January 26, 2019
Trip to Philippines Yields Fellowship
From the Superintendent's DESK
Bill McKibben, Director of Asia Work, and his wife Lori, along with Seth and Erin Morgan, all from Seattle, Washington, arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday, January 22. Their itinerary includes visits to many of our twenty-five branch churches, pastor and worker meetings, and two anniversary services including one at the Bagong Sikat headquarters church. After a very late arrival to Manila followed by a four-hour drive to the headquarters church, everyone was happy to go straight to sleep.
Wednesday morning started with a late brunch with the District Superintendent, Zenaida Ruiz, and some of her family. In the evening, the Bagong Sikat saints gathered in the headquarters church chapel for Bible Study. Brother Bill taught from the first chapter of 2nd Peter, saying we have received “like precious faith” as the Apostles and that God has given us “great and precious promises” so that we can be partakers and participants in God’s nature.
The group was joined by eight pastors on Thursday morning for the seven-hour trip north to the province of Isabela. After driving through rolling hills filled with pineapple fields, they stopped for a wonderful lunch and time of fellowship at our church in Baretbet in the province of Nueva Viscaya. Their journey continued into Isabela with a stop at our church in Raniag.
In the evening, an anniversary service was held at our church in Ambatali. The current church building was dedicated fourteen years ago, but the church body has been in Ambatali for over thirty-five years. The service began with an instrumental prelude, followed by congregational singing led by the pastor, Nena Villarta. Other special numbers were shared between a brief history of the local church and a prayer of thanksgiving for the building. Brother Bill (with Imelda Lucero, the Ambatali founding pastor, interpreting) preached from the 20th chapter of John. He talked about the church building, the signs, and even the sermons, being created “that ye might believe.” The service was followed by a wonderful time of prayer around the altar.
Friday morning the group began the long journey back to Bagong Sikat. A stop was made at Dalton Pass, the border between the Nueva Viscaya and Nueva Ecija provinces. This site contains monuments to the American, Filipino, and Japanese soldiers who fought during World War II. Later in the evening, the saints gathered in the headquarters chapel for a prayer meeting. The congregation sang several hymns and many prayer requests were shared. Levy Dollente, pastor of our church in Kaliwanigan, shared a short devotional based on many Scriptures about praying for others. He shared that prayer has benefits, both for those who pray and for the recipients of those prayers. At his conclusion, the congregation was encouraged to apply this teaching around the altar.
The group joined around twenty-five pastors on Saturday morning for breakfast in the headquarters church building, followed by a pastors’ meeting. Now they look forward to a large combined service Sunday morning to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of the beautiful new headquarters building in Bagong Sikat. They appreciate all of your prayers and are excited to see continued showers of blessing in the Philippines.