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A few days ago, I was interviewed by a student as a class requirement. One of the questions was, “What is the most challenging moment in your church ministry experience?” Of course my answer was, leading the church through the COVID-19 pandemic. Today would be my last Sunday as the board-appointed CCBC Pastor-In-Charge for the first half of 2020. Inspite the great challenges CCBC faced during those months—Taal Volcano eruption, Luzon-wide lockdown due COVID-19 pandemic, migration to online worship, continuation of our Life Essentials, fellowships, trainings, Life Groups, and all other ministries online, birth of CCBC Kalinga, etc.—we thank God for how He prepared and enabled us. We couldn’t have done what we have accomplished without the guidance and wisdom of God. Indeed, we believe that God has His own purposes in allowing things to happen. The Word of God says that, “Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps His promise, and He will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, He will give you the strength to endure it and so provide you with a way out.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 GNT). As we enter the era of this ‘new reality’, we hold on to this promise of God. Brothers and sisters in the Lord, God knows very well that this pandemic is not beyond our power or capacity to bear. And during those times that we are tempted to think that we cannot bear it anymore, God will strengthen us and He will make a way for us to get out from enemy’s scheme.

Another amazing thing that we thank God for is how He works in the lives of our missionaries. I contacted some of our overseas missionaries to see how they are. Some have sent their newsletters testifying about the goodness and power of God in the lives of the people whom they are serving, especially in this time of pandemic. Our missionaries in Thailand shared the love of God by extending help to people who are in lockdown. Praise God for His provisions. One of our missionaries was not able to fly back to Pakistan last March, yet the ministry there continued. He sent finances so that the people will receive help as they are also in lockdown. I have also seen how our mobilizers worked to continue mobilizing and equipping churches for the ministry.

Brothers and sisters in the Lord, the work that God has entrusted to the church and the mission of the church remains as it is. Let’s continue to share the Gospel and make disciples of all nations. We praise God for how He sustains the work of ministries through faithful ones like you who are sending support for the church and for the missionaries. Let’s also remember our Missions Faith Promise so that we could continue to provide for the needs of our missionaries and the work that has been entrusted to us through them. Let’s continue being instruments of God’s blessings to them.

Happy 61st Anniversary to all of you, my dear CCBCers. Last Sunday, we concluded our yearly theme, GREATER, with the topic Greater Harmony in the Perfection of the Body. May this affirm and fortify our confidence in each one’s position and function as diverse, yet essential parts of the Body of Christ. This Sunday, July 5, as we commence our 61st Anniversary celebration, we will launch our new theme, ENGAGE. I believe that God will continue to reveal Himself to each and everyone of us as He speaks through His Word.

Let’s stay connected with one another through our CCBC Online Platform. Let’s engage in our very first online anniversary celebration. Happy 61st Anniversary CCBC!!!

— Pastor Bot Abelado