“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
One of the greatest blessings we received this month was to see Niño Bulak accept Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. He was baptized on October 20. Seeing him grow spiritually as a young Christian motivates me to do more for the ministry. As a pastor, I invest most of my time in molding the lives of our young people and young adults because I know they will be the next generation of our church. We schedule a monthly gathering for these young men and women to strengthen their faith and to make sure they are on the right track.
As for the adults in our church, we also had the chance to have a get-together at our house. I give much credit to them for their faithfulness, not only in church attendance but also in giving. I am honored to have them in our church. Their dedication in the work of the Lord is something I am proud of.
On the last Sunday of this month, Carmelita, our former secretary, together with her husband Froilan, came forward and expressed their desire to be part of our church. Two years ago, they transferred to Bicol and ministered in another church; but now they are back at our place, and we thank God for this couple and their baby girl, Charity Faith.
The highlight of this month was the celebration of our church’s 20th anniversary. We had services on the 16th and 17th. “Glad Reunion Day” was the theme for this occasion. We invited those people who used to come or were a part of the church before. A lot of preparations were made for this special day, and we were glad for the people who came. Our guest speakers were Pastor Froi Medina of Lighthouse Bible Baptist Church in Baguio City; Pastor Jeremiah Javier of Grace Baptist Church in Legazpi, Albay; and Pastor Samuel Tecson of Grace Baptist Church in Tolosa, Leyte. It was indeed a special gathering of God’s wonderful people, and we are glad that we are a part of God’s family. We give all the glory and praise to God!
I call the young men in our church Bardagols. So on December 1, I declared it “Bardagols Sunday.” They took charge of the church services for that day. Jason Novio (The Blessed Preacher) and Raffy Tolibas (The Transformed Preacher) each shared their personal testimony and gave a short lesson as well during Sunday school. For the Sunday morning service, Arnulfo Esplanada Jr. (The Hilarious Preacher) and Lito Maceda (our missionary intern) both presented a good message. In the evening, Ricky de Paz and Albert Conde (The Warning Preacher) delivered their messages as well. A short testimony from Niño Bulak ended the evening service. To top it off, the Bardagols also rendered a special number on that Sunday. (By the way, one of our young ladies, Warren Rose Briones, came up with these descriptions.)
As a pastor, I feel blessed to hear these young men from our church pour their hearts out. I cannot help but shed a few tears every now and then.
On my behalf of my family and Grace Baptist Church Burauen, we just want to wish you all a Happy New Year! Thank you for your faithfulness in upholding us in your prayers. May God bless you!
The Javier Family