* Gabaldon Visits and Visitors

Church Building of the All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship
Throughout this past year, we have been able (now and then) to take family and friends along with us on our visits to the All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Gabaldon. We worship here once each month (the Smits do so twice each month). Here are a few pictures of some who have been able to join us on these visits.
Visitors in January
Visitors in February
Visitors in May
Visitors in October
This past weekend, Andy Ragual & Ghen Balanquit (who regularly attend the Berean PRC) joined us for our visit to the AGPRF.
An early start - we picked them up in Balintawak at 5:00 a.m.
Still smiling after a couple hours in the car.
We've arrived!
Getting ready for worship to begin.
After our catechism class and two worship services, some of the members of the AGPRF joined us for a short drive.
All squeezed in.
The 11 who fit in our car.
We thoroughly enjoyed having Andy & Ghen along.  The saints in Gabaldon were also glad to meet and get to know them.
On a slightly different note, on a recent trip to Gabaldon we stopped along the road for a short rest, only to find out that we had a dead battery when it was time to head off again.  Oops, someone left the lights on!
Guess who stood in the road and waved the jumper cables in the air whenever a car came past!  Someone took pity and provided the help we needed.  We were soon on our way, and even made it to church on time.

* Exam of Pastor John Flores

Another significant event recently took place in the churches here in the Philippines.  Not too long ago (see our previous posts: Delegation Visit (3), (4) and (5)) we were able to share the happy news concerning the examination and ordination of Pastor Vernon Ibe.  This past Friday, November 30, Pastor John Flores, minister in the First Reformed Church of Bulacan also submitted to an oral examination by the Combined Consistories of the Berean Protestant Reformed Church and the First Reformed Church of Bulacan.  This exam was similar to a classical examination and was given according to Article 9 of the Church Order of Dordt (which has been adopted by both of the consistories).  The exam was hosted by and held in the building of the FRCB, with the FRCB ladies supplying the lunch and meriendas (snacks).

Rev. Kleyn, president of the combined consistories, opens the meeting with announcements and devotions.

Rev. Smit, secretary, takes minutes of the meeting.

Pastor Flores preaches his specimen sermon on John 6:44.
The audience - consisting of members of the FRCB, BPRC and other friends and relatives.
After preaching his specimen sermon, and after the decision of the Combined Consistories to approve the sermon, Pastor Flores was then examined orally for more than three hours.  The examination schedule was as follows, with 15 minutes allotted for each section:
Theology — Rev. Kleyn
Anthropology — Rev. Smit
Christology — Rev. Kleyn
Soteriology — Rev. Smit
Ecclesiology — Rev. Kleyn
Eschatology — Rev. Smit
Knowledge of Scripture — Rev. Smit
Knowledge of the Confessions — Rev. Kleyn
Controversy — Rev. Smit
Protestant Reformed Distinctives — Rev. Kleyn
Knowledge of the Church Order — Rev. Smit
Practica — Rev. Kleyn
Rev. Smit asks questions.

 Rev. Kleyn asks questions.
The members of both consistories had opportunity to ask follow-up questions as well.

Lunch time....

and time for fellowship.

Some of the younger attendees.

Announcement of the approved examination......

and presentation of the diploma.


As the pictures indicate, the Combined Consistories unanimously approved the examination of Pastor Flores.
Pastor Flores will continue to serve as a pastor of the First Reformed Church of Bulacan.  But through this examination, the way has been prepared for him to be recognized and serve as a minister in the future federation.  The work toward forming a federation of Protestant Reformed Churches is ongoing, but once that has been finalized, the Lord willing, Pastor Flores will have all the rights and privileges of a minister of the Word and sacraments in that federation (e.g., pulpit exchanges, mission work, etc.).
We thank the Lord for His answer to prayers in sustaining Pastor Flores through his examination, and for His blessing on the work here through this event.

* Delegation Visit (7)

As mentioned on the last blog post, we still have one more event in the delegation visit to tell you about.  We were in the Berean PRC for their second service Sunday afternoon.  The delegates enjoyed their fellowship there very much and said their farewells.

Rev. Overway talking with some of the children
(two of whom have names similar to his daughter).

Elder Ike having a chat.

With the Berean PRC Consistory.

With some of the young people.

Elder Ike saying some parting words.

Presenting a thank you gift.
The gift for Rev. Overway.

Cakes as a farewell.

We are thankful for the fellowship and oversight of these men as they take interest in the work and get to know God's people here.  One day, farewells between God's people will no longer be necessary.  We look forward especially to that day!

* Delegation Visit (6)

The delegates are home again.  They left here early Monday morning, and arrived back in Iowa just after 9:00 pm Monday night (11:00 am Tuesday morning, our time).  Long travel time, and I'm sure they were weary, but we're thankful the Lord brought them safely back to their wives and families and congregations there.

Although they're no longer here, we still have a few pictures from their last day here - Sunday, November 4.  We were up early that Sunday, and on the road by 6:30 a.m. on our way to the First Reformed Church of Bulacan.  This is where Pastor John Flores is pastor.  We (the Kleyns) visit this church two Sundays each month.  It is also the congregation that is working with the Berean PRC toward the formation of a federation.

The Congregation of the First Reformed Church of Bulacan.

Ike Uittenbogaard chatting with Pastor Flores before worship began.

The Delegates with Bro. Ronald Mercado.

It was the FRCB's anniversary Sunday, on which they annually acknowledge and give praise to God for taking them out of an Arminian Pentecostal denomination.  Rev. Overway preached for the first service (at 8:30 a.m.) on Matthew 16:15-18, "Jesus Building His Church."  Rev. Kleyn preached for the second service (at 10:30 a.m.) on Ephesians 4:2-3.

The congregation during the first worship service.

Another view of the congregation.

Elder Ike Uittenbogaard, Pastor John Flores, Deacon Lito Trias, Sis. Sharon Kleyn, Rev. Daniel Kleyn, Rev. David Overway, Elder Reden Zuniega, Bro. Ronald Mercado.

A scrumptious lunch was served after the two worship services.  The delegates were able to taste a wide selection of Filipino foods, and enjoyed them all.  This included kare-kare, dim sum, fried lumpia, fresh lumpia, stuffed milk fish, pancit, fried chicken, and plenty of rice.  And for dessert, the deliciously sweet leche flan.

The large pan of kare-kare.

The Feast that was set before us.

Digging in!

After lunch, the delegates had opportunity to meet with the Consistory of the FRCB, in order to discuss the work our churches and missionaries are doing in this church.

Meeting with the Consistory.

While the men were meeting, Sharon joined some of the ladies at Flores' home.

Heading out the church door to leave.

After the enjoyable morning in the FRCB, we headed to the Berean PRC for their second worship service. But we'll save that until next time.

Traffic along the EDSA on our way to the Berean PRC.
[We still made it on time!]

* Delegation Visit (5)

As you know, Rev. Vernon Ibe was ordained into office as a Minister of the Word and Sacraments in the Berean PRC on Friday, November 2, 2012.  Here are two additional pictures that were taken in connection with his examination and ordination. 
Group Picture of the consistories, delegates, and observers present at Rev. Ibe's examination.
The ceremony of "Laying on of Hands"
[Rev. D. Overway, Rev. R. Smit, Rev. D. Kleyn, Rev. R. Van Overloop] 
Saturday was spent mostly in preparation for Sunday (visits to and preaching in the First Reformed Church of Bulacan and the Berean Protestant Reformed Church).  However, the delegates did family visitation in the morning.  And we also had time for a few other things. 
Visiting with Rev. Ibe and Bro. Alex Oriate (Rev. Ibe's brother in law).
Ike Uittenbogaard chatting (ever so sweetly) with his wife via Skype.
Ike found a few items to add to his sign collection back home. 
In the evening we took a drive to and walk in dowtown Antipolo City.
The children intently watched Ike's bartering.

On Sunday we were in the FRCB in the morning, and the BPRC in the afternoon.  More on these soon, Lord willing.