Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meet some of our students

Mentoring Pastor Erwin

For over a year I have been mentoring Pastor Erwin Quimboy.  He is a sharp Filipino pastor and I have been enjoying his friendship and fellowship.  Along with about 6 other men, we have been meeting weekly at my house to work through the interpretation, outlining and preaching of 1 Timothy.  We also discuss what a Biblical Philosophy of ministry looks like and how that impacts the way we teach, preach, lead, serve, disciple and evangelize God’s people.  Our time together has had a beautiful impact on Pastor Erwin and his church.  Not only has he committed himself to expository preaching, but he also committed himself to a biblical philosophy of ministry.  It is a joy to see the fruit in his ministry.
Pastor Erwin, his wife Rita and 
                                                                            daughter Yana.

             The first impact I saw was on his elders.  During our mentoring time in 1 Timothy, the Lord moved Pastor Erwin to discuss the qualifications of an elder with the elders of his Church.  They all went away for a weekend retreat together and after studying the text together, all of the men learned what the qualifications and job requirements of an elder are.  Together they came to the conclusions that they are not qualified to be elders, but they love the Lord and still want to serve him.  Instead of being angry at Pastor Erwin (I’ve seen this happen in this kind of situation before) they all stepped down as elders and changed their role to “ministry team” as they grow the necessary character and skills to be elders. 
God didn’t stop there.  Next, He began to work in the hearts of the worship team.  As they realized that their lives were not right to lead the Church in worshiping God in song, they too stepped down.  Now the church sings acapella until there are leaders raised up who can lead worship of God in spirit and in truth.  Pastor Erwin is now discipling both of those groups and we pray that someday they will be able to serve the Church again sometime soon, but with a whole new heart and understanding.  What a testimony this must be to the whole church, pray that more fruit is borne through this.  Also pray for pastor Erwin who faithfully pastors this Church with very little pay.  The Church is located in an area called "Quatro" because it is near the fourth hole of a golf course.  Hundreds of families are squatting their as they hope to find work, schooling and a better life for their families.   

Ministering in Prison with Pastor Jim

Recently, I joined Pastor Jim, who has been studying with us for about two years now.  He volunteers to minister to government officials, workers, Philippine Police Officers, and prisoners.  We went to the National police headquarters in Manila to teach a group of eight Nigerian men who have been detained for the last four months and are awaiting trial.  I never asked them why they were arrested, but I told them to see this imprisonment as a gift from God as He uses it to either give them the gift of eternal life or sets them on a path to serve him with the rest of their lives.  I taught them one of my favorite Psalms, Psalm 101:1-8.  Since they had nothing to write with I told them to remember three things from this passage if they wanted to live a life that pleased God.  I told them to Practice Praising God in all circumstances v. 1, Practice Righteous Living vv. 2-6, and to Practice Remove Sin from their lives vv. 7-8.  The Church at South Mountain in Phoenix Arizona kindly donated a box a Bibles which, made it possible for us to give each of these men their own Bible.
Pastor faithfully ministers to men and women like this several times a week all over Manila.  He does this as a volunteer as his church cannot afford to pay him a salary.  Pray for his strength, wisdom and provisions and he continues to serve the Lord in this way (and many others).

Thanks for all your prayers and support, which make it possible for me to pour my life into many great men like these who faithful serve Jesus and are hungry to learn how to do it better.