* Annual Berean PRCP Conference

The annual Berean PRC Conference was held this past Friday (April 26, 2013).  The conference theme was The Sovereignty of God Over All Things, with four speeches on: The Sovereignty of God and Creation; The Sovereignty of God in Salvation; The Sovereignty of God and the Inspiration of Scripture; and The Sovereignty of God and the Responsibility of Man.
All set up and ready for the registrants.  There were over 100 this year!
Hope PRC's evangelism committee in Walker, Michigan supplied the Philippines with many free copies of Rev. Smit's new book "The Fruit of the Spirit of Jesus Christ," so we were able to give each attendee a free copy of the book.  Thank you Hope PRC!
We had our book table of RFPA books set up again this year. 
We sold 107 books, doubling our sales from last year.  We also moved about 150 pamphlets.  Lots of good literature getting out there!
Rev. Ibe was the moderator/MC of the conference.
The auditorium was packed.
Rev. Smit delivered the first and last speeches on creation and man's responsibility.
Lunch and fellowship time
Rev. Kleyn gave the two middle speeches on salvation and the inspiration of Scripture.
Here's a video of the singing (Psalter #15, based on Psalm 8).   For those who receive the blog through email, you may have to go to the web itself to see the video.
There were many good questions during the question hour at the end of the day.
Fellowshiping at the end of the day.
The whole group.
If anyone is interested in listening to the speeches and/or seeing the slides from Rev. Smit's and Rev. Kleyn's Powerpoint presentations, they can be found under the "Speeches" tab at:

We are thankful to God for the opportunity to hear the Reformed faith and to spend the day with many old and new acquaintances.  May our sovereign God use it for the salvation of His elect in Jesus Christ.

* Visit to PRFA in Leyte

Church Building of the PRFA

Recently I had the opportunity to accompany Rev. John Flores on a visit to the PRFA in Leyte. The PRFA is the Protestant Reformed Fellowship in Albuera, and is the mission work of the First Reformed Church of Bulacan. This was the second time I was able to join Rev. Flores on such a visit - the first was in September, 2010.

Here follow some pictures and brief descriptions of our visit.

A large American squeezing into the back seat of a van.
After a 1 hour plane flight from Manila to Tacloban, we rode a van for 2 1/2 hours from Tacloban to Ormoc.  (By the way, I shared the back row of the van with 3 adults and 2 children.  Cozy, hey?!)  We then took a 20 minute jeepney ride to Albuera.
We've arrived in Albuera, outside the home of Bro. Felix and Sis. Norma Montalban.
Rev. Flores visits with Bro. Felix in the living room.

Sis. Norma's kitchen, where she cooked us an endless supply of delicious food.

Montalban's house is just a short stroll from the ocean.
(We even saw three dolphins at one point!)

Two pigs heading off to market.

In case you farmers out there wondered: it's a Ford!

Three of the young girls from the fellowship visited us at Montalban's home one evening.

The lane to the church building - about a 15 minute walk.

So why not take a ride part of the way?!
The church building nestled among coconut and banana trees.

During our 4 day visit, Rev. Flores spoke twice (concerning the cessation of the special gifts of the Spirit) and preached once.  He also translated my speeches and sermon as I spoke - a challenge for both of us, but it went well.  I also spoke twice (concerning prayer) and preached once.  In addition to that, we met a few times with Bro. Buboy.  Bro. Buboy leads the fellowship on Sundays using reading sermons supplied by the First Reformed Church of Bulacan.  We took time to provide instruction to him regarding his work in the fellowship, especially that of leading the worship services.

Bro. Buboy with the "giant."

The PRFA gathered on Thursday evening.

Five of the children sharing a songbook.
(It contains numbers from The Psalter translated into Tagalog).

Group Picture on Sunday morning.

We enjoyed breakfast on Monday morning with a couple from the fellowship.

Before catching our plane again in Tacloban, we had time to stop at the memorial there that marks the spot where General McArthur landed upon his return to the Philippines during WWII.  Perhaps you remember his famous words, "I shall return!"  He did.
It was a pleasure to visit the saints in Albuera again, and to have the opportunity to preach and teach in their midst. I once again enjoyed their warm hospitality.  But I was also reminded of the blessings one receives and privileges one has as a missionary.  What a blessing to see the excitement and zeal of these dear fellow believers, their eagerness to learn the precious truths of the gospel and the Reformed faith, and their earnest request for our assistance and prayers so that they might not stray from the truth.  Let us remember them in our prayers.

* 3rd Annual Combined Church Outing - 2013

On March 29 the 3rd Annual Combined Church Outing was held.  This year 100+ members from The First Reformed Church of Bulacan, the Berean Protestant Reformed Church, and Maranatha Reformed Church in Valenzuela attended.  We are thankful to God for the opportunity to further the unity and communion of saints between these groups.  The outing was held at the Grotto Vista Resort in Bulacan, where there were good ammenities for fellowship, games, swimming and (of course!) eating. 

We opened the day with singing and prayer and a meditation by Rev. Kleyn on Psalm 127:1, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain."  He applied this to our Christian homes as well as to the work of building Reformed churches and a denomination in the Philippines.

Bible reading and meditation
Singing some Psalter numbers
After the opening devotions there was some time for games, a good way to mix and get to know each other better.

Interesting psychology in this game.  Everyone stands facing each other in a circle.  One person is appointed to start the counting each time with number 1, with others following at random, counting to 15.  If two people say the same number, you have to start over at 1.  Almost impossible to get to 15!
Everyone turns their backs into the circle and voila, it works!

Cup stacking game.  Each member of the team had to set the cups up in a pyramid and then take them down again for the next team member to repeat.  First team through all their members wins. 
There is a Tagalog children's song called "Bahay Kubo" which is about all the different vegetables in the Philippines.  The teams had to see how quickly they could get the vegetables in the song in the right order.
Checking that it's right

Some of the men visiting.

The pool was the best way to beat the heat of the day! 



A game for the kids.  Fill a spoon with water, run to the other cup and pour it in.  Which ever team fills their cup the fastest wins.

Another game for mixed age groups.  Each person had a straw. On the chair in front of them were small squares of paper.  They had to pick up the paper pieces by sucking on the straw and run with them to another chair. The team with the most pieces of paper on the second chair won.
Rev. Smit did the closing devotions for the day on the first few verses of Psalm 118 -- being thankful for all God's mercies.

I love Thy saints, who fear Thy name and walk as in Thy sight;
They are the excellent of earth, In them is my delight.
Psalter 27: 2


* Gabaldon Weekend: (4) Sleeping Accommodations and Sunday Activities

After our enjoyable Psalter singing it's time to retire for the night.  So let's head off to our hotel. 

There it is folks!
(Brother Lando did kindly offer us a room in their house, but we wanted to try this out.)

Sorry.  We'd love to put you up, but there isn't room!
Enjoying the cool night breeze. We were glad there were no mosquitoes.
After our night of sleep (yes, we did sleep!) we were ready to go the next morning.  Sis Liwanag kindly supplied our breakfast.

Breakfast in the "sunroom."

Preparing for preaching in the "study."

Our shower.....
and sink. 
(That's the bathroom behind him.)

Almost ready for catechism.
And I wanted you to get a taste of our dessert that day - buko salad. (Remember the young coconuts?)  The white strips are the buko.  The dessert is served cold and is quite refreshing.

On our drive home we enjoyed the beautiful sky.  I can't help but think of the song:
"The heavens are telling the glory of God,The wonder of His work displays the firmament."
What a marvelous God we serve!