How much can one enjoy a week of teaching in Manila? I don’t know what the possible is, but I surely enjoyed it immensely! The dozen pastors were from many different parts of the Manila area as I mentioned below ranging from seminary to lay educated but all eager to interact with Jonah and Ruth as we worked from text to sermon. I love teaching as we look at the Bible together wrestling with what it says and means.
The all day classes were followed by rest as the cold I picked had it’s impact. Coughing, blowing, head packed, ears plugged, voice failing: it’s not good. It was a special challenge as my role switched to Bible teacher at the Hope Advance 2015 youth rally. I had almost no voice at all, so I sucked Ricola, spoke right against the microphone, and tried not to breathe deeply which set off a coughing attack! The teaching actually went well once the failed microphone and video projector were replaced.
Merienda with Bishop Efriam Tendero, the new Secretary General of The World Evangelical Alliance was a great privilege. He and Cesar (who is also a Bishop) are great friends so I got to join their time. Just too quick to do anything more than pleasantries before Bishop F (as he is known) headed off to South Africa. Quite a responsibility he is undertaking as he steps into a great heritage.
The second evening of the Hope Advance was so much fun. It began with dinner served for the youth in traditional style on banana leaves. They faced off and went at it with gusto, leaving little to mop up.
I had a great time watching especially since I had my meal served in a style more befitting my advanced years!
Going back to FEBIAS College of the Bible was retreating in the the Philippines I remembered from 1970: old style buildings nestled in spreading trees , open windows, fans blowing, people open to Jesus.
The students were so excited about worship and sopping up the teaching, repeating back the principles of the gospel and for living God’s will. Part of their small group work was to make personal mission statements in English and Tagalog based on what they learned. My voice was much better which made it a lot more comfortable for me. But it was also really warm which meant creative ways to prepare!
It was wonderful to hear that where three students had committed to baptism, as the actually service began, that number swelled to 14. The Gospel is alive!
Thank you, Dr Breshears, for your message at UCM yesterday. Your opening immediately caught my attention. I was brought up in a mixed culture n religion background. The 4 wrong responses echoed so much my former thinking and also the conversations I had with those whose upbringing are from karma and shame/ guilt culture of which both view God mean n small. I was listening to Matt Chandler and was reminded that God does not punish when we do wrong, like world legal system. It is more when we are out of His will, we are not in tune for the JOY He designs. ( this can be persecution too). That is what you mentioned JOY to follow Him. The fundamental truth resonates in my heart as I remember the day I understood mercy n grace through Christ. I deserve to be zapped, like Aaron’s sons. Before that, I lived in my world of entitlements. Thank you for clarifying God’s sovereignty and human responsibility in your sermon too. In His grace, Florence