From the monthly archives:

July 2008

Originally posted by Elder Manny R. Briva

March 24, 2008, 6 p.m.
This trip to Ballesteros Cagayan for the purpose of witnessing the baptism of the first two converts from the northernmost part of the Philippines is really a great excitement for me. Truly, I am bound to thank God for continuing to open more doors for the true Gospel in our country which started in Mindanao (southern part) and now I am about to witness a pioneering work in the northern part of the country. By looking at the map of the Philippines, we can easily find the town of Ballesteros in Cagayan which located on the northwest part. The place where we went is just few steps from the sea, and 16 hours bus travel from Manila.

Along with this trip were Elder Conrado Quinto, Pastor of The Primitive Baptist Church of Kalookan, Eld. Victorio M. de Guzman, Pastor of Gilgal Primitive Baptist Church also from Kalookan who was ordained last July 2007. Bro. Jimmylito P. Yanesa, newly baptized preacher leading a congregation in Pandi Bulacan who was baptized by Eld. Harvey Fulmer during their last trip (Dec.-Jan. 2007-08), and three of Pastor Quinto’s members.

After our 16 hours travel northward, we reached Ballesteros Cagayan at 10 a.m. of March 25. We were warmly welcomed by Bro. Allan Turda and Bro. Emil Serona, a very supportive member of Bro. Allan. They drove us in a van towards Ptr. Allan’s house where they also gather for worship every Sunday. The place is just three minute walk by the seaside so we can easily feel the breeze of the sea. We were warmly received by Bro. Allan’s wife, Sis. Marlyn Turda, and their only son Lian Proi, a 12 years old boy. They served us a good breakfast while having warm fellowship.

Bro. Allan Turda’s previous affiliation was Sovereign Grace Landmark. He was enlightened in the truth of Spirit regeneration from the booklets and materials handed to him by Eld. Conrado M. Quinto. After he was convinced of its truthfulness, he started reconsidering scriptural baptism though it took him long and difficult to decide. It takes at least more than a year before they come up with this decision of scriptural baptism.

After our fellowship and supper, the members arrived and we started a night service around 8 p.m. Ptr. Quinto explained first our purpose of visit, the baptism of Bro. Allan and his wife. Then Bro. Jimmy Yanesa gave a short testimony of his conversion and afterwards, Ptr. Vic de Guzman preached an inspiring message on Psalms 107.

On the following day of 26th, we then have fellowship and singing after which Ptr. Vic de Guzman have to leave for Manila earlier than us for the purpose of needed preparation for the coming Preachers’ Meeting in His church on the 28th .

After our lunch we then moved towards the baptism area for at least thirty minutes travel, we passed by vast rice fields until we reached a long bridge and as we went under it we found a beautiful river which is the baptismal site. I lead the prayer, and then Ptr. Quinto led them towards a deeper area then baptized Bro. Allan and Sis. Marlyn. The couple felt blessed and satisfied with this baptism and that this they knew that the Lord added them to His church. Then we proceeded home to prepare for the night service. We gathered for the second night service some 15 members all by families. I preached first a comforting message on I Pet. 5:10, then followed by Ptr. Quinto as he challenged and exhort the members on moving on in Biblical evangelism, preaching on the text Luke 14:16-24 about the Great Supper. The message was well received and the members were so blessed. After our short fellowship with the members, we then bid the night farewell.

The following day we had our last fellowship time with each other as we wait for the 3 p.m. bus trip to Manila. We have witnessed that poverty is not a hindrance in serving God in His kingdom. The members willingly contributed for our food and they even gave us gifts of some “pasalubong” Bro. Allan Turda was truly blessed to have such supportive membership. We then found ourselves in parting moments in the bus terminal, though sad but hopeful for God’s increase for such endeavor. Ptr. Quinto was expected to visit them on May to fulfill some needed works for follow up and baptism. We then left at 3pm. towards Manila and reached our destination at 5:30 of the following day. We headed then to each one’s home for some needed rest and preparation for the Preachers’ Conference to be held at Gilgal Primitive Baptist Church in Caloocan under Ptr. Vic de Guzman’s Pastoral care.

March 28, Friday, 1p.m.
Preachers’ Conference

After few hours of rest, we gathered at the worship place of Gilgal Primitive Baptist Church located at No. 24 Gen. Tirona Bo. Barrio, Caloocan City. It was a highly populated place, north of Metro Manila, 10 minutes travel from the 1st city of Bulacan, called Meycauayan.

We have a total number of 20 preachers from different Christian groups aside from their wives and some visitors. These are the contacts of Ptr. Vic de Guzman thru the Revive Us Again Ministry, a ministry to help pastors and concerned Christians in financial and health aspects thru the use of a natural healing juice called “Amazing Juice” formulated by Ptr. Vic de Guzman.

Four of these preachers were baptized into Primitive Baptist faith during the last visit of Elders Harvey Fulmer and Philip Green (Dec. 2007-Jan. 6, 2008) namely Bro. Jimmylito P. Yaneza (Pandi Bulacan, north of Manila), Bro. Willie Goto (Binangonan Rizal, east of Manila), Bro. Constantino Oarde (Cardona Riza, east of Manila), Bro. Ruben A. Espaldon (Tiaong Quezon, southern Luzon), Bro. Li Flores (Tanay Rizal, east of Manila). Two of them decided to be baptized after this conference, namely Bro. Jim Medrano (Sariaya Quezon) and Bro. Jun Loria (Ragay Camarines Sur, province of Bicol). Only two from among the twenty preachers who attended are still studying the Primitive Faith and the rest were converted already and waiting for the proper time to be baptized.

We started the doctrinal conference at exactly 1:30. Each assigned preachers were given 45 minutes. Ptr. Conrado Quinto covered the subjects on Total Depravity and the Five Phases of Salvation. He gave chance to one of his preachers, Bro. Jimmy Archebo to preach on the subject of Unconditional Election. I preached on Particular Redemption and Scriptural Beginning of New Testament Churches. Ptr. Vic De Guzman preached the subject on Irresistible Grace and Preservation of God, while Ptr. Roy covered the subject of Church History and Church Authority. All the subjects were well received with joy and eagerness. After the preaching session, some of them gave testimonies of their conversions, afterwards some asked questions as the assigned preachers answered them satisfactorily. The most notable and common questions were that of rebaptism and how they are to graciously exit from their previous affiliations. One preacher suggested to observe ethics and respect and all agreed though none can guaranty smooth and gracious exit.

After the question and answer session, the books were distributed to the preachers as they express their gratitude to Eld. Gus Harter for sending the books. These books were written by Tom Hagler, Harold Hunt, Eld. Zack Guess, and some booklets written by Eld. Michael Gowens and Eld. Lasserre Bradley Jr. . After this a supper was served as we had our fellowship time then one by one we parted ways.

This movement of the Holy Spirit in Luzon was truly a timely revival as God calls His people from other groups who are tired of arminianism and who found the consistent answers to their long been questions on biblical issues from the Primitive Baptist Faith. To those who are in Zion, may we continuously pray that God would grace these endeavors to spread the true Gospel in our country. Man’s effort may fail, but when God grace such efforts, even man’s shortcomings will be overruled for God’s glory. We may plant and water but it is God who will give the increase.

MRB
Photos in Trip to Northern Philippines

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