Friday, March 30, 2012

New life!

March 24, 2012 was a memorable day for our PAFCOE class.  We had church services in the cinema and many church members and guests attended. How thrilling to see the guests keeping the Sabbath – some of whom for the first time!

Later in the afternoon, we went to the RiverView Church for a baptism. One of our PAFCOE students, Joefer Soliman, recommitted his life to Christ in rebaptism. Only a few people were there, but I know that all heaven rejoiced in Joefer’s decision!
Dedication prayer before the baptism. The church was decorated for the high school graduation happening the same weekend.

Dad baptized him in the small baptistery of the church and it was a short, simple service. Praise God for the new life He has given to Joefer and for his recommitment to God!

This picture isn't the greatest quality, but it's the best I had. This is Dad baptizing Joefer.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

He knows my name

Our blog has been very silent for quite awhile. Not because there's nothing to write about, but too much to find time to put my thoughts in paper!

“He knows my name, He knows my every thought, He sees each tear that falls, and He hears me when I call.”

The soft candle light illuminated the happy faces of the 2012 graduating class of the LaPaz Adventist School as they sang their response song right after I had given my consecration speech.

They were graduating from elementary school and going onto high school. I was so privileged to be able to speak to them! Their theme was "Growing Faithfully with Christ" and I shared a few practical ways of how to do grow faithfully with Christ. We were still having the seminar going on, so the PAFCOE students and my Mom took over the children's program, so that I could be at the LaPaz school on Friday night, March 23, 2012.

It was a very special occasion and I was so blessed to have a part in making the consecration service for the graduates a special experience! Here's a few pictures:
Class of 2012
The teachers
Kids who are graduating from Kindergarten

Friday, March 16, 2012

Am I ready?

"Hurry, hurry, Michael!" I called down the stairs to my brother in the kitchen. "The wind is whipping through our open windows and I just know the rain is coming! Hurry upstairs and shut your windows before the rain comes inside!"

It was right after the evening meeting and we were getting ready for bed, when suddenly the wind began blowing very strongly through the almost always open windows. The rain storms here really bring heavy rain and combined with strong winds, make for a pretty severe storm.

Then I scrambled to get my own windows shut before the raindrops started. The raindrops were already blowing in as Michael and I finished shutting our windows. And it poured!

Later on, as I was lying in bed, thinking of the events of the day and how everything had gone, I started thinking about the storm and the still pouring rain outside. Michael and I had barely been able to get our windows shut before the water was coming inside. We couldn't see the clouds, since it was dark and earlier in the afternoon, there was no sign of an approaching storm. We were caught, almost unprepared.

Though it didn't matter that much whether we were ready or not for the rain storm (other than getting our things a bit wet), it will matter whether we are ready for the soon coming spiritual storm. A storm that will take place just before Jesus comes back.

And as the wind blew the rain even harder against the window panes, I considered what it would be like for someone who wasn't prepared for Jesus' coming. It will not be a pleasant time, that's for sure! And as I drifted off to sleep, my thought was, "Lord, help me to be ready for your coming!"

Let's strive each day to live our lives as if it were our last, that we will be prepared for Jesus' soon return!

Am I ready? Are you?

"Therefore, be ye also ready. For in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of Man cometh." Matthew 24:44.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Carnivore or Herbivore?

"Did God create us to be herbivores or carnivores?"

This question was posed to our students by one of their guest speakers, Dr. Wetz Dela Cruz, who came from Mindanao to be with us for a couple days. He has his own hospital there in Mindanao and treats many of his patients' illnesses with natural remedies and treatments.

We were so blessed to have him with us for a couple days and the knowledge he shared with the students was very important and valuable! The first day he talked about whether God had made us to be carnivores and eat the flesh of dead animals or whether God had made us herbivores to eat fruits, nuts, vegetables and grains. He shows the differences between animals who ate meat and those who didn't (teeth, intestines, energy levels, etc.).  He also shared how to show non-Adventists how important it is to be healthy and be a vegetarian and yet do it in a tactful, kind way.

Yesterday he showed a video of what different people's colons looked like inside. Those who were meat-eaters and high fat consumers had very horrible-looking colons, but on the other hand the healthy vegetarians had excellent-looking ones!

It was very interesting and the students were fascinated. I could never sum up everything he talked about in this short post, but probably the greatest testimony of his time here came from two different students.

One said, "I've decided that I will no longer eat fish anymore. I will be a vegetarian." Praise God! (We are serving vegan food at the cafeteria, but some of the student supplement their diet with their own select food.)

Another said, "I knew that doing health evangelism was important, but I never felt that it was something I could do. After today's lecture, I can feel it in my heart that God wants me to do this work and use the right arm of the body - the health message!"

Dr. Dela Cruz is a doctor like the ones that Ellen White writes about that have the greatest influence that anyone else (I'm paraphrasing). He is a very kind Christian doctor and what a privilege to have him teach at PAFCOE for the last couple days!

In the evenings, we are still holding the evangelistic meetings and God is blessing! This week after Dad preached on the subject of death, we lost some people as death is a hard topic for Catholic people... However, we still have lots of people attending and plenty of children, too!

Thank you for your prayers! God bless!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Excited students!

Today was a very exciting day for our PAFCOE students - a day where we finalized plans for their practicum training at the last month of PAFCOE.

We are giving them classes and training for 3 months and then for the last month, each one is sent back to their home church or to a local church (if they can't go back to their home church) to do adult evangelism or child evangelism. Since some of them came from all over the Philippines, many are going back to many different places to hold their on-the-job training.

We have been discussing for the last several weeks where each student would go and who would go with who. But today Pastor James (the Conference President) joined us for an hour of class and together we made final plans for everyone.

This morning the small RiverView Church was filled with the voices of excited students, eagerly talking and planning for their own evangelistic meetings! My heart rejoiced to see the 25 students so happy and eager to have a part in God's great work of saving souls!

So during the month of May, all 25 students will be out in the field, putting into practice the principles and concepts they have been learning for the last 3 months. It will be exciting to see how God will use each one of them!

What a blessing to be involved in spreading the gospel to this area of the world!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Precious Jewels!

Last night, as I was leading the children in the song service during part of our children's program for the evangelistic meeting, my heart was exceedingly warmed to hear them sing so enthusiastically the Scriptures songs such as "For with God nothing shall be impossible" or "If ye love me, keep my commandments." They sing so heartily with all their might and just love it!

Our program here.
The first time we were here in the Philippines, we didn't know how to control such a large number of children (more than 100+). We did our best, but many times ended in chaos (more or less) and I really wondered how much the children actually learned from the Bible. Probably not that much, because they would socialize and chat with each other during most of the story time. We tried many creative ways to keep them quiet, but nothing seemed to work. Despite our feeble efforts a few children gave their hearts to Jesus and were baptized - praise the Lord!

Children who got baptized in the first seminar we did here.
This time when we came to the Philippines, we determined to do something to keep the children quiet and listening during the Bible story. We wanted them to hear these important truths and understand them!

So we divided the children into groups and had a teacher of PAFCOE student be in charge of that group. Then we offered a simple colorful Sabbath School lesson at the end of the program, if the children would be quiet during the Bible story. Also we cut up the Bible story into sections, so it wasn't so much sitting and so we could keep their attention longer.

It's really amazing with just a simple lesson like we are using, we can have (more or less) peace and quiet in the room during the Bible story! God is so amazing and the children are really learning the truths from God's Word.

Last night, there was a rock concert in the mall near where we have the children's program. We are just meeting in an open space in the mall, so we have no door to shut and the noise was very loud. We turned up our PA, but it still was loud, but despite all the noise, I could see the children were trying to listen as I taught them about the Sabbath and how Jesus wants us to keep it holy each week. About 30-40 mothers also sit in the program to help watch their kids and they also listen to the Bible being spoken each night.

It truly is amazing to see God's blessing as we work for God's precious jewels - the children! :)

"Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

One Week...

One week...

One week of seeing God work amazing miracles here in Iloilo.

One week of the evangelistic meeting finished.

One week of  lots of stress and yet, great blessings!

Our blog has been silent for almost a week, because life has been so busy with all the responsibilities of the seminar.  Our hearts are full of rejoicing for what God has done for us!

Last Friday night we started the evangelistic meeting here in Iloilo entitled the "Mysteries of Bible Prophecy." We are renting a cinema inside a huge mall in the downtown area of the city. I don't know exactly how many people the cinema seats, but the first night, we had almost 1,000 people who came to hear God's Word being preached! Praise God! Lots of plastic chairs were set up in the parts of the cinema that had room and every available seat was full. The PAFCOE students were so excited to help out and see people streaming into the hall by the hundreds.

The children's program was very popular, too. Mom and I led out in the program, assisted by some of the PAFCOE students and also some teachers from the local SDA schools. I don't remember how many children we had, but it was around 100. What an enthusiastic bunch of children they were! About 90% of them remembered me from last year when we were in November of 2010, and they were so happy to see us again! Some had brought their friends with them and all participated very well in the program. Usually Filipino children are very noisy, but the Lord really blessed and they were very attentive!

Today the PAFCOE students are going out delivering DVDs to all the participants who have attended. I will write more about what's happening here tomorrow. Praise God for everything He's doing here!