* Work Toward A Federation

One of the goals in the mission work here is to establish a denomination of churches, according to God's wise will and timing.  The consistories of two churches are already working together toward this goal, and recently held a combined meeting in our home.

Elder Sonny Umali, Elder Reden Zuniega, Elder Rod Bongat, Rev. Kleyn, Rev. Smit, Deacon Lito Trias, Pastor John Flores, Deacon Dick Espiritu

The Sunday after the meeting, the following announcement was made in both churches:

"On Monday, August 22 our consistories of the Berean Protestant Reformed Church and the First Reformed Church of Bulacan had a combined meeting in order to identify any areas of concern or differences that need further discussion and resolution in preparation for our future federation, the Lord willing.  Rev. Kleyn was appointed by the consistories as chairman of our combined meetings, and Rev. Smit was appointed clerk.  As a result of the thorough discussions of the appoximately 4 hour meeting, the consistories identified only 2 significant matters of practice in which the churhes have differed, namely, article 67 of our Church Order and the validity of the baptisms of the Roman Catholic Church and other such churches. ..." 

"... In addition, the consistories identified other concerns in which there seems to be full agreement, but more work to be done, namely, faithful Bible translations, a complete Psalter/Psalm song book translation in Tagalog, an official and accurate Tagalog translation of our Reformed Creeds, plus the work of preparing to do other works together as a denomination.  The agenda for the next meeting (date to be determined yet) will be to begin a treatment of the issue of Article 67.  Please pray for the consistories that they may receive wisdom and strength as well as a continued spirit of brotherly cooperation and love in this work of our seeking to express together the unity of the church Jesus Christ."

After the meeting there was time for lunch and fellowship.

* A Bit of This and a Bit of That

Recently, when picking up the Smit children from school, I saw this beauty on the bushes there.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but it was about the size of my hand.  We haven't been able to identify it yet, so if anyone can help in that department, let us know!
Isn't God's creation marvelous?!
We also saw this not-such-a-beauty in our house recently!  Maybe our judgment concerning its beauty is because of where we found it.  Beautiful or not, it still displays the work of God's fingers in designing the variety of the creation.
As many of you probably heard, we had several weeks of heavy rains here.  At the peak of it we measured 30 inches in three days!  This caused much flooding in Manila and surrounding areas.
In Antipolo 
The kids love to play in it!
We also saw some spots still flooded on our way to Gabaldon that weekend.  Here are two videos of a couple spots.
Notice the water marks on the houses.  The water had been higher.
Another sight on the way to Gabaldon - workers on the way to the rice fields.  They enjoyed us taking their picture.  :-)
And speaking of Gabaldon, the fellowship there built a new pulpit recently for the church building. 

* The Charge of the Toyota Revo

Recently, while driving in traffic, we were motivated to write the following poem - just for fun.  It is based on and borrows some of the wording of Alfred Tennyson's Charge of the Light Brigade.  (Note: There is just a "little" exaggeration to make it more interesting.  ;-))

The Charge of the Toyota Revo
Half a mile, half a mile,
Half a mile onward,
All on the roads of Death
Rode the Toyota Revo.
“Forward, O Fearless Driver!
“Charge for first place!” she said:
Onto the road of Death
Rode the Toyota Revo.

“Forward, O Fearless Driver!”
Is there construction?
Is there destruction?
Ours not to make reply,
Ours not to reason why,
Ours but to do and drive: 
Onto the roads of Manila
Rode the Toyota Revo.

Jeepneys to the right of them,
Buses to the left of them,
Motorcycles all around
Roared and gunned it:
Beeped at and barely missed,
Boldly he drove and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Chaos
Rode the Toyota Revo.

Venders to the right of them,
Dogs to the left of them,
Policemen all around
Barked and hollered.
Confusion and dismay,
“Will we get there today?”
Into the mouth of Chaos
Rode the Toyota Revo.       

U-turns and wrong way traffic,
Merging and counter-flow,
Chickens and pedestrians there
Walking and going slow,
While all the world wondered:
Plunged in the exhaust smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Jeepney and motorbike
Reeled from the Revo stroke
Shattered and sundered.
Then he drove back, but not
Without dents.

Jeepneys to the right of them,
Buses to the left of them,
Motorcycles all around
Roared and gunned it.
Banged and sorely wounded,
Though back light and bumper fell,
He that had drove so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Brought back from the mouth of Chaos
All that was left of it,
Left of the Toyota Revo.

When can its glory fade?
O, the wild charge it made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge it made,
Honor the Toyota Revo,
Noble Toyota Revo.

* The Ibes

We arrived safely back home on July 12 and have settled back into the work and routine of our life here.  The Ibes travelled back with us and they too are settling in.  It is wonderful to have them here and to see their beginning involvement in the work and life of the churches.

At 7M

Exchanging cell phone numbers

This past Sunday Candidate Ibe preached for the Berean PRC's first service and Rev. Kleyn preached for their second service, baptizing their newest child, L J.

Baby Louvin Jedediah after his baptism

It was an eventful day for the Ibes, as the men of the Berean PRC met after the second service and voted to call Candidate Ibe as their pastor.  We pray for Cand. Ibe in the next weeks as he considers the call extended to him by Christ's church in this place.  May God's will be done and Christ's care for His church be evidenced by the supplying of godly men for the ministry of the Word.