A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Wrap Up

On the last Friday we were given a phenomenal special presentation of the 2008 Christmas Cantata, with voices and choreography trained by Grace Lopez Alvarez. Cantata Sister Grace has a doctorate in music from U. of the Philippines and was formerly the music professor of Cagayan State U., but gave up that prestigious position and salary to become the music professor at ABS.  Listening to the Christmas message through their beautiful voices and presentation was very uplifting to our souls.

TheBoardThe PMCC board had postponed their monthly meeting to allow the Richards and us to attend on Saturday.  We thus felt more accomplished in our mission.  The board gave us good news of spiritual bridges being mended.  Though the steel rods and other material were already purchased, we learned of their immediate need for well over $10,000 U.S. to buy the cement to start the 2nd phase (2nd set of 2 large rooms above one another) of their new main building.  A new building is critical for attracting, keeping and accommodating the needs of the students coming in June.  ( Is the Lord calling for you to help in this urgent need ?  Would you pray for them as well ?  Please email Mike@AparriBible.org )

grpPicFor lunch we were given a sumptuous pig-roast feast donated by a local construction company.  Then the Richards, Daisy and Mike were showered with warm send-offs, prayers and the inspiring Lutkins Benediction (polyphonic harmony).  It was a very emotional time.  Then it was time to say goodbye to the Richards.polyphonic

On Sunday we finally got to join the local congregation at Aparri Church of Christ.  Pastor Perry Alan led another time of upliftment through his message after rousing spiritual songs of worship.  After the service we enjoyed the fellowship of friends and Daisy’s relatives.  That afternoon we had a send-off for Perry and the graduating preaching students, who drove to Manila to take part in a Church-planting seminar.  They had the rare experience to visit MBS and ICCM, who were very hospitable.  The ABS students considered these visits very educational.  For some of them it was also their first opportunity to visit Manila, and to ride in elevators and escalators.

On Monday, after touring the students’ dorms, the ABS staff treated us to a bus outing to a recreation area called STR (“under the bridge”) for lunch. BridgeLunch We toured to the northeast corner of Cagayan and back, then across the river to Noel and Susan Daquioag’s house and clinic in Ballesteros, where we were treated to another dinner feast.  Along the way the staff pointed out many of the Christian Churches, a fulfillment of evangelism started in Aparri by those who also started ABS and many other ministries.  Driving home that night we joyfully sang old-time Christian choruses.

On Tuesday with a mixture of joy and sorrow we said our goodbyes to the students and staff of ABS.  Esmelito together with 2 other staff and 2 of Daisy’s relatives drove us to the Tuguegarao airport for an hour-long flight to Manila.  Cecil and Robert took great care of us overnight and brought us to the Manila airport for flights to Seoul and O’Hare.CecilRobert

At all 5 seminaries which we were blessed to visit we enjoyed their insightful preaching, joint praise & worship of our Lord, friendship, fellowship, and hospitality of these, our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The staff are all hard working and effective in their task of training young men and women to serve our Lord with sound, Bible-based teaching.

We so look forward to more opportunities for visiting many times in the future as the Lord permits, and to be used by God, by prayer, by sharing our resources for the work of His kingdom, and by hands-on side-by-side help.

It is nice to be back with our home church and families.  We thank God for His guidance, protection and providence.  Thank you so much for holding us up in your prayers, and your on-going concern and prayers for our Lord’s work in equipping and supporting the future Christian leaders of churches all over the world, especially in Northern Luzon where the need for trained pastor/preachers is so great.  God bless you wherever God has called you to serve Him.  May you do so with all your heart & soul.

MikeBurnsPrevious, to read about what we did around Luzon:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Around Luzon

For some more information about the school, ABS:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – School History

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