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Dear Brethren and Friends,
Welcome to the Filipino Bible Fellowship!
To God be the glory for the new work He opened at Lourdes, Valencia City, Bukidnon. It is by the Lord’s “Macedonian Call” that Pr Warly Sinonlay went there to labour for waiting souls whose hearts the Lord had prepared. Let us pray for this great privilege that God has laid upon our shoulders for His glory and honour!
An Experience of a “Macedonian Call”!
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them” (Acts 16:6-10).
Paul and Silas intended to go to the east. They thought going to Asia was the logical step for the place was next door to the region where they were. Their intentions were not bad, but God had a higher plan and the Holy Spirit forbid them to go according to their own plans. We may ask why should the Spirit forbid a missionary to go to a certain place of his own desire? Simply because the work of missions has been pre-arranged by God and when we insert our own inclinations, we ruin His design and make things in vain. Paul intended to go into a place called, Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit him. “Thus, Almighty God at pleasure orders the candle of the gospel to be removed out of one room into another, sends it from one place and people to another, and accordingly ought all places and persons to prize it highly, and improve it faithfully” (Burkitt).
In order to convince Paul that it was God’s intervention, he was allowed to see a vision. A man from Macedonia begged him to help them. “The Lord would not that Paul should stay any longer in Asia; because he would draw him into Macedonia” (Calvin). Paul was instructed with a vision of the Macedonian call. We should take note that when the Lord gives the Great Commission, He was not offering a blank sheet of paper for us to draw our own plans. He had laid out the blueprint of the work we have to accomplish. We just have to wait what part of the great design we can fit in and do the job with utmost diligence. In that way, our work is not wasted and we are very sure we are co-labouring for God’s Kingdom and not building our own empires, God forbid!
Paul did not dare to debate against God for his own personal aims. He immediately endeavoured to go to Macedonia. “Paul and his companions ensued immediately upon the certainty; for, so soon as they understand that the Lord called them, they address themselves to their journey” (Calvin).
The same God who directed Paul in those days is the One who graciously led Pr Warly Sinonlay to pioneer the Golgotha Bible-Presbyterian Church in Lourdes, Valencia City, Bukidnon. It is the first BP missions church in the island of Mindanao. Pr Warly received his Bible Institute Diploma from the Mindanao Fundamental Baptist Bible School in Valencia City, Bukidnon on April 2019. He also attended some of our sessions in the Bible Equipping Seminar and Training (BEST). After serving for a while as a church preacher, he felt the need to further his studies and went for one year in Gethsemane Bible Institute, Cebu City with the support of the TLBPC-FilBF. He helped Christ Bible-Presbyterian Church while in Cebu.
Due to family concerns, he returned to Bukidnon in August 2020. He became our missionary working in Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon. He is also assigned to take care of our resources and materials in the Missions Bible Center. For over a year, he evangelized in Dologon and neighbouring areas. In spite of the oppositions from pastors of his previous denomination for moving over to the Bible-Presbyterian missions, he continued his ministry. There was an opportunity for him to start a work in a nearby place called Anibong but was stopped by the opposing party. He came to a point of discouragement for having no conversion for almost a year of evangelistic work. He has now a Bible study for few months already every Saturday evening in Dologon, although no indication yet of a Lord’s Day meeting.
This July 2021, however, Pr Warly’s aunt in an adjacent city, heard about him from his mother. His aunt had been discouraged with their local church because of some internal problems where pastors last only for a while and subsequently get kicked out. This caused some members of her family to stop coming to church. The call to Pr Warly was to minister to them a weekly Bible study that they might be fed with God’s Word. Unexpectedly, the supposed family meeting became an assembly of more people who came and joined. After a few meetings, they decided to gather regularly for Bible Studies every Saturday starting the first week of August. However, this Bible study becomes a worship service on the Lord’s Day starting today, August 22. After a few weeks of teaching the Reformed faith, they agreed to congregate as Golgotha Bible-Presbyterian Church.
Let us pray for Pr Warly and the flock. He is amazed of how God is working in his life in the missions field. He was at a very low point of his life where he was asking whether he was truly called to serve in Dologon. God answered him at the perfect time and opened the door where he is to serve Him. To God be the glory!
In spite of our failures God continues to bless His labourers. However, if we reject the will of God, we find ourselves out of the picture in His ministry. God’s work will still continue without us but we have forfeited our privilege and honour to be of service to Him. God also provides people who can be of help in the ministry. He also gives wisdom as to the proper way of implementing ministries in mission works and local churches. It is best to entrust in Him all so that everything will be done according to His will. And His will is always the best. Our intentions may be logical and practical but His is what should be fulfilled.
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