Today started in Cebu and is ending in Manila. Jonathan Carino picked me up at the hotel and we proceeded to the church building. There was a good number present for the services, but I do not think there were any visitors. I did find out that one of those baptized yesterday was actually a young man that had been attending the services of the congregation meeting in central Cebu City. I preached on “Good Conduct and Its Result” from 1st Peter 2 and 3.
As noted in my report last Sunday, it is always good to be with these brethren. The young man that led the singing is one that I remember first meeting as a boy when I first met with this group of saints back in 2002. They show good growth and maturity.
There was a young lady present for both Lord’s Day meetings and she also sat in on the classes for Ephesians and Colossians through the week. It turned out that she had been introduced to the plan of salvation through some institutional brethren in another country. They wanted her to attend the Sunset School of Preaching in Lubbock, Texas. Though I did not know it, she was learning more about the Bible through the week and members of this congregation in Cebu were talking to her about the errors of institutionalism. She was very thankful for the opportunity to study the Scripture in depth and told us that there was no such concentration on study of the Scripture in the institutional church she had experienced. I am glad these brethren are helping her to grow in the truth.
The hotel where I have stayed for years in Cebu is changing its affiliation, so I will probably need to shop for another on my next visit. The main reason I chose this hotel (a Marriott affiliate) was their strict security procedures. From all appearances, they are changing the security to be less stringent and changing the style to cater to Asian visitors rather than the Western visitors. Over the past couple of days, I have been saying my goodbyes to the hotel staff that have been so helpful to me through the years.