Carreta Cemetery Ministry

  • (Editor’s note: Pastor Norberto started the ministry at Caretta Cemetery in 2016. The people living in the cemetery are the poorest of the poor (hence why they live in the tombs of a cemetery). The local church holds services as an outreach to those who would otherwise be unreached and unengaged in the community. Pastor Jonet Labustro took over the pastorship in 2018.)

Recent Ministry

I have shared Jojo’s story in past reports and how, due to his many vices, his parents had disowned him.  He was praying that one day he would be able to visit them in Barili and asked me to accompany him. We traveled there and talked with his family about several matters. They were happy for his release from prison and that he was being used by God to further His kingdom.  After finally being reunited with his family, Jojo was thrilled to have a Bible study with them.

  • Pray for Jojo to grow in his faith and be used by God to minister to believers and witness to non-believers.

Praise the Lord for reuniting this family and for the powerful testimony of a man transformed by the grace of God.

It has been a tradition on every Mother’s Day that I surprise all the mothers with roses. This year we did something different, not only the flowers, but I also bought a kilo of rice and gave it to all the mothers at the church service. Three of the mothers were so blessed that they were brought to tears. It was the first time they had received flowers during this celebration. One mother expressed how she had never received flowers from her husband, not even when they were dating and was blessed by this show of appreciation.

Jason was a detainee in Cebu City Jail Male Dorm for two years after being accused of selling drugs.  He attended the Bible study each Wednesday and Friday’s while he was in prison. He was released on a plea-bargaining agreement. After his release, Brother Eton, Brother Jaime and I went to pick him up. He is happy and excited to be free and is attending the Bible study.

  • Pray for Jason as he adjust to his new life.
  • Pray that he will continue to seek the Lord in his everyday life.

We held our first DVBS (Daily Vacation Bible School) in the Carreta Cemetery with the approval of the Center for Community Transformation. There were three teachers assigned for the three to six-year-olds with an assistant teacher. The seven to eleven-year-olds and the twelve to seventeen-year-olds had a single teacher with youth assistance. The children were taught the Word of God and the principle of why they should save their money. Each was encouraged to save between five to ten pesos each week. (Editor’s note: one US dollar is equal to fifty-one Philippines pesos). They sang songs and recited memory verses. 

  • Pray for more kids and parents to hear God’s Word.
  • Pray for the children to remember their memory verses and for these Words to strengthen and comfort them.
  • Pray for chairs to use in the fellowship.
  • Pray for water baptism candidates.
  • Pray for the strength of the Carreta members to stand firm against persecution.
  • Pray for physical strength and wisdom for the pastor and leaders.

Pastor Jonet’s Testimony

My name is Jonet, and I grew up here in the Philippines. I have several siblings and am the second oldest in my family. When I was 12 years old, my parents separated which was hard for me to understand. When I graduated from elementary school, my mother sent me to live with my uncle, her brother. In Zamboanga De Sur I would help my uncle fish at night. I would sleep for about six hours and go to school the next day without a shower. During my first year of high school, I would walk without shoes or slippers 4 kilometers. I started drinking alcohol by the time I was fifteen years old.

It was when I began working as a gym instructor that I made some new friends who invited me to a mid-week church service. In April of 1996, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and surrender my addictions and life to Him. Currently, I am enrolled at the Cebu Korean School of Theology and am serving the Living God by His Grace.

In December 2017 Pastor Norberto from White Fields told me about the Carreta Chinese Cemetery ministry. He asked if I could lead the ministry starting in 2018. I accepted and am excited to share God’s Word but nervous because this is a challenging area. Currently, we have a children’s ministry on Saturday and Sunday, and a Church service at 8 am on Sunday.

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