For my second week of stay in UAE, and the start of my official tour of duty here, we decided to change the old cliche.
Men first, then the ladies.
I had the opportunity of representing our beloved pastor in ministering to the ACTS Preachers and the Few Good Men of our Al Ghusais Congregation. Pr. Nonoy and I talked about what would be a good series of lessons to give to our men, and so after a few discussions over it, we decided to come up with a preaching workshop for the men.
Around 25 men came that Monday night, December 5 (in the picture it says December 6, because the date on the came is still adjusted to Philippine Standard Time). We had a great time learning from God’s word about the art and privilege of preaching. I shared to them the very lectures that I took from the homiletics class which I attended. And no other than our beloved pastor, Dr. Benny Abante, Jr., was my instructor for homiletics for 4 semesters (two semesters during my actual enrolment as a student, and two more semesters as a sit-in during his lectures together with the preachers). As part of the workshop, I asked the men to use the Apostle Paul’s sermon on Mars’ Hill as a common template for their preaching. I picked out some of the men randomly, and had them come up in front to deliver the sermon. Pr. Nonoy and I gave a few constructive comments on how to further improve their preaching skills.
The lecture, personally, was a refresher’s course for me, especially as I was prepping up for the next 55 days of preaching and teaching schedules across our congregations here in the UAE. I was able to bring with me my preaching compilations, edit and revise a few of them to make it more relevant to the intended audience, and be refreshed once more of the blessings I have received from them when the Lord first gave them to me. I would always pray that as I have been blessed by the Lord’ message through these preaching outlines, He would also use them to bless and encourage our men.
And then Wednesday of that week, we had a joint Bible study at the villa, this time including the ladies. Pr. Noy and I were going through the list of topics I brought with me, and we decided to have the message on Servant Leadership.
The outline that I have was largely taken from our beloved pastor’s message on Servant Leadership. I then included a few studies of my own, as well as a few insights from books like “Spiritual Leadership” by Richard Blackaby, and a book that the BP left with me, entitled “How To Lead And Still Have A Life” by H. Dale Burke.
More than anything else, I needed to hear that message again. So earlier that Wednesday, I had enough time to myself to just re-read and review the whole outline and just ponder upon it. And for sure, I was being rebuked by the outline as I reflected on my own faults and failures on the aspect of leadership. I wish to reserve the things God has allowed me to see for my own, until I get to see these truths officially realized in my life. But this much I can say–I have been truly blessed and I am hoping to see them all come to pass.
We had a great time together with the workers of Al Ghusais Congregation, and that was just a fill-in slot for that week. By Thursday that week I was headed for Abu Dhabi, where our BP had instructed me to represent him as the speaker for our Abu Dhabi Congregation’s 10th Foundation Day.
More on that story on our next post.
It’s been 24 days already since I left the Philippines for a 65-day ministerial trip here in the Middle East. This is one of the very rare privileges that our senior pastor, Dr. BMA, gives to a select few of his pastoral staff to go around our foreign congregations and minister to them for a minimum of 9 weeks. I thank him very much for the opportunity to represent him among God’s people here abroad.
This is my second time to be out of the country–more than a year ago, our BP sent me to Brunei for a two-week ministerial visit as well. It was a trip of many firsts for me–my first time of putting my passport into good use, my first time to be in a place where I was the foreigner, and my first time to be away from my wife by being in another country. The experience taught me a lot of beautiful and wonder things, as well as the intricacies and details of traveling outside the Philippines.
When our BP confirmed my trip to our Middle East congregations for two months, I had mixed emotions about it–happy to be going abroad, excited to meet our brethren and minister to them, but also quite sad that I will be away from my wife, and this time, from my daughter as well. Nonetheless, this was a rare opportunity, and so I prepped up everything I can before I left.
It’s only now that I thought of putting up a journal post about this trip–after all, it might be a very long time after this that I get to go out again for a trip abroad. So, I might as well record a journal about this trip and share to you the many wonderful experiences I have gathered and will continue to gather for the remainder of this trip.
This is just to wet your appetite guys! And I hope I can get to compress on the next post, everything that has happened in the last 24 days of may stay here already. With 41 days left on my schedule here, we’ll all be in for a lot more of surprises!
Keep it locked in here!