On Sundays at 3pm. Please contact Bro Jose Lagapa: 81853623 anytime.
Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
We have in the scriptures a pattern set by the Apostle Paul what to do every after missions work. In the Book of Acts, Paul went back to his sending church at Antioch, Syria and reported to the leaders what transpired during the missionary journey. “And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:26–27). Although this is a preliminary report, nonetheless, this contains the basic information of the ministry conducted in the Philippines through the support of True Life BPC.
True Life BPC-Philippines Bible Ministries — Vacation Bible School 2019:
A Preliminary Report
All glory and honour be unto our God for His manifold blessings upon many children in the Philippines. He is indeed a merciful and gracious God Who, in spite of the idolatrous and immoral lives of the Filipinos, with loving hands is still offering salvation to everyone who believes. “Come to the Savior” is this year’s VBS theme, a demonstration of God’s longsuffering unto those who are still in darkness. This theme is taken from Matthew 19:14 where our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” He deserves our praise and thanksgiving for increasingly expanding the opportunities for many to hear the gospel. As the apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
The True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church-Philippines Bible Ministries (TLBPC-PBM) conducted a Vacation Bible School in the Visayas and Mindanao regions last April to June 2019. There is an increase in the number of churches which participated this year’s VBS. The number of children also increased compared to last year.
There were twenty-six (26) new churches/outreach stations added to the eleven (11) last year, giving a total of 37 churches/outreaches. These included the church and outreaches of Pastor Renato Cortez, the churches whose pastors were under the Bible Equipping Seminar and Training (BEST) program as well as the missions stations in Esperanza, Agusan del Sur and Trinidad, Bohol. There were few churches also recommended by Dr Einstine Opiso.
The increase in the number of churches is attributed to the VBS Teachers’ Training last December 2018. That training opened up opportunities for many church workers to teach in the VBS. This was not the case in VBS 2018 where all the 11 stations were manned by FEBC students. Since the churches could hold their own VBS facilitated by their own teachers, many of them conducted in the month of April. Last year, the VBS’s were all in May because FEBC students were only available for the last few weeks of May. This is the first year we introduced the Teens class.
The total number of children who attended the VBS this year is 2,357 compared to 1,041 in 2018. May the Lord grant them the hearts and minds to receive the Word and in God’s perfect time save them. Nonetheless, the number of children was far below the expected attendance which was 3,507. The feedback from the field that affected the low turn-out include the following: 1) VBS held on the last days of May had conflicts with the culminating activities of the Roman Catholic Church festivity of “Flores de Mayo” where children are told to be in the RCC the whole day; 2) Many children must find work to help earn some money in time for their school needs as school term starts on the first Monday of June; 3) Churches who first involved themselves gave a higher number of expected children but fell short of making efforts to invite children; 4) Some pastors did not show interest with our VBS program leaving only few church members to do the work; 5) One church (Mt Musuan FBC) suddenly changed schedules and used another curriculum for their 2 outreaches.
It is worth mentioning that not only the Lord let the children come to the Saviour but parents also as they attended the last day’s Gospel Rally. There were a total of 512 parents and relatives who came for the culminating program where God’s Word was preached by the pastors and preachers of the church. May the Lord open up their eyes to see the truth of their need to receive Christ as their Saviour and Lord!
The TLBPC-PBM annual VBS is a work that must be pursued until the Lord’s return. Although, there are new and many challenges faced each year, the Lord in His wisdom gives us the able help to find ways where His work is properly conducted. With the planned local station in the Philippines the following recommendations can be done: 1) VBS can be conducted earlier such as in April and early May with the supervision of a personnel there; 2) VBS art and craft will be availed and reproduced locally for a cheaper cost of materials and labour; 3) Only churches with qualified teachers and have undergone the Teachers’ training can avail our VBS program; 4) Pastors should sign a request form for a VBS to be conducted in their church with the terms of conditions that requires their full support in the VBS; and 5) Provision of financial support for refreshments will be by reimbursement basis where the actual number of the children are already determined.
Thank the Lord for the increasing number of True Life BPC members who desired to co-labour in this ministry. Deacon and Mrs Charles Kan, Sister Tai Cae Ryn, and Sister Priscilla Tan made themselves available to serve with us in this year’s VBS. We praise the Lord for Pastor’s concern of this VBS mentioning this often in our prayer meeting to be brought before the Lord’s throne of grace. We thank Sister Xin Yuan who donated her books on the “The Mystery of TULIP” for the teens.
On behalf of the TLBPC-PBM VBS workers, I would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to the True Life BPC Session and members for your charity both towards believers and lost souls in the Philippines. We may not be able to give remuneration to the amount spent for this ministry, but we join with Paul’s words in Hebrews 6:9–10, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” – Bro Jose
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