Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.” Last year, 2019, I started ministering in Aviari, Batam. I was evangelising and preaching with a purpose in heart that God would help me to reach out to the people there and plant a church. I started this ministry with a young people’s fellowship, a children’s Sunday school, and a worship service. Thank God for the 5 youths, 4 teenagers, and about 15 children who came for worship and fellowship. During that time, I had a good relationship with GAPPI Getsemani. Sometimes they invited me to speak in their worship service, men’s fellowship and women fellowship meetings. Then, in March this year, 2020, Covid-19 struck Batam.
Since the Indonesian Government required social distancing and restricted church gatherings, I started an online worship service on March 2nd for my ministry in Aviari. That very week, I met the session members of GAPPI Getsemani. They asked if I could help them with an online worship service. At that time, the resident preacher brother came under church discipline and was suspended from ministry. The session members knew that I was near to them, so they asked me for help. I was glad to help them since God has equipped me with some tools and knowledge for doing this. We decided to record the online worship service and prayer meeting every Thursday and Sunday night. Thank God for enabling me to record, edit, and upload the videos on YouTube and Facebook. Since March 29th, the worship services of GAPPI Getsemani and meetings of Aviari were recorded at GAPPI Getsemani. On July 12th, after the government allowed churches to gather physically again, GAPPI Getsemani conducted their first service with safety measures. I was asked to preach in the church.
On July 26th, the resident preacher decided to step down from being a full-time preacher in the church. He read his resignation letter to all the church members after the worship service. The church now did not have a preacher to feed the flock. Up to this point in time, I have never thought of being their full-time preacher.
On July 30th, Rev Haposan who is the supervisory pastor of the church sent a letter regarding his decision on who will serve in the church. On August 2nd, it was read to the church members. The letter instructed Mrs Supartik to help arrange for all the ministries, and for me to preach every Sunday. I was still not thinking of being their full-time preacher. Some in the church asked me if I would be willing to be their preacher. My answer to them was, “I do not know”. I was just praying that God would send them His chosen servant, and if it will be me, let Him prepare me.
On September 13th, the Church Session sent a letter to Rev Haposan, asking for a recommendation from him concerning a full-time preacher for the church. At that time the Session members told me that they are praying for me. I was praying too that God would guide. My prayer became more specific. I prayed that if it was His will, then the decision must come from the Elders, and the Session members. The Elders would be Rev Haposan, Dr Khoo, and Rev Kiantoro.
On September 20th, the Session members of the church had a meeting to discuss Rev Haposan’s reply to them. On the 22nd, a confirmation and an answer to prayer came from the Lord through Rev Kiantoro who asked me whether I was willing to be a full-time preacher in GAPPI Getsemani. He told me that he had received a letter from Dr Khoo and that Rev Haposan had talked to Dr Khoo about this matter. From this, I understood that Rev Haposan and Dr Khoo had an agreement that I could be a preacher there. After saying yes to Rev Kiantoro, he gave me his blessing to be a full-time preacher at Getsemani. I thank God for hearing and answering my prayer. At the same time I was scared of the many things to be done ahead.
On September 27th, after the worship service, the Session read Rev Haposan’s letter concerning me and the church. The letter stated that with immediate effect I was to be full-time preacher at GAPPI Getsemani, acting as their undershepherd to feed the flock. Thus, I was officially assigned to lead and guide this church with the Word of God. It is His work.
How do I know that this is His will? I know because I see how God works in His perfect timing. I can say that the reason why He sent me to Aviari which is near GAPPI Getsemani, sent the pandemic to Batam, and helped me to conduct the online services, were all to prepare me to be in this church. While praying about this, God also put a great burden in my heart, telling me that His sheep are scattered without a shepherd. It happened many times, but I actually tried to harden my heart and lingered to check the Bible. I checked that it is written in Ezekiel 34:5–10. The Lord answered my prayer exactly as I had prayed, for I know it is also according to His Word. The church is led by the presbyters. I prayed that the presbyters would decide. God led Rev Haposan, Dr Khoo, and Rev Kiantoro to assign me here. For these reasons, I cannot run. I also remember when God first called me to full-time ministry, He convicted me with the story of Jonah. I just had to follow wherever He leads me.
This is the beginning of a new chapter of service for me. Surely the promotion comes from the Lord and I am accountable to Him alone. This is His ministry, not mine. Please pray for me as I am very young to take on this great burden. GAPPI Getsemani has a lot of needs to be met. They are as follows: (1) There are many hungry and thirsty souls that need to be fed the Word of God faithfully. Please pray for me as I prepare every message. (2) There are many youths, but they are seldom seen in the worship service. Pray that God will help us to gather them all for Him. On Saturday October 31st, we screened a film on Martin Luther in the church. We invited all the teenagers and young people of the church to attend. We also started the Teens and Young People’s Fellowship meetings on that very day. (3) The church has 30–50 worshippers but they are not mature in their tithes and offerings. The Session on September 20th decided to give me S$200 per month. I told them that True Life BPC is supporting me through monthly love gifts and some designated offerings. I thank God my family has enough to live and minister. Thus, I decided not to take anything from the church yet. Please pray that God will help the people in the church to love the Lord more and more and to learn to give to Him, and to learn to support their church workers financially and independently.
With faith in the Lord, I trust that He will help His church for His own glory and for the blessing of His people. Please continue to pray for GAPPI Getsemani and for me. All glory be to God.
CHRIST BPC 2ND ANNIVERSARY THANKSGIVING SERVICE
Pr Jose Mangco
Psalm 100:4–5 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
It was indeed a day of rejoicing when Christ Bible-Presbyterian Church celebrated its 2nd year Anniversary Thanksgiving Service on October 25, 2020 at AA Barbecue, Pusok, Lapulapu City. Philippines. As a church we certainly have a lot to be thankful for. First and foremost, we thank and acknowledge God for being the Founder of this church and how He has blessed and sustained us all this year. Truly we are reminded of God’s goodness and faithfulness upon our lives despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Thank the Lord for True Life Bible-Presbyterian Church, Singapore, for our pastor the Rev Dr Jeffrey Khoo and the Church Session, for Rev Dr Jose Lagapa of the Filipino Bible Fellowship, for all their prayers and support.
Thank the Lord for all the invited guests who came and joined our celebration despite the heavy rains.
Thank the Lord also for Rev Reggor Galarpe of Gethsemane BPC Cebu, who was the Lord’s messenger. Rev Galarpe preached on the topic, “Is Christ Living in You?” (Galatians 2:20).
After the program, a sumptuous meal was served. Thank God for the fellowship over dinner.
May God’s love continue to dwell in us richly as we begin another milestone of spreading the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ here in Pusok, Lapulapu for the furtherance of His kingdom.
May the Lord find us faithful as we continue to labor in His vineyard until the day He returns.
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