Cris Pano

 Recent Ministry

In my previous reports, I shared the story of Lovenia, a single mother and newly baptized believer, who was shot and killed in her home, for her role in exposing the drug trade in the neighborhood. Her five children are now in the care of her sister who also has a family. I was able to collect money from the churchgoers in Mambaling to provide school tuition for the children. Since the loss of their mother, the children are in peril of dropping out of school or getting pulled into being drug couriers. We are praying that the small amount we provided will be blessed abundantly by the Lord. Our expression of love overjoyed the kids through the generosity of the believers.

  • Pray for God to care for these five orphans and to grow their faith.

I am so happy to see our new church members being generous despite their poverty. Most of them have meager incomes and no permanent jobs, but they do not allow this to hinder them from sharing what they have, despite its small amount. They are growing in the Word of God and their faith shows. Every Sunday, they bring their handfuls of rice to share with those who are in need and they faithfully give their offerings.

  • Pray for blessings upon the generous offerings of the church members and for God to multiply the small amount to provide for the needs of the families.

It has been a year since I started ministering in this area. Praise the Lord that we have already baptized fifteen new believers, and others are looking forward to the next baptism. The week after I taught them about the meaning of church, we held our first Sunday worship service on the first Sunday of the year and had our first communion.

The Lord was gracious to bless us with the donation of a brand-new guitar and guitar amplifier from a Filipino friend of mine from Canada. Praise the Lord. The first Sunday I worship, I led the songs, played the guitar and preached the sermon. It was tiring but worth it to see the believers glorifying and praising God. The next week, someone volunteer to play the guitar and another volunteer to lead the singing. Another directed the meeting while someone did the Sunday service program and the rest prepared the venue and served as ushers. Praise the Lord as my burden is lighter by their volunteering and I am thrilled to work with a team. I held a meeting with the core group and appointed church staff members for our pioneering church.

  • Pray for the newly appointed church leaders to grow in their faith and be blessed with wisdom and discernment as they lead and serve the believers.

For several Sundays, we did not see a mother who is a newly baptized believer. I visited her house to understand their situation, and she shared with me that she is not able to attend due to fear. She was hiding as she had received death threats due to suspicions that she was a police informer or asset. As she shared, she was crying because of her fear of death, and she desires to live to serve God with her family. Currently, her family decided to move to another island to hide and did not indicate that they ever intend to return.

  • Pray for the family to continue to grow in their new faith in Jesus and pray for God’s protection and provision for the family.

We visited a third mother who is also a newly baptized believer and active participant in our weekly Sunday worship service. When  I arrived at her house, I was afraid to cross the bridge because it is very lightweight and fragile. We talked across the bridge, and when she invited me inside, I was concerned that the house was too small and weak to contain everyone. I promised to revisit her and bring my men to repair the house. The roof is broke, and the tarp is used as a roof. A blanket serves as one of the walls. The floor is wood, but the water below is visible through the cracks, and the smell is terrible. I plan to encourage my men to share the money to purchase coco lumber, plywood, roofing, and nails.  I expect around a thousand dollars will fix her house, and I would like to repair it before the next typhoons come and destroy it.

  • Pray for the money to be collected quickly and for the men to be able to repair the house.
  • Pray for the mother and her family to grow in their faith and be blessed by the care of the church.

Stella, one of the four new church workers in Mambaling, is continuing to grow in the Word of God. Stella is studying in our Bible school. I assigned her to teach a group Bible study every week and to be our  Sunday school administrator. She enjoys the teaching ministry. Most of her group members are actively attending the Sunday morning service, and I see them growing in their new walk in the Lord.

  • Pray for all the people in Stella’s group to continue to grow in the Word of God.
  • Pray for all four of the Bible studies to continue every week and for the participants to grow in their spiritual life.

In January I was surprised by a birthday cake by the church leaders. It was significant for me to celebrate my birthday with the new church in Mambaling. I am blessed and happy to see the expressions of love and care they have shown to me as their pastor. I am blessed that the Lord has given me a team to continue the work in this location.

  • Pray for the new church leaders to continue to be used by the Lord for the furtherance of the ministry in this location.

I am happy to see my ministry partner, Jen, joyfully serving the Lord by teaching the children every week. It is hard to encourage the children to come to Sunday school because most of them prefer to play computer games to earn a little money, especially when there is no parental guidance. Much encouragement has brought some parents to bring their children to the class. More children are regularly attending, and learning new verses, Bible stories, prayers and songs to praise the Lord. The seeds of God’s Word are being sown through these activities. I see the joy of the Lord on the faces of the kids and their parents.

  • Pray for the Lord to protect these kids from the vices of the surrounding community and to bring them to have a right relationship with Him.

Pastor Cris’ Testimony

Pastor Cris grew up on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. He was born to a devoted Catholic family that persecuted anyone who dared to become an evangelical believer in Jesus. As Cris grew, he saw his older brother become a follower of Jesus who was beaten and forced to flee for his life by his family. After some time Cris was invited to a Christmas program at his brother’s church, and there decided to become a born-again believer in Jesus. He too had to flee for his life after telling his family of his faith and sought refuge in Manilla. While there he met a Christian missionary who took Cris under his wing and helped him enroll in Luzon Baptist Bible School. It was there that he received definite confirmation from the Lord that he was to become a Pastor and in 1996 planted his first church.

Through Cris’s faithfulness and experience planting churches and developing leaders, he became the Field Director for White Fields Ministry in 2017. As Field Director Cris provides oversight and direction to church planters throughout the Philippines. He regularly visits pastors at their home churches encouraging them and helping them build sustainable practices in their homes and ministry. He teaches at the local School of Theology which prepares students for various areas of ministry and also serves as a way of developing young men who desire to become church planters in the Philippines.