Friday, April 26, 2013

Pastor Doug at PAFCOE

Great excitement reigned among our group of 37 students on Monday morning, March 25, 2013. As I greeted them all that bright morning, I could sense their excitement for the scheduled classes that day. And as the minutes of our morning worship ticked by, many eyes watched the doorways for someone who would arriving.


Let me explain:

The Amazing Facts president, Pastor Doug Batchelor was coming to teach class for part of the morning. Every evening he was preaching at the Quezon City Memorial Circle to a crowded audience, but in the mornings, he had opportunities for doing other things besides preparing for his lectures every night. So he had agreed to come to PAFCOE and teach our students during the time he was with us.

And all of our dear students (and the staff, too, of course!) felt very privileged and honored to have him teach them! After worship, everyone gathered around him and together with all our students, staff and a few graduates from other sessions, we took a group picture together - shown below:

Class of 2013 - first session (batch)

Pastor Doug taught class for two hours that morning and the second hour was when he answered any Bible questions the students asked, which was very popular and there was not even enough time to answer all of them!
Pastor Doug teaching
More teaching
Each of our students and the staff who listened were so blessed by Pastor Doug coming to class that morning! We thank God for bringing to the Philippines (even though it was a short time!)!
Our staff left to right: (Sha, our assistant cook, Lorrenne [1st session graduate], Maya [2nd session graduate], Dayen, our accountant and child evangelism teacher, Darlyn, our secretary, Me, Pastor Doug, Dad, Mom, Michael, Jasper [2nd session graduate], EJ, our head cook and Kevin, our outreach coordinator.
Stay tuned for further updates!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What a night!

March 24, 2013

The afternoon of the 3rd session of the Hidden Bible Truths Revealed Seminar was so unbearably hot! Usually it’s not that bad, but this time, it was extra hot! We realized later on that it was a sign of what would happen later on. We set everything up and prepared for another usual evening like all the rest. A few clouds lazily drifted by and everything seemed peaceful and promised a good meeting. However, it was not to be…

Before the open-air meeting, lots of people had opportunities to have their pictures taken with the Batchelors and the meeting began at 6:30 as always. After the usual musical numbers, Dr. Blessey got up and began explaining how to make vegan ice cream. The audience was very interested! She had also brought lots of samples along for everyone to have a little taste of what vegan ice cream tasted like. As she was talking, the clouds grew bigger and more ominous. But most of us didn’t notice as her lecture was so interesting and everyone was enjoying it! Right in the middle of her lecture, the first rain drops began to fall. 

Then we started getting worried. Immediately we began to pray silently that God would hold the rain off so we could continue the meeting, but the clouds continued to fill the sky and it grew darker - not just from the darkness of the night coming on, but also from the thick, heavy clouds. Most Filipinos carry an umbrella with them, they just pulled out their umbrellas, stayed in their seats and Dr. Blessey kept on with her lecture since there was a roof over the stage, so she wasn’t getting wet.

It just sprinkled for awhile, but all the PA people, cameramen, and technicians weren’t too sure that it would only sprinkle. So they ran around putting tarps over the speakers and umbrellas over the cameras and projectors. We continued to pray. After about 10 minutes, the sprinkles turned into more sprinkles until it wasn’t sprinkling, it was gently raining! Then everyone began running for cover. The stage was the only roof for the whole area, so that’s where most of them headed. Thankfully it was a good-sized stage or the people would never had been able to fit on it! Some went home, but most stayed and joined the ever-increasing group on the stage.

Dr. Blessey kept right on with her lecturing. The PA had been quickly covered with tarps and still was working. Pastor Doug realized that the likelihood of him preaching that night wasn’t very high, so he took the mic and told everyone that he would pray that God would stop the rain so the meeting could continue. So he did. But God had other plans that night and the rain didn’t stop one bit. During this time, someone asked Pastor Doug what he thought of everything that night and he said, "This is God's meeting. If God wants to cancel His meeting, that's His business, not mine!" What a great attitude! We had been on the stage for around 15 minutes and the rain just kept pouring and pouring. We were able to stay fairly dry under the roof of the stage, but knew that if the wind picked up and started blowing the rain sideways, we’d really be wet! The PA was soon turned off, since all the cables were in water and someone might be electrocuted.

Dad doing the dismissal of the people.
The choir tried to sing some songs to stop the rain, but no one could hardly even hear them. Finally after everyone had been on the stage for about 30-40 minutes, Dad stood up on a chair and dismissed everyone. It was hopeless to wait for the rain to stop. He had talked to the Pastor and asked if this was the type that blew over within a few minutes, but the Pastor said it was an hour long rainstorm, at least. Still, hardly anyone could hear him or his closing prayer. Little by little the people started leaving.

But some were just arriving. The traffic here in Manila is so bad that sometimes you can spend 2-3 hours going from one end of the city to the other and some had just gotten there, since many of the streets were flooded and they had to take alternate routes. Most of us were soaking wet, but in spite of being wet and a little cold, we were happy! What a night! But it was full of adventures, for sure! Thankfully, because we didn’t even have the meeting, we didn’t get home late, but we were sure tired when we did! 

What was Pastor Doug's topic for that night? The 7th day Sabbath. No wonder we had such an exciting night!  The meeting was postponed but the evening ended with smiles and hope. God’s word would still be revealed. 

                                                     After all, God is still in full control!

Some of the audience left in the chairs with their umbrellas.
Pastor Doug and Dad listening to the choir sing.
The end... (of that night!)
Some of the PAFCOE staff and I on the stage at the end.
Putting everything away.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pastor Doug at Manila Center Adventist Church

March 23, 2013 (Sabbath Morning)

The doors of Manila Center Adventist Church opened with gladness as we welcomed a very special Sabbath morning. Pastor Doug came to speak for the hour of worship.

The Sabbath program started with a promotional part for Philippine Amazing Facts Center of Evangelism. An orientation on PAFCOE was combined with great moving testimonies of previous sessions' graduates. The promotion was concluded by a presentation of current PAFCOE students and a final call to participate in evangelism. 

Just before the hour of worship began, the children, guided by their teachers, shared God’s word through singing. The church members who came that morning were very pleased with the children's presentation.  Some of the precious gems shared a memory verse and truly it was such a blessing to hear God’s words being spoken those young lips!  But nothing was more thrilling than hearing the children sing the whole Ten Commandments without a miss.
The Church was so filled with so great a crowd. The Balcony was filled and the entrance was overflowing. Extension areas were set up around the church where people can see what is happening as the projector shows the events. Such great gathering in the church was surely a rare one.
Excitement and Reverence filled the great hall as the hour of worship hit the start. Pastor Doug entered the pulpit with the rest of the participants and the usual sequence of the program followed. 

Then just before Pastor Doug begins to speak, Pastor Joel stepped up to give a gift of flowers and garland to Pastor Doug, his wife, and his son. 

 With great delight Pastor Doug extended his thanks and took the chance to take picture of the crowd in front of him.

The great event was crowned with the word of God as Pastor Doug shared about faith, keeping the commandments, and being inside the house of God. The crowd was silenced as they related their life with the faithfulness of Rahab. Great interest was kindled as Pastor Doug related the Rahab a harlot to the true church and emphasized the importance of being inside the church. Praise God for such timely message!

The hour of worship ended just before mid-day and pastor Doug together with his family positioned at the church entrance to shake hands with the crowd on their way out. The crowd was so great and it would not be wise to count the number of hands pastor Doug shook. Others even did not miss the opportunity to take pictures. It was such a great site to see such smiling faces. 

 Thank God for this very memorable, happy Sabbath!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hidden Bible Truths Revealed begins!

Friday evening, March 22, 2013
The sky was clear with the stars twinkling far above us and Quezon City Memorial Circle has never been as lively as before. At last! Pastor Doug’s promise to return to the Philippines and share the word of God has been fulfilled! March 22, 2013 was the official beginning of Hidden Bible Truths - a seminar series with Pastor Doug Batchelor which revealed the forgotten Christian teachings for the last days.

Our PAFCOE students came earlier than the rest of the audience (at 3 pm) to help out in arranging the many 100s of plastic chairs. The stage was also prepared for the most awaited event. Later on, church members came to help and a few minutes before the program began, everything was ready for God to work that night.

At around 5:30 pm, people started to gather. People from all walks of life from the northern and even some from the southern parts of the Philippines came to witness and be blessed by God’s word and it was not long until the venue was filled with thirsty souls.

The program officially started at 6:15 pm. Graced with lovely music and a startling welcome, the event was filled with gladness and excitement. After the being introduced by Pastor Lowell Hargreaves, at last it was time for Pastor Doug Batchelor to speak. Oh, what joy it was to be among those who heard God’s word as Pastor Doug shared the message entitled Broken Chains!

The crowd was eager to listen. Pastor Doug went through his message with such simplicity that every soul could relate to. Everybody’s interest was intensified as Pastor Doug shared his own personal testimony and eyes were glittering with tears as the listeners meditated upon the message and examined their own life. Every hungering soul was filled and the program ended with such a blessing to each person.

Indeed God is so good, and we praise His name for sending Pastor Doug back in the Philippines!

To be continued...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pastor Doug Batchelor arrives!

Since PAFCOE is an Amazing Facts school, we always longed for the day when our president, Pastor Doug Batchelor would be able to visit us and teach our students. After weeks of talking and planning, Pastor Doug finally arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (in Manila) early in the morning on March 20. He came to the Philippines to conduct a series of Evangelistic meeting in fulfillment of his promise to return. Ten years ago, he had to leave the meeting he was conducting upon hearing the news that his son had had an accident and lost his life. However, before leaving his friends, he left a promise to return and speak of the word of God. And now, he is back!

Pastor Doug when he first arrived with the welcome team.
Dad and Pastor Joel Sarmiento accompanied by a welcome team came to meet Pastor Doug. His wife Karen and his son Nathan came the next day (March 21) and surely did receive a very warm welcome.
Pastor Doug and his family
The welcome banner for Mrs. Batchelor and her son.
What a blessing it was to have them here! In the next post, we will tell you more about what happened while they were in the Philippines!