Cris Pano

Recent Ministry

I am not a fisherman, but I know this about fish, you must go to where the fishes are. Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.” This statement of Jesus is a great challenge to my church leaders and me as we seek to bring people to Jesus by going to where the fish are. We visited the work location of Pastor Jerry, one of our church planters, in Barili, the southern part of Cebu. Travel takes about an hour and a half, less if there is no traffic. The place faces the ocean, and the primary source of income for the community is fishing. I brought seven church leaders from Mambaling to make more new contacts for Bible studies. I first went to the barangay official as a courtesy and offered to teach a community livelihood program. The officials were happy about my proposal to create more sources of income in this impoverished community. They promised to gather thirty or more women to be guest participants. I will do my part by providing the teaching materials needed during the session and imparting my knowledge of the livelihood programs.

I brought the church leaders to conduct a house to house survey in the community with a questionnaire to discover family and religious background. The purpose is to asses their willingness to have a home Bible study and to start witnessing in the community. Of the twenty-one homes we visited, seventeen of them were interested in having a home Bible study. We committed to our church planter and the barangay officials that we would do this work for six months to a year, to minister to the spiritual needs of the people, and hold the livelihood program.

  • Pray that we will prevail against the work of the enemy.
  • Pray for the community to have responsive and open hearts to the gospel.
  • Pray for God’s provision and protection in Barili.

Arnel Gabon is a new White Fields church planter assigned to Mandaue City, Northern part of Cebu. I visit the place where he has started his pioneering work. Most of the people he is working with are from the poorest of the poor families that live in the squatter and slum areas. Houses built of broken pieces of plywood or any available box or plastic that provides some shelter from the wind or water are their only source of protection. They do not own their land but squat on the government lots or private property as a temporary home. Sometimes the families have lived on this same lot for so long that their children have grown up here and their grandchildren are born here. We are thankful to God and White Fields to have this new missionary to have the heart and desire to reach these people.

  • Pray that the White Fields church planters will be God’s instruments in bringing about the spiritual transformation of these communities.
  • Pray for Arnel and his family to have protection, good health, and provision.

Alvin Jamisola, the brother of Lito Jamisola, is also one of our new church planters. I visited his place of work at Tayud, Liloan, in the northern part of Cebu. This area has a beautiful view and faces the ocean; the community livelihood is fishing. Alvin brought me to visit the family where he conducts a home Bible study and the place where he has started a Children’s Ministry each Saturday.

  • Pray for Alvin and his family to be protected.
  • Pray for him to have wisdom and for his commitment to be a White Fields church planter.

In nineteen-ninety-two, I met a young man at my pioneering church in Cavite, Manila. He became one of my church leaders and our worship leader. His name is Jay. For twenty-three years, I had not spoken with him. God had his plan and way for us to meet up again. At the end of last year, I met Jay again; he is now living in Canada with his family and expressed his commitment to sharing his blessings with the local pastors of our Cebu churches. He gave me money to purchase ten kilos of rice to share with six pastors. This gift was a blessing to our pastors as God provided for their needs. Just a simple act of faith when offered by the hand of the Savior turns into a blessing.

  • Pray for Jay and his family, that the Lord will continue to bless their work and their plans.

Our old keyboard is still fit for worship. It was a gift from my mother-in-law when she was working in the middle east. It is an outdated model but still functional. My son, John Mark, learned to play using this keyboard. Recently, I brought it to the church so it could be used. I asked my leaders if anyone had any interest and were willing to learn how to play. Four of them decided to learn, and so I am doing music lessons with them before we start our house visitations. I learned to play when I was in Bible school, and it was a blessing when I began my pioneering church. I am excited to help my church members learn to play. I am happy that we can still use this keyboard during the Sunday worship service.

Jesus used a child’s generosity to feed five thousand hungry people. Maybe one of the children in our ministry will be used by the Lord in such a grand manner as well. Ryan is committed to the children’s ministry, and they currently meet behind Carmie’s house in the shade of a tree.

  • Pray for Ryan as he teaches the children.
  • Pray for their faith to grow and influence the entire community.

The men have a coffee fellowship, and Bebot is leading them each Saturday. Most are new believers and need more spiritual fruit so they can grow in maturity. The Bible states that the righteous will be the guide of their neighbors. We want these men to become the spiritual guide of their families. Most are still in the progress of learning to obey God’s will. Pray that the men will continue to attend the fellowship and mature in their new faith.

  • Pray that God will speak to the fathers and their families.
  • Pray that Bebot will talk from God’s Word boldly.
  • Pray for Bebot to have wisdom, for the salvation of his family, and provision for their needs.

When was the last time you shared the gospel? When was the last time you tried? These questions are a significant challenge to our leaders. Estela is handling a group Bible study where every situation has the opportunity to share the gospel, and nothing hinders her from boldly proclaiming God’s Word. When people earn their living from making hanging rice (woven baskets for steaming rice), their work does not hinder them from hearing God’s Word. They can listen and study as their fingers work. The leaders are happy and rejoice every time a soul comes to Jesus; they are not ashamed to share their Savior. The more Estela knew about Jesus, the more she loves to share. It became as essential as her heartbeat to bring more people to come to know the Lord. Many lives have changed, families restored, and salvation experienced by people through the love of Estela for Christ. Praise God.

  • Pray that Estela will continue to be committed and burdened to reach the lost people in the Mambaling community.
  • Pray for her family’s protection, provision, and safety.

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.