Saturday, February 28, 2009

Live From Dumaguete, It's Saturday Night!

Dumaguete City, Republic of the Philippines
11:20 Saturday Night
February 28, 2009

We had the morning and afternoon off today as Brother Joseph made the long trip to pick up the folks from Mayaposi for the Anniversary Service of New Life Christian Church. He hauled 18 folks in the little “easy ride” for two hours from the mountains down to the city of Dumaguete. To say that little vehicle was full would be a tremendous understatement. The men and women of the church were busy all day, preparing the anniversary feast which would be enjoyed by everyone tonight.

Joseph picked us up at the hotel at 5:50 and when we arrived at the church the place was packed with worshippers. I tried to count, but I lost track somewhere past 110. My best estimate would put the attendance tonight at somewhere near 135.

Besides the New Life (home folks) and the 18 from Mayaposi, there were also some visitors from Emmanuel Baptist Church, as well as Pastor Roberto and Marissa Martin of the Baptist Church in Bais City. There were also a number of visitors from the community, as well as one dear lady who serves us breakfast every day here at the Bethel Guest House in Dumaguete. We were very pleased to see her. The whole team has been a good witness here at Bethel. The hotel is owned by a devout believer. He has built the nicest hotel in Dumaguete City and it serves as a meeting place and small convention center for this area. Most every big event that takes place in Dumaguete, takes place at the Bethel Guest House. It is advertised as a “No Liquor/No Tobacco” hotel and they strictly enforce the rules.

The service was wonderful tonight. There was a celebratory atmosphere as the church observed it’s ninth birthday. There was spiritual congregational singing and special music provided by individuals and groups of various ages. It was easy to preach in such an atmosphere – even with an “interrupter”! The larger number of rural people who are not proficient in English forced us to use an interpreter tonight. I was blessed to have the services of Bais City’s Pastor Roberto Martin. Pastor Martin, stayed right with me and enabled me to get into the flow of the message like no other interpreter I have had here in the Philippines. I certainly do appreciate his help.

During the revival we have used a theme entitled, “What Does Jesus Do For Us?” Tonight (in accordance with the theme of the anniversary ”Jesus is Coming”, my message from Matthew 24:43 reminded us that “Jesus Is Coming To Take Us Home!” At the close of the message, many raised their hands to indicate that they were interested in knowing more about being prepared for the coming of Christ. When the invitation was given, seven precious souls came forward to symbolically give their lives to Jesus Christ. Pastor Valdez led in a prayer of consecration. This brings to 57 the number of people who have publicly accepted Jesus during this mission trip. There will be a joint New Life/Mayaposi Baptismal Service at Silliman Beach tomorrow at 2:00 PM.

After the service closed, everyone in attendance enjoyed a feast of two roasted pigs, lots of chicken, rice and other Filipino goodies. It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We are already beginning to think of how hard it will be to leave these dear folks in two days.

Oh yes, there was another incident during the service that bears mentioning. Joseph Spurgeon, one of our team members, presented Rowina Gantalao with an engagement ring, and popped the big question. Joey and Weng (as she is called here) have been carrying on a long distance relationship for a couple of years now. I guess he decided that the time was right, so on bended knee, he asked her to marry him. The crowd erupted with cheering.

By the way - She said yes!

I’ll be posting a number of photos on Facebook in an hour or so. Please take a moment to check them out.

Tomorrow promises to be a full and busy day of preaching and packing. I hope to put up a post tomorrow night before bedtime.
Good night for now.

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