Dear family (by blood and by faith),
After the excitement of Sunday, Monday was a bit quieter here. The morning was spent preparing for some of our other work later in the week, and the rest of the day was spent in the company of the Kleyns. We tagged along on some errands around town, and then took a drive out of Manila into the countryside. The drive served at least two purposes. For one thing, it provided us the opportunity to see some of the beautiful scenery of the Philippines (including the gently cascading Daranak Falls), but, more importantly, it gave us time to talk with our missionary and his wife about their life and work on the field.
On Tuesday we attended 7M. 7M refers, I believe, to Metro Manila Monthly Martes (Tuesday) Morning Ministers' Meeting, a training class for pastors that Rev. Kleyn leads on two Tuesdays every month. The purpose of this class is to provide instruction for pastors in areas they may not have received in their earlier training. Attendance varies, but on this morning there were 11 in attendance, not including the missionary and delegation and their wives. In the first session, Rev. Kleyn gave instruction to the men on several articles of the Church Order. After a brief coffee break, I spoke to the men from 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12 on "The 'How' of Bringing the Gospel." When the class was over, the men spent an enjoyable time conversing over a delicious lunch.
Two things about 7M struck me. First, theological instruction has become an important part of our mission work in the Philippines. Our missionary spends a good amount of time giving seminary-like instruction to other pastors. The desire is that by training native pastors to bring the word, they might go out in their own land and to their own people to bring the gospel in a way that a foreigner might not be able. There is much work that can be done in this area. Someday, if the Lord wills, there may be a Reformed seminary in the Philippines to promote this work here and in Southeast Asia more broadly.
The second thing that struck me was the good camaraderie among the men present at the class. It was especially encouraging to see the pastors of the three churches in the PRCP—Revs. Ibe, Flores, and Trinidad—getting along so well. Their mutual concern for the churches and the cause of the gospel there was evident. I was deeply thankful to see this brotherly spirit among these leaders. Pray that God might use this for the continued health and growth of the PRCP in the future.
In the love of Christ,
Rev. Joshua Engelsma is pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church in Doon, Iowa.