I cannot really remember my first encounter with them. The church there is renting a house. It was a bookstore and lending library during the weekdays and also offers coffee and cookies.
There was only one service during the morning, where Mom Eloise always plays the organ. She is not as good as others now-but she is our musical muse. And Pastor Maas was always optimistic, fatherly and friendly. And he can really lead in singing. His messages are always firm, simple and very helpful.
Before meeting them –I spent my weekends at Sampaloc, Manila-at CCRL-Community Church of the Risen Lord. But since my affinity now is with the reformed branch of Christianity-I decided to attend church during Sundays at BF Homes Christian Fellowship.
And I enjoy it immensely. Mom Eloise always lent me books of CS Lewis-which I devour. I also remember reading books of John Stott and Schaeffer then. When Pastor went to Bacolod –he passed by the Reformed Bible Institute there and got some books for me to read. It was books of GC Berkouwer, Ronald Nash and Ethical Reflections of Henry Stob-which I enjoyed immensely.
They treated me as their son since they only got only 1 son-but 5-6 daughters. Their youngest is Debbie-beautiful Debbie. I found out later than she was gay-though at a young age –she was grazing magazine covers. I got a crushed on her-but felt then that she was out of my league. I hope then that she will become my friend-but she only stayed for awhile here in the Philippines. I still pray for her once-in-awhile. I have no problem treating her as gay-we are all sinners-just some more obvious than others. But sinners still.
I remembered one time that I have some problem with my parents-so I stayed at the Vanderbilts and slept at their sofa for a night. And I felt secure with them. They also asked me to join them one summer at Pangasinan. Ps. Maas was baptizing and marrying a couple there. We also took the weekend at Hundred Islands Resort. We went snorkeling-though I have trouble swimming. At one of the island-Pastor Maas taught me about heaven –that there will be no sea or ocean there-since it was a symbol of God’s enemies. He also taught me about the joke regarding the amount of water needed for baptism-and it led to the doctrine of sprinkling.
It was a swell weekend-and I still remember waking up in the morning alone in the room and hearing the rustling of water below. Wow! God really knows how to send teachers in this world.