From the silent church of the Philippines

Put these on Facebook earlier, thought I’d post here.

I received some messages from a dear Reformed Baptist brother who lives in the Philippines. I’ve known him for a few years. Small church, very poor. We were updating each other about the condition of the churches in our nations under COVID, and a few of the messages had me holding back tears. Tears of thankfulness to God on their behalf and tears of conviction for the American churches. May we learn what they are learning and not murmur and complain under God’s discipline.

The virus scare was good for the church. Praise God. It revealed a lot of the members’ hearts. Who was willing to continue and who was afraid for different reasons.

Worship here has also ceased for all. But our location being at the edge of a rice field hid us and we continued to meet quietly. We ditched the use of instruments and amplification, sang a hymn quietly, and prayed a lot. It pushed the church to pray more, and we had long moments of silence before and after the service in reverence to God. We now dread going back to the way things were. The risk made going to fellowship really meaningful for all.

We continue to pray for the hardened community here. [The] work is sobering for most if not all families. But we ask for more boldness in preaching publicly, and have intensified our reaching out to people. God takes care of our needs.

We have resorted to making and selling small food bites. Everyone is now an entrepreneur.

The seeming “lack” made us more thankful and content. The LORD is so kind to us.

Afflictions only bring out what’s already inside. Our reactions to it are mere manifestations of our faith. That is what our God has taught us.