By Pastor Glem Melo
Five (5) major milestones mark the history of Open Eyes Mission.
- We pioneered our ministry organization in 1997.
- On January 1998, I left the United States and started establishing the mission in Mindanao. April of the same year, in Cotabato, I was ordained as a minister of the gospel.
- On January 9, 2000, we conducted our very first local church service in our home in Cagayan de Oro City.
- On August 9, 2007, I started studying Reformed theology.
- On August 29, 2010, our local congregation was instituted as a reformed church.
Yesterday, we witnessed the 6th major milestone take place. Since February of 2012, Ernnel Tacandong faithfully attended our long-term theological training classes and served as a contractual worker for our “Relief to Rehabilitation to Church Planting Program” for flood victims-survivors. Last year, he and his wife Divine started attending our Sunday services. For 2 years, I have personally witnessed that they “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). They consistently show evidence that they “have fellowship with [the Lord]” because they “practice the truth” and “walk in the light”; therefore, “we have fellowship with one another” (1 John 1:6-7). They bear “the marks of Christians” as summarized in Article 29 of the Belgic Confession:
“They believe in Jesus Christ the only Savior,flee from sin and pursue righteousness, love the true God and their neighbor without turning to the right or left, and crucify their flesh and its works.Although great weakness remains in them, they fight against it by the Spirit all the days of their life. They appeal constantly to the blood, suffering, death, and obedience of Jesus Christ, in whom they have forgiveness of their sins through faith in Him.”
Having individually passed the membership interview, Open Eyes Mission trainee Ernnel Tacandong and his wife Divine made their public profession of faith, and were received as new members of our church. It was a day of great encouragement and rejoicing for the whole congregation. Now, I will begin teaching, training and mentoring Ernnel for future service as a local church elder. God willing and working, we will soon witness the restoration of our consistory (council of elders). With a faithful eldership, we can expect God’s blessing upon the church, leading to the greater advancement of the work of the gospel, as promised in His word. Praise the Lord!
Please remember to pray for Ernnel and Divine.
“Lord, our God, we thank you for your Word and Spirit through which we know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. May those who confessed your name today never cease to wonder at what you have done for them. Help them to continue firmly in the faith, to bear witness to your love, and to let the Holy Spirit shape their lives. Take them, good Shepherd, into your care that they may loyally endure all trials and tribulations in serving you. May we, with all your children, live together in the joy and power of your Holy Spirit. We ask this, Lord Jesus, in the hope of your coming. Amen.” – Prayer in the 1976 CRCNA Form for the Profession of Faith