From the monthly archives:

March 2011

In the Philippines, there are many stark contrasts. In the cities , you will sometimes see the signs of the ultra-rich like a passing limousine, but more often you will see the poorest of the poor. This stark contrast is more vivid in the large cities like Manila. Mostly you see great poverty everywhere. There are contrasts between the smells of smoke or animals, and the occasional aroma of the many beautiful flowers that grow on the islands. These flowers and the beautiful landscapes also provide sharp contrasts to the frequent signs of filth, especially in the slums, garbage dumps or rivers and canals. Though poor, the people are mostly beautiful and industrious, desiring to serve and find work to provide income and a better life for their families.
I want to share a small experience of a stark contrast in sounds. Though the experience was short and small in some senses, I trust it will make a great impact on my life and be remembered for many years to come. I was invited to preach at a church in Iligan City, pastored by Eld. Terry Mecarsos on the 4th Sunday in January, 2011. I spoke to a large and very zealous congregation of a little over 100 folks and Pastor Mecarsos inspired them with his zeal, encouragement and excitement as he spoke of God’s grace and providence. Their voices lifted together in songs of praise that sounded so joyous. I can imagine how people at this level of poverty might have oft complained, but these precious souls on this day and at this time were not focused on complaints or problems, they were rejoicing in the glory of the Lord and the grace of a sovereign GOD! They were full of praise and joy. As I spoke to them, they responded with full attention, smiles and several resounding Amens! After the services were over, I was told that 7 repentant believers were requesting baptism later that day. What an added joy to see those taking their responsibility and obediently professing Christ in this Muslim populated city.
This particular church is located in the center of a Muslim populated community with a Mosque located across the street less than a block away. The rounded tower of the mosque and its characteristic steeple with the crescent moon on top is very visible and unmistakable. Shortly after the services were ended and the congregation was enjoying fellowship, a noise began to be heard that was coming from outside. It wasn’t long before I recognized the hideous wailing sound as a Muslim call to prayer or prayer chant. It was being broadcast all over the city via loudspeakers. It was such a mournful sound and several dogs behind the church started howling at the sound which made the whole sound resemble that of coyotes or wolves howling. I was immediately able to contrast the stark difference between this mournful sound, made by a mournful people whose religion asks its members to shed their own blood as martyrs. Yet the disciples of Jesus Christ joyously worship One who gave His own precious blood and accomplished eternal salvation for us. One is a message of joy, the other a message of sorrow. One is a message of liberty, the other a message of bondage. One is a message of love, the other a message of condemnation. One worships a harsh god, the other worships and adores a God of unfathomable love and mercy. The joyous singing that was only accompanied by the precious faces filled with love and joy of a redeemed and beloved people, was a stark contrast to the wailing mournful sound of a people sold into bondage to a dreadful religion. How I shall look forward with anticipation to every occasion to sing praises to our great and loving God. Let the voices join in harmony if you will, yet even the most off-key tone deaf Christian sings a joyful song of praise that would ring like beautiful harmony in contrast to the mournful wailing of those with no hope. Let us never be ashamed to lift our voices in praise to the One who is Worthy of all praise – Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
As an additional note of contrasting sounds, Elder Terry Mecarsos is a talk show radio host in Iligan City. The city has a population of almost 500,000 people. The show is broadcast over AM and reaches many remote areas. It is estimated that 80,000 – 100,000 people listen to his show each day. Eld. Mecarsos talks of many subjects, but he often preaches or hosts visiting preachers. He receives many letters, cards, e-mails and calls from those in bondage to the Muslim religion. They are not in bondage in their hearts, because they rejoice and believe in the beautiful gospel of peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But, they are in bondage to fear of their own safety. They write him, thanking him and encouraging him to continue to preach the joyful news of a successful Savior. Yet they will often mention in their letters that they must worship in silence for fear of being discovered and killed by their Muslim families. I can only imagine the great contrast of the sound they hear over the radio to the sounds they must endure from their own family members on a daily basis. Oh, how much we do take for granted and often fail to be thankful for.

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Blessed Jesus, Because Thou hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
we are thankful for the privilege of sharing this good news with others.
On January 16, 2011, my wife and I celebrated her 77th birthday at Hampton Primitive Baptist Church and journeyed to Little Rock for supper together.
I was to leave the next morning on a long journey from Little Rock to Davao, Philippines, by way of Atlanta, GA.,Detroit, Mich., Ninoy Japan, and Manila Philippines.
It took a total of 23 hours and 15 minutes in the air to Manila.
I did not want to leave my comfort zone, but I wanted to go.
Mama did not want me to leave; but she let me go.
The Love of God in many hearts petitioned God in Jesus name in our behalf and looked after my companion while I was gone. To God and to you I am very grateful.
I met Bro. Gus and Sis. Betty Jo Harter in Atlanta, Sis. Donna Stevenson, Bro. Steven Bloyd, and Bro. Darrel Chambers in Detroit, Mich. then on to Japan and Manila.
The trip was as good as I could hope for. Small seat, seat belt fastened, 560 miles per hour, over 7 miles high, with and outside temp of about -50 degrees F. But, I enjoyed a good fellowship on the way there and back. I took naps, talked, listened some, ate well, and made it fine, for which I thank the Lord.
In the airports we went through so many inspections in such detail that you would have thought they were checking to see if we had fleas on us. We didn’t have any fleas; but our bones were kind of weary. The planes were comfortable, it was an air ride ya know. Some of the planes carried 403 passengers. For a little farm boy from Okla. That was big.
I want to thank you all for your prayers and gifts of love. You were a great help.
We checked into the hotel a little after midnight. Several Filipino Primitive Baptist met us at the airport. It was good to renew acquaintances. This was some of God’s heaven bound people nearly about on the other side of this earth.
We had a wonderful meeting right off with a house full of people and an ordination to the ministry of Brother Ben Inocencio at the Primitive Baptist Church of Kalookan City. Elder Conrado M. Quinto is pastor. All of the folk there were a real blessing to be with, very friendly, good singing, good food, good fellowship for a good while.
Worship was enjoyed with several ministers. I wish I could remember them all. Some were new to me. Their families, and their congregations were real fine. The fellowship was sweet. It rained on us. The attendance was good. The meals were delicious. We were welcomed by all, with many attending of other beliefs, and with some looking into what we understand the Bible to teach about us and about God.
Elder Darrel Chambers left us soon and went to many churches on other islands and preached many times and baptized some. His trip was rough on the body, but wonderful in soul to experience the pleasure, the spirit, and joy of it all. I thank God for His love, and Bro. Darrel’s love for God’s little children in the Philippine Islands. We were concerned some, about his safety. God is good.
On Sunday morning Elder Steven Bloyd went to Caloocan City Primitive Baptist Church where Elder Victorio de Guzman is pastor. Elder Harter preached at The First Primitive Baptist Church of Pasig City where Elder Dominador Lozada is pastor. Good services were reported.
I had the privilege on Sunday to meet at 8:00 AM for worship with Elder Ben Inocencio in Bulacan and Elder Jimmylito P. Yaneza, pastor at Pandi, Bulacan. It was a really good time. Bro. Gab drove me there. Sister Elizabeth N. Inocencio served breakfast. It was real good.
Bro. Ben and Bro Jimmylito went with us (Bro. Gab and myself) to meeting across town at 10:00 AM with Bro. Paul, and Bro. Noel, which church is affiliated with ‘Christ’s Chosen Vessels Ministries Inc.’ The house was full. The people were kind and loving. I really enjoyed being there. The words of their songs were just beautiful. It was a real joy to have the privilege of telling these little children of God how I believe about their Saviour. Both pastors and some others came all of the way to Kalookan City for the ordination service the following Friday night. It was good to see their interest and feel their love.
Sunday was full. Bro. Gab and I had to be back to the airport in Manila at 1:00 PM. Several Primitive Baptist were there to see Bro. Gus, Bro. Steven, and myself off to the Island of Mindanao.
Sister Betty and Sister Donna were already in Davao City, on Mindanao Island.
We arrived safely and had a good supper and a good service at Providence Primitive Baptist Church. Elder Julius Orit is now their pastor. Elder Travis Housley preached at Providence Sunday morning. The attendance was good, including several pastors from a great distance from Davao City.
Their meeting-house is on the property of “Beauty for Ashes” where the orphanage and clinic are located. This is a beautiful place and well cared for. All of the children receive the best of teaching (spiritual & secular). Loving care is with them around the clock. All of the people at Beauty for Ashes are very friendly God loving people.
Primitive Baptist have ministered the gospel and helped the needy here and other places half way around the world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good for the soul and the body.
We, Elders Harter, Bloyd, Orit, Maglinte, and I traveled South for many miles to the city of General Santos, a house full of worshippers where Elder Marino Oliveros is pastor.
We went North the next day and enjoyed a good service and lunch with pastor Roy Ilo at Sawata.
We backtracked on a very rough road to be with pastor Elder Raul Cabuyao at Tagum City, Mt. Olive PBC. It was a good time in the Lord. Elder Raul has to take shots for diabetes. Remember him please.
That night we went on to Nabunturan PBC with Elder Levi Sebuala their pastor. It is always good to get to be there at Nabunturan.
It was a full day and a good day. Then back to Davao City to the hotel for the rest of the night.
On Wednesday I went with Elder Antonio P. Maglinte and Elder Julius Orit to Asuncion. We had a good day, at least I really enjoyed it.
On the way we visited at a funeral home with some family of Elder Antonio and Sister Rebekah. Sister Rebekah’s Uncle was being laid to rest that day.
We visited some government employees in Asuncion with whom Elders Maglinte and Orit were good friends. We were ask to offer prayer in two of the offices.We went on to the meeting house and enjoyed a worship service at Boiling Springs PBC. The attendance was good.
Elder Travis Housley has helped that church with what will hopefully be some extra income for the members.
My thanks to all the Churches and Fellowships for your kindnesses in every way, even washing my clothes. We love you all.
Friday morning we flew back to Manila. We assisted Kalookan City Primitive Baptist Church in the ordination of six men to the full work of the gospel ministry. These men have been preaching for some time, and are serving the Lord with outreach ministries in Primitive Baptist Fellowships primarily around Metro Manila. It was a wonderful time of worship and praise to our loving, living, God.
Then back to the hotel at about 11 PM, finish packing our bags, up at 2 AM, airport at 3 AM, on our way home at 6 AM Saturday and arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas at 7:30 PM Saturday night after flying about 22 hours and waiting in airports about 7 hours. I just don’t know how that can be done, but we crossed a dateline somewhere on the route gaining time coming home and losing time going.
All is well here in Hampton, Arkansas, so far as we know.
Many thanks our Loving Master, our friends and loved one, who helped make all of this 13 days possible. I pray the Lord to bless you in your labor of love.

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Two Articles About Beauty for Ashes

March 24, 2011

These two articles by Donna Stevenson and Steven Bloyd are of great interest regarding the work of mercy, Beauty for Ashes. They will both be encouraging to those who have followed this work. Elder Steven Bloyd, Mt. Carmel Primitive Baptist Church, Bel Air, Maryland One of the greatest blessings during a recent trip to the […]

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Video History of Calvary Primitive Baptist Church by Elder Bregido Dumanayos

March 15, 2011

History of Calvary Primitive Baptist Church In Prosperidad, Montevista, Comval Province, Mindanao, Philippines. Elder Bregido Dumanayos Church from Rey Afrondoza on Vimeo.

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Calvary Primitive Baptist Church in Prosperidad, Montevista, Phil.

March 11, 2011

Elder Bregido Dumanayos with his wife                   In June of 2003 Elder Gus Harter at the request of several ministers led by Wendelino Lampad conducted a seminar on the Doctrines of Grace at a small village an hour north of Davao called Montevista.  These men were serving independent Pentecostal churches and had heard about the […]

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