Candelaria * Cubao * San Pedro * The Bellevue
10-18 November, 2008
This trip to the Philippines was a last minute decision. I never thought of visiting the Philippines again so soon since my last visit in October 2007. Sometime after I returned from ministering in Pakistan in the month of August, a young pastor, Michael Ortiz, asked me if I would be available to hold a seminar for a day or two with some Trinitarian and Charismatic preachers in his home town of Candelaria. After some prayerful thoughts I agreed to go. My mind was also set on ministering to his congregation and the other saints in Metro Manila, so arrangement was made for eight days, for this trip.
The subject of presentation was about the End Time Prophecies. I asked Bro. Michael what end time prophecies those preachers were looking forward to discuss. He told me they just mentioned "end time prophecies" and that they had on several occasions asked for my profile and credentials. Apparently, they were looking to see if I have any standing with some big religious Christian organizations that they recognized.
November 10: Arriving into Manila, I was greeted by Bro. Nonoy and a few other brethren, then driven to stay at The Bellevue Hotel in Filinvest City. Bro. Neil Esperanzate, the Chief Security Officer of the hotel, has played a great part of winning many souls to the Truth of the Word of Christ. That evening I ministered to the believers who work in that hotel and several other believers who came from out of town. The message was "God's Ultimate Intention".
November 11: Bro. Michael came in the afternoon to pick me in a loaned car, courtesy of Bro. Nonoy. Together with Bro. Orsel Dumanon from Butuan City and two other brothers, Jeremy Lim and David Kwan, from Zamboanga City, we left for Candelaria. It was raining and water was seeping into the car through the doors. Thank God the rain did not last long. We reached Candelaria after about three hours and checked into a resort that is operated by a Christian business man.
The room I stayed in had just the bare minimum. The water heater was not working and the water pressure was low. I could hardly shower and so I wiped myself clean using a face towel. Not even 5 minutes into my washing, the water stopped flowing. (This was one of a good number of similar incidents that I have encountered while staying in cheap hotels during my 27 years of missionary trips.) I wiped off the soap with the towel and waited thinking that the water would return. After nearly an hour, I went to look for the staff of the resort but there was no one around. I was told by a guest that "they have all gone for the church meeting" which was held a distance away, and that I should seek the help of the security guard at the gate of the resort.
November 12: The seminar started late. There were about 20 attendees from the traditional organized churches. About half were women. I begun by presenting the fact that there was no need for us to discuss about the physical and literal end time prophecies that were clearly visible to our eyes, such as earthquakes, famines, pestilences, wars, and etc. but that we should look at what God said and prophesied about the churches in the end time. These would be things that must be spiritually discerned, to know what is taking place in the churches today. I showed them a few video clips and told them to judge for themselves whether the many practices (holy laughter, conversing with one another in tongues, behaving like animals, etc.) in the Charismatic churches were truly the work of the Holy Spirit or the fulfillment of the words of Christ Jesus concerning the many false prophets and false Christs that would arise in the end time.
If any man or woman who truly fears the Lord, he/she would take heed to what was shown and spoken, and seriously judge the contents by the Word of God. However, it was not so with all the attendees. All left the seminar even before we even entered into a discussion. It must have been hard for them to kick against the prick when they saw their favourite televangelists being featured in the video clips and being identified as false anointed ones of the end time.
Needless to say they did not want the truth. They had their own agenda towards building their own kingdoms.
Bro. Michael Ortiz is a man of small build and many people looked upon him as a "kid". However, like Bro. Nonoy, he has given himself fully to the ministry that the Lord has put into his hand. Starting a fellowship and taking a strong stand for the Truth in the city of Candelaria are no easy tasks, even for a man of big stature. Candelaria and many other cities in the Philippines are full of spirits that envelope men and women in their carnal thirst for power, fame and money. But Michael has kept himself away from such corruption for the past 15 years as he has labored in that city and in Lucena, a town, some 40 minutes leisure drive to the east.
This pastor needs your prayer support.
November 13: There was no seminar today. We made plans to have the believers of Candelaria and Lucena gather together in the church of Pastor Michael for a morning and afternoon fellowship. Bro Orsel ministered in the morning and I ministered in the afternoon after which we left Candelaria to return to the hotel in Filinvest City.
After a long drive we arrived at the hotel at around 8pm. After I checked into a room, we went to where the believers were gathered for their regular Thursday Bible Study. Bro. Nonoy was their teacher.
Most of the converts to the Word of God in the hotel have a Roman Catholic background. The regular Bible Study helps them to better appreciate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and to have a greater understanding of the present truth in this present time as we see the day of Christ fast approaching.
November 14 & 15: These two days were leisure days spent with a few believers who could meet together to share Christian experiences.
November 16: This being a Sunday, I was taken by Pastor Jonathan Togonon to minister in his assembly in Cubao in the morning. Prayerful as to what I should speak on, I was led to touch on "God's Ultimate Intention" on the plan and purpose of God in Christ.
During lunch, I had the opportunity to sit and talk with some of the elders and deacons of the church.
About 2pm, we left for San Pedro where the church building of Pastor Nonoy Togonon is located. Bro. Nonoy holds two services every Sunday, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
As more people come to the meeting, one of the side walls was recently knocked down to create more sitting space for the worshippers.
I took the pulpit to share with the believers on the "Language of God"; how God used His expressions in the Scriptures to carry His thoughts across to His people, and how not to misinterpret every of His expressions as being literal.
November 17: This was my last day and night in the Philippines. Arrangements were made for a meeting in a hotel staff training room for me to minister the Word in the evening. I shared with the believers on "Being Sober" as we face the many false prophets and false Christs who seek to deceive whoever they can, and also in the face of the ecumenical spirit that is so rampant today that seeks to bring about a false unity even among the End time Message people.
After the meeting, we had fellowship over supper near 10pm, which went late into the night and ended just before midnight.
November 18: Just before noon I was driven to the airport by Bro. Neil with a company of three other brethren for my flight home.
May the good Lord bless each and all the brethren who contributed or is involved in this ministry here and over in the Philippines.