PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
OCTOBER 2019 NEWSLETTER
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America and our sister churches, warm greetings from us missionaries in the Philippines!
A New Theological School Begins
August 13, 2019 is now a significant date for the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines because that was the first day of classes at their theological school.
On the Sunday prior to August 13, special sermons were preached in the four Protestant Reformed Churches (PRCP) to direct the attention of God’s people to this momentous occasion in the life of their churches.
- Rev. Vernon Ibe preached at the Berean PRC on “Men Entrusted with the Gospel” (II Tim. 2:1-6).
- Rev. D. Kleyn preached at the PRC in Bulacan on “Abounding in the Lord’s Work” (I Cor. 15:58).
- Rev. R. Smit preached at the Maranatha PRC on “Jesus’ Fishermen” (Mk. 1:14-20).
- Rev. D. Holstege preached at the Provident PRC on “Training Men for the Ministry” (II Tim. 2:2).
We missionaries of the PRCA, with the approval of the PRCP Classis, are giving the instruction at the seminary at this time. Rev. Holstege is teaching Hermeneutics (The principles of interpreting Holy Scripture). Rev. Kleyn is in charge of Homiletics (The principles and practice of making a sermon). He is also teaching Ancient Church History. Rev. Smit is teaching Greek Grammar (for exegesis of the New Testament). He is also teaching the first locus of Reformed Dogmatics (Theology), rightly called the “queen of the sciences.” These courses aim to give the PRCP students a firm theological foundation in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, which is life eternal.
There is one full-time student at the seminary for the 2019-2020 school year, Bro. Jeremiah Pascual (see picture). He and his wife are members of the PRC in Bulacan and are expecting their first child this November. Bro. Jethro Ace Flores served as a pastor for about eighteen years in another denomination. He attended some of the 7M classes of our missionaries in the past and became a member of Provident PRC with his wife and daughter just last July. His desire is to become a pastor in the PRCP and he is currently visiting a few classes at the seminary. Bro. Emmanuel Jasojaso is a school teacher who also plans to join Provident PRC with his wife and four little children. He too desires to become a pastor in the PRCP. With Bro. Jeremiah, he is studying Greek at seminary this year, with Classis’ approval. Besides these men, there are others who also plan, if the Lord wills, to begin studying at the seminary next year (2020-2021).
The classes are being taught this year in the sanctuary of Provident PRC in Marikina City, Metro Manila, a quiet and comfortable environment, which is conducive to teaching and learning. The classes meet in the mornings from Tuesday through Friday. For our devotions on the first day of class, we reflected together for a few moments on the mandate of the apostle to Timothy: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Tim. 2:2).
Sitting from left to right: Bro. Emmanuel Jasojaso, Bro. Jeremiah Pascual, and Bro. Jethro Ace Flores
Other Developments on the Mission Field
On Sunday, August 25, I made the monthly visit to a congregation in the town of Guiguinto in the province of Bulacan: Bearers of Light Community Church (Pastor: Ronil Domingo). Deacon Jun Armas from Provident PRC accompanied me. This small congregation used to be a Brethren church, like Provident PRC. But now they too are reforming. They are the object of the evangelism work of Provident PRC (which is still the main focus of my labors). The office bearers of PPRC have begun to join me on these visits to assist and to oversee the work being done.
• [No benediction yet]
• Doxology (“Praise God from
whom all blessings flow…”)
• Psalter (#1)
• Ten Commandments
• Psalter (#53)
• Congregational prayer
• Psalter (#325)
• Scripture reading (Psalm 96)
• Sermon (Psalm 96:1-2)
• Psalter (#257)
• Doxology (Psalter #196)
On August 25, as on prior visits, I first taught the Heidelberg Catechism (LD 7) in what they call the “adult Sunday school.” Later in the morning, at their request, I led them for the first time in a Reformed worship service, following the order of worship you see above, which is the order followed in the PRCP churches. We gave them some Psalters from which they sang a new song to Jehovah! After lunch, I began teaching them the Church Order of the PRC (photo above). The plan is to teach them the Church Order on each monthly visit. Pastor Ronil and his little flock have received all our instruction with eagerness; but sadly, some of their members have left because of the Reformed faith.
Let me now turn your attention to Southern Negros Occidental (SNO), where our missionaries have been instructing a group of pastors for many years now. On Sunday, September 15, Rev. and Sharon Kleyn spent the day with the congregations of two of the pastors who normally attend the monthly classes: the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (Pastor Ezekias Rosal) and the Reformed Church in Sialay, near Sipalay (Pastor Eduardo Donasco). The plan is to expand our work in Negros from teaching pastors to also preaching in their congregations and guiding them to organize properly as Reformed churches. We are very excited about this development because the SNO pastors are very enthusiastic and committed brethren who are eager for us to develop their churches. On September 15, Rev. Kleyn preached Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism in the “adult Sunday school” of the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (pictured below; the one standing on the right is Pastor Rosal). Then he led their worship service, preaching on Deuteronomy 7:6-8 which speaks of divine election. There were about 100 in attendance. Later that afternoon, he gave a speech on “God’s Sovereignty in Salvation” to the Reformed Church in Sialay. In both locations, they worshiped God together using the Psalter.
Besides these developments, the four congregations of the PRCP in the area of Metro Manila continue to grow, sometimes through the crucible of fiery trials, sometimes through joys which earth cannot afford. We missionaries all preach and teach in these churches, give advice to their councils, committees, and Classis, and engage in other work. The great commission is being fulfilled! We count it a high privilege to participate in the spread of the gospel of gracious salvation through Christ. Pray for the believers who desire to become Reformed churches. Pray for the seminary that is training men for the ministry of the gospel. We thank God constantly for your support of the work here.
In Christ’s service,
Rev. Daniel Holstege