Sunday, February 01, 2009

Humbled by Worship and Surrender

This morning we visited a church plant out in the providence (Filipino word for country) of Tanauan (see pictures below). For those of you who have visited the Philippines, it's on the way to Batangas, south of Manila. It took us 1 hour 15 minutes by car one way.
When we arrived my heart was overwhelmed.  There stood in front of me a tiny, tiny building, 15 feet by 16 feet, crammed (literally) with Filipinos worshipping the Lord.  My heart sank as I thought of the huge churches in America and also the often luke warm worship of our Savior. The chairs were crowded into this small building and people were standing outside in order to hear.  One elder candidate was standing outside the window just in order to be able to hear the sermon. 
Pastor Marlon, his wife and 4 children ride a bus at least 2 hours (one way) each Friday to Pastor this small church which is truly hungry for the gospel. They sacrifice much to pastor these people as they spend 2 nights in this church of only concrete block walls and then return to Manila.
Pastor Marlon preached about Jesus this morning being truly God, all powerful, everywhere and all knowing.  It was exciting to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It was an incredible sermon and at the end he had a simple call for anyone who wanted to know and accept Jesus to step into the isle (if you can call it that).  When I looked up, the Pastor was standing their with tears rolling down his face as the congregation was singing a hymn, he couldn't even sing because he was crying so hard.  There in the isle (only wide enough for 1 tiny Filipino width wise) stood 5 women and 2 men desiring to commit their lives to the Lord.  The first girl to move into the isle was a visitor and she also had tears streaming down her face. It was a site to behold, I wish you could have joined us.
This tiny church baptized 41 members in 2008.  They have 50-80 people who attend each Sunday and their goal for 2009 is to have 100 members baptized.  There are 2 elder candidates and 1 deacon candidate.  Outside on the right there is 3 feet which they hope to purchase to expand their church on the right hand side along with the 3 feet behind their building. There is also an empty lot next door which they would love to purchase for approximately $5,000.  And this church is on a main inland road to another subdivision which means there are many who pass right by the front door.
I must confess it was all I could do to maintain my composure during this worship service as I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and saw how the Lord was worshipped by the Filipinos in this tiny place.  We stayed after church for Sandra to hold a workshop on Christian Education, even though they already have 3 Sunday School Teachers.  
Would you please pray for this church in Tanauan, and Pastor Marlon, his wife and family and their commitment to share the gospel in this place?


Anonymous said...

I love your posts. I know they are a lot of work keeping up with, but they are very inspiring and guide our prayers.
Blessings, Nate

Lynn Cross said...

Oh Deborah, that must of been so exciting. What a blessing you are to them, and they to you. To see God at work, He is still on His throne, and the Gospel is just as powerful now as it was in the first century. Love, Lynn

Christina Dent said...

Thank you for sharing. We here in America need to hear things like that to open our eyes and our hearts. Love you guys so much.