Archive

January 2020

During our church planning meeting, we decided to start a weekly prayer meeting. Our first gathering had eight believers. Last Tuesday, we met in the cemetery and studied and meditated on Psalms twenty-three. After the Bible exhortation and insights about the reading, we divided into small groups for prayers. The believers prayed for the salvation of families, church growth, siblings, and their community. They prayed for each other to grow spiritually and grow closer to God.

This year, we started our church planning with spiritual evaluation and prayer. We planned for how the church will grow and how to encourage the believers to mature in God’s Word. Individuals in our congregation shared and suggested their ideas and insights. We studied how to draw new people to attend the church, stay connected, and continue engaging in church fellowships. We tackled the vision and mission of the church and proposed activities on how to accomplish these. The planning was a first-time experience for many of the congregation. It is exciting to see new believers desire to commit to spiritual and church growth. They are full of enthusiasm and so many ideas. We appointed men and women to be group leaders, visitation team members, and an intercessory group.

  • Pray for the leaders as they work together through details of the activities and programs. 
  • Pray for the spiritual growth of the congregation and for more people to come to faith in Jesus Christ this coming year.

Nanay (grandma) Lorna had not attended church in over three weeks. I told the brethren that she had an accident recently, resulting in swollen ribs and being unable to move her hips properly. The visitation team and the women’s group went to visit Lorna at her home; she lives in a vacant mausoleum. There is no electricity, and it is humid inside her shanty. We talked and then prayed for Lorna. During our prayers, she started crying from the joy that we had come to see her. We brought milk and some sugar. One of the brethren, Mari Mae, is continuing to visit Lorna and bringing hot milk and food. We thank God for the concerned brothers and sisters who care for others in the Lord.

  • Pray for Lorna to recover from this accident, pray for her strength to return.

Praise the Lord that others are caring for her at this time, pray for her daily needs to be met.

December 2019

The Women’s Association from the Cebu Korean Church chose to bless the Cebu Chinese Cemetery dwellers with their gifts this Christmas. The women brought over two-hundred bags of groceries for the children and adults. The people were grateful to receive these items, and the Korean Women’s Association was blessed to give them.

Sister Maymay was a recipient of this generosity. Maymay has three children, two boys, and one girl. When she was pregnant with her third child, who was born last July, it was decided that this boy would be adopted by the sister of Maymay’s live-in-partner. The birth certificate and other adoption documents were processed, and the boy was brought to Masbate province. Maymay had been working near Mabolo doing housekeeping. Last month, she lost her job. She has not yet found employment, and so is extremely grateful for the timeliness of the gift from the Cebu Korean Church.

Praise the Lord for the generosity of believers who bless other believers who are less fortunate with gifts.

Praise God for the perfect timing of food for Maymay’s family.

Kuya was formerly a detainee at the Cebu Jail Male Dorm; he was released last year and is attending the Cebu Chinese Cemetery Ministry. This month Kuya went to the emergency room due to his asthma. The doctor advised that he stay in the hospital, but they did not have enough rooms. They transferred Kuya to another hospital but he did not have enough money for the initial payment for hospitalization. So the doctor said if he cannot pay the money for the hospital, he must at least buy an oxygen tank. There was not enough money for an oxygen tank. The doctor gave them two hours to get the money for a tank, and they prayed to God to provide the money that was needed. A message was sent to a former inmate who is also a Christian. This brother went to the hospital and purchased the oxygen tank that was required before the two-hour limit. Kuya was amazed that God answered his need so quickly and was blessed by the generosity of this brother.

  • Pray for Kuya to regain his health and for his asthma to be controlled adequately.

Jeancent and her child are new attendees in the Children’s Ministry. One day, she shared with me that her sister was a detainee at the Cebu City Jail Female Dorm and Jeancet requested that I visit her sister. At our Thursday ministry, I approached the jail officer to call Jeancent’s sister to attend the Bible study. I shared with Jeancent’s sister, her concern for her, and gave her a Bible. Since then, she has been happy attending the fellowship and worship. There are many people in the jail who we can minister to and who need Jesus to guide them in the right direction.

  • Pray for Jeancent and her sister to continue attending the fellowships.
  • Pray for these sisters to grow in their knowledge of the Bible and God.

We conducted visits at Glenn’s house in the Cebu Chinese Cemetery. We met with Elvie and Pina. They told me that the reason they stopped attending the fellowship is that the support for their children’s school would be removed if they were seen at a non-Catholic group. When the neighbors saw them with Christians, they reported Elvie and Pina. The foundation that supports their children in school is under the Catholic Ministry. Elvie and Pina are requesting prayers for their situation.

  • Pray for resolution for Elvie and Pina so their children can attend school, and they can also participate in the Christian church.
  • Pray for their faith to be firm as they face this situation.
  • Pray for good health and physical strength for the pastor.
  • Pray for financial provision for our outdoor fellowship and water baptism this month.
  • Pray for additional chairs for our church fellowship and for the spiritual maturity of our church members.

November 2019

Russell has a live-in partner (boyfriend) who is in the Cebu City Jail Male Dorm. She is lonely and disappointed with her life situation. One month as I did a surprise visit inside the cemetery, I saw Russell and a few friends drinking coffee. They invited me to sit with them and shared their problems, including job searching. Right now she is training on the job for a massage center in the Ayala area. Russell misses her live-in partner, but I told her not to worry about him as he has free food in the jail. I learned that he is joining and listening to the Bible study inside their detention cell. Almost every day, they hold a Bible study. Russell sometimes leads the worship music for our gathering in the Chinese Cemetery. I reminded her to put her trust in God even when you face trials and persecution. Pray and believe in the Lord Jesus and trust God and His Word. I prayed with her after our counseling.

  • Pray for Russell to overcome her disappointment and discouragement.

Ariel is gay and was working as a sex worker, he is identified as a person deprived of liberty (PDL). He was eventually detained in the Cebu City Male Dorm. I prayed with him for a few weeks at the Bible study in the gay prison dorm at the Cebu City Jail. Ariel was detained for almost five months for a shoplifting case. Initially, the Bible study for the gay PDL’s had only six attendees, but now seventeen are attending. This month, Ariel accepted and believed the Lord Jesus Christ, just before he was released from the jail. I talked directly with him and encouraged him to continue in his new faith in Christ. He wants to have faith in God despite his struggles about identity and family problems.

  • Pray for Ariel to overcome his struggles about identity.

In Sitio Kalapukan, which literally means muddy, we have a Bible study in the home of Susan. Her husband was not initially interested in Bible study, even though it was meeting in his house, but now he wants to attend regularly. Some of the brethren are inviting their neighbors, so our original group of three or four people now has nine to ten each time. The attendees are excited and blessed by the study and want to continue to invite more of their neighbors.

  • Pray for the transportation needs for our planned water baptism this month.
  • Pray for the members’ spiritual growth.
  • Pray for financial provisions for my family vacation next year.

October 2019

When Michael was released from jail, he promised to continue his studies. Living Water Bible school has a Bible class extension program in San Fernando province of Cebu. Michael travels to San Fernando every Monday afternoon and returns on Fridays. He is eager to learn. On Saturday, he continues his Bible study group inside the Cebu Chinese cemetery. At first, the participants were ashamed and hesitant, but as time went on, they started asking questions. Now they are excited and happy to be attending Bible study. Michael also helps us with visiting and outreach in Carreta.

  • Pray for Michael to study hard.
  • Pray for financial provision to transportation, food, and lodging during the five weekdays.
  • Pray for sponsorship of his Bible school studies.

I visited Lorna inside the cemetery and prayed for her asthma. Then I shared the gospel of salvation. Lorna opened up about her problems and concerns, she has three sons and one brother in the Cebu City jail. She worries about them; she was a single mother, and the only one caring for the family without a stable job or income. Larna expressed her disappointments in life and concerns about her salvation. I prayed with her, encouraging her to trust God, and she believed in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. When I visited the prison for ministry, I searched for her sons and brothers. I discovered that they have a Bible study in their detention cell.

  • Pray for Lorna to grow in her trust in God for peace, despite her many sorrows of life.
  • Pray for her physical strength and asthma. 
  • Pray for her sons and brother to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through the Bible study meeting in their cell.

I prayed for many days to be able to give a Bible to the gay PDL (person deprived of liberty) and some other prisoners. In the first week of this past month, I met a person in Ayala, Center Cebu. He remembered that I had a prison ministry, so he offered me an entire box of Bibles in the Cebuano dialect. I thank God for His answer to my prayers. I brought these Bibles to the jail and gave one to the gay PDL.

  • Pray for those who received a Bible to read it and come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

One of my constant prayers is for the youth to commit to the ministry. Last month, a few decided to help us in the Children’s ministry inside the Chinese cemetery. Every Saturday, they meet. At first, they were not interested in serving others, but now they are teaching them how to pray.

  • Pray for the children and teens to commit themselves to serving others in ministry and for passion for sharing the gospel with their peers.
  • Pray for them to grow in their faith.
  • Pray for my physical health.
  • Pray for the adult church leaders to grow in their faith.

September 2019

Firmli is nineteen years old and came from a poor family in Barangay Lorega. She was once a street kid in Cebu City but is now studying at a night high school and is sponsored by Operation Mobilization. When she was thirteen, she had already accepted Jesus Christ into her life and was playing beatbox at her former church. At the age of fifteen, she started to play the guitar. I met her when she was staying in the Cebu Chinese Cemetery. Her parents are unemployed. Firmli helps our ministry in Cebu Chinese Cemetery by playing the guitar and beatbox.

  • Pray for Firmli’s spiritual growth and financial difficulty.

Nilo was a former person deprived of liberty (PDL). He is the husband of Marichu. When he was inside the Cebu City Jail Male Dormitory, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and isolated into one cell with others of the same condition. He prayed to God for his release from jail. He was in prison for three years. Last month, he went before the court for his hearing. He called me to ask me to pray. I reminded him to trust in God and prayed with him. Marichu also called and asked for prayer. His case was about selling illegal drugs. In our law, this case is non-bailable if you are convicted, which typically is a twenty to forty-year imprisonment. When they arrived at the court, the judge was handling so many cases that the jail guard escorted Nilo back to the prison. The judge had her staff call Nilo back to court in the afternoon. They arrived and received the decision; Nilo was acquitted and dismissed. He shared his testimony in our fellowship and has joined me with the prison ministry despite his health being poor.

  • Pray for Nilo’s health to improve and for his relationship with God to grow. Nilo has a lung issue due to his pneumonia and has difficulty breathing and is unable to walk for long.
  • Pray for his testimony to bring other jail inmates to know God.

There is a shanty fifteen steps away from our tent gathering and was rented for less than a month. It was always closed and silent. One evening the police officers raided this shanty. They brought the tenants to the police station on charges of drug dealing. The location is near our fellowship gathering and caused some concern among us.

Our Bible study in Sityo Kalapukan was transferred to Susan’s residence. I have shared our adventures with the rain and mud in previous reports. On a Tuesday afternoon, as I went to Yolanda’s house for Bible study, a lady approached me. She cautioned me to be careful because the house next door had people selling illegal drugs. So, before I arrive at Yolanda’s, I stopped by Susan’s and shared the concerns. Susan suggested we do the Bible study at her house instead and was eager to start that very day. I spoke with Yolanda and the other brethren, and they agreed to this plan. Yolanda had been ashamed and uncertain about telling me about the situation with the drug dealers.

Susan’s Bible Study!

  • Pray for Susans’s family to trust in God.
  • Susan was admitted to the hospital due to high blood sugar.
  • Pray for her health.
  • Pray for safety for our brethren in Sityo Kalapukan.
  • Pray for God to give me strength and wisdom.
  • Pray for financial provision; my son transferred to study in a private school.
  • Pray for him to study hard.

August 2019

Every Tuesday, we go to Sito Lalapukan (Slough Site) at the back of the Chinese Cemetery to conduct a Bible study in Sister Yolanda’s house. While we were meeting, the rain started to pour down. We finished and planned to wait out the storm, but it continued to pour. Yolanda told us that if the rain stayed at this rate for the next fifteen minutes, the outer area would flood. We still kept waiting, hoping the rain would stop. Yolanda said if you stay longer, even for thirty minutes, the floodwaters will reach the floor. She insisted that I and Brother Jaime go down into the floodwaters to leave. Her granddaughters guided us out so we would not fall in the hole in the alleyway. We waded through the dirty floodwater to reach the highway. This was my first time with this experience even though we have had the Bible study here for a year.

Willie is the oldest man in our fellowship. I keep encouraging him to open a Bible study in his area. He was hesitant, thinking that the neighbors would not be interested and would reject him.  I went to their place and talked with the neighbors and invited them to have a Bible study. In the beginning, they were ashamed and not willing, but I encouraged them by saying we would have coffee and biscuits during our discussion. As we sipped coffee, I shared about the life of Zacchaeus, and they listened intently, sometimes even laughing. I challenged them to believe and to accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of their life. Everyone who was there accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Michael led the second week Bible study, and he shared his life testimony.

  • Pray for the new believers to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
  • Pray for more people to join the Bible study.

Michael was an amateur boxer in another province during his teenage years. His bad experiences in this other province led him to go to Manila for work. However, he continued his bad vices until he lost his job. He was living on the street and was suspected of committing crimes, so he decided to leave Manila and return to Cebu. He was accused of some crimes and was detained in the Cebu City jail.

Inside the jail, Michael started looking for God. He humbled himself and requested that he be assigned to a cell with Christian activities. Michael was afraid and intimidated, yet tried to learn how to play the guitar and sing the gospel songs. He slowly learned more about the Bible and joined in the discussions. He practiced the guitar and with the music team. The group studied the Bible and learned about leading and preaching. After six months of instruction, Michael volunteered to conduct Bible studies in every cell that did not have any outside visitors. He continued to serve the Lord inside the jail for six years until he was given parole. At present Michael is helping us with the Cebu Chinese Cemetery Ministry. Praise the Lord.

  • Pray for the inmates to grow in faith and for the Bible studies currently being conducted inside.
  • Pray for Michael’s testimony to draw more people to Christ.
  • Pray for more Bible studies to be started in the Chinese Cemetery.
  • Pray for the financial provision to conduct water baptism for the new believers.
  • Pray for physical strength and wisdom in leading the ministry.

Aget is his nickname. At the age of fourteen, he was jailed as a thief. He was in and out of jail over fifteen times. At the age of eighteen, he was detained in the Cebu City jail as a pickpocketer, snatcher, and robber. He was convicted for attempted homicide and robbery and sent to the maximum-security cells in the National Bilibid Prison in Manila. Then he was transferred to the Davao Penal colony for seven years. Fourteen years ago, he was freed and returned to Cebu. He was hired by a well-known political clan in Consolacion, in Cebu. He became the personal bodyguard for the mayor for five years. Then he was accused of child abuse by a neighbor and sent to the Cebu City Jail for over a year. When Typhon Haiyan hit Cebu six years ago, Aget was injured with nail spikes from the intense winds. He did not see a doctor and assumed it would all be fine until his legs started swelling. He was brought to the hospital, and the doctor decided his leg needed to be amputated. He is using crutches to walk. I talked with him about the gospel and shared the love of God for all sinners. For two weeks, I visited him. Finally, he surrendered his life and received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Aget has two sons in the Cebu City jail male dorm.

  • Pray for Aget’s testimony to the people in the community.
  • Pray for his two sons.

July 2019

For weekly activities, many attendees bring their own chair or sit on the floor since many of our chairs are worn out or damaged. God saw our need for more seats and used people to provide for this need. We thank God for seven new chairs. Praise the Lord for new chairs.

  • Pray for the needs of the church to be met as we still need more chairs.
  • Pray for the spiritual growth of our church members.

Bobby was one of the inmates in prison, they called him “mayor.” He was fifty-nine years old and detained in the Cebu City Jail for over five years. He was accused by the police officer of selling marijuana, but he was actually a pickpocketer. He was caught on camera stealing and arrested a month later. While in the jail, he was elected to be in charge of the Cebu brigade but continued to use shabu (methamphetamine) while detained. When he was transferred to the maximum cell, he was assigned to be an aid to the former commander of the whole jail inmates. In the maximum cell, vices and gambling are not allowed; instead, the inmates have prayer devotions at three am every morning and Bible study at seven. Through this influence, Boddy accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior two years ago and was released from jail soon after his conversion. Currently, Bobby helps me in the Chinese Cemetery by encouraging former PDL (persons deprived of liberty) to continue living with the Lord and to grow in their faith.

  • Pray for Bobby’s witness to other former PDL’s as they experience physical and spiritual freedom.
  • Pray for the inmates in the maximum cell to hear about Jesus Christ through the required Bible study and to come to faith in God.

Every Tuesday afternoon, we have the faith class in Sityo Kalapukan at the back of the Chinse Cemetery. We gather in sister Yolanda’s house. It was raining, and there is a lot of mud mixed with water flowing through in this place, so it’s called kalapukan (meaning muddy).  Sometimes it smells terrible when the dirt clogs in the drains, but despite these physical challenges, the people there are eager to learn and grow in their faith.

  • Pray for the faith class to grow as they study God’s Word together.
  • Pray for safety and health for the people in this location.

Our Sari-Sari store has been established for only a month, our investment in this business came from our savings group. Last May, we started the savings group with the help of Ma’am Arlene, from the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), a non-profit group that helps those below the poverty level in the Philippines. We started our savings with weekly additions of ten Philippines pesos (about nineteen cents). Now we have rice and a variety of essential commodities and a trisikad (tri-bike) for buying products in the market.

  • Pray for the Sari-Sari store to grow and help provide an income for the people.
  • Pray for the establishment of a good work ethic as the believers seek to supplement their income through small business.
  • Pray for the livelihood of the church members.

Praise the Lord for a group that helps those below the poverty level start savings to open small businesses.

Two volunteer missionaries from Luzon visited the Carreta cemetery ministry. They helped us evangelize in the community and led Bible studies to encourage the brethren in their commitment to God. They were blessed to see the joyful living Christians among the tombs of the dead, our physical location for the meeting is in a cemetery. They assisted with ministry to the children, women, and men. Praise the Lord.

  • Pray for more leaders in our location.
  • Pray for good health, provision, and safety for the pastor and his family.

June 2019

Pastor Steve visited the Cebu Chinese Cemetery Ministry with Pastor Chris and the other White Fields church planters. The children were excited to perform their song and dance for the occasion. After the presentation, I introduced each pastor, and then I introduced Pastor Steve, the president of White Fields. The brethren stood up to show their respect. Pastor Steve greeted them, and a gave a message of encouragement. The believers were blessed and refreshed in their faith. Praise the Lord.

Later in the month, after preaching at Mambaling outreach, Pastor Chris revisited us. Brother Melvin gave him a ride on his motorbike. They arrived after the Sunday service was done and the adults were discussing the future meeting location for the church fellowship. Pastor Chris encouraged us to continue to meet in the cemetery and inspired some of the believers to enroll in the Cebu Korean Church School of Theology. He plans to conduct leadership training and teach the church leaders how to do a Bible study. As part of this process, his leaders will be coming to help us this summer. We are excited to have regular visits from Pastor Chris.

  • Pray for our search for a proper place for a worship center.
  • Pray for us to train the church leaders to become Bible study leaders.
  • Pray for the formation of a music team.

Six Criminology students needed to buy their books and were waiting for the bookstore to open. The store is next door to our office, so they were standing outside, Pastor Chris invited them into our office while they were waiting. When I arrive for our Monday meeting, I noticed the students and introduced myself. We talked for a while, and then I shared the gospel. I told them about the love of God to all sinners and that only Jesus Christ can save us from our sins. Jesus is the only way to heaven. I explained the plan of God to save mankind, and they understood my words. These six Criminology students accepted Jesus Christ and confessed Him as their Savior and the Lord of their lives.

  • Pray for these students to grow in their new faith and for them to stay connected with a church as they pursue their studies.
  • Pray for their influence in the future in their professional field.

Dr. Matt, his family, and the children’s shelter of Cebu team visited us. Dr. Matt shared the gospel and explained about the faith of a child. The believers were encouraged by his message. Dr. Matt and his team were amused and awed by the ministry inside the cemetery. Their hearts were moved by the joy despite the poverty that they saw among the people. A week later, some of the White Fields church platers, my wife and I went to the children’s shelter of Cebu for a dental cleaning and a dental check-up.

Sister Jean is from the Island of Bantayan, in the Northern part of Cebu, and lives in the Cebu Chinese Cemetery with her live-in partner and their four children. Jean brought her children each Saturday morning for the children’s ministry and waited afterward for them to finish their activities. I approached her and invited her to attend the fellowship. She was hesitant at first, but then came for the Mother’s Day celebration in May. After the preaching, I called the mothers to come up to the front and prayed for them. We gave each of them a kilo of rice and the youth gave them flowers. Each Saturday, she continues to bring her children to the children’s ministry and has started to attend the Sunday service each week with her brother.

Jean was amazed and moved to tears as this was her first-time receiving flowers.

  • Pray for our youth to grow in their faith.
  • Pray for the church members to pursue their serious commitment to God.
  • Pray for the financial provision for my wife to visit Manila this summer.

May 2019

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 adjusts 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.

April 2019

Evangeline has been married to Pedrito for ten years, and they have one son. Pedrito was in the Cebu City Jail male dorm, and he had been a detainee for only eight months, but by God’s grace was given parole this month. Despite his release, he did not stay in Carreta for security reasons. Evangeline had been attending a Christian church for almost eleven years but did not understand the message of salvation. One day she attended our fellowship in the cemetery. I had a chance to talk to her and explained salvation; reiterating that attending a Christian church is not required for salvation, but accepting Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior would lead to salvation. On one Sunday, we prayed for those in the church who had no job, and Evangeline came to the front for prayer. A week later, she had a job and was enthusiastic to see God’s answer to her prayers. Since then, she has the desire to learn more about the Word of God.

  • Pray for Evangeline’s spiritual growth, protection, and provision.

Glenn is fifty-two. He has been put in jail four times since 1989 for different crimes, the most recent for drugs. Even while in prison, he never changed his lifestyle. One day, Glenn passed the billiard hall and eavesdropped on the pastor’s Bible study. Since then, he officially joined the Bible study and listened attentively in addition to helping us in the ministry.  Every morning Glenn reads the Bible before going to work. Now he is fully committed to our Lord Jesus Christ in his life. Praise the Lord for the diligent pastors and church workers in the jail.

  • Pray for an even stronger commitment, provision, and protection on those who minister in the jail.
  • Pray for Glenn to be stronger and more committed to God.

When I visited the shanty of Bernadette, I found that their stove had not been used for quite some time simply because they had no money to buy food. The mother of three earns money by washing the laundry clothes of the neighborhood. She is paid by pieces of clothing. If there is no laundry to wash, she does not get paid. At times, she asks the food stalls to let her clean their utensils to earn the excess food. Sometimes they are unable to attend the fellowship because they are looking for food. I encouraged Bernadette to continue trusting God despite these trials.

  • Pray for Bernadette to have a steadier source of income and to be able to provide food for her children.
  • Pray for her daily needs to be met.

My father passed away last month due to complications from diabetes. We held the funeral in the Christian church. Some of my relatives approached me and advised me to have the funeral in the Catholic church because they received threats from the Catholic lay ministers who visited during the wake (vigil lasting several days). We praise the Lord that the threats did not hinder people from attending my father’s funeral. Many who heard the gospel believed and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

  • Pray for those who heard the gospel and responded, to be committed to learning and growing in their new faith.
  • Pray for comfort for the pastor and his family.
  • Pray for financial provision for the pastor’s family as he pays off funeral expenses.

Five adults and three children delegates were sent to Manila for a Christian Convention. My companions were parolees who had never been to Manila. Each one has a story. The brethren in Manila were blessed by the testimonies of how God had changed their lives in jail, and the brethren were unable to believe that they were former detainees. We sang a Cebuano gospel song during the convention. My group was blessed by the gathering. Back in Cebu, they shared with joy what they had learned at the seminars.

  • Pray for more chairs for the Carreta fellowship.
  • Pray for Eton and Ann for their church wedding next month.

March 2019

Every Tuesday afternoon, in the house of one of our church leaders, we have a mentoring group taught by Pastor Cris Pano. Two men and five women attend the class. The information is helpful to the new believers, especially here in Carreta. The course material is in English, but I translate and explain the concepts in Cebuano. At first, the group was too shy to ask questions, but they are growing in understanding and excitement as they learn. Some desire to teach other members in the future. We study and then drink coffee and have snacks while we discuss the information.

  • Pray for the class members to grow in their knowledge of God’s Word and to gain confidence as they learn.
  • Pray for their desire to share the gospel and teach others.

This month, a group started to sell rice and corn. Their initial investment came from the CCT Savings group. They borrowed a small amount and began with one sack of rice. After two weeks, they expanded to one sack of rice and one sack of corn. Most of the customers are our brethren and some neighbors. They can offer competitive pricing compared with other sellers in the Carreta cemetery. Filipinos love to eat rice. Every meal needs to include rice.

  • Pray for the livelihood program to grow and bless the hard work of the believers who are seeking to earn an honest living to support their families.

Brother Eton was in prison due to selling illegal drugs. His entire family was in jail. His mother was detained in the female dorm and was temporarily released for plea bargaining. His father, brother, and cousins were in the same detention cell in the male dorm. Eton has a live-in partner and three children. One day, Eton decided to go to the church on the rooftop of the city jail compound. He heard the preacher say, “Husbands, love our wife as Christ loves the church.” He realized that he was not doing this as he had blocked his wife’s phone number and so she could not reach him. He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He is now sharing the gospel with his family. When Eton surrendered his life to Jesus, he stopped selling drugs and started a sari-sari store inside the detention cell. He attended Bible study in jail for almost a year and was a very attentive listener. He was detained for two years and six months. His case was not bailable, but when he applied for plea bargaining, the court granted his request because he passed the drug test and medical check-up. He has been released from jail, and soon his family members will be released as well.

Praise the Lord for His marvelous work in Eton’s life. Eton asked if I could pick him up when he was released, and we praised God for His grace. Currently, Eton is helping in the prison ministry, and we hold a Bible study at their home.

  • Pray for Eton and his entire family.
  • Pray for Eton and his live-in partner as they prepare to be married.
  • Pray for Eton’s understanding of the Bible to grow and for his ministry in prison.
  • Pray for wisdom and grace in his conversations and for more detainees to come to faith in God.

Tatay (“Father”) Willie and Nanay (“Mother”) Nesa are old. They have a daughter who was working as a domestic helper in Kuwait. Unfortunately, their daughter died from a car accident while in Kuwait and her body is being brought back to the Philippines. Willie and Nesa request prayer for their fares so they can return to their hometown to complete the needed documents.

  • Pray for Willie and Nesa to be comforted as they deal with the tragic loss of their daughter.
  • Pray for financial provision for their travel expenses to southern Leyte.

My father was a diabetic and seventy-seven years old; he was using insulin to control his diabetes and under the care of doctors. He was confined at the Balamban District Hospital. I visited him, to pray and encourage him, and share the gospel with the other patients and their family in the hospital room. I challenged them to accept and believe in Jesus. I prayed with them individually. My father was scheduled for an ultrasound this month and was temporarily discharged from the hospital. Just recently he died, but I am sure he accepted Jesus while he was alive.

Pray for the family of Pastor Jonet as they deal with this loss.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth of the Carreta brethren.
  • Pray for their understanding of God’s Word to increase as they study and learn.
  • Pray for boldness to share the gospel with their neighbors.
  • Pray for our upcoming events in the next few months, for God’s provision for the family camp in Manila and for our travel to Manila with Eton, James, and Murphy.

January 2018

Marichu is a factory worker for a printing company. I met her inside the Cebu City jail male dormitory when she was visiting her live-in partner. She has been attending the fellowship with him in the maximum cell security section of the jail; he was accused of selling illegal drugs. Recently, I visited her house to share the gospel with her family. We prayed, and her mother accepted the Lord Jesus Christ. They decided they wanted to have a Bible study in their compound and are excited.

  • Pray for Marichu and her family to grow in their faith and for all to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Pray for the Bible study in their home.

South Korean missionaries from the Cebu Korean Church went to the Carreta Chinese Cemetery for gift-giving of first aid medicine kits for the adults and snacks for the kids. They presented a song and dance number along with the Cebuano gospel song. The children were thrilled, and the missionaries were blessed to serve.

Give thanks for the blessings from the Cebu Korean Church.

John was a former detainee and after two months in jail, was released last month. At his release time, I picked him up, and we got fast food together. He was thrilled to eat spaghetti and cheese dogs again as they were his favorite foods. After dinner, he stayed at my house and told me about his background. He was a varsity player at a well-known university in Cebu City. His father was a former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) player, and his brother is still playing for the team. His early life was miserable; he took drugs and any illegal substances. Due to his addiction, he stole things inside their home to sell and use the money to buy drugs.  Six years ago, his live-in partner was raped and committed suicide. Her rapist committed suicide too. John has a child who is in the care of his live-in partner’s twin sister.

His father sent him to jail, but he continually ran away. The police wanted him in Cebu city, and one day he voluntarily surrendered himself at the police station. God had a reason for him to be in prison, last November, inside his prison cell, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He is young in his faith but desires to follow Jesus for the rest of his life. Currently, John wishes to work as a waiter and join his mother and younger brother in Manila. He stayed at my house for a week as his father has not accepted him since he came back from jail.

  • Pray for John as he figures out the next chapter of his life, for his faith to grow, and for him to connect with a healthy church of believers.
  • Pray for John to be released entirely from the power of drug addiction. Pray for his faith to grow and for him to find a job.
  • Pray for the relationships with his family to repaired and for his character to give testimony to the transformative power of the gospel.

My mother-in-law recently underwent leg amputation, and she is recovering with therapy. I joined my family at the end of the year, and we held communion and prayer for the new year for the family and my ministry. My mother-in-law celebrated her seventy-ninth birthday in January. She is spiritually hungry and knows that salvation is from Jesus Christ alone. She now loves to listen to Christian preachers. She realizes how important it is to serve the living God. She is proud of my calling and ministry here in Cebu. My wife assists her mother when she can, and they are happy when I am with them in Manila.

  • Pray for my mother-in-law to recover and gain strength. Pray for her to grow in her new-found faith. Pray for my wife as she helps care for her mother.

Murphy was freed the day before John. They were in the same maximum-security cell, and Murphy was in jail for almost two years. When he was eight years old, he started taking drugs. He lived in Mambaling, and this place is very drug-infested. When he was arrested, they caught him with money and five bundles of drugs. They brought him to the police station, and the arresting officer used only two packets of drugs and some cash as evidence, having kept the rest. Murphy states, “I could not complain or react because I was selling drugs to the police asset and they looked for the marked bill as evidence to prove to me that I was selling illegal drugs.”

While in the jail, the cell he was assigned to had specific rules, at three-am they woke up and prayed till five-am and then had a person devolution and Bible study before breakfast. He came to know the Lord through the ministry of the pastors who conducted a Bible study twice a week. When he was paroled, I waited for him and then fed him and his live-in partner food. Murphy was amazed by all the new buildings and changes that had occurred while he was in jail. He helps us in Carreta Chinese Cemetery. One of the former detainees, Danny, visits him. Danny has a new job and is no longer able to join me twice a week for the Bible study.

  • Pray for Murphy to grow and mature in his faith.
  • Pray for the Carreta brethren to grow and persist in their commitment to serve God.

December 2018

We received a gift of musical instruments from the Cebu City jail detainees. I lead a Bible study in the male dormitory every Wednesday, and they also have a fellowship on Sunday where I preach on the third Sunday of the month. The head of the group,  Bobong led the inmates to donate a beatbox and tambourine to our ministry in Carreta since they purchased new instruments for their group. I thank God for their generosity, even though the instruments are used, they will be useful to our fellowship in Carreta and are a great witness of the changed lives of the men who have been saved by the grace of God.

  • Pray for the group of believers who meet inside the Cebu City jail, for their faith to be firm as they serve their time and for their testimony to fellow inmates and the jail officials.
  • Pray for their families to have their daily needs met and to be reunited as a family.

The Cebu Korean Church has a tradition every Christmas season to give groceries to the less fortunate Filipino people. They blessed fifteen families among our brethren in Carreta with this food. There was a time of fellowship with the church, Pastor Park and worship led by Chris and Ma’am Jean. The brethren from Carreta went home with smiles and happiness for the blessing they received from the Cebu Korean Church.

The staff at Hope 4 Kidz called me to ask for the names of families who had a member in the jail.  They wanted to bless these families with groceries and toys. I asked them to bless the family of Jerald and Bernadeth. I have shared their story in previous reports. Jerald is a PDL (person deprived by law) in the Cebu City Jail. In the past, he had asked me to visit his family and convince them to join the fellowship in Carreta. I had visited Bernadeth, and she is now attending our fellowship. When the day of giving came, the staff and Ma’am Chona from Hope 4 Kidz traveled to Bernadeth’s house. The path was not easy to navigate, but no one complained, for they were thrilled to be bringing joy to others. Bernadeth was so overwhelmed that she cried, not understanding why anyone would take the time and effort to travel the path, climb the stairs, and bring groceries and toys to her home.  Bernadeth’s children were happy and thankful for the gifts they received.

  • Pray for the leader of the ministry of Hope 4 Kidz, Ma’am Chona, she came down with a fever, she is very enthusiastic in her work, and we are praying for her to take the appropriate time to recover.
  • Pray for Bernadeth and Jerald’s family to have their daily needs met and be secure in their faith.

Abeth used to live near Carreta and regularly attended our Sunday fellowship. When she moved to another place, she came only occasionally. I was surprised to learn that she passed away at the end of December due to a medical issue. Her ex-convict partner and four children survive her. I praise the Lord that she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior while she was still alive. I conducted the funeral service for her bereaved family and shared the story of the rich man and Lazarus. I challenged the people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Often, a funeral is a reminder to those who hear of how short life is and how it can end unexpectedly.

  • Pray for the family of Abeth as they mourn the loss of their wife and mother. Pray for this event to draw them closer to God.
  • Pray for more souls to be saved in Carreta.

One day as I conducted street evangelism in the cemetery, I saw one of our members approaching the corner. She explained they were on their way to the well. I was curious and learned that the well is inside the mausoleum. The community fetches water from this well to bathe, wash clothes and for cleaning. They purchase clean water from the water district for cleaning their kitchen utensils and for drinking or cooking. The well was dug over forty years ago, and the neighborhood cleans it weekly. They get their water from the well to save some of the expense of purchasing the commercially available water source which is sold by the gallon or pail by one of the neighbors. Most of our church members fetch water from this well.

November 2018

Willie and Leoniza

Willie and Leoniza were invited by Emma to attend the Sunday Fellowship inside the cemetery.  After I preached, I talked with them about the love of God and salvation. They accepted the Lord Jesus as the Savior and King of their lives. Leoniza is eighty-three and Willie is seventy-eight. Willie was a former seaman from Southern Leyte.  Leoniza is originally from the northern part of Cebu, she has difficulty hearing but is still eager to be involved and is always by Willie’s side. Willie is anxious to know more about Jesus and grow in his faith, he attends the Thursday afternoon Bible study class and prayer group. We hold Bible studies outside on their street. When I visit them, their menu consists of mostly rice and a small piece of dried fish.

  • Pray for Willie and Leoniza to grow in their faith.
  • Pray for their daily needs to be met and for their good health.

The first time I saw her, she was sitting in the back with a smile on her face.  After service, I talked with Jacqueline, and she is now regularly attending the fellowship. She has three children. I visited her house inside the cemetery. When I arrived, her husband was asleep. When Jacqueline woke him up, he was angry that she disturbed his sleep, so I hastily introduced myself as the pastor so that he would calm down. After a little conversation, I prayed for her husband to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Jacqueline is actively helping with our visitation ministry and is eager to learn more about Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for Jacqueline’s husband to come to an understanding of the gospel, and for his life to be transformed by the gospel, he sometimes uses drugs.
  • Pray for Jacqueline to stay grounded in the faith and to grow in her knowledge of God.

Dan Dan was detained in the Cebu City Jail for more than two years. He had been arrested with false evidence planted to convict him despite his innocence. I visited him last December when they were conducting a Bible study in their cell, so I shared with them from God’s Word. He was released at the end of November and the next Saturday morning; he approached me smiling. I asked him, “Do you remember me? I visited you in jail last December.” He replied, “I can never forget you.” He explained that it hurt to be falsely accused and imprisoned. But while he was in jail, he believed and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and committed to following Him for the rest of his life. His girlfriend had left him, and so he alone is caring for his children.

  • Pray for Dan Dan to find a job so he can provide for the needs of his family.

Anabel, Mara Mae, Jacqueline, and Jessica are four leaders who want to be trained to become Bible study leaders. Last month, we traveled to the White Fields office to take the faith class mentoring by our field director, Cris Pano. We are meeting every week for a Bible class in mentoring and a prayer group in Anabel’s house.

  • Pray for their faith and love for God to never change or grow dim. 
  • Pray for their knowledge and wisdom to expand as they study the Word of God.
  • Pray for the necessary funds to do a water baptism for our new believers in the next month.

October 2018

Renren was recently released from the Cebu City jail. That morning, I received his release papers from the court. During my regular visit to the jail for Bible study, I gave him the release papers. He was very happy and excited. His case was about drug crimes, and his conviction was for six months and one day, but he stayed for almost seven months. I came back that evening for his release and waited at the front of the jail. Before being released, inmates undergo a process of screening and counseling by the jail officers. When Renren’s turn came for counseling, he told them that his pastor was waiting at the gate. The jail officer saw me outside and released Renren into my care with no further counseling required. I treated Renren to dinner and brought him home to his family.

      

Renren gave his testimony on Sunday of how he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior when he was inside the jail. Now Renren is helping in the Carreta ministry with Dexter, who was his former jail mate. Dexter was released in February of this year after serving his sentence; his testimony was shared in my report last spring. Dexter taught Renren how to play the guitar, so Renren is a part of the music team and accompanying us to the jail to play guitar for the Bible studies.

Give thanks for the salvation and testimony of Renren to the inmates and jail officers.

  • Pray for Renren to be strong against influences from his previous life and to grow in his knowledge of the Bible.

Roger passed away at the end of last month after battling many health problems as I have shared in previous reports. His wife called me seeking advice and comfort as they had spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital before his death and had medical bills to pay. We praise God for Roger’s faithful service to the Lord and regular attendance at our church meetings. I talked to the family and prayed with them. We discussed funeral arrangements, and they asked the music team to play. I shared the gospel and challenged the listeners to accept and believe the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior. For the burial service, I accompanied the family to the cemetery to comfort and encourage the whole family and relatives.

  • Pray for the family of Roger, for his wife and his daughter Roselyn. In a previous report, I shared about Roselyn and her questions regarding salvation. Pray for any of her doubts to be removed and for comfort at this time.
  • Pray for those who are Christians, for their faith to be strong and for God to comfort them during this time of mourning.
  • Pray for the relatives and friends who heard the gospel to desire salvation and come to faith in Jesus Christ.

Gerald is a detainee in Cebu City Jail. He was accused of selling illegal drugs and illegal possession of firearms. During one of my Bible studies at the jail, Gerald listened intently to the Word of God. Gerald accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. He was baptized inside the jail. He was formerly considered a bad boy by the inhabitants in the jail, and the influence of God on his life is visible to those around him. After I preached, he approached me and asked if I could visit his family. I agreed to visit Bernadette and her four children, as they are living inside Ludo Chinese Cemetery, which is adjacent to the Carreta Chinese cemetery. When we first went to see the family it was nighttime, so they asked us to return another time. We did, and this time was welcomed. I told Bernadette about Gerald’s request and shared with her the gospel. I challenged her to believe and accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. I prayed for her to be comforted by the Word of God. Bernadette’s source of income is through helping her relatives in an eatery. She visits Gerald regularly and plans to attend our fellowship.

           

  • Pray for Bernadette to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Pray for their four children to be saved.
  • Pray for Gerald’s testimony and witness to the inmates and jail officials as he finishes serving his sentence. Pray for others to come to salvation.

Emma consistently attends our worship gathering in the tent despite her arthritis. Since we moved the tent to a location that is closer to her home, Emma has been attending more frequently and inviting other people, especially the elderly, to participate as well.  When I visited Emma’s home, I saw her sharing one cup of noodles without rice with her granddaughters. They have no electricity in her house. Every Sunday, Emma cleans the fellowship area with the help of her granddaughter. Emma is interested in attending the leadership training conducted by Pastor Cris.

Give thanks for the faithful service of Emma and her desire to bring others to the worship gathering.

  • Pray for the daily needs of Emma and her granddaughters to be met. Pray for Emma’s physical strength.

One afternoon, I conducted street evangelism in the Ludo Chinese cemetery. I shared the love of God with the people sitting along the sidewalk. I challenged them to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Praise the Lord! All of them accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. One lady, (in the white and green t-shirt) is now attending our fellowship and has joined the music team with the other youth.

Give thanks for the salvation of the people sitting along the sidewalk, pray for those who made a profession of faith to attend the fellowship and grow in their knowledge of God.

Give thanks to the lady who has been saved and joined the music team. Pray for her as she learns and grows as a new Christian.

  • Pray for the evangelism ministry to reach more people with the gospel and for Pastor Jonet to have wisdom and courage as he shares about the love of God.
  • Pray for Pastor Jonet’s mother-in-law who is in the hospital ICU.

September 2018

I received a phone call from the police station where a woman was complaining of her husband hurting her.  He was imprisoned three years ago for domestic violence and was recently released and had made the promise of not beating his wife again. Unfortunately, when he is under the influence of alcohol and drugs, he hurts his wife. The police decreed that he was not able to stay at the house or be near his wife. I am counseling this couple and doing a Bible study with them.

  • Pray for God to touch the hearts of this couple and transformed their lives through the power of the gospel.

I was walking along the street, and I heard a voice shouting. I looked back and saw a woman who I recognized as one of the scavengers. They live on the street in front of the university where I shared the gospel. I asked her why she was staying in that miserable place and she answered that the area she was had been demolished. The street dwellers sleep under the trees, but when the rain comes, they run to find a covered shelter. During our conversation, she cooked food using old utensils collected from the garbage. I gave her some money to buy rice. She remembered the day when I shared about Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for another opportunity to meet this woman and for God to call her to Himself.
  • Pray for more permanent shelter for the street dwellers.

I visited the Wake (three to the seven-day gathering after the death of a loved one) of Diane’s grandfather. I went to encourage the family as they mourn their loss. I was surprised to find that Diane, despite her young age, was living with a boyfriend and had a child. Her boyfriend is the son of a detainee at Cebu City Jail. Her aunt is attending our fellowship.

  • Pray for Diane to make a total commitment to God and for the salvation of her whole family.

The young people put up a canopy for a temporary meeting place. We had a snack and fellowship time. I explained to them about God’s love and challenged them to accept the Lord Jesus as their Christ and Savior of their lives. Several accepted and believe in Jesus. We are looking for a clean place to put up the canopy more permanently.

  • Pray for the young people to come to a complete understanding of the gospel.
  • Pray for a more permanent location inside the cemetery to put the canopy more permanently.
  • Pray for Roger who is in the hospital with pulmonary tuberculosis disease.
  • Continue to pray for my mother-in-law who is still in the hospital as well.

August 2018

I recently attended a training on how to use an audio Bible on a device called the Proclaimer’s Bible. This device uses solar, a crank, or electricity to play the Word of God and will be beneficial to our ministry since it does not always require power. In Carreta Chinese Cemetery fellowship, many of our members have no electricity, and we are excited to use an audio Bible to hear God’s Word in our Bible study and Sunday service.

Give thanks for the audio Bible and for the use of this tool to reach our people with the Word of God.

After the Bible study at Roger’s house, I always travel through a very narrow pathway in the slum area. This neighborhood is a place with many illegal drugs. This time, there was flooding in front of Roger’s house, so I left by the road instead. I saw two women, and they greeted me. Since the people generally are suspicious of strangers, I started the conversation by introducing myself as a pastor who does a Bible study at Roger’s house.  I shared the gospel and the love of God with them. Their hearts were open, and they accepted and believed in Jesus Christ as their Savior. I encouraged them to attend the fellowship in Carreta Chinese Cemetery.

  • Pray for these two women to come to the fellowship and to grow in their understanding of salvation.

Marnie, Roger’s niece, attends the Bible study. One time, the topic was about the wise and foolish builders from Matthew. After the Bible study, I challenged her to be a wise builder and to put her trust in Jesus Christ. She accepted Jesus into her life as her Savior. When she can, she attends the Sunday fellowship in Carreta Chinese Cemetery. She recently lost her job as a waitress and is praying for a new job. Her husband is detained in the Tagbilaran city jail for a drug-related charge and has been there for more than a year. She is alone to care for her children and is unable to visit her husband from lack of finances. Marnie is very attentive and eager to grow in her new faith in God.

  • Pray for Marnie to grow in her faith and to trust God with her daily needs, a new job, and the future.
  • Pray for Marnie’s husband to be curious about her faith and to accept Jesus Christ as his Savior too.
  • Pray for Marnie’s husband to be released, or his case dismissed and for him to reunite with his family.

There is a vacant lot that is a small area but good for a church building. It is located inside the cemetery. I asked permission from the security officers who man the premises of the cemetery. They asked that I first meet with the Chinese Cemetery administrator and request permission to use this lot. I am planning to meet with the administrator soon.

  • Pray for a positive answer from the administrator about this vacant lot.
  • Pray for my mother-in-law, Nanay, who has a thrombosis disease; she is in the hospital.

July 2018

Parents forgive their Prodigal Son

Brother Jojo is one of the inmates in Cebu City Jail. He listens attentively to God’s Word. As I preached to the inmates, I challenged them to reach out to their families and Jojo responded. He gave me the address of his parents, in the province of Barili. I asked him to write a letter, but he was hesitant. He confessed that his parents were angry at him for using drugs for many years. His parents trusted him with money for his business. But he spent the money on illegal drugs and was ashamed for what he did to his parents. Then he started to cry. I encouraged him, if you believe in Jesus Christ and ask for forgiveness, your parents might forgive you, like in the story of the Prodigal son. He wrote a letter to his parents asking for forgiveness. Pray that his life will be truly transformed and that his parents will forgive him.

I traveled two hours to Barili to find Jojo’s parents and joined Pastor Jerry, another White Fields Pastor. Finding the house, we introduced ourselves to the couple and explained how we had met Jojo in the Cebu City Jail. They were very happy to hear that their son was eagerly listening to the Word of God. The father was surprised to hear that his son’s life was changed. As I handed him the letter from his son, they began to cry. We prayed for the couple and asked if we could visit them again. They said yes, you can visit because the word of God changed their son’s life.

  • Pray for Jojo to be a witness to the other inmates in Cebu City Jail and to his parents.
  • Pray for the family of Jojo, that Pastor Gerry will visit the family regularly and they will respond to the gospel.
  • Pray for Jojo to grow in maturity and faith in the Lord.

Questions of Salvation

At her second time attending the Bible study, Roselyn, the daughter of Roger, started asking questions about salvation. I explained to her about God’s love and I prayed for her. She is curious and wants to grow in her faith. She is attending our fellowship on her day off and works as a private nurse to an elderly person. Roselyn is dreaming of being a licensed nurse someday. Roger, her father, despite his health condition (asthma and an enlarged heart), is very active in hearing the Word of God and attends every Sunday in our fellowship in Carretta Chinese Cemetery.

  • Pray for Roselyn to understand and accept salvation.
  • Pray for Roselyn’s studies to become a licensed nurse and to pass the exams.

Parents of Michael

The youngest inmate in Cebu City Jail is attending our fellowship in the jail every Wednesday. One time, Michael asked me to visit his parents. I did and told them that he was beginning a new life and walking in faith with the Lord. His parents are so happy to hear from Michael. I encouraged them to attend our church. I shared with them about the goodness of God and how He loves us, even the sinners. Michael’s father is now working as a community guard in Carretta and his mother attends our church every Sunday.

Ritchel

Ritchel, Michael’s girlfriend, lives in the Carreta Chinese Cemetery. She has a child from a previous boyfriend and a three-month-old baby from Michael. There are a lot of siblings in her family and they do not have enough space in her family’s home, so she decided to stay in the cemetery. When I first met her, she was not interested in Christianity but now she wants to be involved in the Bible study and to learn more. Pray for her to find a job and attend the Bible study regularly.

  • Pray for the parents of Michael to be open to the gospel.
  • Pray for Ritchel’s faith in the Lord and for a job to support her family

Slippers

One Wednesday morning in the City Jail, I saw four inmates from Carretta, with no slippers. After the fellowship, I asked them why they were not wearing slippers. Their answer was simple, we have no slippers. Somebody donated money, P100 ($2), and I bought four pairs of slippers. I went back on Friday to distribute the four pairs of slippers. They were excited to receive them. Pray that God would use this opportunity to interest them in salvation.

Spring 2018

(1) As I began to work and know the people in Caretta I met Diana who lives in the cemetery. She is fifteen years old and is pregnant with her first child. She lives with the father of her child, but they did not have any interest in God word. In December she celebrated her birthday and gave birth to her child a few days later, I visited her and asked her, “What hindered her from attending church and hearing God’s word?” She shared that it was a waste of her time. As we talked, she mentioned her broken family and her father’s crimes that landed him in jail. She’s never had the opportunity to focus on God or life because of the problems that grew up surrounding her. When Diana’s father first went to jail, she did not know where he was at, but eventually, she found him.

I happen to volunteer in the same jail and took time to locate Diana’s father and invite him to the Bible study we have each week. He attended our study and afterward came up to me and said he would like to become a follower of Jesus! I went back and spoke to Diane about her father and the commitment he made to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Diana is now attending Sunday school and had decided to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior as well. She told me she feels peace and joy in her life and is no longer fearful about the future.

Flowers speak a thousand words

Lady Nanay

(2) The simple gesture of a flower can brighten a person, especially if they never received from anyone. Meet Nanay who is 68 years old. Before visiting our church, she was a devout Catholic, and had also attended a Jehovah Witness church, but said she felt very uncomfortable with their teachings. She yearned to find real religion and felt empty in her life. Nanay was abandoned by her husband a long time ago, and ever since has been angry. One day she came to our church, and when I gave the altar call, she came up and said she wanted to believe in Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. Nanay attends church early every Sunday, and her transformation of the heart is evident that the Lord is working through her. She’s eager to learn and is attentive when we are teaching God’s word. Currently, she lives in the cemetery taking care of the mausoleums. She sleeps on top of one of them with her map and mosquito net. Despite her living situation, she is joyful to have committed her life to the Lord. Her prayer is that she will grow and follow Jesus faithfully for the rest of her life.

Children and Fathers

Children at the Carreta Cemetery

We have many children that come to our children’s ministry, between 150-200 children come. The children come to hear the stories I tell them and are eager to learn. However, many of the children do not have fathers. The men are imprisoned in jail for robbery, drug dealing, and murder. Without God’s leading these children they may become just like their fathers. These children suffer the consequences of their father’s actions, but even in this situation, the children can have a sense of peace in their lives. They still talk about their dreams of becoming soldiers, teachers, engineers, and even preachers. I encourage and challenge each one to trust God and accept His salvation.

God’s Word To Prisoners

The Local Jailhouse

Every Thursday before I go to Carreta cemetery I stop and visit Mabolo Police station to do a bible study with the inmates. In the crowded jail, I told them that God loves them, that Jesus died on the cross for all sinners, and those who believe in Him shall be saved. Join me in praying God will transform these men’s lives. “Believe in Jesus Christ you and your household will be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

Goodbye Nanay

(3) I introduced you to Nanay last month, and am saddened to tell you that she has passed away at the age of 68. I attended her funeral and met her children who traveled from different provinces here in the Philippines. I prayed for her family and relatives. One of her daughters is a Jehovah Witness, and when she heard her mother accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, she showed very little emotion. Nanay attended the Carreta fellowship for more than a month. During her funeral, I gathered the little children to watch a Christian Superbook movie on my mobile phone. After watching the video, I explained to them that God loves us so much that even while we are sinners, he died for us. I challenge them to accept and believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior of their life.

The children followed my prayer for salvation and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior in their life. The young children asked if I would lead a children’s ministry in their area, I was touched by the eagerness in their heart even in their younger age.

Children Ministry

Local Children

At the first children’s class, I started our lesson on the man who was paralyzed. After sharing with them the same story, I asked them to portray the role of Jesus and the paralytic man. They were shy at first because they don’t know each other, but as the story went on, they performed very well in the role playing and understood how important their purpose was.

After the drama, I asked them what they learned from the story. They replied that “It is crucial to hear the word of God” and they told me that they are happy to help other people and have unity.

Blessing through a Basketball

Basketball Ministry

We had a visitor during one of our Sunday services. Our brother from the Cebu Korean Church came and fellowship with us. He noticed the basketball was flat; he blessed the children by giving them his ball. We were all very grateful for his generosity.

I often visit the jail and noticed this time that some of the prisoners were paying attention extra to what I was saying about Jesus Christ. I told them that Jesus Christ was the only way and religion through man could not save them. I told them that Jesus loves us, even though we are all sinners. I challenge them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

(4) I would like to introduce Alex, a member of the Prison Ministry in Cebu City. When Alex first arrived in Cebu, he had one goal in mind, and that was to work. Alex worked in a convent with his Nun aunt for one year but eventually decided to work outside of the convent. He met a former classmate who encouraged him to deal drugs; this is when he learned about all the different drugs and started using some for his own enjoyment. During this time Alex got sick with pneumonia and lost his job. His aunt took him in and suggested he work in the Parish again. Alex took the job but soon began to steal money from the accounting office, which led to a warrant for his arrest by the police. Eventually, he was caught and sent to prison. One day brother Patrick preached about God, and Alex became interested in what he was saying.

He continued attending the Bible teaching every day at 4 a.m. and began doing personal devotions, corporate prayer, and worship through song. Every night he read the Bible and had a Bible study in his cell. God did a miracle in Alex’s life because his heart has changed, and the officials saw it and pardoned him. He is currently training for a job with the coast guard. Please pray for Alex that he can continue to move forward and grow in his faith.

Each week I am at the Carreta cemetery serving the children that attend. Sometimes on my way home, I have children who follow me and ask me to share Bible stories with them. I have them sit and tell them stories about Jesus. The two girls who are beside me are daughters of a British National that passed away, and their Philippine mother is in prison for selling drugs. The girls are in the custody of their grandparents. Please pray for these girls, that God will be with them and protect them.

Rusiel is a new attendee at Carreta Fellowship and five months pregnant. I first met her when she came to visit her live-in partner at the police station who is accused of various crimes. When I preached among the inmates inside the cell, I saw Roy, her partner. Rusiel and I are praying that Roy will also come to know the Lord.

(5) Dexter grew up in Sunday School, and at 10 years old started playing the guitar. However, upon graduating high school though he spent time with his friends who had many bad vices. He lived loud, fast, and was always looking for a fight. He moved from Mindanao to Cebu and worked as a machine operator.

After living in Cebu Dexter received a death threat from his neighbor. The threat enraged Dexter, and he grabbed his gun and walked to his neighbor’s house and shot him. After the shooting, he fled to Carcar, Cebu to hide. He never stayed in one place too long and was continually moving until one day he was arrested in northern Cebu. He was sentenced to jail for more than 4 years while the family of the victim mediated restitution. While in prison Dexter got involved with a Christian ministry and heard the Gospel. He realized that he had forgotten God. His interest in music was revived, and his faith in God grew. He served as the guitarist and music leader and did Bible studies in deferent cells. On December 2016 he was transferred to the jail’s male dormitory, and then he was released in February 2018.

Since he was released, he has fully committed his life to the Lord. He was assigned to the music team at the church and every third Sunday he leads a bible study. He is helping in the Carreta ministry and encourages young people to become part of the music team. He also teaches that the adults should serve God. His life now is changed, and his faith is growing.

Summer 2018

(6) Lorna is from Zamboanga Del Norte in Mindanao. She has been a widow for over 20 years and is the oldest person in our fellowship. She lives inside the Carreta Cemetery with her grandson who works as a construction worker in Cebu City. At each of our bible studies, Lorna is very attentive to the word of God and has an excellent understanding of the Gospel. She helps lead others to learn more as well and will get baptized soon.

Pray for Michael who committed a crime and was imprisoned. He is attending the bible study we host in jail with 40 other detainees. We are going through the book of Ezekiel, and the stories from it are speaking to the men in the group. Pray that the Lord will touch their hearts.

Fall 2017

Praise God because He’s always there to give us the strength and joy of serving Him. He always answers our prayers and faithfully leads people to us to disciple and assists in the ministry. Our new contact is Christopher, a motorcycle driver. He has four children, two girls, and two boys. Christopher’s having a hard time physically and financially right now. Physically he suffers from hypertension, and his work is affected because of the rainy season (less income), consequentially he has quarrels with his wife. He’s had many problems in his home. His wife and mother in law are ignoring and neglecting him, but the situation has opened him to Christ. We shared with him the gospel and encouraged him to surrender his life to Jesus. Right now he’s assisting us in the ministry in Carreta Cemetery. He controls the crowd during our children’s worship and giving of snacks to avoid any problems with the children.

Now, despite his problems at home, when he’s with us we see him laughing because he has found a new friend whom he can depend. To God be the Glory.

Prayer Requests:

  • Christopher will grow spiritually
  • Financial provision for his family, and health
  • Peace and reconciliation with his loved ones

Maysa who attends our church shared with me her testimony,” I am Maysa; I live outside Carreta Cemetery. I am a single mother with one son. I currently work different jobs to provide for me and my son’s needs. Life is so tiresome and lonely because of the problems I’ve encountered especially my financial issues. But I thank the Lord because one day my aunt and uncle brought me to the cemetery to attend the worship service. At first, I refuse to go, but they insisted, so I decided to attend the service. When they started singing, and I heard the songs and saw others singing to them, I felt very strange. The feeling was new to me, and then I listened to the pastor telling everyone about having a personal relationship with Jesus. I attend worship service with my uncle each week now, and when I hear God’s word, it fills my heart with joy. I can smile despite problems in my life. Our pastor visited us in our house, and I was so happy that he came to our home.

What I desire now is to fully surrender my life to Jesus and trust Him all the time. I will always thank Him for the salvation that He freely gave me. I hope and pray that my son will also understand the joy that I have right now. Together with my family, we will continue to serve Him.”

Prayer Requests:

  • Maysa will continue to grow spiritually
  • She will become a channel of blessing to others
  • Financial provision

Water Baptism in October
I praise the Lord because we have ten people who will get baptized in October at Wigis beach. It was hard to determine who would get baptized because the people at the cemetery are not permanent residents. But of course, there were some who remain faithful in the fellowship. Our church is praying for financial resources so that God will provide the needs for the upcoming activity. Our primary concern right now is that the new believers will stay strong in their Christian faith.

The Lord amazes me how He continues to work in the hearts of every member of the Carreta Chinese Cemetery Church. We are continuously urging them to be faithful to the Lord and be committed in their service to God no matter how hard their situations may be.

Last week we had heavy winds and rain which brought torrents of water that caused flooding in different areas of Carreta. Most of the houses of our church members were affected by the flood which tested their faith. We joined together and worshiped our living God on Sunday despite our situation, many of our members crossed the flooding in knee-high dirty water just to obey the Lord. To God be the Glory!

Prayer Requests:

  • Carreta fellowship members will continue to be faithful to God.
  • Spiritual growth in our Lord Jesus Christ for each of our members.
  • Pray for the reconstruction of homes that were affected by the heavy rains.

Praise God for He has answered prayers for our ministry in Carreta Cemetery. We’ve had some challenges within our leadership, but we are also aware that when great things are happening in the body of God, Satan is active as well. One leader who was responsible for the preparation for our Sunday service comes from a large family of daughters some of whom live inside the cemetery. We thought she would be a positive influence and bring her loved ones to worship and learn of our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead, she became a stumbling block for them because of her negative attitude. As a leadership team, we talked with her and told her we appreciated her involvement in the church activities, but a true believer of Jesus Christ would not gossip or display jealousy towards people. She said she understood and would pray and change her attitude. We are careful who we choose as leaders for our church because we want peace and sincere hearts serving the Lord. We also have an active member named Roger. He is diligently inviting his neighbors and reminding other neighboring people to come worship on Sunday’s each week. He shows up early to church despite his asthmatic condition. Roger was very sick last year, but now he is getting well. He always brings his wife and niece to church with him. Roger will be baptized this coming October 2017. Our newest leader is Mrs. Elvie who is a terrific singer. We trained her to be our praise and worship leader, in addition to this we found she is an excellent temporary church treasurer. Please help us pray for our Leadership team that the Lord will continue to strengthen their abilities and leadership skills.

Praise the Lord we have leaders and members who would like to get baptized. We had prayer time together in our Sunday worship asking God to strengthen each one of us and bless our plans in the ministry, especially our baptisms this October. We encouraged them with the need to be baptized first before they can be on the leadership council. We have candidates for deacons but no elders.

Prayer Requests:

  • Our plans of baptisms this October, that the Lord will guide us through this process.
  • Leader’s growth and spirituality in God’s word.

God is good and has blessed the people of Carreta Cemetery. We had a Korean Christian group visit our church. The message of love and passion through Jesus Christ was preached to the people. However, not only by words but by the actions that our visitors displayed. Before giving them food, they gave the gospel bracelet and explained the meaning of every color. They sang and danced just to let them see the goodness of God through them. The people in the cemetery enjoyed every part of the performance. After enjoying the spiritual food, they received a pack of food for lunch.

Prayer Request:

  • The people in Carreta Cemetery will understand the gospel that is presented to them each week

Thank you for your partnership with national pastors like myself. Because of your prayers, we see the power and results in our ministry.

Pastor Norberto Palmerola

Summer 2017

Praise the Lord for our answered prayer. Our family was praying that the Lord would provide a place of worship outside the cemetery. We prayed for a different location because of the dirty surroundings inside the cemetery. When the Miparanum family offered their home for us to use on Sunday’s we were overjoyed and thanked the Lord for answering our prayers. He’s been so good and faithful to my family. He always gives us the strength to continue serving Him despite the problems life brings. I praise God because He makes His way so that His ministry will grow and go on. I can see how sincere the Miparanum family is about serving the Lord because of their sacrifices in opening their home to our people. This week I visited their house, and they were so happy to be serving in this way. They have a store as their source of income, and some of our members live near their house. The family is a source of encouragement to their neighbors as well. To God be all the glory.

Prayer Requests:

  • Miparanum family will continue to be committed to God.
  • Our new Sunday worship will bring more people to listen to God’s word.

I thank God, this month for the visitors who came to visit and witness the ministry in Carreta Cemetery during the feeding. The visitors enjoyed watching the children sing and worship the Lord. I’m happy to see my kids leading the worship especially Precious. I praise and thank the Lord for the undying love of God towards us and the ministry. To God be the glory.

Prayer Requests:

  • That the ministry in Carreta will continue to grow and more people will join.
  • The people who live at the cemetery will understand the Word of Salvation.

The ministry in Carreta has become a big part of our life as workers of God. There are many misunderstandings towards the members and other unexpected situations in the ministry. Still, the Lord has given me strength and wisdom to survive in this spiritual field. Only God knows everything and His plan will always prevail. His ways are not our ways nor are His thoughts our thoughts that is why we must completely trust in Him. I thank God for the opportunity of serving Him wherever He leads my family and I. To God be the Glory.

Prayer Requests:

  • Strength and wisdom in the ministry.
  • Guidance, protection, and good health for my family and me.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Norberto Palmerola Jr.

The Lord continues to meet our needs in extraordinary ways. My children are blessed because they’re growing healthy and strong by the grace of God. Sophie my eldest is in 3rd grade, my second child, Precious is four years old, she stays at home with Princess, our youngest child. My wife home schools the children. Precious my four years old enjoys singing and is part of our praise and worship team, she also participates in the different Christian gatherings. People enjoy listening to her gifted voice. My wife is an instrumental part of our children’s lives, she takes God’s word and applies it to the training of our children and teaches them the way they should go so that when they become old, they will not depart from it. My wife is a blessing to our family as well as myself, she assists me in every ministry that God has entrusted, and always reminds me about my commitment to the Lord. Thanks be to God for all His blessings.

Prayer Requests:

  • Good health for my family.
  • Daily financial provision.
  • Prayer for the studies of Sophie that she will be successful and get higher grades.
  • Constant love and devotion to God.

Praise be to God because He continue to encourage us as workers in the Carreta fellowship. We have discouragements especially when it comes to the dirty surroundings and people with bad attitudes at the cemetery. But God reminds us that they have souls that need to be fed by the Word of God. We do have people who serve faithfully and join us in fellowship despite the harshness. We have our adult bible study every Saturday and our worship service every Sunday. Our attendance fluctuates at times due to unexpected circumstances, we understand that some situations cannot be avoided, but we remember that our Lord is in control of all circumstances. I am so thankful to God because He is faithful and encourages me through His Word.

Prayer Requests:

  • Spiritual growth among the members.
  • Pray that more souls will come and worship with us.

Donating blood.

God certainly moves in mysterious ways. He knows just what we needed. This month we partnered with the Department of Health and CFFI Foundations. I donated blood, and they mentioned that it is a good cleansing for the body, they also offered a free steam massage which helped relieved me of some of my body pains, I also received a free acupuncture. Praise God. As a servant of God, we need a healthy body so that we can do great things for the Lord. And by His grace we can continue to follow and obey His will. Just this month I distributed bibles to some of the Carreta fellowship members. They were so estatic and joyful upon receiving it. To God be the Glory.

Prayer Requests:

  • Good health for my family and also for every believer.
  • More love and commitment from the Carreta Fellowship members.

Yours in Christ, Pastor Norberto

 

Praise God for the Carreta Ministry. God continues to bless our church and ministry. Our bible studies and Sunday worship continue to attract new hungry souls. They come and enjoy the fellowship of the brothers and sisters. At first it may be awkward for them, but later they accept and enjoy worshipping God through action songs, and God’s word. One visitor we recently had is Elizabeth, she is 35 yrs. old with two children. Last Saturday was her second time joining us for worship, and we encouraged her to come on a regular basis and join the worship. We did pray for her family and reminded her that Jesus loves her and her children. She replied joyfully and said she will continue to come.

Prayer Request:

  • Pray that Elizabeth will be true to her words and will become a true follower of Jesus
  • Pray for a commitment in her walk with Jesus Christ

We recently had a personal testimony from a lady who attends the free meal and teaching.

“I am Celia, I’ve live inside Carreta Chinese Cemetery for the last 3 yrs. I have a daughter and I have raised her alone. My life has been full of trouble and pain. It’s not easy to find a job when you only have an elementary education. Looking for a stable job with a higher wage is impossible. I take any job offered no matter how hard it is. I accepted laundry, helper, caretaker, and I sale different kinds things just to survive. I feel very tired, but I have no choice because I have a daughter and I love her so much. That’s why I’m so thankful to have been invited by my friend to join their feeding. She said there is a burger and rice soup and it’s free. I joined with my daughter and I’m so happy because I heard about the love of Jesus. Even though, I have felt like a reject in my life, I’ve learned that there’s hope and real joy in Jesus. Now, I promised to myself that no matter how busy I am I will give time to God and know Him more. I will continue to call upon Him, especially during my sad moments. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me hope and putting a smile on my face knowing that you are there loving me. To God be the glory.”

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for Celia’s spiritual maturity
  • Please pray for a stable job

Vacation is nearly finished and classes will resume once again. Knowing that the children in Carreta are poor our main concern was the children’s school supplies. We prayed that God would open the opportunity for the school to supply the children with the supplies needed. Indeed, God is good because He granted and answered our requests. City Church was used by God and our children in Carreta were provided with school supplies. In His own time, he will answer our prayers. The children went home very happy while bringing their new bags and school supplies. To God be the glory.

Prayer Request:

  • Please pray for the children in Carreta will acknowledge the goodness of God
  • Please pray that the children will become true followers of Jesus

Yours in Christ, Norberto Palmerola Jr.

Spring 2017

It’s so wonderful to see families worshiping the Lord. Inside the cemetery where our church is located, it is rare to see a whole family being one in faith and belief. Most of the people living in the cemetery are just after the material blessing they can receive especially food. That is why I am always encouraging everyone to invite a family member to our Bible study and worship nights. I’m thankful because Francisca Malapit and her two daughters Geralyn and Nida are always there. Francisca’s husband is not as faithful because of his work, but there were moments that their family was complete during our fellowship. They listen attentively to the Word of God and sings very cheerfully during our praise and Worship.

Prayer Requests:

  • Pray the Malapit family will grow spiritually
  • Pray that they will invite friends and neighbors

I praise and thank the Lord for our Wednesday prayer meeting and Bible study where we gather their prayer requests and thanksgiving. We let them participate in every topic that we have so that they can have a deeper understanding of it. They’re also free to ask questions, and we listen to their suggestion as to how to improve our fellowship.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Pray Each group and family will grow spiritually
  2. That they will follow the schedule and participate
  3. Pray they will invite others

015I thank the Lord and praise Him because He continually blesses my family and the ministry He entrusted to me. My wife and children continue to help in the ministry. My wife teaches the children the Word of God and leads them in worship songs. My children help in the church as well, my second child Precious will often sing alongside my wife at church. I am so blessed to have them because they make it easier for me to do work that God has for me. To God be the glory!

Prayer Requests:

  • Good health for my family
  • Wisdom and Protection
  • Consistent dedication and commitment to God

It’s amazing how God works mysteriously in the life of each one in Carreta. Our Bible study meets every Saturday, and all of them are very attentive to understanding and obeying the word of God. We have several new people who have joined our fellowship. However, some will not participate because of personal reasons. On Sunday we have twenty to thirty adults attending. Praise the Lord!

Prayer Requests:

  • More souls will come and worship
  • They will grow spiritually
  • Carreta members will also lead others to Christ

I praise and thank the Lord because it was an answer to prayer to see the ministry in Carreta growing. We’re praying that once a week we can gather and have a midweek prayer meeting, and praise the Lord one has already started. Through this gathering, I trust that new believers in Jesus will know how to pray and communicate with God. They need a strong weapon to grow in the Lord. Through prayer, they can cast all their worries and cares on Him. Sharing their prayer requests is a new thing for them because they are not used to others supporting them in prayer. This is one of the core truths of the Gospel I am trying to teach them.

Prayer Requests:

  • Midweek prayer meeting will continue.
  • The people will be encouraged to grow in Prayer

Pastor Norberto

Winter 2016

np_carretafellowship1_11-16It is really amazing to see God at work in the Carreta Cemetery Christian Fellowship! The ministry here has not stopped, but instead continues to grow. Thanks be to God! One family that has been active is the Malapit family. Three of the sisters were new in our fellowship, but I can see their eagerness to learn from the Word of God. Every Saturday and Sunday, they are there very early and excited to be in the fellowship. They are interested to hear and participate during our worship. These three sisters encourage me to be always faithful and keep on believing that there are souls being prepared by God; hungry and thirsty souls that will really come to Jesus. By the grace of God, I will not stop the inviting the people inside the cemetery. Even though many may reject, some will respond, in God’s timing. To God be the Glory!

  • Please pray that the people will continue to be active in the fellowship, grow spiritually, and bring friends with them.

Every year, Christians from different part of the Philippines will gather together to celebrate the goodness of God. This event is called “Jesus Reigns.” Here in Cebu City, Christians from the north and south had a grand celebration as well as a time of fellowship with believers. The members from the Carreta Cemetery Christian Fellowship joined this event and experienced the love of God from other brothers and sisters in Christ, from different churches. There was a parade, and during the evening, a speaker gave a wonderful message that encouraged and reminded everyone of how powerful our God is and that He can make things possible, according to His will. Everybody enjoyed the presentation as well as the praise and worship time. It ended late, but we were still very blessed.

  • Please pray that our members in Carreta will not forget the wonderful message, and that they will encourage others to attend next time.

np_carretafellowship2_11-16Praise God as Sunday worship attendance has been increasing! It’s really an answered prayer to have 20-30 adults joining the worship. It’s good to know that they were responding already to the call of God. I know that our place of worship could be cleaner and more presentable, but what’s more important is that God’s Word must be preached. Even though the living situation inside the cemetery is a temporary solution, I believe that wherever the people go, the Word of God will remain.

  • Please pray that we can find a place where we can worship outside the cemetery.
  • Please pray that our members will become spiritually mature.
Winter 2015

Pastor Norberto and his family

“The name of the Lord is to be praised.” These are the words that I have heard from the mouth of Mrs. Pelaez who is a widow. She has four children who are married, but are still very dependent on her. She is the one who takes care of her grandchildren even at her old age. I can see the sadness in her eyes as she shares her struggles in her family. Even though she is tired, she desires more strength so that she can still take care of her family. She is very thankful that she has joined the fellowship and hears God’s word. She is encouraged to know that there is a real God who is always there for her and her family. Every feeding and worship time, she brings her grandchildren so that together, they can receive physical and spiritual nourishment.

  • Please pray for Mrs. Pelaez, that she will really understand the Gospel.
  • Pray that she and her whole family will be saved.

 Praise be to God for He is good and indeed a great healer for all of us! This past month, my three children were in bad health. My eldest daughter suffered from mumps and fever, she was absent from school for a week. She had missed a lot of school activities. I brought her with me to the Jesus Reigns event, and then after to Jollibee to eat her favorite food. She was so happy. The other two children suffered from a cough, colds, and fever. Then, my second daughter was suffering from mumps. She could hardly eat because it was painful. Thanks be to God that my 11 month old baby is doing well, by the grace of God.

  • Please pray for good health for my whole family.
  • Pray for God’s provision and spiritual preservation.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom for the ministry.

God wants His Name to be exalted to every part of this world! This past November, Christians from every part of the Philippines gathered together for an event known as Jesus Reigns. Every year, Christians have made this commitment for Jesus’ Name to be glorified. There is a grand parade and presentations to exalt and lift up His Name; He is alive! Thanks be to God because every year, thousands of Christians join together for this big event to celebrate God’s greatness and goodness for everyone. To God be the glory!

  • Please pray for the unity of all Christians in proclaiming the Gospel.
  • Pray for no divisions among each church.

Pastor Norberto