Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We have had a busy and exciting past two months. I want to share a couple of the highlights with you.

-In February we had a special Sunday that we called "Sweet Sunday. We asked people to bring some sort of sweets, e.g. small candies, desserts, sugary treats, etc. to share with at least 20-25 people. There was a long buffet table covered with everything from lollipops to gelatin to chocolate cake to small candies to Filipino desserts... you get the picture. There was a lot of variety and plenty for everyone! Following the morning service we enjoyed snacking on the different sweets. Everyone enjoyed the "sweet" fellowship. :)

-Also in February, we held our annual valentine's banquet. There were 58 adults who attended including quite a few new visitors. The auditorium was decorated nicely and the program for the evening included specially prepared food, games, singing, and teaching from the Word of God. This year we were blessed to have Pastor Edwin Samson as our guest speaker. He challenged everyone with a message from 1 Corinthians 13 and taught about the greatest love of all, the love of Jesus.

-Our youth group also had a special activity. On a day that had no school due to a local holiday, we took 35 high school/college students to the nearest mall (SM Baliwag). We had a special group activity at the mall. Each group was given an imaginary amount of 1,000,000 Philippine Pesos to spend. They had a limited amount of time to spend the money, they could only "buy" 1 item per store, and they could not select two of the same items. So each of the 5 teams went store to store trying to spend their million. While no group was able to spend the complete amount within the allotted time, the winning team spent almost 850,000 pesos. After the activity time, we all enjoyed lunch together at the food court. Later on during our lesson time, we were reminded that while we can be thankful that the Lord has allowed us to live in a world where we can appreciate "new things", technology, etc. we should not put all of our hope and joy in them, because they cannot sustain us. They will eventually grow old and stale, they will not last. The best way is to find our fullness of joy in Christ. Please continue to pray for our young people, that they may always remember to keep their focus on Christ. 

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." -Colossians 3:1-2

-The Asia Baptist Bible College held their 39th graduation ceremony. A young lady from our church graduated with a 1 year certificate of practical church ministry. The commencement speaker was an American missionary to Japan. His name was Lavern Rodgers and he has been a missionary to Japan since 1950. It was a great blessing and encouragement to hear him speak.

-We finished a project at our church. We constructed a small, raised booth in the back corner of our auditorium to house some of the different sound/electronic equipment that we need to use. Several of the men lent their skill and muscle in helping build this new booth. We are grateful for them.

-On Easter Sunday we had a special sunrise service to celebrate our risen Savior. Everyone woke up early for our 6:00 am service. Following the service, we served a delicious breakfast. Please check out the video below to see more.

"He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay." -Matthew 28:6

-It is officially summertime here in the Philippines. School has finished and vacation has begun. The students who attend our church did a great job this past school year. Many of them were ranked as the "top-notchers" in their respective grades, including two girls who were the Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively. I was able to attend the graduation ceremony for both the elementary and high school levels. We wanted to recognize their effort and hard work so we held a special graduation and awards recognition night at our church. We gave special diplomas to the graduates as well as those who had received special honors from their school. Afterwards we celebrated with pancit and ice cream.

-We recently were blessed to see a husband and wife follow the Lord in believer's baptism. It is a joyful time whenever we have a baptism. Please pray that Armon and Desiree will continue to follow the Lord and grow closer to Him each day.

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." -Matthew 28:19

-Finally, please pray for the children's VBS program we will have at our church beginning on April 22 through April 26. Please pray for all of the volunteers who will help us, for safety transporting the kids to and from the church as well as safety during the activities, for good weather, and most importantly for kids to be saved.

Thank you for your continued prayers, love, and support. Thank you for taking the time to read the update. May the Lord continue to bless and guide you.

God Bless,

-Matt, Rina, and Liam-

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