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?