Friday, July 22, 2011


One of the things I often tried to imagine before we moved here was what church here would look like.  I didn't even know what city life looked like let alone what churches were like here, but I tried to imagine it anyway.  I think in my mind's eye I imagined a small group sitting in a circle or something.  I don't know.

Our first Sunday in the Philippines we visited a church called Christ's Commission Fellowship, or CCF.  They told us it was big.  It was big.  Super big.  It actually reminded me very much of the big churches back in Canada or the US, complete with something like 6 services on Sunday, small groups, a lively children's program and excellent music.  The pastor delivered a wonderful and convicting sermon in English and we thoroughly enjoyed the air conditioning.

We wanted to visit some different places so we soon went to a small place located only about 5 minutes from our house.  It was small, around 50 people or so, one service before and after which there was much chatting and goings on, (by the way, can you tell I've been reading Robinson Crusoe which was written in the 1700's and now my conversational English is suffering for it), a homespun band with heartfelt singing and a sermon in Taglish, which is a combination of Tagalog and English that is commonly spoken around here.  The people were so friendly and we loved it right away.  However, since there were already two foreign families attending there we were advised that perhaps three families would affect the church's ability to minister to their own Filipino congregation because of its small size.
Then we visited yet another church.  This time even the name of the church was in Tagalog, Kapatirang Kristiano sa San Juan or KKSJ for short.  Friends of ours who are seasoned missionaries drove us there our first Sunday as it is located about 10-15 minutes from our place by car and off the beaten path of public transportation.  We were welcomed there right away and we decided to attend there regularly. 
The congregation numbers around (there's that old-English influence again, oh brother) 200 people, so it is quite a bit larger than the small one we had visited before. 

The language spoken there is less Taglish and more straight Tagalog, although there was enough English mixed in that we were able to understand some things even at the beginning.  The church is brethren in origin, so their meeting is patterned after that.  They have three services on Sunday morning: first an adult Bible study, then a communion service, and finally the preaching service.  We usually are able to attend the last two. 

Right before I had the baby our family was asked to sing...
and one verse was even in Tagalog :)

We've really enjoyed attending there and although at the beginning it was a little hard to communicate we have started building friendships there.  If you think of it, you can pray that our friendships will deepen because as those of you with small children know, Sundays are hard for little kids and their parents.

Squeaky attended DVBS at our church... completely in Tagalog!

The songs that they sing are a mixture of Tagalog and English.  They have a whole hymn book there with traditional hymns translated into Tagalog which they sing to the tunes we are used to.  They also have a song book that has more modern worship songs in English.  Along with that they also use power point to display the words of the songs they sing and display the outline of the sermon.  The sermon is always delivered in Tagalog, which is great for Dennis and I and our language studies. 
Sometimes the girls get to sing on stage with their class

The older girls have a little Sunday school class that they go to.  At first everything was in Tagalog and they mostly just played around and were shy.  Then some people got together and decided to offer an English Sunday school for our kids along with several other children who either know or want to improve their English.  So that has been super great for the girls and they enjoy going there now.

The little girl whispering to her friend in the picture on the right is the same age as Button.  She and Button get along beautifully and each have said to their parents that they wish they could understand each other better.  It is so sweet. 


Anonymous said...

This is so interesting to us here .....we all wonder how you and the girls are getting along in the Tagolog church

David and Amy Campsall said...

Wow.. what a neat look into sunday happenings for you guys! Thanks for sharing. I understand about the busyness of living keeping you from blogging! Hope all is well with the girls however. God Bless, we pray for you often.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting...little different than over here. :) the blog xo