a church in a village near Central Mindanao University, Musuan, Bukidnon. There are three families now attending in his regular Sunday worship. Ritchie Añoza is conducting a Bible study in Osmeña, Dangcagan, Bukidnon and looking forward to start a new work there. Pastor Leonardo Genilla just recently started a new work in a village where his ancestors hails from and gathering people for regular Bible studies.
I thank the Lord that there are 4 BEST students who have gone through 2 or 3 years in a Bible Seminary and they want to learn more through the FEBC online course. They just started this semester and I pray they will continue their online training to learn more of God’s Word. Our youngest student in the person of Johnny Rey Ebin is now in Gethsemane Bible Institute (GBI) in Cebu and is helping us in the recently started outreach in Lapu-Lapu City, the Christian Bible Fellowship. Praise God for the many opportunities for others to advance their training that the Lord might use them for His glory and honour.
The Lord has been faithfully providing us a venue for every session that we have. There was no BEST class that we failed to use the Central Mindanao University facilities. We thank the Lord also for people who work behind the scenes but support us so greatly. Dr Einstine Opiso and his family are always there to book and process everything we need for the program. His in-laws, the sister and cousin of Josephine who are employed in the University are always there to facilitate all we need even to the point of serving us during meal times. I always praise the Lord for retired Professor Patria Solidum who in her physical condition never absents herself for the lectures even when she already took these courses online. One loyal partner in this work is Deacon Jonas Ba-a, who is always there to oversee this program in the most systematic manner. I should not fail to mention my wife who arranges everything from my suitcases, to meals and financial reports of the program and my children who remind me to keep on moving in spite of the ageing process of my physical body. Praise the Lord for His grace and mercy!
I should praise and thank the Lord for the spiritual and regular financial support of True Life BP Church. God moved the session and especially Pastor, the Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo to fully take care of this ministry. The Lord is pleased to use the church to sustain the BEST program. God’s hand is seen arranging everything from the start of this work until this very date that nothing is lacking in providing these lay pastors opportunity to be equipped in the Word of God.
There are many who co-labour with me in this program and I really see God’s marvelous hands in keeping this program for the good of the lay pastors and for the glory of His name. As we end the program this December in the last session of the curriculum on Systematic Theology, I am full of thanksgiving to the Lord for giving me an opportunity to serve Him in this ministry. I do not know what lies ahead of this program whether it will continue or not, but one thing that I am sure is, I have not done any great thing for the Lord, but I am convinced it is BEST for His servants and for His service. Well, the BEST is yet to come! All glory be to God! – Bro Jose
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