* Missionaries' Inayauan Visit

This past week, Rev. Smit and I visited our contacts in Negros Occidental.  We have been in touch with some of these men for many years (since the late 1990's).  Various delegations visited them while the Philippines was being investigated by our churches as a possible mission field.  And contact has been maintained ever since - also through occasional visits and conferences.

We flew out of Manila on Tuesday, December 20.

After landing in Bacolod City, we drove down to Inayauan.  We were traveling during the peak of the sugar-cane season, and thus had to negotiate many trucks, as well as the occasional load spill.

Beautiful rural scenery awaited us along the way.

Pastor Ezequias Rosal is one of our main contacts, and lives in Inayauan.  He greeted us at his home with a refreshing drink and snack.

Another of our main contacts is Pastor Eduardo Donasco.  He lives in Si-alay, a little south of Inayauan.  We stopped and chatted for a while along the road.

On Wednesday, a conference was held in the church building of the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan.  We even had a visitor there from our Protestant Reformed Seminary! 
(The DVD was played while the attendees were arriving, and also during the lunch break.)

Since we arrived early, I had the opportunity to take a walk down the main street of the small, rural town of Inayauan.

Some were up as early as 4:00 a.m. to begin making preparations for our lunch.  Over 30 attendees were expected.

Rev. Smit spoke on "Saving Faith."  Later in the morning, I spoke on "God's Counsel."  35 adults attended the conference, indicating to us that there is significant interest in the Reformed faith in this part of Negros Occidental.

Pastor Ariel Labrador (red shirt) is another of our main contacts in the area.  He lives in Canturay, about 15 km south of Inayauan.

Some children were present throughout the day.  They came along either with their parents or grandparents.

A few ladies attended the conference - and also helped with the snacks and the noon meal.

After lunch, we had a question and answer time, which lasted a couple hours.  Many good questions were asked - regarding our speeches as well as on various other subjects.

The conference attendees (which includes us, of course) enjoyed the times of fellowship.  We are also thankful for the opportunity we had to meet these men, to get to know them, and to get a sense of their sincere interest in the truth.

We arrived home again late Thursday afternoon - thankful for safe travels, and for the blessed work the Lord gives us to do.

* America?

The last few months, as we've driven around, we've had the idea of taking pictures of things that might make you wonder if we live somewhere other than the Philippines.  Enjoy the pics of what we've seen.

Hmmm, this could be America .... but what's that vehicle out front?

That frosty looks pretty good....

Mac's again...



Good ol' Colonel Sanders.

Even a NASA guy!

Are those Americans out front?

We forgot to get a Pizza Hut picture, but that's another pizza place, more common than Dominoes or Yellow Cab.

Yep, another one.
You can get a McDonald's fix pretty much anywhere (if you really would want to).

* Some Random Pics

Odd-shaped Papaya Tree


Selection of Fish - both usual and unusual

A Big Oops - perhaps

A Fire in a Manila Neighborhood

Someone Having Dinner

The Grass is always Greener ....

Rhinoceros Beetle - in our house

Clouds, etc., during one of our Walks

Close-up of Taal Volcano

Sunset over Manila

* Hanko's Visit

Dad and Mom visited us once again this past week.  On their way to Singapore, the stop here gives them a chance to get over their jet lag and rest up before the busy schedule in Singapore.  We had an enjoyable time with them.

The Sunday they were here, we were privileged to visit First Reformed Church in Bulacan.  This was their anniversary Sunday.

Preaching on "Contending for the Faith"

The Hankos with the youngest member of the church

Group picture - didn't quite fit them all on

Enjoying the communion of saints

Lunch - delicious pork, lumpia, chop suey and pancit

With the consistory

The ladies

Monday was a public holiday here and the Smits invited the Bereans to spend the day at their house.  Hankos were able to visit for a while as well and renew acquaintances with the Bereans once again.

We were able to go away for a day to the Taal Volcano south of Manila.  The volcano (still active) is in the middle of a lake, and also has a lake inside it.  Unique! Although we could not see the inside lake, it is possible to take a boat ride across to the volcano, hike up and get a good view of it.  However those activities weren't on our agenda for the day and we simply enjoyed the view from the adjacent ridge.


One of us at least spoiling the view!  :-)

Notice all the fish farms.