“… I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
I look back with gratitude to 4 weeks of multiple seminars, ministry and ecclesiastical meetings in 5 localities:
- Cagayan de Oro
Overall, through 8 seminars and 4 milestone ecclesiastical meetings, our Open Eyes Mission team served 3 reforming churches, 2 new church plants and 1 potential new church planter. Cagayan de Oro Seminars and Meetings In Cagayan de Oro City alone, we conducted 4 seminars:
- How Christ Builds His Church: An Exposition of Matthew 16:21-28 on August 18-19 by yours truly
- Science and Christianity on August 20-22 with Dr. John Byl (Canada)
- The Christian Family on August 22 with Rev. Carl Vermeulen (Australia)
- The Christian Church by on August 23 with Rev. Carl Vermeulen (Australia)
Best of all, in the evening of August 21, we conducted a milestone ecclesiastical meeting, on which the Consistory (Board of Elders) of Kagay-an Reformed Church unanimously agreed to grant provisional care and oversight to the leaders and members of 2 mission congregations:
- Ptr. Bryan Angao Ranalan and the mission congregation in Puerto, Cagayan de Oro; and
- Bros. Bryan Petinglay, Mel Navidad, Jimmy Arevalo and the mission congregation in the province of Antique.
Praise the LORD!
Finally, on the Lord’s Day of August 24, Rev. Vermeulen preached at KRC as well as in the mission congregation in Puerto. Aside from providing the translation in both services, it was also my great joy and privilege to have administered the sacrament of holy baptism to Andrew Adamson, son of Open Eyes Mission trainee and church planter Ernnel Tacandong and his wife Divine Love. It was the very first covenant child baptism at KRC, and we all stood in awe of the Lord’s goodness and grace upon our church family.
On August 27-28, we conducted a Science and Christianity Seminar at Shekinah Christian Church in Manila’s University Belt. More than 100 persons attended the event. Dr. Byl conducted the lectures. I gave the devotional messages, lecture summaries and concluding exhortations.
Counseling and Guidance for a Reforming Pastor in Manila
In Manila, it was also a blessing for me to have met with and provided counsel and guidance to a reforming pastor. Having embraced the Reformed Faith, this servant of Christ is now in the hot seat in their Church Council, and feels forced to resign. I encouraged him to press on by faith, advised him to plant a new reformed congregation in the Metro Manila area or surrounding localities, and offered to request the Consistory of KRC to grant provisional pastoral care and oversight for him and his family, if he is indeed forced to resign in the future, whether near or far.
Bulacan Seminar, Lecture and Meeting
On August 29-30, we conducted another Science and Christianity Seminar at ‘God is Faithful’ Grace Community Church in Malolos, Bulacan. More than 40 persons attended the event. As before, Dr. Byl conducted the lectures. Once again, I gave the devotional messages, lecture summaries and concluding exhortations.
Also, in the evening of August 29, I conducted a 2-hour lecture on The History of Redemption and the Doctrine of Election based on the Canons of Dort. In this session, the pastors and members of GIF Church were warned against the errors of both Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism, and encouraged to continue living a life of faith and service to Christ and His gospel.
Finally, in the evening of August 31, a meeting with the pastors of the church was conducted. I shared to them practical encouragement, counsel and guidance on the Pursuit of Reformation in Doctrine, Life, Worship and Church Government According to God’s Word. Relying on the Lord’s grace, work and help alone, I reiterated to them Open Eyes Mission’s long-term commitment to provide teaching, training, counsel and guidance as they continue in the path of all-of-life discipleship and reformation.
Preaching in Pampanga
On August 31, our team commuted to the City of San Fernando, province of Pampanga, my dad’s (deceased) hometown. There, I was honored and pleased to preach an expository message on Matthew 4:14 to the leaders and members of ‘Great I AM’ Church. The title of my sermon was Christ Defeated Satan by Totally Submitting to God’s Will and Ways (Jesus the New Adam and New Israel Defeated Satan for Us – Part 2). I preached Part 1 (overview message of the Lord’s temptation and triumph in the wilderness) there last year. Lord willing and working, I will preach Part 3 (Christ Defeated Satan by Refusing to Test God) to our beloved Kapampangan brothers and sisters next month.
Antique Services, Seminars and Meetings
On September 7, it was my great joy and distinct privilege to have preached the Gospel in 2 mission services in the province of Antique.
- In San Jose, I preached an expository message on Genesis 1: The Ways of Our God in Creation and New Creation (Salvation). Following are the main points: (a) God alone is our Creator and New-Creator (Savior); (b) the Holy Spirit is the Life-Giver of both Creation and the New Creation; and (c) the Word of God is the instrument of the Holy Spirit in both Creation and New Creation.
- In Anini-y, I preached an expository message on Matthew 3:1-2: The Coming of God’s Kingdom in Christ Calls Us to Repentance.
Then from September 8-11, I conducted day-and-night seminars in the same localities.
- In San Jose, I taught a 20-hour Foundations of Biblical Theology and Ministry course to Open Eyes Mission trainees Bryan Petinglay, Mel Navidad and Jimmy Arevalo.
- In Anini-y, I taught a 15-hour Foundational Christian Doctrines course to the leaders and core members of the mission congregation there.
Finally, after our concluding course session in the evening of September 11, we conducted another milestone meeting, on which the mission congregation’s Provisional Consistory was formed. Much-needed counsel, guidance and instruction was also provided for them to faithfully and effectively move forward in the task of teaching and discipling their members.
Please continue to pray our church and mission work:
- For me, Rev. Glem Melo, as I continue to serve as the minister, teacher of theology, and chairman of the Consistory of KRC
- Bro. Ernnel Tacandong, clerk of the Consistory, KRC
- Ptr. Bryan Ranalan, Puerto Reformed Church (mission)
- Bro. Bryan Petinglay, Antique Reformed Church or ARC (mission)
- Bro. Mel Navidad, ARC (mission)
- Bro. Jimmy Arevalo, ARC (mission)
May the Lord continue to bless and keep us all in Christ Jesus, our only Lord and complete Savior.