* Inayauan: Reformed Free Church

Saturday morning after the conference Rev. Smit flew back home to Manila.  We were picked up at 9:00 by two men from the churches there and a driver they had hired to take us down to Inayauan.  The trip along the coast was beautiful, with the ocean to our right and the sugar cane fields and mountains to our left.

 The Sulu Sea

The sugar cane fields.  The plants can get 10-12 feet tall. 
They harvest twice a year by hand by cutting the plants at the base with a large knife (bolo).

We arrived in Inayauan around noon in time for lunch.  The Rosals fed us a delicious lunch of tuna (fresh from the sea) prepared several different ways;  grilled, raw in a salad, fried, and in a type of casserole.

Grilling the tuna steaks on the charcoal grill

Pastor and Mrs. Rosal are at the end of the table

After lunch they took us to their beach side property where we would be staying for the night.  We had a relaxing afternoon - visiting, napping, and wading in the ocean.  It was extremely hot and humid.

Peeling an Indian Mango.
They are crunchy, but have a good taste.  Sometimes they eat them with salt.

The beautiful coast

Trying coconut juice

Just before supper we all went for a swim in the ocean.  After supper (which was brought to us by the Rosals) and visiting, we when to bed in our nipa hut.

  We slept in the front one

Our bed

Our Sunday started at dawn.  It was still very humid and hot.  We kept hoping for rain, but it didn't come while we were there.  Our gracious hosts again fed us breakfast and brought us to church - The Reformed Free Church of Inayauan.

Preparing for preaching

Mrs. Rosal teaching the Sunday school children before church

Visiting before church

Rev. Kleyn led the adult Sunday school class.
Since it was Pentecost Sunday he spoke on Acts 2.
Then he preached on I Thessalonians 5:18 "In Everything Give Thanks."

After lunch our driver took us back to Bacolod where we stayed for the night.  Our plane left the next morning to take us back home.  We very much enjoyed the hospitality of the Rosals and meeting God's people there.

          Taken from Rosal's yard

The Rosal Family                     

May God bless the work done for the furtherance of His church and the glory of His name.

* Conference in Bacolod

On Thursday, May 20 we (Rev. Smit and Rev. and Sharon Kleyn) flew to Bacolod City on the island of Negros to do a conference there with various old and new contacts from that area.  The conference was held on Friday, May 21 and was an abbreviated version of the recent conference done in Manila.  Rev. Smit gave two lectures on Particular Grace and Rev. Kleyn gave two on Reformed Church Government. 

Our plane at Bacolod Airport.  Notice the beautiful countryside.

Sylvia Manor where we stayed and where the conference was held.

Meeting Thursday night with the organizing committee
to discuss the details of the conference.

The banner on the front of the hotel advertising the conference.

Rev. Smit giving one of his lectures.

The audience.

There were 88 in attendance.  Most of the attendees came from the island of Negros which is located in the central part of the Philippines.  Others came from the island of Guimaras to the west and from the island of Cebu to the east.

Question and Answer Period

Discussion at the end of the day.

The conference was worthwhile and enjoyable.  It gave the missionaries the opportunity to renew old contacts and meet new ones, and to become aware of the situation and possibilities of work in the Bacolod area.  We wait on the Lord to see how He uses the work done and what doors He might open in the future.

* Election

It has been interesting to watch the election process here.  I understand that every third year they have the local elections and elections for senators and congressmen.  Every 6th year (this year), they also have the presidential election.  As of Monday, May 10, the Republic of the Philippines has a new president.

The first evidences we saw (several months ago) of the upcoming elections were the banners advertising the various candidates.

Believe it or not, it isn't legal to post banners in undesignated areas,
such as fences, walls, trees, etc!

As the election drew closer, we saw a lot of vehicles advertising candidates.  They rig the vehicle with loudspeakers which play the song of the particular candidate (helps people identify them), as well as banners, ballons, and whatever else.

I like this last one because it was in the vicinity of the Berean PRC's meeting place.  Notice the sign at the top of the picture.

The last month or so the campaign really heated up.  There were often rallies of people or vehicles on the roads - and the banner campaign really picked up too!

There have been teams out the last couple of days
cleaning up all the signs and banners!

This was the first election in which electronic voting machines were used.  Election results were therefore in much earlier - within a day, rather than in terms of weeks.

Out of a ballot of more than 100 candidates (almost 2 feet long!), Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was elected. On June 30, Gloria Arroyo will officially step down and Noynoy Aquino will be sworn in as the new President of the Philippines.

Through all this we know and are comforted by the fact that Christ overrules all things, even elections.  He puts in power the man whom He will rule (Proverbs 21:1) with a view to the welfare of His church and the coming of His kingdom.

* Staples of a Filipino Diet

Here are a few random pictures that relate to food.  No real point to them.  We just thought you might be interested.

Here's a good old farm truck with a rice-thresher on the back.  This is an important step in the processing of what is now becoming a staple in our diet.

As you can tell, there are many varieties of rice here in the Philippines.  Rice is not just rice!  By the way, if you'd like to make a conversion, approximately 45 pesos equal a US dollar.  We'll let you figure out the kilogram to pound conversion yourself. :-)

Here are some chickens ready for the market.

A fishing boat (bangka) heading out into the Pacific Ocean in search of a good catch.

Eggs heading to the market too.  Hope he doesn't crash!

Plenty of fish to choose from at the wet markets.  Bangus (on the right) is the national fish of the Philippines.  Filipinos eat a lot of fish.

Here's a sampling of the chicken that's available at the wet markets.  Chicken Adobo is a dish you should try, and one we've cooked quite often.  Want the recipe?

Pork is another popular meat here.  Many different cuts to choose from.

Wherever you go, you will come across a corner-store (sari-sari).  These sell a variety of snacky foods: candy, chips, drinks, etc.  There are a number of them in our neighborhood.

This is the oven in a Pan de Manila store.  These are a chain of bakeries, and they cook their bread (mostly buns) in a brick oven which is heated by a wood fire.  If you're ever here, you HAVE to try some pandesal.  Absolutely delicious!

Will end with a picture of the two of us.  As you can tell, we're happy, healthy, and enjoying the good foods here.

* April 2010 Conference

The Conference Venue 

The Berean PRCP held their annual conference on April 29 and 30 this year.  Rev. Smit and Rev. Kleyn were the featured speakers.  Rev. Smit did four speeches on The Particular Grace of God.  Rev. Kleyn did four on Reformed Church Government.

Banner Advertising The Conference

We picked up several of the registered attendees on our way to the conference.  What is your guess at the number of Philipinos that can fit into a vehicle smaller than a mini van?!  You can count on the picture below and see how close your guess was.  P.S. Don't forget to count the photographer.

The Riders

Rev. Smit

Rev. Kleyn

There were aproximately 60 to 70 pastors, men, women and children from various groups and contacts attending the conference. 


The Berean ladies served the meriendas and lunches for both days.  The food was delicious.  The snack and lunch breaks gave us a time for fellowship and questions.

Plenty of seats outside

Notice Rev. Kleyn is on two chairs?
You'll have to ask him why sometime.  :-)

Food and Fellowship

RFPA Books on Display

Q&A Period

It was a profitable and enjoyable conference.  We look forward to the next one, Lord willing.