Thursday, December 24, 2009

Maligayang Pasko (Merry Christmas)


Merry Christmas to all of our family and friends!

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-

Luke 2:7-14
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


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Friday, December 11, 2009

7th Church Anniversary




On December 6, our church celebrated its 7th anniversary. Even though Rina and I have only been here for 7 months, the testimony of the faithfulness of Pastor Nelson and Dulce was evident as God has protected and blessed this church through another year. We pray that God will continue to watch over and bless this church as we strive to serve Him and share our faith.

During both the morning and evening services we had some special singing by our adult choir, children's choir, and ladies group. I was able to preach during the morning service on our theme for the anniversary -"No Regrets" Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God."

For the evening service we were blessed to have Dr. Jericho Samson as our guest speaker, and we served food to all in attendance. We had around 350-400 people attend the evening service and many accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. It was a very busy day and many of the church members worked hard in preparation for the anniversary as well as with the following cleanup. We are very thankful for the great outcome that God provided during our church anniversary celebration.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Overdue Posts

I have decided to post some pictures and updates from some of the different events/experiences that took place towards the later half of November. It was a busy month with a variety of activities. We had one of our friends from the states come and visit us for a week and a half, we attended two youth conferences and had a youth/church fellowship with another church, we did some scheduled construction around the church, and had a church cleanup day.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-

Youth Rally #1

Some of the youth in our church attended a Youth Rally themed "Holy Ambition" at the church of Ptr. Carlos Darlucio (Heritage Bible Baptist Church).


Youth/Church Fellowship with the Bible Baptist Church of San Simon


Keith Visits the Philippines

Our good friend Keith visited us for around a week and a half. We had a great time seeing him again and his trip was a big blessing to Rina and myself.


Church Construction and Cleanup Day

We made some shelves for our storage room and the church members helped to clean in preparation for our church anniversary celebration. Everyone worked extremely hard and a lot was accomplished.



Youth Rally #2

I was asked to be a guest speaker during the divided session of the 3rd Baptist Youth Jubilee at the Bible Baptist Church of Caloocan. I spoke to the high school group about the theme of the jubilee, "Navigating Against the Current." Twelve of our young people were able to attend the conference and be blessed by the preaching, activities, and fellowship.



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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Prayer Request

We would appreciate everyone's prayers for our church anniversary this Sunday. Please pray that many new people will attend so that they are able to hear the gospel. Also, please pray that God will give Rina and I the physical strength we need since both of us haven't been feeling well recently. Thanks and God Bless.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Witnessing Opportunity

I just wanted to briefly share with you about an unexpected witnessing opportunity that happened tonight. Following our regular Friday prayer service, we attended a wake for the mother of one of our church members. Rina, myself, and around 15 other church members came to show our support and offer comfort. While we were there I was unexpectedly asked to speak to the people who were gathered for the wake. There were close to 200 people attending. I didn't have a microphone and some of the people were further away or too busy playing cards. Nevertheless, I spoke as loud as I could and shared with them the wonderful good news of the Gospel.
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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Araw ng mga Patay (Day of the Dead)

This past Sunday, November 1st, was All Saint's Day. In the Philippines it is a traditional holiday in which the vast majority of people visit the graves of their loved ones. They bring food, light candles, leave flowers, and offer up prayers for the souls of the deceased. Since most of the people go to the cemetery that day we decided that it would be a good time to pass out tracts. So, around 15 members of our youth group split up and in around 25 minutes passed out close to 1000 tracts. It was really crowded. In fact, all of the tracts were passed out without even making it into the actual cemetery. The road to the cemetery was pretty narrow and on top of that you had the vendors on the sides of the road selling food, candles, and other trinkets to the stream of people that were constantly making there way to and from the cemetery. There were rows of tricycles waiting to give people rides and in addition, you had people who decided that they would rather drive than walk so at times it felt like we were in the middle of a slow moving game of frogger. As much as I wanted to bring my camera and take pictures I wasn't able to (the 20D isn't really pocket sized). It was an interesting cultural experience, but more than that it was a great blessing to be able to pass out all of those tracts and we are excited to see what God is going to do.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mission Conference

Last Thursday I was given the honor to be guest speaker in a mission conference at the Bible Baptist Mission of San Simon, a neighboring church about 45 minutes away. Ptr. Ramen Caliwag and his church hosted the event less then a week after their church was flooded due to complications from the typhoons. He told me that around five church families were still stranded due to the flooding, and one of the families that was able to attend had to find a boat to use in order to come to the conference.

The conference verse and the topic for my message was Matthew 6:33. The theme for the conference was "First things First". Several of our church members rode with Rina and I to attend the conference. Afterward we had some great food and fellowship. I was able to talk with some other missionaries that were attending the conference who were going to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Please keep Ptr. Ramen and his church in your prayers.
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Typhoon Update

Thank you everyone for your prayers. The main body of typhoon 'Pepeng' shifted to the north of us at the last minute so we were spared from the full force of the typhoon. We just had some moderate rain and wind, but it was very tame compared to 'Ondoy' last week.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Here we go with Typhoon #2

Please keep us in your prayers as we are expecting another typhoon here in the Philippines. Please pray that God will keep all of our church members safe and protected as well as their houses and the church building. I will update everyone again once the storm has past.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy

On Saturday, Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) swept through the Philippines. Although this has not been our first experience with a typhoon, this was by far the closest typhoon and most severe. We lost power for a couple of hours, our Internet for almost 24 hours, and our water pressure diminished to barely over a trickle. There were winds of 50-60 mph and constant rain. The news outlets said a months worth of rain was dumped in just 12 hours. The reports at the time of this post say that there are 52 dead and over 300,000 displaced. The area where we are at, the province of Bulacan/Pampanga, has been placed under a "state of calamity." Thankfully, our home and the church did not receive much damage. There were some leaks in the roof but no flooding. However, there were many of our church members whose homes suffered flooding. The damage ranges from ankle to waist deep in water. Please be sure to keep them in your prayers. In spite of this, many of them still managed to make it to church on Sunday. With a smile on our faces, the first song we sang Sunday morning was "A Shelter in the Time of Storm." As Christians, we know that our joy does not depend on our circumstances. We have Jesus as our rock in a weary land.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prayer Request - Town Fiesta

This Thursday is the fiesta of Bahay Pare. There will be a lot of people celebrating. It is basically a tribute to the patron saint of Bahay Pare - Virgen de la Merced (seen in the above pictures). In the weeks leading up to the fiesta day, there have been processionals and extra mass being held. We had an interesting experience a couple of Sunday nights ago. While I was in the middle of our communion service, we could hear Ave Maria coming from down the street in the tent where the idol was, but when the service was over and we were heading home we saw people dancing as they were now playing Achy Breaky Heart.

Please pray that there will be many opportunities to share our faith and pass out tracts during the town fiesta of Bahay Pare.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our Grandparents Day Celebration

Last Sunday we celebrated Grandparents Day at our church. We had about 15 grandparents in attendance for our morning service. Some of the younger children preformed special songs for their Lolo and Lola and we gave away tea and coffee mugs to all of the grandparents. Also, we gave out prizes to the oldest grandparent (89 years old and she accepted Christ as her Saviour for the first time that day), the grandparent with the youngest grandchild, and the grandparent with the most grandchildren in attendance.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Prayer Request

We would appreciate it if everyone could remember Dulce in your prayers as she will be heading back to the United States on Monday. Her flight is scheduled to leave from Manila --> Tokyo --> Atlanta --> Chicago. Please pray for her traveling safety and also that God will continue to watch over and protect Rina and I as she is gone.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Ptr. Resty Rivera's 10th church anniversary

This past Sunday night, I was given the honor of being the guest speaker at the 10th anniversary celebration of Ptr. Resty Rivera's church, God's Covenant Fundamental Baptist Church. His church is located in a resettlement area for those effected by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991. The theme for the anniversary celebration was, "Our labour is not in vain in the Lord." I spoke out of I Corinthians 15:58 in reference to their theme. There were many people who attended the service, including several first time visitors who got saved. Over 30 of our church members came to show their support and fellowship with Ptr. Resty's church. There was special singing and testimonies, and afterward food was served to all who attended.

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Our First Baptism




This past Sunday we had our first baptism. It was a historic day for our church. It marked the first time that we were able to use our new baptistry and also the first time that I was given the honor to baptize. We were blessed to have 13 candidates for baptism. There were 11 kids and 2 adults. My first victim...er...I mean baptizee was a young boy named Jerome. Everything went really well and all 13 of them made it out ok. The only minor setback was that we found a leak in the baptistry. Thankfully, most of the candidates were shorter (ever tried to baptize at low tide?) and there weren't any problems. It was an exciting day and we were very blessed. We pray that all of those who were baptized will continue to follow and obey God in whatever He has for them.
-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Smile Sunday

This past Sunday we had an exciting event that we called "Smile Sunday". We announced that we would be giving away free toothbrushes and toothpaste to anyone who attended our 10am service. We put up some signs and our youth group had a contest to see who could come up with the best advertisement/logo. We had a pretty good turnout. There were 7 first time visitors and many non-regular attendees. Everything went well and everyone left with a smile :)

-Ptr. Matt & Rina-
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