Thursday, June 13, 2013

Calvary Bible Church

(This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for months now, but due to internet issues, more-than-usual travel time, and a very busy wife as my blog-proofer, it is only now getting published. Thank you for your patience).

January was a full and busy month as we had two sets of visitors come out and minister with us.  PJ Tibayan, from the West Coast, and Travis Rymer, from the East Coast, flew to Manila mid-January

to conduct training modules on Mark Dever's Nine Marks of a Healthy Church.   Pictured with me here are (from left to right) Pastor PJ Tibayan, Pastor Jurem Ramos (of Soli Deo Gloria Church in Davao), Pastor Erwin Quimboy,  and  Travis Rymer.

The following week,  a team of eleven people from Calvary Bible Church (Burbank, CA) came out to minister to my family, the church plant we are serving in, and some of the students from The Expositor's Academy. The team started their week by leading a basketball tournament with 32 three-man teams.  They used this event as an opportunity to share the gospel with the players and the crowd, as well as to introduce our local church partners to more new people from their community. 
Michael Brinkley shared at the Basketball tournament

Jon Lee spending time with kids from the community
The following morning was Sunday, and their senior pastor, Tim Carns, served as guest preacher at the church plant we serve in.   Then he and Nestor Ual and I headed off to the airport to fly to the island of Panay, where Pastor Tim would teach a module for the next three days.  It turned out that the time we spent waiting for our flight was longer than the actual flight itself, but after a smooth flight to Kalibo airport, the three of us made our way to Boracay. After landing, we drove for about an hour and a half to catch a short boat ride, followed by a motorcycle ride and then a short walk to our hotel. The next day, Tim began teaching the first part of our doctrinal survey and continued for two and a half days and capped the module off by preaching at Boracay Grace Baptist Church's mid-week service.  This was the sixth module offered on this island by our training ministry, The Expositor's Academy, as we have been teaching there for almost three years now.  

Pastor Tim teaching theology to a group of pastors

As always, we were very humbled by these men, many of whom traveled more than six hours on buses, boats, and motorcycles to attend the module.  These men are all very eager to serve the Lord and His church.

While Nester, Pastor Tim and I were at the module, Jessica and the rest of the team were busy ministering in Manila.  They were given the opportunity to share the gospel in the classrooms of a public elementary school.  They spent about 30-40 minutes teaching in each of 12 different classrooms of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students.

Bethany Carns and Sean Cullen with the students they shared with
Agnus Ofrecio shares with students
The team shown with Principal Myrna Visaya of Maybunga Elementary School, with kindergarten kids in front
John Lee, Cindy Dyer and Kristi Stone with students

The kids were invited to come back to campus after school for more teaching about God and they did! Over 250 students showed up at the end of the day to hear more of the gospel.

Our Tyler is shown below  helping one of the kids put on a "wordless gospel" bracelet.


The teachers were given bibles for the classroom (courtesy of a faithful family from our church), and the kids were given clothes that were donated by church members at Calvary Bible.

After the module, the three of us flew back to Manila to rejoin the rest of the team for a three-day conference for the leaders of our Church plant.  Tim wasted no time and taught the first session that evening. 

Tim took us through the book of Ephesians over several teaching sessions, sharing with us what God's word says about unity so that we can function as a church body that glorifies Christ.


Nestor Ual, Bethany Carns, Shawn Stapes and Jon Lee leading worship

The team from Burbank not only lead worship, provided the conference materials, and facilitated the small group discussions, but they also lead games and team activities for fellowship throughout the weekend.  They made sure everyone was blessed.