For many years now, the missionaries have been traveling to the city of Sipalay on the Island of Negros to hold classes with a number of pastors and elders in that area who are interested in the Reformed truth. Now, with three missionaries present, they are hoping to expand this work by going on the weekends and speaking/preaching/teaching in the churches there in addition to continuing the classes for the pastors and elders.
This past Saturday, September 14, Rev. Kleyn and I flew into Bacolod City and drove the 3-4 hour trip south to Sipalay. Along the way we stopped to check in with two of the pastors, Pastor Rosal and Pastor Donasco. They assured us that they were planning on us on the following day (Sunday), and specific times and arrangements were made.
Sunday morning we left Sipalay around 8:15 for the half hour trip back north to the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan where Pastor Rosal is the pastor. This church has already been following the order of worship we are used to and has used the Psalter for many years. They also are organized with elders and deacons.
Rev. Kleyn first led the adult Sunday School class, speaking, at their request, on Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
The congregation gathered for worship
After the Sunday School class, Pastor Rosal (standing on the right) made a few announcements, and then the worship service began. Rev. Kleyn led the whole service and preached on Unconditional Election from Deuteronomy 7:6-8. There was much appreciation expressed for the sermon. Because they came out of Arminianism and still have many friends and family in the Arminian churches, the doctrines of grace are very relevant for the members. They love to hear of them and discuss the related issues and Bible verses.
A group photo
After lunch, Rev. Kleyn and I returned to Sipalay for a short rest. At 4:20 we left to go north again, this time to Pastor Donasco’s group, the Reformed Church in Sialay. After a short introduction by Pastor Donasco and the singing of Psalter #1, Rev. Kleyn spoke on God’s Sovereignty in Salvation to this small gathering of believers.
After the speech there were many questions and much discussion about the arguments and Bible passages their Arminian acquaintances bring up. We had a lovely time of fellowship.
Pastor Donasco. The book shelf behind him holds many RFPA books.
Just one more interesting note. We saw a field of black rice for the first time.
We were told it is good for the immune system.
We look forward to our next visit among the churches in Southern Negros Occidental and with our fellow believers there.