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

A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Around Luzon

PBS_WelcomeOn Monday we journeyed to PBS and were given a warm welcome by Administrator Danny Roca and staff, including a unique, beautiful, native dance by students of the Ilocos mountains.PBSgroup

Larry repeated his marathon 2-day seminar, with Cathie, Daisy & Mike helping behind the scenes.PBSseminar

After many social, worship and historic Vigan tour activities we traveled a half day to Baguio, where we visited staff & students of PCM, and Dr. James Huckaba (Academic Dean) gave a very informative tour, including the rebuilt well-restocked library (see fascinating story of fire damage on their website  PCM.ph ).  Bagiuo used to be the summer capital of the Philippines, due to its cool high altitude.  It is also the source of most of the flower shops of Luzon.  We were glad to tour the three most beautiful parks of Bagiuo: Mines View, Burnham, and Camp John Hay (former military R&R facility).

7-img_6029 PCMLibrary PCMgroup

Leaving exceedingly picturesque Bagiuo, we returned to Manila on Saturday night 2/14.  We thoroughly enjoyed worshiping with Cubao Church of Christ where Rommel Savellano is the minister, but on this Sunday Missionary Eldon Potts was the articulate guest preacher.  We met up with many of Daisy and Mike’s friends and Daisy’s relatives and afterward enjoyed a family reunion at Daisy’s cousin Emmeline, who catered an incredibly fancy feast.

MBSstanding MBSseated MBStable

Monday we met up with Chris and Carole McKinney, who had helped establish PCM in 1992.  After lunch Chris brought and introduced us to the staff at Manila Bible Seminary as well as International Christian College of Manila.  MBSsignJonathan Orillaza (Academic Dean) gave us a tour of MBS ( www.angelfire.com/ma4/mbsbeta_01/default.htm ), the oldest Restoration Christian seminary in the Philippines, that is presently headed by Jeannie McElroy Hoffman.  Russ and Cheryl Wissman gave us a tour of ICCM ( www.ICCManila.com ), which is high up on a mountain in Antipolo overlooking Manila.  Arthur Santiago is the acting president.

meeting meeting2 TheGuys

sitchat

Larry and Cathie returned via Seoul and Chicago O’Hare to their Plymouth, IN home.  We (Daisy and Mike) returned by car 16 hours to Aparri where we got more involved with the daily life of ABS. TheRichards On Thursday we joined Esmelito, Linda Columna and Grace Peneyra to visit Dr. Charles and Mickey Richards in the town of Iguig (about 2 hours south and west  by car).  The Richards are now concluding their faithful 30 year mission of translating the New Testament and 1/4 of the Old Testament into Itawes, one of more than 400 languages in the Philippines that is spoken by 106,000 people in Cagayan.  They have sacrificed so much of their lives and resources for this ministry and are much beloved by the people whose lives they have touched.

Next, to continue reading about the trip:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Wrap Up

Previous, to read about what we did in Aparri:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – While in Aparri

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

A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – While in Aparri

After Larry’s seminar, ABS hosted students of Philippine Bible Seminary (PBS in Vigan) and Philippine College of Ministry (PCM in Baguio) for their annual 3-day Inter-Seminary Fellowship.

Inter-Seminary FellowshipNervieteam builder

Inter-Seminary Fellowship

This fellowship not only provide spiritual and educational advancement, but also R&R.  The students enjoyed group sports and games (e.g.: best nest of straws to prevent a dropped egg from breaking, best bridge made of sand, etc).  Mike much enjoyed becoming a paparazzo of these events, to the delight of all when frequently projected.  The theme of “Breaking The Walls” (Building Bridges) was presented with insightful messages from eloquent staff & students, who emphasized breaking down barriers of prejudice, hostility, envy and building bridges of love, fellowship, and selflessness.

We had the great opportunity to visit the local Municipal Hall.  Vice Mayor Norman Peneyra greeted us warmly, inviting us in for a social visit & refreshments.  Mr. Peneyra was formerly Mayor of Aparri, as well as formerly the president of PMCC.

After a brief Saturday respite, we went to Domingo Tallud’s church in Tuguegarao, where Larry preached and later conducted 2 hours of Elder and Deacon seminars. Larry Preaches CongregationCarl and Ronalyn Stevens and 2 of their teens then gave us a tour of CARM (Christian Aviation & Radio Mission), which he joined in 1998, including the sound-dampening room of the recording studio that he had designed and built, and the hangar and Helio Courier plane being rebuilt for a hopeful future aviation ministry. CARM

We then very much enjoyed visiting the orphans and homeless children of Children’s Haven at the town of Lal-lo.  This orphanage was started by PMCC under the Selby’s and Mary Pruitt.  The kids were soooo appreciative of our visit and soaked in all the love we could offer.  Children’s Haven is now directed by Mr. Lynn Ragsdale, although we have not yet have had the opportunity to see him.

Group at Children’s Haven in Lal-lo

Group at Children’s Haven in Lal-lo

Next, to continue reading about the trip:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Around Luzon

Previous, to read about how we got to Aparri:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Going to Aparri

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

A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Going to Aparri

Going to the Philippines.
Going to the Philippines.

The Lord so blessed our party of four (Daisy Cajigal, Mike Burns, Larry & Cathie Ferguson) this past February ‘09 with a warm, fruitful, joy-filled 4-week working tour of northern Luzon, the largest of 7000 islands of the Philippines.  Everyone we met and visited were so warm and hospitable.

Some sight-seeingstatuegun inspection
Some sight-seeing

After touring many historic sites in Manila with our exceedingly gracious friends and hosts Cecil (Chief, Logistics and Facilities, Veterans Affairs, US Embassy, Manila) and Robert Salbilla, Larry & Cathy traveled to the northern seacoast of Cagayan where Larry preached at Aparri Church of Christ.  Daisy, Mike and Robert were able to join Norma Manankil on Sunday Feb 1 with ≈18 other volunteers (including Daisy’s daughter Lynette) in the “Humanitarian Mission 2009”, sponsored by Circulo Kapampangan of Chicago.  We helped transport and distribute toiletries and heavy bags of food (which Norma had previously procured) to dozens of hungry families in the 3 towns of Magalang and Angeles City in Pampanga, and then Capas in Tarlac.

Humanitarian Mission 2009

Humanitarian Mission 2009

Pampanga governor Ed Panlilio personally thanked us for our efforts.

Daisy and Mike then caught up with Larry & Cathie at Aparri Bible Seminary (ABS) where the Administrator Esmelito Acson and staff, as well as local supporters warmly welcomed us.

Welcome to ABS

Welcome to ABS

Larry, (http://churchhelp.wordpress.com )who has over 50 yrs. preaching experience gave a 5-day densely-packed, very informative, practical and inspiring seminar, albeit here in the Philippines it was condensed into 2 intense morning-till-night days.

Classroom Session

Classroom Session

God guided Larry and sustained his voice.  In attendance were ≈100 adults and seminary students, esp. current and future church leaders from 37 churches of Cagayan Valley and Ilocos regions.  Larry is an accomplished church doctor, helping to heal wounds, getting all members heavily involved in many forms of effective prayer and teaching Pastor/Preachers, Elders and Deacons what their Biblical role is, as opposed to what traditions tell them.  Larry’s seminar “Raising the Dead: New Life for Churches” explains these roles and helps church leaders to follow Biblical principles to solve problems and build a healthy church.

CES Seminar PicturesinclassCompletion

CES Seminar Pictures

Next, to continue reading about the trip:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – While in Aparri

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

The New Building :: April

Construction continues

A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – School History

2-img_0388

ABS was a Christian Bible Institute founded by Faustino Peneyra in the early 1940’s and upgraded to a Bible Seminary in 1952 by him and the missionaries Charles and Roberta Selby that he helped bring from Fairfield, NE.  In their 50 years of service, the Selbys also helped build Christian ministries of a local hospital, an orphanage, 3 high schools, a radio ministry (now CARM) and a Christian press, and whose evangelistic outreach resulted in the rapid increase of churches to around 200 (wow).  After Charles and Roberta retired in 1996 to Fairfield, and Charles subsequently died in 2004, ABS lost its funding and its doors were temporarily closed.  The dedicated staff and local supporters led by Linda Columna refused to give up in the face of its near financial collapse, but continued to make incredible personal and financial sacrifices, running ABS without any financial compensation for several months.  ABS under the new Philippine Mission Churches of Christ of Northern Luzon, Inc. (PMCC) is yet financially struggling.  Its old termite-laden buildings need to be torn down.  The good news is that a brand new 2-story L-shaped building has been started, with the first 2 double-sized rooms (1 on each level) completed, sans enclosing windows & finishing touches.  See the recently renovated AparriBible.org for cool pix including recent views of the second phase bldg. progress; may our Lord bless these efforts with success!  Work has been temporarily suspended, while they are soliciting more donations.

To read about our recent visit to ABS in Aparri:
A Working Tour of Seminaries in Luzon – Going to Aparri

Graduation 2009 Pictures

Some pictures from the recent graduation.

Getting ready for VBS

The teachers and staff are trained

The New Building :: March

Some more views

NEWS REPORT :: April-May 2008

Dear Brethren,

Good day!

Time passed by so swiftly that summer is gone. It passed by inconspicuously because of the busy months we had here at ABS.

After graduation and the Conference on Evangelism, we started going around to promote the seminary. However, we gave time for the planned activities for summer. To wit:

April 8-10 Vacation Bible School (VBS) Clinic.
There were 43 teachers who attended the clinic. Around 80 churches in Cagayan Valley held VBS and more than 12,000 children were taught. Praise the Lord for these committed teachers.
April 11-12 Promotion at Sta. Ana and Gonzaga, Cagayan.
April 13-16 Youth Camp (ages 16-up).
50 young people came to this camp; 12 accepted the Lord. All glory and honor to Him!
April 19 Promotion at Palao, Parog, Nambutuan, all of Cagayan province;
Babalag, Kalinga province.
April 24-27 Churches of Christ National Convention at Iloilo City.
What a wonderful opportunity for some of us to have attended this 96th National Convention of the Churches of Christ it the Philippines. The ABS quartet – Jeffrey Mark Alvarez, Rex de Guzman, Ruth Osorio and Carissa Lopez – had the opportunity to sing in this national event. They were accompanied by Sis. Grace Alvarez, their trainer. To all the sponsors, THANK YOU! MABUHAY KAYO!
May 2-7 International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE)
Regional Conference.
Bro. Esmelito L. Acson, the Administrator, attended the Regional Conference of the IAPCHE at Taipei, Taiwan. He went on his personal expense, but we know the knowledge gained is for the Lord. God bless you!
May 6-9 Junior Camp (ages 8-13)
76 kids came to this camp; 12 among them were led to the Lord. They are very young but praise the Lord for accepting Jesus as their Lord. Let’s keep them grow in Him.
May 12 Promotion at the Eastern Churches of Cagayan.
May 17-18 Promotion at Lakambini, Tuao areas.
May 21 Promotion at Sta. Praxedes, Namuac, Bidduang, Ballesteros, all of Cagayan
province; Tumog, Apayao province.
May 27-28 Promotion at Isabela province.

On this writing, we’re counting 60 students already. We pray that God will send young people who are really interested to study in the Seminary.

Finally, the Board of Trustees decided to start the ABS’ new building. Almost all papers needed are ready and we have started evacuating things out of the buildings that are to be demolished by the project. Hurray!

Let’s build the new ABS building! Join us, and be a part of this great project for Him! Thank you Lord!

Again, thank you for all your support. May God continue to bless you!…

In Him,

LEOLINDA B. COLUMNA

Noted:

ESMELITO L. ACSON
Administrator, ABS