We originally had a schedule to study with a denominational group on Saturday. However, I found out on Friday that they were canceling. Evidently, someone put pressure on those interested and we had to change plans. After teaching all day for five days straight, I was very tired and starting to lose my voice. So, we decided that I would rest on Saturday because I would have a full schedule on Sunday. (It turned out to be even busier than we thought.) The day of rest was great and I felt much better this morning.
Jhun Apatan and one of his co-workers picked me up at 8am and we traveled about 45 minutes to Mambaling. I had worked with this group of brethren before in Sunday preaching as well as one or two gospel meetings in previous years. Jhun asked me to preach in the first hour (normally classes) as well as the assembly in the second hour.
I preached on “Repentance” first and then on “Defeating the Devil.” It was a full house with every seat was taken and more chairs had to be brought out to seat everyone. All were attentive and a summary in their dialect of Cebuano was given after each lesson.
The brethren brought me back to the hotel because I only had a short time before Jonathan Carino was to meet me and give me the final total of expenses for the Hebrews class. We could settle up within as quickly as possible because I was due at another appointment a little later in the afternoon. The expenses were slightly higher than I projected, but not a great deal more. I had enough to pay all costs and I believe I have the funds needed for payment of debts that were charged. I grateful for all who helped and appreciate the offer of more funds if needed, but I think the amount received is sufficient.
We met with a few brethren from the congregation where Jonathan preaches that are trying to help those seeking to start a new work in another part of the Cebu City area. Mario Rubio, not the politician in the U.S., but a preacher who formerly worked in Dumaguete, is trying to start the new work. Jonathan and Mario met with several people yesterday who wanted just a private study. They asked me to come to the study today and I spoke on “Salvation and Saul,” showing Saul was saved at the point of water baptism rather than the common ideas of denominationalism (faith only, repentance and prayer, a personal appearance of Jesus or receiving a miracle). One of those attending the study was Mario’s landlady who is from a Baptist-type group. She was very attentive, taking notes throughout, and asked several follow-up questions. By all appearances, she is getting near to the kingdom!
After that study concluded, we had a gathering to talk with Jonathan and his family as well as a few other brethren. It was enjoyable. During that time, we talked about the fact that Jonathan and I both are getting many texts asking for another class to study another book in detail. Not only are those who attended the study very excited about this possibility, but several other preachers from various parts of the Philippines have heard or read about the studies and want to come. So, we discussed the possibility of another class of the same type and duration covering the book of Romans. We will discuss this further and pray about it, then decide what to do in a few months. I told the brethren that at this point I must give my full attention to our Preacher Training Program that in Oklahoma City scheduled for July 19-26, 2015. If you know any men who would like to come, we have openings left, so please have them get in touch with me or sign up on our website (http://84thchurch.com/preacher-training-signup). John Isaac Edwards, Brett Hogland, Donnie V. Rader and I will be teaching in the effort.
It is now early Monday morning as I finish this report. It has been a very long day, but I am packed and ready to fly to Manila in a few hours, the Lord willing. I will rest there one day and fly home on Wednesday arriving OKC about 9:15pm. Since Wednesday (May 20) is our 38th anniversary, I will arrive barely in time to celebrate a little of it with the love of my life, Leslie! Thank you again for your help, prayers and concern for this work. Though there were no known responses as a result of this trip, I believe it has been one of my more profitable trips due to our opportunity to help the 20 preachers learn how to study the Scriptures more thoroughly and instill a zeal for the wealth of knowledge it contains that can build us up and urge us to greater faithfulness. God bless!