Archive

January 2020

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it” Proverbs 22:6.  Building a strong foundation starts in the early stages of life. In today’s generation, bringing children into the church is hard as their parents are not often believers, and gadgets bombard the children themselves with values that are not Biblical. God has given us a good working relationship with our Korean brethren, who continue to help us teach and disciple fifty children from the community. These children are actively involved in the church, and we see the lasting impact that God’s grace is making on their lives.

  • Pray for the children to continue to grow in the knowledge and character of the Lord.
  • Pray that they will be a good influence in their homes and communities, especially as many of them are in unbelieving families.

Leading someone to have a personal and growing relationship with God is the reason for our existence in the ministry. So we rejoice when we see the gospel transforming the life of a new believer. Maricris was once a shy and reserved young lady, but in the past few months as we invest time and effort into her life we have seen her grow and mature. We discovered she has a hidden talent for music. Maricris is moving out of her comfort zone and is more committed to serving the Lord. Now, she is an active volunteer in our outreach teaching team and is leading children to Christ. She is currently leading the congregation in corporate worship to our God on Sundays. We saw her grow from being very shy to a shining child of God.

Maricris leading worship!

  • Pray for Maricris to have continued spiritual growth and joy in serving the Lord.
  • Pray for the salvation of her entire family; this is her main prayer request and desire.

Some say that it takes many generations to cause a community transformation. But I would say that God can use one genuinely transformed life to make a significant difference and impact in the community in Jesus’ name. Since the beginning of our ministry, our vision is to establish a community church. Our community values formation program is handled primarily by Elvie, who is enthusiastic in partnering with me in this endeavor. As part of this program, we teach Biblical truths and principles in our study of God’s Word.

Elvie Leading the group of women in Worship!

  • Pray for more people in the community to learn the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and experience a genuine life transformation.
  • Pray for wisdom and strength for Elvie and myself as we continue this program.
  • Pray for the community to be influenced through the believers.

Properly and intentionally passing the baton in ministry is never an easy task but can be a great joy and a sense of fulfillment. Despite the newness of our work, we aim to go deeper into our teaching. We share the gospel, but we don’t stop there, but we intentionally disciple, teach and mentor young leaders to become God’s future leaders in His service. We praise God for giving us youth who have devoted their lives to the glory of the King of kings. We appointed the core leaders for the Youth for Jesus (Y4J) ministry, and it is our privilege to see them grow in knowledge and character as they actively and joyfully lead their peers in the Lord.

Pastor Lito mentoring our future young leaders!

  • Pray for these young leaders to stay firm in the Lord despite the present peer pressure they face.
  • Pray for the upcoming fellowship with the theme of “True Love Waits”.
  • Pray for our YFJ summer youth camp in May and provisions and life-transformation of the participants.

“God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful 1 Corinthians 1:27. Every child is precious in the eyes of God, and we should never underestimate their impact on ministry. Through the scripture, we see stories of God using children to accomplish great things through His mighty power. Aira was one of the young ones we ministered to in the community, and we saw her big heart for God. Every Saturday, she insisted on going with us to the outreach. At first, we wrongly underestimated her by thinking she could contribute nothing. This month the Lord rebuked us and reminded us that it is only by His grace and power that we can do ministry and accomplish anything at all. We allowed Aira to go with us to the outreach and were amazed as her joy in doing the simple things. Despite her youth, she prayed in front of the people in the community, distributed snacks, and helped assist with the children during small group and counsel time. Now Aira is an energetic volunteer during our Saturday outreach and Sunday AWANA program. Praise God for her life dedicated to serving Him.

Aira leading the group in Prayer!

  • Pray for Aira to continue to grow in the Lord and to follow the path of righteousness.
  • Pray for the salvation and transformation of her entire family.

A simple thing can accomplish much when God blesses it. We opened the new church planting work in Calero, Liloan and a few months ago, we encountered challenges and rejections in the community that discouraged us and made it difficult to continue to touch lives for Jesus Christ. We were most discouraged by the declining number of children in attendance, and the parents were not participating. However, we praise God for strengthening us and giving us wisdom on a solution. This month, we brought a special treat as a snack for the children in the community, and God used is it to increase the number of children who came. I also organized the parents to do the cooking; this task will bring them closer to each other, and I can spend more time ministering to them.

  • Pray for salvation and transformation of people in the community and more open doors for the gospel.
  • Pray for wisdom, strength, and perseverance as we serve in this challenging place.

It is a joy to serve God by reaching all ages in the community. The boys tend to roam around playing, and their potential can be overlooked, but through proper nurturing and discipleship, God can use them to further His kingdom. This month, I started gathering them for regular weekly mentoring; God has grown the number of participants since we first started. We enjoy fellowshipping together and eating food in addition to the nourishment of God’s Word. Activities are planned that encourage them to seek God more, even at a young age. The boys are now active in joining the Sunday worship and AWANA program.

Young boys sharing a meal together during bible study!

  • Pray for the spiritual, mental, and physical growth of these boys.
  • Pray for salvation for their families.
  • Pray for wisdom and guidance as their stage of life is vulnerable to bad influences.

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8 As we looked back on last year, there was nothing in the community except people who were perishing, living in darkness, and without hope. But God is so loving, full of mercy and grace that he brought forth salvation and transformation to the community. This month we celebrated our first anniversary as a church expressing the goodness and faithfulness of God. We praise God that during the event, He brought so many people that we ran out of chairs, but they all had the opportunity to hear the gospel.

  • Pray for the visitors to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
  • Pray for the church to continue making a lasting impact on the people in the community.

Nobody can question the compelling living testimony of God’s mighty working transformation in the lives of people who are well known in the community. Ailyn and Arlene were both living in darkness and sin, but God showed them mercy and grace. A year ago, they encountered God personally in one of our Bible studies, and both gave their lives to Jesus Christ. God is molding and transforming them into the image and likeness of His son as they continue to serve God despite persecutions. During our church anniversary celebration, Ailyn and Arlene courageously stood in front of the crowd to give their life testimony proclaiming the power and goodness of God.

  • Pray for Ailyn and Arlene’s continued spiritual growth.
  • Pray for Ailyn, one of our core leaders in the church, to have wisdom and courage to lead her small group. God has used her to influence others to follow Jesus.
  • Pray for the salvation of Arlene’s entire family.

God is life. He is the source, the giver, and the sustainer of life. Every life belongs to Him, but sadly the majority of people do not acknowledge this, nor do they know the purpose of their life. Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion, and many people believe and practice its wrong and unbiblical doctrines. One of the main hindrances for people to join Christianity is that they are blinded from the truth and misled by false religions.

We praise God that the Lord has opened the mind of the people in the community and the church, freeing them from the wrong teachings of Roman Catholicism. Two parents decided to dedicate their child to God at our church anniversary instead of letting the priest do the child baptism. This event was a great curiosity to some in the community and has challenged their beliefs and practices. We praise God for giving these parents the courage to stand firm in their convictions. They are actively serving in the church.

  • Pray that God will continue to open the minds of the people in the community and set them free from the bondage of the wrong teachings of Roman Catholicism.
  • Pray for more people to desire to dedicate their children to God at the church rather than following the practice of infant baptism.

Recently, many of the church members and children in the community got sick.

  • Pray for healing and good health.
  • Pray for wisdom, strength, and spiritual growth as I lead the church and my family.

December 2019

Children should be loved and protected, for they are precious to God. We are grateful to God for blessing us with many children in the church. They are our future leaders, pastors, and missionaries. This month, we held a special thanksgiving celebration for children with fun and abundant food. We have ministered to these children for two years already and see how the Lord is working powerfully to transform their lives. They are faithful and excited to attend church every Sunday and learn about God through the AWANA program. We praise God for His love and sustaining grace to these little ones.

  • Pray for the children to continue to grow and walk in the ways of the Lord.
  • Pray that we can reach the parents with the gospel through the witness of the children.

We celebrated Christmas by sharing the message of salvation. In the community, many people celebrate the exterior trappings of Christmas. Still, few know or experience the real essence of the season as there are few believers. We planned our first community Christmas party in Calero, Liloan. We had ordinary Christmas items with lots of fun, food, and prizes. Also, I intentionally used the event to preach the gospel to the entire community. Our regular attenders came and brought many new young people and adults who then had the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for the gospel seeds that were planted to grow and bear much fruit.
  • Pray for God to lead us and give us wisdom as we follow up with those who made a confession of faith in Jesus Christ.

It has been six months already that God has sustained our Child Development program through the daily tutorial class at the church. This month was another mark of God’s faithfulness as we celebrated the first Christmas party with this group. We shared the good news of salvation to the parents and children of the ninety children in our community who are a part of this program. Parents are starting to get involved in the church, and many of the children are also active in Sunday school.

Pray that we can add more children to our tutorial program. Pray for the children to continue to grow in the Lord, and for their parents to be saved. When Jesus came to the world over two-thousand years ago, he was not only concerned about the spiritual condition of the people. He also met their physical needs by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, letting the blind see, and cleansing the demon-possessed. As much as is possible, we follow the same approach to meet the spiritual needs of the people through meeting their physical needs. God has used our livelihood program to address both the spiritual and physical aspects of poverty. Many people came to faith through the program, and the grace of God transformed their lives. Last month was their third profit-sharing, and everyone was glad to have the financial benefits as it is an expensive time of year.

What a joy and blessing it is to be in the family of God. When we first came to this community, we were nobody. We had no connections, but now we are a family — all by God’s grace and His love that united us in Christ. We celebrated Christmas as a family with fun, games, surprises, plentiful food, and the Word of God. It was a meaningful experience as, for many, it was their first-time celebrating Christmas in a way that glorified God. The congregation understood the real message of Christmas. They committed to bringing this message to their unsaved loved ones and friends. Once they were the recipients, but now, they are the messengers.

What a joy it is to be part of God’s family. When we first came to this community, we were nobody. We had no connections, but now we are a family, all because of God’s grace and His love that united us in Christ. We celebrated Christmas as a family with fun, games, surprises, plentiful food, and the Word of God. It was a meaningful experience as, for many, it was their first-time celebrating Christmas in a way that glorified God. The congregation understood the real message of Christmas. They committed to bringing this message to their unsaved loved ones and friends. Once they were the recipients, but now, they are the messengers.

  • Pray for the growth of the believers.
  • Pray for them to be salt and light in their homes and communities.

Life on earth is short and unpredictable. We were busy with our festive activities and schedules when an unexpected incident happened suddenly, my father-in-law passed away. Nobody expected this as he was healthy. We were grieving, and it was even harder as his birthday had also been approaching. God brought us comfort through His words in Matthew, we do not have the guarantee of a problem or trouble-free life, but we do have endless hope in Christ. This was not a sorrowful goodbye because we will see my father-in-law in heaven again someday. We praise God for the people who showed their love and sympathy to us. Thank you to our White Fields family, through Pastor Steve, who helped us financially with the burial expenses. Though we are grieving, we are comforted that our beloved father-in-law is now in the best place, enjoying the best life.

  • Pray for complete emotional comfort and healing for my wife and her siblings.

Youth for Jesus (Y4J) is one of the more challenging ministries as the youth face peer pressures and the negative influences of technology. We thank the Lord for blessing us with many young people in the church, and we are intentional in our discipleship approach with them. Part of this process is to organize the Y4J in our district with six evangelical-free churches in Cebu North. Each church has two youth representatives serving as members of the core leadership team. We praise the Lord that despite their youth in faith and age, they are eager to learn, grow, and be used by God. They have started planning for the upcoming Y4J summer camp and fellowships. There is excitement to use their spiritual gifts and abilities and exercise their independence and maturity. This is indeed one of our victories in Christ as we see the youth shine in their faith and know that our labor and sacrifices for the Lord are not in vain.

Last month, our youth were able to join the Doulos Youth Fellowship hosted by the youth officers at the Mabolo Evangelical Free Church, our mother, and sending church. This is a great experience and training for our youth as they observed how their peers organized and ran the program. They were ministered to and learned more truth from God’s Word as they mingled with other youth believers. We praise God that sixteen young people from our church were able to join the fellowship.

  • Pray for the youth to continue to grow in the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for the youth officers to be joyful and productive as they serve in the youth ministry.
  • Pray for the continual joy and courage of these young people as they serve the Lord.

Pray for provision and strength as we celebrate the first anniversary of the church. Pray for wisdom and guidance as we intensify our church ministries and for provision as we build the children’s church beside our existing building. It will serve as another classroom for our children’s tutorial during weekdays and the children’s church on Sundays.

  • Pray for a full-time worker to focus on the new church planting work in Calero, Liloan, and for the establishment of a community church in this location.
  • Pray for more open doors for the gospel.

During the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, He valued those who came alongside Him to learn and follow His word.  We are grateful for all our volunteers, and we praised the Lord for blessing us with many volunteers. We have about 20 volunteers from our mother church who help us in our AWANA program every Sunday afternoon, and more than half are church members in Tayud who are now serving as volunteers in different areas of our ministries.

It was our great joy and fulfillment to see these young believers who were once living in darkness but now have become an agent of light and transformation. This month we held a “Volunteer’s Appreciation Dinner” it is our tangible and straightforward way of saying thank you for their commitment and sacrifices for the Lord.  Indeed, God is great and worthy of all praise. 

We started the ministry a year ago with two committed young couples with me, and now there are 53 volunteers all working together every week in the ministry for the furtherance of God’s kingdom and the glory of his name.

  • Please pray for the 53 volunteers, that they will continue to commit their lives to the Lord.
  • Please pray for the ministry’s challenges and hardships.
  • Please pray for more volunteers as the church expands.          
  • Please pray for continuous spiritual growth and Godly living of the volunteers. 

November 2019

Church Evaluation and Planning

 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. Ephesians 4:11-12

What a wonderful thing to work in the ministry with a team. The load is lightened, and more tasks are accomplished smoothly and efficiently when many brains and hands work together as one. Just this month, we had our church evaluation for the past year and did our planning and goal setting for next year.

We praise God for His mighty work in and through us that has resulted in fruitful outcomes. We reached our goal from last year to establish the first community church. In the past ten months, God enabled us to build a community center and baptized thirty-two new believers. We started a new church planting work in the community of Calero, Liloan. We began the children’s daily tutorial class and sponsored one hundred and fifty-six students. Twelve life-group Bible studies were established to train new church and ministry leaders.

Our goal for the next year is to equip the saints to do the ministry. If it is God’s will, and by His grace, we will focus our effort, time, energy, and resources in training and equipping the church members for ministry and leadership. We praise God for giving us sufficient volunteers this past year. We have a desire to see more people getting involved.

Our second goal is the same as before. We desire to plant one community church every two to three years to fulfill our long-term vision to multiply healthy churches in our communities and beyond. We will never stop planting churches as long as we live if God wills. We started the new church planting work in Calero, Liloan. By next year, if God wills it, we are focusing on establishing a community church in this location.

  • Pray for wisdom for the church leadership as we equip the congregation to do the ministry and be the next generation of leaders.
  • Pray for the church members to have teachable hearts.
  • Pray for our goals to be met by God’s grace.
  • Pray for more people to come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Calero: New Ministry Outreach                                                                               

Reaching a community for Christ is not easy and full of struggles and challenges. It has been six months since we started working in Calero. We faced rejection and discouragement from the initial negative responses. Still, we trusted God had brought us in this place. We have seen God working not only in the people we minister to but also in the lives of the volunteers. Through our discipleship, we see the volunteers becoming closer to God and more passionate in ministering to the children. The kids are excited about each week’s outreach. They are growing in their own relationships with God through the AWANA program. Sherry, who formerly did not like children, is now enthusiastic in teaching them God’s Word.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth and character formation of our outreach volunteers.
  • Pray for more open doors for the gospel in this area.
  • Pray for spiritual growth and hunger for God’s Word in the people, including children, in Calero.

Children’s Church

Children are the future leaders and ministers. If we do not intentionally train them now at this young age to follow Christ, they will follow the world instead. We praise God for the large number of children we have in the church. This blessing is also a great responsibility to teach them to be faithful followers and ministers of Jesus Christ. This role requires having a heart for children and the skills to reach them. Our children’s ministry has thee groups, the daily tutorial, the Saturday outreach, and the Sunday AWANA or Children’s Church. This month the focus of our series was the importance of scripture. What a joy it is to see the children praising and learning about God on the weekends, not roaming outside. We have seen tremendous growth and transformation in the past year in these children. Many also attend the junior youth discipleship being led by our young people.

  • Pray for the children and youth to continue to grow in the Lord.
  • Pray for covering and protection as they start to encounter peer pressures.
  • Pray for provision for our plans to renovate the house beside the church to become the location for the children’s church, so they no longer need to meet outside.

Children are precious in the eyes of God, and they should be valuable to us as well. Many times, scripture mentions the importance of protecting and training our children. But the truth is that many children are being abused in many forms and often the perpetrators are the adults, worse is that they are generally close relatives. Our church advocates to protect the rights and uphold the dignity of the children. To celebrate children’s month, we gathered the children and parents in the community for a series of lectures concerning the rights and protection of the children. The kids themselves did some presentations. Most of the attendees were children and parents who are a part of the church, but we also invited parents who do not come to church. We praise God that the parents are committed to protect, love, and care for the children and to uphold their dignity.

Our desire is to help stop the malnutrition in the community through our monthly feeding program. We regret to say that we have not done a monthly feeding for a while due to financial constraints. But despite our limitations, God is the source of everything we need to remain faithful to the end. We praise God for His surprise provision through answered prayer. At our celebration of children’s month, we were also able to provide delicious and nutritious food to more than a hundred children in the community. The parents participated and supported the event to make it successful by preparing and serving the food. The church leaders took care of the spiritual feeding of the children. It was a great event giving emphasis to the importance of our children’s physical, intellectual, social, and spiritual development.

  • Pray for the children to walk in the ways of the Lord as they grow older.
  • Pray for the parents to be able to bring and lead their children in the path of righteousness.
  • Praise the Lord for the monthly feeding, pray for the ability to continue this program.

Daily Tutorial Class

In previous reports, I have mentioned God answering our prayers for the children’s daily tutorial. We praise God that despite all the changes we faced, He is faithful to sustain us. After six months of teaching these children, we are now seeing transformation and growth. When they were first enrolled in the program, the children were wild and hardhearted. Now they behave well in class and are enthusiastic about learning the stories of God in the Bible; they even share with their parents what they learned in class. Through this ministry, we have been able to reach the parents with the gospel, and many are now attending the Bible studies and Sunday worship service.

  • Pray for two full-time teachers that will bring wisdom and patience to handling these one-hundred students.
  • Pray for this program to enable us to reach more parents for Christ.

Youth Discipleship

The intermediate stage of life, the youth, is challenging for ministry because it is when a person tries to explore everything and faces crisis identity and the strength of peer pressures. The realization of the hard reality of life in the real world hits the youth at this age. However, despite these struggles, this age is perfect for spiritual training as they are open to the gospel and are already doing a deep search for the truth. We have increased our efforts this month to train the youth. I praise God that the older youth are doing weekly discipleship with the younger ones. This approach works well as the age gap is not too big, and they can relate to each other easily. The number in our discipleship group has almost doubled.

  • Pray for the faith of the young people to be rooted in God so they will not be moved when they face the pressures of life.
  • Pray for the leaders to grow deeper in their own relationships with God as they live as an example to their trainees.

Medical Mission                                                                                        

Getting a health check in the Philippines is quite expensive in general and almost impossible for the poorest of the poor, the unemployed, and the elderly. As we minister to these groups, we see and feel the need of the people for medical care. We desire to help them, but our resources and powers are limited. It was our dream to conduct a free medical mission in our community as there are quite a few elderly and people who are unable to afford a doctor. This month was an answered prayer.

Through the efforts of our Korean brethren who are medical doctors, nurses, medical technologists, and social workers, we were able to conduct a four-day free event. Over two-hundred patients were served each day, infants to the elderly, including the students in the Tayud Elementary school. They received free health checks, medicines, and bundles of joy. Many were ministered to by this event. As a result, they inquired about the church, others were encouraged to serve God, opened their homes for Bible studies, and many found physical relief.

  • Pray for those who received physical healing to find their spiritual healing in Jesus Christ ultimately.
  • Pray for our ability to follow-up with those who were saved or expressed curiosity about God.

Meet Joedisa

Living in physical, financial, and spiritual misery is never desirable. But many people are here from unfavorable circumstances or because of wrong or poor decisions in their lives or as a result of other’s choices. Joedisa is the mother of three young children; they live in an isolated place beside the seashore in an uncomfortable and unsafe house. I met her a month ago in one of the public hospitals where she had delivered a thin, premature (seven months) baby with a lot of complications. At that time, she was so desperate and hopeless. Her husband has no permanent work but only sells delicacies to earn an income of a hundred to two hundred pesos a day (two to four dollars). Due to these circumstances, they were trapped in deep debt to the hospital and other people. We came to minister to Joedisa and to demonstrate the love of Christ by extending our help. God cares for everyone and answers the cry of those who call on Him in desperation. Last month, Joedisa unexpectedly showed up to the Bible study with her baby, who was doing well. This was her first encounter with God and the beginning of her spiritual journey. Now she is regularly attending the life group Bible study every Friday and eagerly learning about God.

  • Pray for the salvation of Joedisa’s husband.
  • Pray for Joedisa’s spiritual growth and life transformation by God’s grace.
  • Pray for financial provision so they can pay the remaining balance at the hospital.

October 2019

The role of teachers is vital in equipping the saints to do the ministry. We had a desire seven months ago to start a children’s tutorial ministry. One of our concerns was who would be the teachers as the church is young, and the congregation primarily are new believers. God is great and faithful and blessed us with capable women. Rhea Mae and Mildred are our two full-time teachers. Christine and Melchora are part-time. This month we celebrated Teacher’s Day to show our gratitude and appreciation of our teachers. They are faithful in serving the children and training them to become more like Christ. It has been four months so far, and God has provided for all our needs.

We have ninety children who regularly attend this group. Ten dropped out for various reasons, but God has sustained the entire program. We are looking forward to the great things the Lord will do through His work in the hearts of the children. As the children grow in the knowledge of God, a desire to serve Him is displayed in their actions and behaviors. This change has caused many of the parents to start attending Bible studies.

  • Pray for wisdom and strength to our teachers as they impart knowledge of God’s Word and Godly character to the children.
  • Pray for the children and their parents, siblings, and friends to come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Our primary goal in the ministry is to multiply disciples. Our mission is “to lead people to have personal and growing relationships with Jesus Christ.” This means not only evangelism but training new believers to lead others to Christ and to become disciple-makers. Joshua is a twelfth grader in our community. We met him this past spring during the “Youth for Jesus Camp.” We started training him to follow Jesus and encouraged his involvement in our outreach ministry in Liloan. We praise God to see Joshua’s eagerness to learn and rapid spiritual growth. He is leading the Junior high boys who were hesitant at first to join the ministry as most of our volunteers are ladies. When Joshua joined the team, he gathered the boys and taught them separately. Now they are excited to attend the outreach.  They are growing in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word and in their relationships with God. We praise God for using Joshua to reach these boys.

  • Pray for Joshua’s continual spiritual growth and maturity.
  • Pray for the spiritual growth of his discipleship group that meets each Saturday.

To accomplish our mission, we have to start at the very beginning. When we first reached out to the new community at Calero, it was challenging since we knew no one in the area, and the people were not responsive to the gospel. After a month of intense prayer, God led us to Sister Masing who is now our person of peace (contact person) in the area. I shared the gospel with her, and a week later, she brought her nephew Michael to meet us. Michael brought his friends and cousins with him to the Bible study, but so far, they have been unresponsive. Masing and Michael have remained faithful. Anthony is teaching and mentoring them each week.

  • Pray for Michael and Masing to grow spiritually.
  • Pray for more open doors for the gospel and for new people to come to the Bible study.
  • Pray for wisdom and courage for Anthony as he leads the Bible study.

Millennials are challenging to lead to Christ because of the gadgets and peer pressures. God has given us plenty of young people in the church. Still, sometimes, we struggle to keep them growing in their personal walk with God, especially the boys, as we lack a dynamic leader for them. This past month I spent some time in prayer and contemplation over this issue. I decided personally to gather and mentor the boys, even though I am no longer young. God will still use me to train them to be faithful followers of Jesus. Since I started this group, God has added more young men to the church. Glory to His name!

When you share the gospel to the elderly, their soul is saved for eternity; however, quite often, their physical bodies and lives were destroyed by past foolish living. But when you share the gospel with youth, their soul is saved and their future lives from the potential destruction caused by the evil influences of the world. King Solomon was wise when he commanded the young people to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. We are going door-to-door to gather all the young people in the community. They are inviting their friends each week, and many are now attending church.

  • Pray for the young people to continue to grow and serve the Lord.
  • Pray for the youth to be a good influence on their fellow young people in the community and to bring others to faith in Jesus Christ.
  • Pray that their eagerness to follow Christ until the end.
  • Pray for the salvation of the parents, as many of them are not believers.
  • Pray for the faith of the children to bring their parents to faith.

Our small groups for women are growing. We started with one group of five women a few months ago, and now God multiplied the participants. We now have thirteen groups with eight to ten women each. They regularly meet together to minister to each other by sharing their burdens. They feel safe in the group as they show the love of God to each other in tangible ways. Transformations truly happen in small groups of people who are really connected with each other.

  • Pray for the women to continue to make a difference in their community.
  • Pray for the salvation of the husbands, many of them are not believers.
  • Pray for the men to see the transformation of their wives and come to faith in God.

In my previous reports, I beg your prayers to pray for the salvation of the men in our community and that the Lord would add more men to our church. This month our prayers were answered. The Lord has added the men in our church. We started the church 9 months ago with only 3 men attending, but now there are 11 men attending the church every Sunday. I Baptized 6 of the men already. The men are also excited for their small group where they are ministered to and encouraged by each other.

Jason once persecuted his wife Karen when we had a Bible study with her, but just two months ago, their world turned upside down. Karen stopped attending, but Jason started to become active in the group and in the church. Last month, Jason accepted Christ and declared his faith through water baptism and is even more dynamic and involved in the church. He is praying for his entire family to serve the Lord with him.

  • Pray for Karen to rejoin Bible study.
  • Pray for more men in the community to be added to the church.
  • Pray the men will stand firm in their faith and boldly proclaim the gospel in their community and in their homes.
  • Pray for God’s grace to reach the entire neighborhood.

The young ladies in the church are taught by Christine, Melchora, and Desiree each week. Over the past few months, we have seen the growth and transformation of their lives. The young people are all volunteers in our outreach ministry in Liloan. Besides their current involvement, five young women decided to go the extra mile. When we arrive back at the church from our outreach on Saturday afternoon, instead of resting or going home, these girls keep going. Desiree, Arcely, Hazel, Faith, and Mae started a group to reach those who are younger than them. They take what they learned in their discipleship group and pass it along. What an incredible joy to see even new believers intentionally mentoring others.

  • Pray for God to bless the passion in their hearts to make a difference for Christ.
  • Pray for spiritual growth and more discipleship groups.

Family is a gift from God, and I praise Him for blessing me with a beautiful God-fearing family. As the head of the family, it is always my desire and joy to see my family growing in the Lord and joyfully serving Him. Due to the demands of ministry, sometimes I feel that I fail to have enough quality time with my family. Still, this month, God blessed us with the privilege of joining a three-day family camp and spending quality time together. During one of our morning devotions, my eldest son, Brook, was assigned to lead. As a minister and father, my heart was thrilled to see my nine-year-old encouraging the adults to learn the Word of God. I praise the Lord for my family’s active involvement in ministry.

  • Pray for the continual spiritual growth of my son and that he will walk with the Lord to the end.
  • Pray for God’s sustaining grace to my family and ministry.

Every believer has their own unique conversion story, but the same God is worthy to be praised for them all. This month, I brought some of my members to evangelize door-to-door. On the last day of our two weeks, I was going to call everyone to get ready to leave as I was quite tired. As I went to do this, I saw a lady doing laundry by the well. Just because I needed a rest, I sat down on the wall and started to have a conversation with her. She informed me that my companions had tried to share the Bible with her, but she was busy doing laundry and did not have time to stop. When I heard this, instead of opening my Bible, I started to tell her the story of the Samaritan woman. She began to get interested as I spoke, in the end, I shared the gospel, and she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. She asked if I had a copy of scripture, and I gave her the Cebuano Bible and, as she requested, marked the story of the Samaritan woman. Her name is Jennifer, and she wants to have a Bible study in her home.

  • Pray for Jennifer to continue to seek the Lord and for the salvation of her entire family.
  • Pray for the Bible study in her home.

Children are precious in the eyes of God. We praise Him for giving us over a hundred children to minister to every week. But since we started the worship service this past January, the children met outside the church in the open space. We struggled with the heat of the sun in the summer and the mud during the rainy season. We have prayed for a convenient place for the children that can accommodate them all and allow us to reach even more from the community. Just this month, God answered our prayers.

Emilda, one of the members in our church, offered to rent us a house next to the church. She is an active member and one of our Bible study leaders. We purchased the land for the lot that the church is on from her, and the land size is similar. The church leaders agreed to rent the house and lot for thirty years at a consistent rate. Our primary concern now is to raise the money we require to renovate the area for use as a children’s church and additional classroom for our tutorial ministry.

  • Pray for the provision to renovate the house.
  • Pray for more children to come to know Christ through the children’s program.
  • Pray for the ability to use this space as soon as possible.

  • Pray for our upcoming medical mission’s event that is an opportunity to reach more people for Christ.
  • Pray for my wife, Christine, to find work.
  • Pray for health for our church, many members got sick this past month.

September 2019

 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” Matthew 3:5-6

There is an overwhelming joy in the father when his children decide to follow Jesus and publicly express their faith through water baptism. In the Philippines, baptism is a divisive religious and family issue that can cause disowning and persecution and from the non-believing family and community.

In July, the angels in heaven and the whole church celebrated with great joy when we baptized sixteen new believers. After the event, persecution arose from the neighborhood, and I was concerned this would result in discouragement and fear in our brethren, but our God is faithful and kind. He preserved the faith of his people and blessed us with even more great things. 

  • Pray for spiritual growth and strength for these new believers.

Praise the Lord for men in the community, becoming believers, and leading their families in Christ.

This month we held another celebration of victory; more lives were blessed and transformed by the power of the gospel. We again baptized sixteen believers, including two entire families. It was indeed a wonderous answer to our prayers for men to become believers, God not only blessed us with men but whole families. Dodoy and Neneng are only a month old in their faith. Still, they understand the truth, and their entire family decided to follow Jesus Christ through baptism. Jinky and Ale are a couple who previously ignored the gospel, but the Holy Spirit worked in their hearts and brought them to faith. They were also baptized and are active in serving in the church with their entire family. We praise God for the transformation we witness in the lives of these individuals, their families, and the community.

  • Pray for their testimony to bring more men to faith.

Ministering to the millennials and today’s youth is quite challenging because of the distractions for the world. When we started to reach out to the community in Barangay Calero, Liloan, we sought to reach all ages. With the youth, we struggled as there was no positive response from them. Our volunteers were discouraged by the constant adverse outcomes, but we kept praying and trusting God to bring people to faith in Him. After a few months of prayers, we praise the Lord for answering our cries. The six youth were shy at first, but God has helped us develop a healthy and growing relationship with them and opened their hearts to the gospel. They are active in the outreach each week and excited to learn new things from the scriptures.

  • Pray for these youth to continue to seek the Lord.
  • Pray for the salvation of their entire families.
  • Pray for their growth in knowledge and fellowship with God.

Children’s ministry is vital to the church because they are the next generation. We are using the AWANA program and have seen our group of children growing in their understanding of God’s Word. As our group has grown, we increasingly thank God for the volunteers. Naomi is one of our leaders; despite her busyness with work and with other church ministries, she still effective in leading the children’s ministry. This month, she taught a class on storytelling for our volunteers to demonstrate its ability to present the gospel while maintaining the attention of the children. 

  • Pray for wisdom and strength for Naomi as she leads the children’s ministry team.
  • Pray for Naomi’s family, especially as she is the only one in her household with employment.

”Truly I tell you, anyone, who will not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:17 Children are always precious in the eyes of God. When they express faith as a child, they have no doubts. But children are also vulnerable, and it is our duty as adults to protect these young ones and lead them to Jesus Christ. We praise God for the children in Liloan who always welcome us with joyful hearts and are eager to learn about Jesus. They overlook the discomforts of our meeting place in their excitement to be taught from the Bible. Mae and Palema are two young people from the church who volunteers each week to instruct the children. They were recipients of our outreach program last year, and through intentional discipleship have grown in their faith and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Now they are reaching others with the gospel.

  • Pray for spiritual growth and ministry effectiveness for Pamela and Mae.
  • Pray for the children to grow and walk in the ways of the Lord.
  • Pray for more children to come to know Jesus Christ.

In previous reports, I have mentioned the launching of our life groups. These groups meet each week, providing a small and safe community to do life together and grow in the Lord. The new believers are showing hunger for God’s Word. We stopped meeting under the shade of a tree when our church building was built. This transition caused some people to stop attending the church, however, through the life groups, revival has occurred, and our attendance has grown. A group meets under the tree, and some of them are willing to join us inside the church building. We praise God for spiritual revival and victory.

  • Pray for the continued spiritual growth and sanctification of the believers.
  • Pray for them to continue serving the Lord despite hardships and hindrances.
  • Pray for the building itself to not cause concern for the people, but for them to become comfortable within its walls.

We praise God for giving us enough volunteers to handle the small groups, all ages, from children to adults. We believe that life’s transformation occurs best in small groups where the participants are comfortable to share all aspects of their lives. Elaisa is a college student who handles the intermediate level group. She was shy at first but is now gaining confidence and effectively ministering to the children.

Since we minister to the poorest of the poor in the community, we face particular challenges that need the extra mile of love and care. God tangibly showed his love for us, and so we wished to show His love to the people in the same manner. I noticed that many of the children had broken shoes or were barefoot. We brought this issue to God in prayer and thought about how we could use this situation to show God’s love. Through the generous gifts of our brethren, we were able to give fifty new pairs of sandals to the children along with other necessities. We saw the priceless joy on their faces as parents and children felt the love of Christ.

They will no longer be barefoot!

Pray for the children to grow in their knowledge and love of Jesus Christ and for Elaisa to be molded by God as she ministers to them.

  • Pray for the parents to be reached for Christ through the witness of the children.

 In previous reports, I have shared about Anthony and how God saved him and transformed his life. He continues to grow in the Lord and desires to be used in ministry. Last July, I baptized Anthony and his wife. They are both active volunteers. This month, Anthony learned I needed a Bible study leader in our church plant in Calero. He requested to accompany me. Now Anthony is leading Bible studies in Calero and Tayud. At first, he was tense and afraid, now by God’s grace, he is gaining confidence and skills in leading people to have a personal and growing relationship with God.

  • Pray for spiritual maturity and ministry effectiveness for Anthony and his wife.
  • Pray for spiritual growth for the people in the Calero and Tayud Bible studies.

Pamela is a young lady with a great love for God and has been a positive impact on our ministry. We met last year, and we have seen her grow exponentially in her understanding and faith in God. Currently, she is a leader in our outreach program and our praise and worship ministry. This month she went the extra mile by being a storyteller for the children. She did an excellent job despite this being her first time.

  • Pray for Pamela to grow in her faith and become even more useful for the ministry.

Being a church planter is not an easy role, and I appreciate the support and company of other church planters. I thank the Lord for the community of pastors who have the same heart and vision in ministry. I was privileged to host and organize our church planter’s equipping event. This is our third year to encourage and equip the church planters with this even, and we meet twice a year. I praise God that I was ministered to by my colleagues.

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Children are a gift and a blessing from the Lord, I praise God for them. However, along with every blessing comes responsibility; the most significant task of the parent is to train up the child in the way he should go in the Lord. Reed, our youngest son, is four years old. His birth was a miraculous display of God’s power. Now Reed is active and eager to go with us for the outreach program and joyfully joins the other children in the community. I see the joy in his face as he learns Bible stories every week.

  • Pray for the church planters to continue to obey their calling despite unfavorable circumstances and challenges.
  • Pray for my family and me to strive to finish the race victoriously.
  • Pray for the growth of the church. We are growing in number, and the leadership is searching for a roomier and more convenient place for worship.
  • Pray for God’s guidance and provision.
  • Pray for the spiritual maturity of our church leaders.
  • Pray for the establishment of a new community church in our outreach location of Liloan.
  • Pray for our medical mission next month.

August 2019

In my previous reports, I mentioned our first Youth for Jesus (Y4J) camp. This event was a turning point in the lives of many of our youth. Many choose to get involved in the church ministries, and some even decided to proclaim their decision to follow Jesus through water baptism. The leaders met and concluded a follow-up fellowship every other month would encourage the youth to bond, learn from God’s Word, and grow in their relationships with God and each other. So we held our first Y4J fellowship and our church had the privilege of hosting it. Fifty-seven youth from five different new pioneering churches attended in addition to seventeen youth from our church. It was heartwarming to hear testimonies from the young people of how God is working in their lives and how He is using them to reach others for Christ. We created a group of core Y4J youth leaders from these churches. We have seen them grow in their leadership skills as well as spiritual character. They are active and joyful in serving the Lord.

  • Pray for the continued growth and spiritual transformation of these youth.
  • Pray for strength and wisdom, many of the young people are being forced by the schools to attend the worship service in the Roman Catholic church as part of their grade, and they are reluctant to do so as they already understand and know the truth.

We believe that life transformations and spiritual growth can be done best in small groups. One of our ministry methods to strengthen the church is to establish as many small groups as possible. Sometimes this is a struggle as we lack enough volunteers and leaders. My core leaders already have many commitments in the church. As we minister to many new believers, they are still growing in their understanding of God’s Word and their faith. It takes time for them to be ready to lead a small group.

  • Pray for God to strengthen and bless the small groups and for every member to grow in the Lord.
  • Pray for genuine life transformation to happen through this ministry.

This month, the Lord opened my heart and mind to see this great need and an answer to our challenge. God has given us qualified people in the church, and we have enough to help us accomplish the work. God impressed on my heart to encourage new volunteers and leaders from the larger group, including those who are still new in their faith. We launched the “Life Group” ministry and praised the Lord for granting us success. We had over ninety people who attended. We grouped them geographically into small groups with eight to ten members in each group. We currently have eleven life groups meeting each week to learn God’s Word and grow in their relationships with God and each other. I meet with the leaders for training, equipping, empowering, and encouraging them. I praise God for their commitment and desire to serve.

I mentioned our campus ministry and intent to engage the youth to be missionaries at their schools. We conducted training this summer with Chai teaching on evangelism. Since then, the youth have been bold and active in sharing their faith on campus but have struggled to establish small groups. So we planned and prayed about equipping them for this task and empowering them to form groups. We held a follow-up training this month to focus on establishing small Bible studies and trouble-shooting challenges. It was encouraging to our youth and caused them to be more intentional and determined. We are grateful for Chai’s availability and expertise in teaching our youth.

  • Pray for the young people to establish small group Bible studies on their school campuses.
  • Pray for God to enable them to saturate the schools with the gospel.

There is a Philippine proverb that says “ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan” which means the young people are the future of our nation. But how can they be the future if they are not disciplined in Christ? Teenagers are under attack by the enemy with many temptations and pressures from inside and out. We desire to raise the next generation of champions in the church, so we intentionally disciple our youth. They meet each week in small groups to build stronger and deeper relationships with God and each other. Their leaders encourage them to grow in their personal walk with God. We have seen tremendous spiritual growth and genuine transformation. My wife, Christine, spends lots of time with her group and is creative in dealing with this generation. Most of the young people are actively serving God in various ministries in the church.

  • Pray for the youth to have spiritual strength to withstand peer pressure.

  • Pray for male leaders to train the boys to be godly men.

We started the daily tutorials for ninety-five children in the church. It was challenging to get this ministry started due to tight resources but praise the Lord, He provided for our needs, and the ministry is continuing. This month our two full-time teachers focused on developing the social image and self-esteem of the children. Many of them come from dysfunctional families, and to boost their academic performance, we first sought to encourage their self-confidence. We did many activities that included the parents to increase quality time and bonding. We had a birthday celebration for everyone, and to my surprise, many of them expressed that it was their first time having their birthdays celebrated. It was meaningful and memorable; through this experience, the children felt their importance and value in the eyes of God.

  • Pray for the breakthrough moment in the lives of these young children where they recognize their need for a Savior and call on Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for the children to grow in the knowledge of God and understand His love.

Arcily is a ninth-grader and the second child among seven siblings. When I first met her ten months ago, she was shy and reluctant to attend the Bible study. Through persistent prayers and many invitations from her friends, she finally decided to join the discipleship group, and that was her turning point. She became active in church activities and started to grow in her walk with God. Last month, she expressed her desire to follow Christ through water baptism, but her parents did not permit her to. Instead of getting discouraged and rebellious, Arcily chose to honor and obey her parent’s decision and continue to serve the Lord. She is an active member of the praise and worship team, shows passion in teaching the children in our outreach, and joyfully serves the Lord in the church in many ways.

  • Pray for the salvation of Arcily’s parents and the entire family. Pray for Arcily’s continuous spiritual growth.

The first time I met Sherry Jane, she was hesitant and shy. Little by little, she witnessed the transformation of her parents by the power of the gospel and began to join them at church. Last month, she proclaimed her decision to follow Jesus through water baptism with her parents and older sister, Blezet. She is more active in volunteering and is one of our praise and worship leaders. She goes above and beyond by teaching in our outreach program and enjoys ministering to the children. She is bold in sharing her faith in school with classmates. I give glory to God for the transformation in her life in such a short amount of time.

  • Pray for God to continue to mold Sherry and use her life for his glory.

James is from the community of Libo, our second outreach location. I first saw James at the youth Bible study, but he stayed at a distance from the group. One of his peer’s bullied him to the point that James stopped attending the Bible study. But Kim, a concerned friend of his, was quite persistent in bringing James, to the point that he was almost dragging him to the youth group. Through this friendship, James became active in attending. I talked with him, and he has a lot of baggage from his past that he was not able to cope with and did not know where to get help. When James discovered the church family who valued him and accepted him, he was blessed. He has grown in his knowledge and walk with the Lord. Last month, he was baptized and is now even more active and joyful serving the Lord in the church. He helps with our new church plant in Liloan and loves teaching the children.

  • Pray for James to grow in his relationship with God and for his family to come to salvation.

I have shared about the new mission work in Liloan and how this is an answer to our prayers. There are thirty-five children and ten young people who regularly attend the weekly outreach; the children wait excitedly for us every week. I thank God for our youth and couples who passionately volunteer their time to reach the people. Since this area has the poorest of the poor and malnourished children, so we are planning to start a feeding program. In the two months we have been ministering here, we see the mighty hands of God working in the lives of the people and drawing them to desire to know God.

The scriptures speak the truth when they say “the son of man came to seek and save the lost.” When we first engaged in the community, the people were puzzled, and many rejected the Word of God. They were busy and uninterested in us or the message we were bringing. After a few weeks of interacting with the children and youth, God opened the hearts of the adults. I saw a group of men drinking, and when they saw me, they invited me to join them. I sat with them, and we had a conversation. They were drunk, but after a few minutes, I was surprised when they asked me to have a Bible study. I was hesitant, thinking that they were drunk and so under the influence of the liquor. But I said yes and started sharing with them about the gospel from the life of Zacchaeus. We should not underestimate the power of the gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit, no matter the present condition of a person. Four of them accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They are not drunk anymore, and we have a regular Bible study every week.

  • Pray for a community church to be established here. Pray for the provision to start a feeding program and other relevant programs to reach the people with the gospel message.
  • Pray for the men’s Bible study to continue and for the genuine conversion of the people in this community.
  • Pray for more open doors for the gospel.
  • Pray for a larger and more convenient location for worship, we are outgrowing our current place.
  • Pray for God to raise more Godly leaders in the church.
  • Pray for wisdom and strength as I lead the church.
  • Pray for our volunteers to grow in their relationship with God.
  • Pray for health for my family, the unstable weather conditions are causing them not to feel well.

July 2019

The Scriptures remind us that “…our labor in the Lord is not in vain.” A year ago, we started our toil, labor, and investment into the people in this community. We knew our task was simply to bring the good news to the people and to leave the results to the Lord; He is the one who makes it grow and bear fruit. God has brought tremendous spiritual growth to the lives of his people. Displaying obedience to God through water baptism is a significant religious issue in the Philippines and can cause persecution and fear among believers. This month we celebrated in victory as sixteen young believers choose to declare their faith in Jesus Christ through baptism. This event has impacted the entire church.  Many of these individuals actively share their faith and serve in the church. I personally praise God even more as my nine-year-old eldest son and my eighteen-year-old newly adopted daughter were among those who were baptized. After the baptism, just as we expected, our brethren again faced persecution from the neighbors. But we praise God because he has protected the faith of His people and sustains them despite this persecution. All of the newly baptized believers continue to declare their faith and joyfully serve Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for God to keep them in the faith, and make them salt and light to their families and community.

Education Integrated with Christian Values!

Good education integrated with Christian values is an excellent asset for the success of our children, but it is a challenge here as Christianity is a minority. It has long been our dream to support the academics of our children, but we struggled with the many logistics such as location, teachers, volunteers, materials, and more. Despite all of these things, we continued to trust God. We started a daily tutorial with morning and afternoon classes from Wednesday to Saturday. Praise the Lord for this answer to our prayers. We have two full-time teachers and two part-time volunteers to handle the ninety-five children from the community. The focus of our classes is to empower the academic performance of the child at school with the integration of Christian values to help them in all areas of their lives; to be a better student, a better child at home, a better citizen in the community, and most of all, a better follower of Jesus Christ and display a Christ-like character. While the children have their classes, we hold a Bible study with the parents.

  • Pray for the teachers and volunteers to have a continued passion to minister to the children and their parents.
  • Pray for these children and parents to have a genuine encounter to God, resulting in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our vision in the church is “Multiplying Healthy Churches in our Community and Beyond,” with the intention of establishing one community church every two to three years. Just this month, God opened the door to a new location. We visited the Barangay Calero in the town of Liloan near the coastal area. I brought a few young people and members from the church for a scouting mission to observe and study the culture of the people, their needs, and how we can approach them with the gospel. We see the hunger for God’s Word; there is no Christian church within the vicinity. The majority of the people are financially poor as the husbands are fishermen, and the wives are unemployed. Evil practices are present in this place. After our visit, we debriefed and decided to pursue work in this place as the people are perishing and in need of hearing God’s love through evangelism.

After we decided to pursue work in Calero, Liloan, I urged the people to send an entire month only in prayer. We walked the community and prayed at the schools, government offices and streets for the salvation and transformation of people asking God to open doors for the gospel, and to destroy the works of the enemy. Our focus was prayer only to prepare the place for God’s Work but also to teach each member of the team to be dependent on the Lord. While we did our weekly prayer walks, we met some children and parents. They were puzzled because we are strangers there and they wondered why we kept coming back each week. We started to establish good relationships with them and told them our purpose is to share with them the love of God and how to have a personal and growing relationship with God. Sometimes we were rejected, but some embraced and accepted us.

When Jesus sent out the seventy-two, he instructed them to look for a person of peace in the community. So as we started a ministry in Calero, Liloan, we searched for this person of peace that God had prepared to be helpful for His workers. We did not have a clue who it would be but kept asking God to lead us to this individual. God prepared the way, and we met Nanay (Grandma) Masing. She is a devote Roman Catholic and a nomad in this place. Masing has twelve children, her husband Tinoy is a fisherman, and she is a fish vendor. We shared with her our desire to teach and lead the children and adults to have a personal and growing relationship with God.  She gladly accepted us and offered her house and the vacant space nearby for our use. We praise the Lord for answering our prayers.

After our month of prayers, we started the Children’s Outreach using the AWANA program. Thirty children are meeting in the open space under the mango tree. Our hearts are rejoicing to see the new mission work starting.  My heart is even more joyful as I see the Lord transforming the lives of the volunteers. A year ago, these young people were on the receiving end of the AWANA Children’s Outreach program in Tayud, Consalacion. God has worked in their lives, and now they are God’s instruments in bringing the gospel to the lost. Last month they started the Children’s Outreach in Tayud elementary school, and this month they are ministering in Calero, Liloan. Praise to God for changing people from the inside out.

  • Pray for salvation for Nanay Masing and her entire family.
  • Pray for our new location of Calero, Liloan to come to hear God’s love and message of salvation.
  • Pray for God to sustain the passion in the hearts of the youth for his glory.
  • Pray for the salvation of the children and their parents.
  • Pray for the Children’s Outreach at the Tayud Elementary school to grow.

Parenting is never simple, but it is a great privilege. As parents, it is our utmost joy to see our children walking in the Lord and serving Him with all their hearts. Many pastors may neglect the spiritual instruction of their children through their busyness in focusing on people in the church. My wife and I are not exempt from this challenge, but God is gracious to help us in our weakness and limitations. My eldest son, Kerith, is nine years old. Three years ago, my wife had the joy of sharing with him the gospel of salvation and hearing his decision to surrender his life to Jesus Christ and accept Him as His personal Lord and Savior. At that point, Kerith became active in joining the AWANA volunteers’ team and has grown in his knowledge and love from God. When Kerith heard I was teaching the baptismal class in the church this month, he expressed a desire to join, and God convicted his heart to follow Christ in baptism. This brought joy to our hearts, and I praise the Lord that I have baptized my son.

  • Pray for Kerith to continue to love and serve the Lord for the rest of his life.
  • Pray for him to grow deeper in his knowledge and relationship with the Lord.

Praise the Lord for the partnership of the Korean brethren from Cebu Korean Church who faithfully come to minister and teach the children. We have the AWANA program, feeding program, children’s outreach, daily tutorials, and the children sponsorship program. As a newly started church, it is a challenge to maintain our many ministries, but the Lord is the source of our strength, knowledge, joy, and our financial provider.

  • Pray the financial provision for these children’s programs to continue and reach the children with the message of the gospel.
  • Pray for the volunteers to be sustained in God’s strength.
  • Pray for the livelihood program that is growing in size and participants to continue to supplement the incomes of the people and draw more people to faith in God.

True freedom is not only being outside of the prison cell but also being freed from the dominion of Satan. Meet Celso, he is the husband of Emilda, she donated the church lot and is an active member in the church. Before we came to minister in this community, Celso had been in prison for three years for illegal drugs. When Emilda came to know the Lord, she had two prayers requests. First, for her husband to be saved, and second for his acquittal. The church earnestly prayed for Celso’s spiritual and physical freedom, and God heard our cries. This month was the answer to our prayers, Celso was released from prison. The church and his family celebrated, and our joy was complete as he decided to join us in the church. When Celso returned home, he was happy to have the church beside his house and to see how God has changed his wife. We praise the Lord that Celso has found the true freedom only possible through Jesus Christ.

  • Pray for brother Celso to continue to rely upon the Lord and to not turn back to his old way of life.
  • Pray for the salvation of his entire family.
  • Pray for more volunteers in the church, our work is growing in size and requires more workers.
  • Pray for the growth of the church.
  • Pray for my wife to find employment.
  •  Pray for Alfred, Alrene’s son, who has been in the hospital for more than three weeks waiting for an operation. He is still a child, and due to a disease in his leg, he is unable to stand, walk, or move.
  • Pray for this surgery to be possible soon, for complete recovery and healing.

June 2019

We are thrilled to share an answered prayer!

Doing a campus ministry was a desire we had as a church but because of the lack of experience, knowledge, and or manpower to do so, we were struggling to get the project started. Last month, in my report, I shared this prayer request, and God was faithful to answer it. He blessed us with seventeen active youth in the church who are attending the same school. I started to disciple them and empower them to be faithful ministers of the gospel in the campus arena. This month, we officially launched a church-based campus ministry. Fifteen junior and senior high schoolers and their four mentors have committed their lives to saturate Tayud National High School with the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are actively sharing the gospel on campus to their classmates, schoolmates, and even their teachers.

The start of this ministry is enormous for us, especially as our church itself is only five-months-old.  We sent the youth and their mentors to a campus missionary training to intentionally teach them how to engage in the community and establish discipleship groups. God used Chai, a fulltime EFCP campus missionary, and her team, to share their expertise. They did a whole-day training focused on campus ministry and another day with practical application.  This event helped to boost the confidence of the youth and enhance their skills. Their excitement was stirred, and they were encouraged to be dependent on God to sustain them despite the challenges they will face. When I remembered the lives of these youth a year ago, many were vulnerable and broken-hearted with no direction in life. They were hesitant at first, but God is loving and patient, and by His grace, we slowly drew them to Christ, and now they are active in the church.

Teenage life is a crucial stage of development, especially as teenagers are prone and vulnerable to all the distractions of life and bombarded with all the lies and schemes of Satan. The enemy desires to destroy the lives of our young people as he knows this will destroy the church and its future generations. The church must intentionally train and disciple its youth, if they fail to do this, the voices of the world will prevail, and the young generation will become haters of God. Christine, Melchora, Desiree, and Greg are committed to mentor and disciple these youth intentionally. They meet every week to grow in knowledge and faith together.

Pray for God to continue to empower these young campus missionaries to joyfully and actively share the gospel on and off the campus. Pray for the ability to establish discipleship groups on the campus. Pray for strength and wisdom for these youth as they live their lives, bringing glory to God, and sharing the hope they have within. Pray for the mentors, Christine, Melchora, Desiree, and Greg, as they guide the youth in sharing their faith. Pray for life’s transformations to continue to happen in the discipleship groups.

My heart is full of joy and thankfulness to the Lord for molding and transforming these youth. Those who were first the students are now becoming the teachers. The classes started by the youth and led by Blezette are now taking the initiative of gathering the elementary students on campus and teaching them the Word of God with the AWANA outreach program.

  • Pray for growth in their relationship with the Lord and continual service with joy.
  • Pray for the ministry to not be hindered by the school administration.
  • Pray for the parents, who hear the youth teach the gospel, to also come to know the Lord.

We seek to be mission-minded and participate in global evangelism. We are supporting Marivic with our prayers and finances as a missionary to Indonesia.

  • Pray for her provision and daily protection.
  • Pray for her effectiveness in ministry.

A year ago, I shared the tragic death of John Carlo, the two-year-old boy who was lost and drowned in the sea. It was a devastating event for the family and shocking to the entire community. Despite the pain and confusion, God turns unfavorable situations into opportunities to bring people to hear the gospel and turn to Him. This month is the first anniversary, and the family requested us to hold a service in their home. We have seen God’s healing in their lives as they offer praise to God by the grace and light in Christ, despite the darkness and tragedies of this world.

Remembering John Carlo

  • Pray for healing and spiritual growth for the family.

The growth and fruit of the ministry are the work of God; our responsibility is to tell people about God’s love.  It is impossible for people to have a relationship with God apart from the grace of God. Eight months ago, I started a one-on-one discipleship time with Greg. It was not consistent at first, but I persisted, now God’s Word is growing in his heart and bearing fruit. More neighbors are coming to his house, and the gathering has grown to be a group Bible study and discipleship time.

My goal is to produce leaders and pastors from the local church, to be ready when God calls me to start a new church plant. I know being a pastor is a special calling and requires a long time of training, but God will raise up men to fulfill this role. Alvin, John, Greg, and Anthony have enrolled in the Bible School as they desire to learn and be used more effectively by God. They have some challenges as they leave work once a week to attend the classes. Their families rely on their income. They also have not been students for a while, and so they face the overwhelming tasks of readings, assignments, exams, and studying. They have taken a big step of faith and trust God with them despite their fear, doubts, and worries. I see their joy and excitement.

  •  Pray for provision, spiritual growth, and effectiveness in ministry.
  • Pray for wisdom, courage, and persistence in education.

We held a celebration for our livelihood program that has been in existence for a year. We introduced the program intending to bring the whole community to Christ. Despite the challenges, rejection, fear, doubts, at the beginning with engaging the community, God’s love and sustaining grace has transformed the lives of the people in many ways. We heard testimonies and enjoyed fellowship. We are grateful that the municipal mayor was supportive of the program form the beginning.

  • Pray for God to sustain the program and reach more people with the gospel message.

When I first saw the condition of the children, I was moved with compassion by their many needs. I prayed and kept thinking of how to release them from physical and spiritual poverty. I thought it was impossible, but God is full of surprises. We connected with a child sponsorship program to assist the children in learning to read, feed them nourishing meals, and give them the chance to discover new life in Jesus Christ. Some of the parents are now active participants in the church. “Jesus loves the little children…” this is how the song goes, we are blessed by God with many children from the community. We share the love of God with the children in tangible ways such as giving groceries to the families and AWANA fun days.

  • Pray for the volunteers to be faithful and for the children to be authentic followers of Jesus Christ.
  • Pray for the moral of the sponsorship group as they face a leadership change.

Learning the art of dependence on God in every aspect of life and ministry is essential for every believer, but it takes discipline and determination. At first, we struggled as no one from the congregation knew how to lead a worship service.  After our music workshop a few months ago, we have many committed people on the worship team. They are all new believers and still struggle with their old way of life. This month we taught them about how to do personal devotions and group devotions before the practice and worship service starts. We challenged them to make personal devotions a habit in their lives. We praise God that they are becoming more dependent on God and have confidence in God.

  • Pray for the worship team to grow in their personal relationship with God and to be committed and effective in the ministry. 
  • Pray for musical instruments.

My adopted daughter, Ester, was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis four years ago. But God is faithful and had an excellent and big plan for her life. She is continuing her studies to gain a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Education at the Evangelical Theological College of the Philippine in Banawa Cebu City. God made the impossible into a possibility in her life, and Ester is a great example to her family, youth in the church, and her co-students at the Bible college. She desires to be a teacher someday.

  • Pray for her health, primarily as she handles stressful assignments and reports.
  • Pray for Ester’s immune system to be reliable while living in the girls’ dormitory and for protection in traveling to and from her weekend ministry at a church in Cordova, Cebu. She teaches and disciples the children and youth.

Being in full-time pastoral ministry is a great privilege and a massive amount of work that requires diligence and continual learning. I praise the Lord for granting my prayer to continue my education, and I will be pursuing a masters’ degree at the Cebu Graduate School of Theology.

  • Pray for the balance of ministry, study, and family.
  • Pray for the Lord to be my source of strength, wisdom, and effectiveness.
  • Pray for my wife to find a new job as she has been out of work for a few months.
  • Pray for God’s guidance and wisdom as we are planning to open a new outreach in Liloan this summer.
  • Pray for more volunteers as the work is growing.

May 2019

Youth ministry is fun but also challenging. These young people are the future leaders in the church, and we need to carefully and intentionally disciple them into Christ-likeness. If we miss this opportunity, we will lose the next generation.

Youth 4 Jesus Camp 2019

Since these youth are also young in their faith, we desired to organize a youth camp designed for their level and spiritual need.  This task seemed impossible because of the many barriers. Our time to plan and prepare was too short, the reasonable expenses too big, and many of the parents were concerned about allowing their children to join us due to costs, and especially since this was our first time organizing this type of youth camp. We are still trying to establish good relationships and trust with the parents as well. The night before the camp, one of the fathers was so angry that he tore up the parent’s consent paper. He did not want his daughter to attend the camp. Early the next morning, I talked with him and tried to explain the purpose and benefits, he was hesitant but finally allowed his daughter to join us with the promise of us caring for her. Despite these obstacles, God is gracious and kind. Our “Youth for Jesus” (Y4J) camp was triumphant and victorious. Two months were spent on planning, preparing, and funding. I asked three pastors, who are close friends, to help. We set the goal of forty campers with ten counselors and staff, and surprisingly, God gave us sixty-five campers with twenty-one counselors and staff. Twenty-three campers and seven counselors were from our church. Glory to God.

This was a first-time experience for many of the meaningful and transforming love and grace of God. After the camp, we heard many inspiring and victorious testimonies from the youth and parents declaring the mighty works of God in their lives. The young people are now more active and eager in serving the Lord in the church.

  • Pray for the continual transformation in the lives of these young people.
  • Pray for their spiritual growth as they gain knowledge of God’s Word.
  • Pray for God to use them to reach their unbelieving parents.

In previous reports, I shared about Gea, who was a timid and shy individual for many years. She would just come to attend the worship service, and that was the extent of her involvement. But when we encouraged her to become a part of the praise and worship team, she started to excel in serving in ministry. This month, we allowed her to lead the team for our first “Daily Vacation Bible School” in the community. We have seen her commitment, skills, and exemplary devotion to God by leading this team with humility and clear direction despite a hectic schedule.

  • Pray for Gea’s influence in ministry.
  • Pray for her spiritual growth and continued desire and availability to serve God at the church.

Discipleship is a significant command from Jesus in his great commission. As our church is now four months old, despite its newness, it is crucial for me to train and disciple leaders in the church to stand firm as pillars. My goal and focus this year is to educate and establish leaders beyond just the classroom setting. I am intentionally teaching through the scripture and using an apprenticeship model to send them out. We have a discipleship session, and then I send the groups of three to do door-to-door evangelism and follow-up. We praise God that despite their young faith, these believers are sharing the gospel and leading Bible studies. We now have four groups who regularly evangelize and handle the Bible studies each week.

  • Pray for more people to be willing to be equipped and used for God’s Kingdom, for the women to be ready and available to continue to grow in the Lord.
  • Pray for these women to be able to reach their husbands and children with the gospel.

Mothers have a crucial and distinctive role in the family, community, and church. I could not imagine the world, neighborhood, church, or family without the contribution and impact of women. We are blessed to have many Godly women in the church, and we celebrated our first Mothers’ Day together. It was emotional for many, as this was their first experience of this occasion. During the celebration, we asked the children to give honor to their mothers publicly. Many of the mothers were surprised by their children’s open requests for forgiveness and expressions of love. Relationships were reconciled, and many grew deeper. The simple act of devotion changed these individuals for a lifetime.

Women’s Day Celebration!

  • Pray for these women to continue to grow in the Lord and be agents of transformation in their families and communities.
  • Pray for more women to stand up and shine in the church and their families.

The Kids for the King children’s ministry continues each week. We praise God that he has entrusted us with so many children to disciple into Christlikeness. Our Korean Christian friends from Cebu Korean Church come once a month to teach the children from the Bible and show the love of God through tangible, simple gifts. Most of the children are from one community where we do outreach, and some of the parents have started to attend the church each Sunday.

  • Pray for these young children to continue to grow in the Lord.
  • Pray for our Korean brethren, for God to bless them so they may be a blessing to others.

The school year is fast approaching. One of the struggles many parents face is to provide school supplies in addition to the tuition fees and uniforms. These supplies are getting more expensive each year, and most of the community are living below the poverty level. As a tangible way to show the love of Christ to the parents and children in our area, we gave bundles of school supplies to one-hundred and twenty-five kids as gifts. I praise God for this ability to give generously from the church despite our own financial situation as many of the church members are jobless. I praise God that we have learned to trust God more in our church finances, and through this gift, we touched many lives for Christ Jesus. The parents and children are thankful for what they received, but most of all, they are grateful for the love of Christ.

  • Pray for our unemployed church members to find jobs so they can support their families.
  • Pray for the opening of school to be smooth.
  • Pray for God to continue to provide provision for the church. My wife has been unemployed for a month, pray for a new job opportunity, and our daily needs as well.
  • Pray for our campus ministry starting this month. We are training and using seventeen active youth to start several small group Bible studies on campus. This is a big step for our ministry, pray for its success.
  • Pray for the establishment of influential leaders in the church.
  • Pray for our daily church tutorial that starts soon to have God’s provision and clear direction. We desire to plan another church in the next year, pray for God’s vision and guidance.

          

           It’s been a year that we continue to reach out to the community in Tayud. We had tried our best to disciple them to become like Christ. Still many are hesitant to accept our message and others are starting to persecute the new believers but we praise God that there still more who are interested in the gospel and God has preserved his elect.

           This month we continue to do our community values formation by teaching the community with the word of God and ministering them holistically. There are few members who got discouraged because of the persecutions and bullying that they have heard from the neighbors but we did our best to encourage and minister to them by helping them understand that persecution is part of our cost of following Jesus. Despite the challenges, still many are interested and have come to the meeting. I also praise God for the life of Elvie Revira who continually helps me in this endeavor.

  • Please pray for our brethren to stand in their faith as they face trials and persecutions.
  • Please pray for the salvation and transformation of the entire community.

April 2019

Many of the people we minister to are unable to afford regular check-ups by the doctor and so suffer from illnesses that could have been prevented or cured. For a year, we have been desiring, planning, and praying on how to improve the physical health of the community. It seemed impossible, but God is full of surprises. God answered our prayers, and Dr. Talili is a Christian medical doctor who has offered to conduct regular medical check-ups twice a year at the church for an affordable price. We were also able to provide a free medical check-up to one-hundred children in the church. Our hearts rejoice to see the faces filled with the joy of the children and their parents.

Our smile communicates a lot, but how can you give a beautiful smile if your teeth are not in good condition? Most of the children have not taken care of their teeth, and a dentist visit is expensive, so they suffer from toothache and decay. Sherwen and Irish are a couple who are both Christian dentists with a big heart for ministry. They did an entire day of dental check-ups for the church and served one-hundred children in the community. They committed to come twice a year to care for the children’s teeth. Now we see so many beautiful smiles.

  • Pray for the blessings of physical health to influence the spiritual health of the people.
  • Pray for Dr. Talili as he ministers to the needy people and for God’s blessings upon him.
  • Pray for Sherwen and Irish as they serve the children and their families.
  • Pray for the gospel to penetrate these families through this gift.
  • Pray for the children to grow up in faith in God.

Scripture is the foundation of every believer’s spiritual growth. Intentional discipleship is the backbone of the church’s growth. Our mission is to make disciples who will faithfully make disciples of Jesus Christ. Gerald and Anne are a new couple who first visited two months ago. They live quite away and take three rides to reach the church, but since their first Sunday, they never miss a worship service and are attending the discipleship class every week.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth and transformation of the people who are actively studying God’s Work and serving God.
  • Pray for Gerald and Anne to grow in their faith.

Evangelism is a command from God, and I do my best to encourage the members to get out of their comfort zone to share the gospel. I struggle sometimes and have to remember that some are only a month-old in their faith. God reminds me that this is His work and not done in my own strength. We had a great revival and transformation in the church and community. Campus Crusade for Christ sent student missionaries to train and empower our church members to do intentional evangelism and follow-up discipleship. We expected about thirty-people but were surprised by sixty participants. The week-long training included classes in the morning and door-to-door evangelism in the afternoon in three different areas. Forty-five men and women completed the instruction, and courageously shared their faith. For many, this was their first time sharing the gospel. Of the two-hundred and fifty-three we talked with, one-hundred and fifty-one accepted Jesus Christ. Sixty-one of those wanted to do more Bible study, and thirteen have continued to attend the Bible study. The church is enthusiastically reaching the lost. The entire community is puzzled by their neighbors who formerly had messy lives like their own but are not fearlessly declaring God’s love and grace.

In this computer age, people are obsessed with gadgets and social media. Our evangelism trainers desired to share a public film about Jesus each evening, and I thought this would be the wrong strategy and only useful in the eighties. But God again reminded me to trust Him. We announced a free film showing for three nights, but only the children responded with great excitement. Surprisingly, one-hundred and seventy-six adults accepted Jesus as their Savior during the presentation of the gospel.

  • Pray for those who accepted the Lord Jesus will continue to seek and obey Him.
  • Pray for these new believers to grow in their faith.
  • Pray for the church members to boldly proclaim the gospel.

Romelyn is a young mother with two small children. I met her a few months ago in one of the gambling dens in the community. She would gamble every day and get drunk on the weekends. I invited her to join the livelihood program as she was in deep financial trouble. She refused with the excuse that she was too busy.  I never gave up in being her friend, and at one point, she listened to my preaching. God worked in her heart, and she continued to attend the Bible study each week. I noticed that she was no longer going to the gambling area and that I had not seen her drunk for a while, I asked her what had happened, and she responded that the Lord convicted her heart through His Word. Now she is active in the church, sharing her faith with her family, and leading a group. Praise God for changing her life.

Arlene is a housewife who cares for her children and grandchildren. She joined the livelihood program last year but always had lots of excuses as to why she could not attend the values formation study. One day, Arlene had no option but to come and hear the Bible at the home of Alvin and Mechora. Since then, she kept asking questions about God, the Bible, and religion. When we started the Worship Service three months ago, Arlene did not attend the main service but still went to the Bible study. Then she got curious when she heard about the evangelism training as the word ‘evangelism’ was one never heard by her before and so she came to the event. God worked in her heart through the instruction, and Arlene shared the gospel with her entire family. At our celebration night, she shared her testimony of how God worked miraculously in her life.

Arlene has joined the worship service and is actively involved in the church activities.

  • Pray for Romelyn’s continual joy and growth in serving the Lord.
  • Pray for Arlene to continue being on fire to share the gospel and follow-up with the new believers.
  • Pray for the salvation of Romelyn’s and Arlene’s families.

Women play an essential role in the family, community, and the church. We are blessed by many women in the church but struggled to involved them in the larger body of Christ as they are busy and hard to gather aside from Sunday worship service. This month the women from our mother church took time to minister and have fellowship with the women in our church. This was their first experience of spending time sharing and in prayer with other women. They were amazed that they are not alone and discovered that there were many of them with similar stories, challenges, and joys, and were encouraged to serve God.

  • Pray for the women to influence the other women in the community for Christ.
  • Pray for them to be salt and light in their families and neighborhoods.

Ministry is not meant to be done alone, and none of us have every spiritual gift. We value volunteers, especially as I cannot do everything by myself. When we started in this location, God gave us volunteers from our mother church to lighten our load and give us a great start. We realized these fantastic people would not stay with us forever and so started training our local young people to be equipped and trained to minister as well as fed and refreshed. This month was our second ‘volunteer refreshment’ to encourage our nine local youth volunteers. They are new believers, but God is using them to advance his kingdom. They serve joyfully in the church and minister to the children every week.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth and continual transformation of these young people.
  • Pray for God to use them powerfully and effectively in the ministry.
  • Pray for the salvation of their families; many are being persecuted by their own families.

We are thankful that it has already been three months since we started our regular worship service. During this time, it has been challenging to have music because only one person knows how to play the guitar, and only one other person can lead the songs. This struggle is also a blessing because it means we can train others. We held a two-day music workshop to train members to be a part of the worship team. We only have two instruments, a guitar, and beatbox, so we offered training in guitar, beatbox, and song leading. We had many people attend with the desire to use their God-given gifts and talents.

  • Pray for musical instruments to be used for God’s glory.
  • Pray for the development of the church member’s musical skills and their characters to be molded into Christlikeness.
Welcome to the Family Mae! (left of pastor Lito’s wife Christine)

I have mentioned Mae, one of the youth, in previous reports. She is the eight of twelve siblings in her family, her parents and other siblings are not believers. Mae was living with her older sister and brother-in-law, Ailyn and Greg while studying at grade eleven in school, and Greg was paying her school fees as her parents were unable to afford them. Just a few months ago, Greg was fired from his work and has been without a job for two months now. He has six children who are in school and Ailyn in three-months pregnant. Greg and Ailyn are in financial trouble that affects Mae’s possibility of finishing school.  Recently, Greg, Ailyn, and Mae approached my family to ask if she could stay with us and for us to help send her to school.  My wife and I have decided to adopt Mae and committed to send her to school until college is completed. She has been with us for a month already, and my children are happy to accept her as a new member of our family.

  • Pray for God’s provision for the new school year starting in June.
  • Pray for Mae to be able to finish college and be a channel of God’s blessings.
  • Pray for daily provision for Greg and Ailyn, especially as Greg is struggling to find a new job.

Politics and elections in the Philippines get ugly, and it is a challenge to educate people to be ethical and responsible citizens. The politicians roam around and fight each other, and vote-buying is a widespread practice. We held a vote-right seminar to educate the people about how to be responsible.

  • Pray for strength and wisdom as I manage and lead the church.
  • Pray for provision, protection, durability, good weather, and transformation of the young people at our first youth camp.
  • Pray for our week-long VBS coming soon as well.
  • Pray for my wife to find a new job as her work contract just ended.

March 2019

Our mission is to lead people to have a personal and growing relationship with God. Our ultimate goal, by the grace of God, is the transformation of an unbeliever into a disciple that makes other disciples.

The first time we met Jessa, she was timid and hesitant to join the youth Bible study or other youth activities despite our gentle, encouraging invitations. A couple of months ago, when we first started the church, I noticed that Jessa was a close friend with Sherry Jean (I shared about her in my previous report). I asked Sherry Jean to reach out to Jessa and invite her. Praise God because through Sherry Jean, Jessa has started attending the Bible study and other youth activities. She is progressing in her love and relationship with Jesus Christ and slowly gaining self-confidence as she learns about her identity to Christ

Jessa has volunteered to join the praise and worship team and is willing to use her talent for God. She is growing in the Lord and is very active in the church ministries, helping in as many ways as she can.

  • Pray that Jessa will continue to grow in the Lord and will joyfully continue to serve Him.
  • Pray that Jessa will become the salt and light in her family and that her entire family will come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Adding more men to the church is incredibly challenging in the Philippines. When we first started the mission work in Taud, Consolacion a year ago, only women responded to the gospel. We earnestly asked God to change the attitudes of the men in the community from hesitant to responsive and to bring them to faith in Jesus Christ.

I have told parts of the story of Greg in past reports. The first time I met him, Greg was drunk, but he listened to the preaching of the gospel. The following week when I visited Greg’s house, I asked him to join us for the Bible study, but he was hesitant. I was consistent in my visits, and one day Greg responded positively and joined us. From then on, he regularly attends our weekly Bible study and decided to be a part of the church. I saw his potential for the future by his passion for God and compassion for the lost. I intentionally trained him to participate in God’s Work.  Greg joined our core ministry team and is leading the men’s small group at the church. He is active in bringing men to the church and leading them to have a personal and growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We praise God for transforming the life of Greg and using him to bring more people to faith in Christ.

Antonio is married with two children. He has been unable to work for three months due to sickness. His wife just gave birth to their youngest, and they are struggling financially. Jenny has been attending our Bible study for a month and started to join us at church. Antonio was very hesitant to listen to the gospel. One night during a Bible study, Antonio came to get his wife and leave, but instead, he sat down and listened while I shared the gospel. God worked in his heart, and he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. That night, we prayed for healing for Antonio. God is all-powerful. The following day Antonio was able to return to work. He is regularly attending our weekly Bible study and has joined the Sunday worship service.

  • Pray for Greg to continue to grow in his knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
  • Pray for his spiritual growth and for his passion for God’s service to flourish.
  • Pray for Antonio to be completely healed and able to work.
  • Pray for Antonio and Jenny to continue to hunger for the Word of God.
  • Pray for the family’s finances to be resolved.

Ministry is a team effort. God did not design us to be alone working in his vineyard.  When we started the worship service, I struggled to find volunteers for the weekday activities as our volunteers were only available on the weekends. As the church grew, the ministries grew as well, and we faced the challenge of finding people to help. God is faithful and kind. He provided what we needed when we trust in Him while doing His work. This month God answered our prayers. Elvie and Christine have volunteered to teach the children to have a personal growing relationship with Jesus Christ. These two women travel far to minister to the children, but they are always filled with joy. Now many of the children are at the church learning about God instead of hanging out in the internet café when they have no class.

The AWANA program is reaching the children with the gospel. They are excited and eagerly bring their friends. Each week the children receive points for being present, having their Bibles, memorizing scripture, bringing a friend, and participating in activities. They have been collecting their points for three months and will use them to purchase items during the AWANA fair. This month is our first AWANA fair, and the children have been so motivated by their excitement for this event.

The Awana fair!

  • Pray for the spiritual growth and transformation of the children.
  • Pray for Elvie and Christine to be blessed with extra strength and joy as they minister.
  • Pray for our desire to construct a room for the children and for provision to complete this project.
  • Pray for the AWANA program and for its continual motivation to the children to be active in learning God’s Word and bringing their friends.
  • Pray for the opportunity to reach the parents with the gospel through the children.

Religion is a big issue in the Philippines. When we started the Sunday worship service, we faced challenges from the community. False stories were spread, and many people stopped attending the Bible study from their fear of persecution and the gossip they had heard. God is faithful to His people. This past month, most of the people who had stopped attending due to the works of the enemy, have started to join us again and enjoyed hearing from the Word of God.

  • Pray that the women will be consistent in their attendance and to stand firm despite the persecutions of the community.
  • Pray that the gospel will flourish in their hearts and transform their lives.
  • Pray for their husbands to know Jesus Christ.

Death brings grief to our hearts. Larry and Catherine are a young couple who have been together for a few years. Neither are employed. The Lord blessed them with a beautiful daughter who was born this past month. But three days later their child was sick and admitted to the hospital. The parents did everything they could to save their daughter, but after a week in the hospital, she passed away. The couple was shocked and unable to deal with this crisis. They were emotionally overwhelmed and concerned as neither has a job. Their neighbor informed me of their tragic loss, and I visited Larry and Catherine. At first, they refused to talk, being unable to accept and handle their loss. But God is faithful and true, he is the God of comfort. As I prayed, the couple opened up and shared their emotions.  The entire church is helping and supporting this family. Larry and Catherine asked if we could conduct the funeral service and we praise the Lord that we were able to share the gospel with them and the neighborhood. The couple is slowly recovering, and we continue to comfort and minister to them.

  • Pray for the couple to heal and recover from their loss.
  • Pray for Larry and Catherine to come to faith in Jesus Christ despite their pain.
  • Pray for Larry to find a job soon.

The livelihood program is growing fast and reaching the community with the gospel. There are now four community groups, and we are in the second cycle of their existence. I see the blessings on the physical and financial needs of the people as well as the way it has changed their characters, values, and lifestyles. Many have stopped gambling and drinking.

  • Pray for the growth of the program.
  • Pray for the logistics to be simplified as I am using the motorcycle to transport the raw materials.

I hold a weekly discipleship class with the new believers in the church. This month I trained them in evangelism, encouraging them to share their faith with others. After the first session, Jonalyn shared the gospel with her husband Ryan, and he accepted Jesus Christ. We rejoiced to hear her news. Tessie and Mary Ann are also sharing the gospel with their husbands. We are teaching the church members to cultivate a relationship with God through prayer. They are eager to learn how to pray and are ministering to each other through the group prayer time. Previously some would drink alcohol and gossip about others. It is a joy to see them becoming friends.

Praise God for the salvation of Ryan

  • Pray for Ryan to grow in his faith and pray for Jonalyn as she continues to share the Bible with Ryan.
  • Pray for the husbands of Tessie and Mary Ann to come to trust in God.
  • Pray for the new believers to continue to grow in their relationship with God.
  • Pray for their friendships with each other to become more profound as they bond through prayer.

I have shared before about our adopted daughter Ester. Four years ago, when she was close to graduating from Bible college, she was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis grade 1-2 and underwent thymectomy surgery. She is taking medications and a few months after surgery, she received plasmapheresis treatment. [Editor’s note: myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular disease that affects the ocular (eye) muscles and may cause weakness in other muscles depending on the severity.] Because of Ester’s illness, she was forced to drop out of school. The sickness was so debilitating that Ester lost hope of being healed and found no reason to live, especially feeling the financial burden of her condition. God is gracious and kind! We have not lacked in the ability to provide her daily medicine.

A few months ago, Ester regained the courage to serve God again despite her disability. I am happy to see her joyfully serving God, and she is gaining new strength every day. She is leading the young people in the church. Ester is a living testimony of God’s grace, love, mercy, and hope. She is a shining example that disability and sickness are not a hindrance to serving God.

  • Pray for Ester’s complete physical healing and for daily provision for her medications.
  • Pray for strength and effectiveness as she leads the youth ministry. Ester desires to return to school this next year, pray for God’s leading and guidance upon her life.
  • Pray for our outreach door-to-door this month as we share the gospel in the community.
  • Pray for many souls to be saved and lives to be transformed.
  • Pray for more open doors for the gospel.
  • Pray for our upcoming music workshop. We seek to train the musicians in the church so they can serve God will all their talents to their maximum capacity.
  • Pray for the youth camp this next month.
  • Pray for the young people who will be attending and for their transformation by the grace of God.
  • Pray for financial provision for this event.
  • Pray for the leadership in the church. I am training new leaders.
  • Pray for the Lord to raise up more men to come to faith and to serve in the church.

 
 

Sherry Jean was very hesitant to interact with me the first time I met her. She is a fifteen-year-old high school student, and I invited her to attend the youth Bible study. Every week, I visited her home to conduct a Bible study with her parents and some of her siblings. Sherry Jean would stay in her room or disappear somewhere else while we had the Bible study. On the day of our church dedication, we held our first worship service in the church, and I was surprised to see her there, she even offered to help decorate the church building. Since that time, she has joined the youth activities and Bible study. One day, when the young people in the church were traveling to a youth fellowship, my wife noticed that Sherry Jean had a good singing voice. We decided to invite her to become part of the worship team, and she was extremely excited. We are training her to lead worship; we see her eagerly learning the songs. We see her joy overflowing as she serves the Lord. She is an active volunteer at the church and a back-up song leader. She is also leading one of the small groups for our children’s AWANA program.

 
 
 
 

Blezzeth leading a small group during AWANA.

 
 
 
 

Blezzeth is seventeen; she is the eldest sister of Sherry Jean. When I first encountered her seven months ago, she had a lot of questions about religions and beliefs. I could sense that she was confused and searching for the truth. I invited her to join the Bible study; she was hesitant at first but later started to attend. Every Saturday, I had a Bible study with Blezzeth and her parents, and God opened her heart and mind to understand the truth of the gospel. She gave her life to the Lord and is an active volunteer in the church, a member of our worship team, one of the teachers in the children’s AWANA program, and handles the small youth group. She is growing in her relationship with the Lord and leading others to salvation in God and to grow in their faith.

 
 

Mae is eighteen, in high school, and lives with her sister rather than her parents. When I first met her eighteen months ago, she was so shy that she would not talk with me and would hide in her room when I visited her sister and brother. I considered this, and thought, there are a thousand and one ways to catch a fish. I started to notice that she had some relationship baggage that caused her to have low self-esteem. Later I realized that Mae was very close with Blezzeth so I encouraged Blezzeth to influence Mae to follow Jesus. Now they serve together with much joy and commitment as they learn from God’s Word. Mae is talented and creative; she beautifies the church each week and organizes for events.

 
 
  • Pray for Sherry Jean to continue growing in the Lord.
  • Pray for more people who are willing to serve, especially in our music ministry.
  • Pray for Blezzeth’s zeal for serving God to continue to grow.
  • Pray for God to continue to use Blezzeth to bring others to Christ.
  • Pray for Mae to grow in faith and to be a positive influence in the lives of others who have baggage.
 
 

Small groups are very vital to the life of the church. It is the setting where most life transformation happens. Even Jesus taught a small group of people during his ministry on earth. From his thousands of followers, He sent out seventy-two disciples, had twelve apostles and even within that group, he had a core group of closest friends, Peter, James, and John. Following this example, we are intentionally designing the church model to have healthy small groups with committed leaders. This has been hard since we just started the church and our people are new Christians. It is challenging to find and train small group leaders who are mature enough in their new faith to teach and lead others to have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

 
 

We praise God for His faithfulness to our ministry. During our first worship service, we had two small groups. A month has passed, and this has grown to five small groups. After the preaching, the church people go to their designated small group and discuss the sermon for that Sunday, what they have learned, and how they are going to apply it to their lives. In these groups, they minister to one another, encouraging and praying for each other. The small group leader is responsible to minister to their members on Sunday and throughout the week. They monitor the spiritual growth of their members and are intentional in encouraging them to grow in their relationship with God. I praise God for the positive feedback we have received.

 
 

People are building trust in their small groups, and they pour out their burdens to each other. Relationships are being formed. The leaders are growing in their faith as they minister to the believers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In most churches today, men are hard to reach with the gospel, and few men attend the church. In our church, we also struggle with this same challenge. We do our best to reach the men in the community and continue to draw them into the church. I earnestly asked God to give us a few men to join the church and eventually become leaders in the church. God is faithful and answered the cries of his people. Just this month, God gave us a few men who are eager to learn the Word of God and have joined the men’s small group. The first week I conducted the small group for these men, and now Alvin is leading this group. We invited these men to join us for the Sunday worship, and they responded positively. We thank the Lord for the faithfulness of these men and pray for God to bring more into the church.

 
 
  • Pray for the real-life transformations that occur as the believers meet in their small groups and have the space to be real and transparent with each other as they interact with God’s Word.
  • Pray for more small group leaders who are committed and faithful to serve as our size continues to grow as we add more believers to the church.
  • Pray for the men to continue to learn and grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
  • Pray for the Lord to bring more men into the church and to raise men as leaders.
  • Pray for the church to influence more men in the community.
 
 
 
 

Faith Class Attendees

 
 
 
 

We launched the “My Faith” class this past month that meets every Sunday afternoon. We study topics such as “what we believe” and “why we believe.” I praise the Lord that many of the people who came for the worship service in the morning also return for the class in the afternoon. Sometimes, those who were not able to come in the morning still make it to the afternoon class. Our attendance has grown each week. I see this as a good sign in addition to the increasing interest of the participants to learn more from the Word of God. They enjoy the discussion, and their relationships are strengthened. Tessie, a friend of Mary Ann who was the “unseen audience” in my previous reports, just recently recommitted her life to Christ. She is attending the worship service, “My Faith” class and energetically volunteering in the feeding program. She has brought other women to the church.

 
 
  • Pray for the believers to grow in their knowledge of the scriptures and to become more like Christ.
  • Pray for more people to be willing to know and grow in the truth.
  • Pray for Tessie to grow in her faith and to continue to serve the Lord.
 
 

Just like every other month, my wife and I puzzled about the money for our monthly feeding, but God is always faithful. To my complete surprise, the Lord convicted the church people to give in such abundance that we were able to feed over a hundred and thirty children a delicious, nutritious meal and cover our church operation expenses for the entire month. I was so surprised by this generosity as the believers were learning about church giving and were entirely new to this concept.
Praise the Lord for His blessing.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Our community contains some of the poorest of the poor and seldom do they receive a gift. God used some of our brethren to sponsor fifty children with monthly needs and spiritual lessons for a length of two years. While the children have their activities, we gather the parents for a Bible study. I see the joy on the faces of children and parents, especially when they receive the gift of eternal life.

 
 
  • Pray for the children to grow in their faith and to be a bridge to draw their parents to the Lord.
  • Praise the Lord for the monthly feeding for the children, and the livelihood program, making soap, that draws people to Christ.
  • Pray for the fifty children who are being sponsored to grow in their faith and for their entire families.
 
 
 
 
 

We held a community health education class this month. We had over fifty women who learned ways to adjust their lifestyle to promote health and have less sickness in the community. As a result of this class, the community had a clean-up drive the next day.

 
 

We held an open-air evangelism crusade. We went door-to-door to invite the neighbors and had over a hundred people who gather to hear the gospel message. My friend preached, and many responded by committing their lives to Jesus Christ.

 
 
  • Pray for healthier habits to become consistent in the community.
  • Pray for the new believers to grow in their faith and become a part of the church.
 
 

Start writing or type / to choose a block

 
 
 
 

Ailyn’s story has been shared in many past reports as I first met her eight years ago. God has transformed her from a person addicted to wine and gambling into an effective witness for Christ to the community. She is on our ministry core team and an assistant treasurer in the church. Ailyn has brought her entire family, including her husband to the Lord and has influenced her siblings and their families too. She is now three months pregnant, and we are praying for good health for her and her child.

 
 
 
 
  • Pray for Ailyn and her family as they prepare to welcome another family member.
  • Pray for safety for Pastor Lito and his family as they experienced harassment from a neighbor and are planning to move to a safer location. Pray for wisdom and guidance for their decision.
  • Pray for upcoming summer events – music workshop, VBS program, and the first youth camp.
  • Pray for provision, protection, and success.
  • Pray for the need for more space to accommodate the church congregation that is outgrowing the current sanctuary.
  • Pray for the ongoing needs of the church including musical instruments and children’s materials.
 
 
Gallery
 

January 2019

Children are precious in the sight of the Lord. We praise God for the rapid growth of our children’s ministry.  Just seven months ago, when we first started, we struggled to gather even a few children because of the rivalry between the communities. We prayed, planned, and developed strategies to improve our outreach and prepared for implementing the AWANA program. We intentionally trained the local young people with our existing volunteers to teach this program. This month we started with the first lesson. We were surprised by the intense excitement of the children, they arrived early, and many brought their friends. It was such a blessing to see their joy, especially as this month is all about the Bible. We divided the children and volunteers into four clubs for the games and counsel time. The games were a huge incentive for the children to arrive early. The program has three parts, the large-group time to sing praises together and listen to the Bible story, game time for playing and friendship building, and counsel time with the smaller groups so the volunteers can minister to the children more individually and the children can express their feelings and ask questions. It is so heartwarming to see the children come to Jesus, bringing their Bibles every Sunday with smiling and laughing faces.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth of the children as they journey with us in learning God’s Word.
  • Pray for the courage and joy of our volunteers as they serve the Lord by ministering to the children.
  • Pray for the local young people who run the AWANA and feeding program by themselves on the last Sunday of every month, when we give our volunteers a rest day. Pray for wisdom and provision.

At first, Nikkie only attended church for worship and then went home. But when she committed to being a volunteer, she grew to love ministering and become more active in many areas including the youth ministry, praise and worship, and church outreach. We praise God as we see her growing in the Lord and witness deepening love for God and His work. Her passion for God and compassion for the children bring them closer to her. Nikkie is such a fantastic teacher that the children gather close to hear speak about God, even perching on the top of the wall to listen and participate. Nikkie volunteers every week in the outreach program and the children are so excited to greet her.

  • Pray for Nikkie’s heart as she grows deeper in her relationship with God.
  • Pray for the children in her group to grow in the Lord as they become more connected with each other and her.

Small groups are the best avenue for individuals to grow both in knowledge and relationships. Rhea Mae is one of our small group volunteers. She was hesitant the first time we invited her to join us, but eventually, her curiosity overcame her fear, and she is now volunteering every Sunday. The children are growing close to her and eager to learn about God and to grow in their relationship with God. It is so encouraging to see them interact during the discussion and pour out to their struggles as they look to Rhea Mae for guidance.

  • Pray for Rhea Mae to continue growing and showing compassion for the lost.
  • Pray for the children to continue to grow in their relationship with the Lord despite their young age and to hold fast to his truths as they grow.

This year, one of our goals was to invite our new brothers and sisters in the Lord from the outreach location to a corporate worship service with other believers. We struggled to accomplish this due to the distance between the mother church and the outreach location. Just this month we held a praise night at the mother church and invited the young people from the outreach location. We also faced challenges since many of the parents were uncertain about allowing their children to join the event. We prayed and asked God to bless our invitation; finally, a majority of parents let their children come. To my amazement, thirteen youth came and experienced the sweetness of God’s presence through corporate worship with other believers. God answered our prayers to give this experience to the young people. We asked for their feedback after the event, and they were so thankful for what they learned and the blessings they received. I asked the parents too, and their response was positive. We praise God that we have gained their trust.

  • Pray for the continual courage and joy of these young people as they serve God.
  • Pray that we can reach the parents of these youth as well.

On the return trip after the praise event, while we were in the car hearing testimonies and experiences, something unexpected went wrong. The car we had borrowed stopped in the middle of the road and would not budge. John, the driver, got out to check what had happened and found that the rear wheel had detached from the car. We unloaded the passengers and found shelter on the side of the road. The challenging part was none of us knew how to fix the car, there were no available tools in the car and the repair shops were all closed. I called the owner of the vehicle for help, but because of the distance and severe traffic, it would take him several hours to arrive. We grew worried as the parents of the youth started calling asking what was happening and why their children were not home yet. After an hour of waiting, Blezeth called her father Greg (we have been doing a Bible study with him). He rode his motorcycle over and helped us fix the car about the time the owner also arrived. We were grateful that no one was hurt, and everyone got home safe and sound.

  • Pray for a better method of transportation.
  • Pray for safety when we travel.

It has been almost a year since we started the weekly group Bible study under the shade of a tree since there was no room available inside. The place has not been conducive for learning or comfortable for everyone because of the many disturbances by people passing by, noisily playing basketball and getting wet on rainy days. Despite all the challenges, the people are eager to learn the Word of God and the numbers grow every week. They have been requesting to have a proper Sunday worship.

In previous reports, I mentioned our prayers for a more convenient place for worship and mentioned Emilda, our new sister in the Lord, who offered her piece of land. God answered our prayers through the help of our Korean brethren from Cebu Korean Church. We started construction in December and finished recently. Everyone is enjoying the comfort and safety inside the church building.

God has created everything, and so it is proper to acknowledge his ownership and glorify His name.  When we finished the church building, we planned a simple celebration with the church members and neighbors. Many visitors wanted to come including the Mayor and his subordinates, and we started feeling pressured to expect a massive celebration, we were concerned about finances but trusted that God would provide what we needed. God is our good provided. We dedicated the building to the Lord, last month, and many came to witness the goodness of God and celebrate with us. The Korean Brethren from Cebu Korean church, the municipal engineer and other representatives from the Mayor’s office, the members of our mother church, the neighbors, friends and church members made quite a merry gathering. We lacked in nothing, and God provided an abundance, more than we needed.

  • Pray that this building will be a channel of blessing and transformation of the lives in the community.
  • Pray for the church to be a witness to the surrounding community.

Pray for the final needs to be met, the construction is finished, but we are still gathering the small supplies such as musical instruments, tables, chairs, and kitchen supplies. Give thanks for the quick construction and blessing of having a location indoors to praise God and learn from his Word.

Two years ago, God impressed upon my heart the vision of planning a community church. It seemed impossible to me; I did not have any idea or experience of how to do this.  It was a big step of faith and entirely outside of my comfort zone. I shared this desire with my co-pastors, friends, and family; many of them advised me not to resign from my position and not to pursue this desire. But God’s conviction was so firm in my heart to plant a community church in remote places where most pastors do not want to go. In January of 2018, I obeyed God’s calling and trusted his assurance that He is with me. Through prayers and community surveys, God led me to the two communities of Sitio Bankerohan and Sitio Libo. We started reaching these communities in June after months of groundwork, and by God’s mercy and grace through the help of many volunteers, my vision has been realized. We had our first corporate Sunday worship service with the people in the community. They are so thankful to know and serve the Lord.

  • Pray for the transformation of the entire community.
  • Pray for the spiritual growth of the new believers in Christ.
  • Pray for God to add more people to His church every day.
  • Pray that we can be more effective in ministering to these communities.

After our morning worship service, the people asked me if we still have a Bible study in the afternoon.  To my complete surprise, I said yes. They returned in the afternoon for a more in-depth look at God’s Word at the same time as we met before. Now, instead of meeting in the shade of the tree, we have an indoor space to gather that is more conducive to learning. The bible study is more focused and more people are participating in our discussions. There are even new men and women who are attending.

  • Pray for the people to go deeper in their knowledge of God and for their faith to be rooted in God’s Word.
  • Pray for them to be empowered to apply everything they have learned from God’s Word.

At our first worship service, I met Mary Ann. She did not look familiar to me as it was my first time meeting her. I greeted her and asked for her name and background. I was surprised to learn that she is a neighbor of Ailyn and Greg, the couple that I disciple every Friday and Saturday. Then I asked who invited her to church, she said no one and began to tell me her story. She said, “every time you had a Bible study with Greg and Ailyn, I pretended to do laundry and secretly listened from the other side of the wall. Nobody noticed me, not even my husband, and I did this for many months. When I learned there was a worship service, I was excited and very happy, so I came.” As we talked, she asked if there was a Bible study in the afternoon, so I told her yes. That afternoon, she was back with her best friend, Tessie. Now Mary Ann has joined the livelihood program and is active in the church activities. Praise the Lord!

  • Pray for Mary Ann’s constant joy and courage in serving the Lord.
  • Pray for Tessie to grow in the Lord along with Mary Ann.

Seven months ago, when I first introduced the livelihood program to the community, it was rough to get it going. Many of the people did not trust the program due to previous bad experiences by other livelihood programs. But we were able to gather a small group of curious individuals and God blessed the project, and it grew. After the first profit-sharing last December, many more people were interested in joining and investing. We have expanded to three big groups with many new members. This is an exciting time as they are a captured audience to hear the gospel because they are required the attend the values formation every week which is taught from God’s Word.  Despite the extra work of collecting the necessary supply of raw materials, I am thrilled to have so many people who can hear the gospel. Most of the current group are women.  I am thinking of reaching their husbands, many of whom are fishermen, by helping them improve their fishing equipment and strategies. God is using the livelihood program to penetrate the community and saturate them with the Word of God.

  • Pray for an increase in capital to enable the program to grow and expand so they can earn more money to help with their daily expenses.
  • Pray for my desire to help the fisherman come to pass and for the opportunity to share the gospel with the men.

Antonio and Jenny are a young couple; Jenny is the sister of Ailyn. We had invited them many times to attend the weekly study, but they were unwilling. They had many excuses and would walk away when I arrived. This past month was a blessing in disguise; God used their circumstances to draw them to Him. Antonio was sick, and it had already been a month without any improvement; eventually, they came to the Bible study to ask for prayer. Before I prayed with them, I shared the gospel, and they both accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Jenny is attending the worship service, but Antonio is not yet able to come due to his illness. They are continuing to learn the Bible. Glory to God.

  • Pray for Antonio and Jenny to continue to hunger and thirst for God’s Word.
  • Pray for Antonio to be physically healed; he has been sick for two months and unable to work.
  • Pray for their daily provision, especially as they have a one-month-old baby.
  • Pray for good health for the church members; many are sick due to the unstable weather conditions.
  • Pray for good health and strength for my family; we have also been ill with physical weakness.
  • Pray for provision, wisdom, guidance, and strength as we prepare for upcoming activities — DVBS, music workshop and our first youth camp.

December 2018

Women play a vital role in the family and the community. We praise God for the sixty women in the livelihood programs who joined from three different communities. They have been faithfully attending the skills training, character formation training and learning valuable lessons through the Bible studies for the past year. This month they enjoyed the fruit of their labor with their first profit sharing. We celebrated together and rewarded their certificates at our recognition day and Christmas party. The income they earned through this program was a huge blessing since December is the most expensive month of the year. The communities grew closer together, and the women learned about God through the Bible studies.  Our goal is for these women to have healthy and growing relationships with each other and with God. We are grateful to the leaders who blessed these women.

Building healthy relationships is essential for healthy organizations, families, and communities. But to do so requires great leaders. During our recognition day and Christmas party, we gathered the three communities together into one group. Most of them did not know each other at all, or just barely knew each other. To encourage the formation of friendships, we did team building activities. Everyone enjoyed the games and especially how it helped them get to know each other and it established a new level of relationships and trust.

          

  • Pray for these women to continue to grow in the Lord and remain in friendships with each other.
  • Pray for the blessings on their families from the livelihood program and for its positive influence upon the entire community.

Volunteers are a tremendous help in our ministry, and we value them. When I first starting church planting work, I asked God for two young couples and two teachers as my core ministry team. God is faithful and good, He knows how to provide what is needed for His work. Over time, the ministry has grown, and the Lord added more individuals to the number of workers. Just this month, we celebrated our volunteers by saying thank you for their commitment, love for God and His ministry. We gave them a simple token of appreciation that they can use in their work. I am amazed that God has given us thirty committed volunteers who actively engaged, and present in the field every week for the past six months. The celebration was a blessing to our volunteers because they felt the pastoral care for them when  hardships and inconveniences happened as they serve each week. We increased their confidence and courage to continue taking part in the ministry.

  • Pray for an abundant harvest through the servants of the Lord.

Jesus desires unity among his people. Unity is important in the life of believers. This month God answered our prayers. We had experienced some difficulty in connecting two communities, Bankerohan and Libo. There were some “invisible walls” between the children and parents. We had attempted on several occasions to join the groups, but all had failed. We prayed and continued to teach the Word of God, and we had faith that the Lord would work in their lives. As we celebrated our first community Christmas party, I intentionally asked the parents to take charge of the food. They connected as they worked together to prepare for the event and they seemed to enjoy working with each other. When God works, nothing is impossible. Now we see the adults appreciate each other’s company and joyfully volunteering to help us. It was a big victory.

            

In the Philippines, one way of showing brotherhood and unity is to have what we call a “Boodle Fight,” a soldier’s way of eating together as one group. When the two communities are united as brothers and sisters in the Lord, they can work together to serve the one true God. We celebrated by having a “Boodle Fight” with the volunteers. The foods were put together on banana leaves and eaten without utensils.  This symbol of our unity was heart-touching for us, and everyone was happy and excited to serve the Lord. Our God is the God of reconciliation and unity. The work becomes easier and more productive when all are working together in harmony.

  • Pray for the communities to grow together and form lasting friendships.
  • Pray for the relationships to grow deeper with God and with each other.

Our first community Christmas celebration was a new experience for many of our neighbors and people. They were used to celebrating in an empty yet festive way, but we did it differently. We had community worship, and Pastor Cris Pano preached the gospel, explaining to the people the reason for celebrating Christmas, Emmanuel has come to earth, and Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior! Many people heard the gospel and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Glory to God.

  • Pray that the seed of the gospel that has been planted in their hearts will grow and bear much fruit.

We praise the Lord for his faithfulness in providing for our needs. We were able to feed more than two-hundred people this month, including children, youth and adults. We gave them bundles of joy filled with food to celebrate with on Christmas Eve. Everyone was thrilled to bring home the goodies, especially as they remembered the greatest gift that they have ever received, salvation from God.

  • Pray for God’s provision for our monthly feeding.
  • Pray for the complete transformation in the community.

Our goal for the new year is to establish the first community church in Tayud Consolacion. To accomplish this goal, we are focusing more on training and raising up new leaders. This month we started our first teachers’ training for the children’s ministry. We had fifteen young people who attended the training. Many of them are new believers, some even accepted the Lord Jesus Christ during the event. They are eager and excited to mentor the children. We are starting to train them now so that they will be able to assist our current teachers and then be prepared to step into the teacher role when our current volunteers are no longer available.

  • Pray that the Lord will use these youth and young people to fulfill His work in Tayud Consolacion.
  • Pray for the new believers as they grow in their faith, especially for their courage to stand firm when persecution and hardships come their way.

In previous reports, I asked your prayers for Desiree’s pregnancy. She has given birth to a healthy baby. We celebrate the precious gift of life God has given to their family and to his church.

  • Pray for Desiree and John as they raise their first child.
  • Pray for financial provision as there was a complication during the birth and they have a debt to pay to the hospital.

In previous reports, I also requested your prayers for a place for worship, project Haggai. God answered this prayer and gave us a piece of property. We started constructing the building a couple of weeks ago and are expecting to finish it near the end of January. We would like to have our first corporate worship on the first Sunday in February.

  • Pray for the completion of the building and for any other needs to be met so we can open the doors at the beginning of February.
  • Pray for wisdom as we desire to start a child development program and for volunteers.
  • Pray for my wife Christine, who resigned as a teacher in order to work full time in the ministry, pray for this to be a blessing upon our work.
  • Pray for our desire to start a preschool in the new church building to minister to the children with their academics.
  • Pray for God’s wisdom as we plan to launch a new church planting this year.

November 2018

What a beautiful thing it is to work in the ministry with a dedicated team; the load is lighter, and many things are accomplished quickly and efficiently with many brains and hands working together in unity. Just this month, we had our first evaluation to review our accomplishments from January to October of this past year. We started our planning and goal setting for the next year.

We have seen the hands of God working powerfully in and through us to result in such a fruitful ministry outcome. In the past ten months, we reached out to three communities, baptized seven new believers and led many people and children to Christ. We empowered twenty volunteers for ministry, disciple seven new believers and conducted various community development projects that impacted the community as a testimony for Christ.

Praise the Lord for the accomplishments of the past year and the furtherance of His kingdom.

We decided to focus on two primary goals for the next year and the future. Our first goal is to establish the First Community Church in Tayud, Consolacion, Cebu. Our resources, energy, time, and programs will be focusing on training the future church leaders and the new believers to become the congregation of the local church. The people are requesting to have corporate worship, and we are eager to start constructing the church building as soon as possible to make this request possible and have our first corporate worship service before this year ends or early in the next year.

  • Pray for the establishment of the first community church in Tayud Consolacion.
  • Pray for the provision to start the construction of the new church building.

Our second goal is to plant one community church every two to three years. This is a long-term goal based on our vision of “Multiplying healthy churches in our communities and beyond.” We will never cease to plant churches as long as we live. We have two ways to reach this goal. The first is to send a team to start the new church planting work. The second is to adopt a potential church planter. We are thinking of sending Alvin and Melchora to start a new church planting location in Liloan next year or adopting and supporting Pastor Renante as a church planter to start the work in Mindanao.

What a joy and privilege to bless our co-workers in the ministry. Desiree is our treasurer and is seven-months pregnant. She is faithful and active to fulfill her role. During our meeting, we celebrated her birthday and ministered to her entire family. Pastor Renante prayed the blessing. It was a celebration of God’s goodness and faithfulness.

  • Pray for the safe birth of Desiree’s child and good health for the mother and child.

In one of my previous reports, I mentioned Pastor Jonjon Delig; he is a church planter we are supporting in Mindanao. His wife was born blind, and they have two children. Pastor Jonjon has planted three churches and is pastoring them. I started mentoring and supporting him last February. We were able to meet this month for further study of God’s Word through the school of theology. It is a joy and privilege to support a young, dynamic pastor. He is growing in his faith, and the ministry is doing well despite the common challenges and struggles of church development.

  • Pray for strength, wisdom, and provision for Pastor Jonjon and his family.

When we started the ministry in Tayud, it was our dream to help the children in the impoverished community through a sponsorship program. God answered this prayer and is working beyond what we imagined. We are sponsoring one-hundred children through a program designed to meet their physical, spiritual, mental and emotional needs. This is a fantastic opportunity to minister to the children and their entire family. These families are the poorest of the poor, and we will sponsor their education from three to twenty-two years old. The blessing for this community comes with great responsibility for us. Our greatest challenge will be to follow-up for intentional discipleship.

  • Pray for the facilities for a weekly program for these children
  • Pray for the number of volunteers required to minister to the children and families.
  • Pray for the sustainability of the program and for many opportunities to reach people for Christ. 

Our goal is not just to reach people with the gospel but to disciple them to become ministers and evangelists. I disciple seven people every week. Jonalyn and Ailyn are growing in their Christian life in both knowledge and character. They are doing their daily devotionals through journaling and sharing what they’ve learned with other people. As part of their spiritual discipline and growth, we have scheduled a time to go out and share their faith. I am preparing these women to be small group leaders and are part of our team when we start our worship service. I am teaching Greg, the husband of Ailyn every Saturday and still inviting Ryan, the husband of Jonalyn to join us for our discipleship meetings.

  • Pray for spiritual growth and maturity for the people. Pray for wisdom as I guide them.
  • Pray for their strength and perseverance as the neighbors are starting to persecute them for their faith.

Our weekly Bible study is still meeting faithfully despite the many disturbance and distractions of our place of meeting. We gather in an open space under the shade of a tree along a busy route of travel so people are always passing by and the men play basketball nearby. Despite these challenges, the people continue to come to hear the word of God. Raymond is playing the guitar for us. Initially, he only attended the Sunday morning church but is starting to become more involved in the ministry.

  • Pray for these people to be able to understand and apply the Word of God despite the hindrances.
  • Pray for their spiritual growth and maturity.

The Children’s Group includes one-hundred and thirty children and youth. After our large group singing and Bible story time, we divide the kids into smaller groups according to their capacity for intensive and in-depth discussion. As we do not have a building, the kids scatter into bunches in the open space on the ground and are joyful in doing so. We face some struggles such as the heat of the sun, rain and the need for more volunteers.  God is sovereign and powerful, it’s been six months of ministering to these children and youth in this setting, and I can see the transformation of their lives and the lives of the volunteers. They are all growing in the Lord.

  • Pray for the continued eagerness of these young people to know and grow in the Lord.
  • Pray for more suitable facilities.

Our ministry focuses on not only the spiritual aspects of life but on improving the livelihood of individuals and the entire community. Elvie does the Community Health Education program and educates people on the importance of physical health. She focuses on the importance of health, prevention, and treatment of minor illness. This is a massive benefit to the community because hospitalization in the Philippines is very hard. The excellent part about this health education is the way we can connect the concept of spiritual health, and we end up presenting the gospel.

  • Pray for the transformation of the community starting from the few women who are learning about community health.
  • Pray for the wisdom and strength of Elvie as she ministers to the community.

In my previous report, I mentioned the future sanctuary as our place of worship. Emedia, one of the new converts is interested in selling her rights to a piece of property at a low price. We are not yet able to start construction due to the lack of finances but are praying for God’s blessing on our desire for a church building. The location is an ideal site within the community.

  • Pray for the construction of a church building.
  • Pray for our AWANA teacher training in December on the 27th.
  • Pray for our Christmas parties in Sitio Bankerohan, Sitio Libo, and Sitio Baha-Baha on December 23rd.

October 2018

Light is significant in our lives because it is hard to live in the darkness, especially for the children. In my previous reports, I shared about the lack of electricity in the community, the seemingly impossible obstacles to installing power, and this makes it harder for the children to study and do their homework. God is sovereign in answering our prayers. The electrical company installed six electrical posts and connected to every house. The children will have light to study, and everyone is sleeping better, with less disturbance by mosquitoes and heat. My next project is for street lights. Give thanks for the blessings of electricity.

Our hope and transformation are by Christ alone because He is the God of love and second chances. This picture was one of our volunteer skits performed during the community feeding. The skit shares the image of a person who has been in bondage to the world’s wickedness but is set free and transformed when he found Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The skit was indeed a picture of the life of the actor who played the part of Jesus. His name is Peter, and he has been a volunteer since we started this ministry. He is married and has a seven-year-old son. A few years ago, he became addicted and dependent on illegal drugs. This destroyed his family as his wife was unable to deal with his addiction and decided to separate from him. He was left without a family, home, direction or hope. When we saw the situation, my wife, myself and other concerned family and friends worked together to help the couple.  We mentored Peter and his wife. By God’s grace, just last year, their marriage was restored, and Peter is getting back to a normal life. They are both active in the church and participate in our church planting ministry. Peter is attending Bible school. Our hope is indeed in Christ alone!

  • Pray for Peter to no longer be tempted by these vices, no matter how strong the temptation.
  • Pray for the provision of their family, as due to Peter’s studies, his wife is the only one working to provide for their daily needs.

We praised God for his faithfulness in providing for the needs of His work. Every month it is a mystery and puzzle of how the funds for the monthly feedings of the children will be met. The Lord always provides. I see much growth in the children from this ministry. They are healthier, building friendships with each other, becoming more respectful and obedient as their characters are molded, and are showing so much excitement in being together. I rejoice most about the deep hunger and interest of the children in the Word of God.  This month, we had the children bring their plates, forks or spoons, and taught them how to wash their dishes after they ate. The parents were happy to see their children learning simple chores, and the children enjoyed the process as well. The children learned about obedience, cleanliness, orderliness, helpfulness, and diligence. Our goal is to teach Biblical values and practical living skills in the application of Biblical principles.

 

Praise God for the provision for the monthly feeding for over a hundred children and the witness this ministry brings to the community that opens doors for the gospel.

Our outreach ministry to Sitio Libo is growing and now includes seventy children and ten adults who regularly attend. Our relationships with the community are getting deeper; parents are offering their help to prepare and serve food. One of the residents, Nene, was allowing us to use her house as the location to gather the children every Sunday. Unfortunately, we will be unable to continue using this space in the future because it is being rented. We are searching for a vacant lot or house that is big enough to hold the entire group.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth of the children as they will be the future leaders of the church.
  • Pray for God to provide a large enough location for us to meet in the future in Sitio Libo.

The livelihood program in Sitio Bankerohan and Sitio Baha-Baha are growing and expanding their projects to include the production of a dishwashing liquid in addition to the detergent. The program provides additional income for the participants and is offering a healthy and productive alternative to the gambling and laziness that was characteristic of the community. The people are busy and enjoying what they are doing.

  • Continue praying for the livelihood program in Sitio Bankerohan and Sitio Baha-Baha.
  • Continue to pray for this program to open doors for the gospel.
  • Praise the Lord for this program’s role in enabling participants to apply Biblical principles by offering an opportunity for gaining a work ethic and earn an honest living.

The Friday discipleship class has been eager to have a corporate worship service, but we had not yet found a location. Praise the Lord for answered prayers, Emidia, offered to sell us the rights to use a vacant lot at a low price and we desire to construct a building before the end of the year.

  • Pray for the process to go smoothly and for the ability to start construction soon.
  • Pray for the safe delivery of the baby of Desiree; she is seven-months pregnant.

September 2018

I am excited to share that we have started the new outreach in Sitio Libo. Thank for you for prayers. We praise God for answering this prayer abundantly. It was amazing to see God working in the hearts of people; He raised more volunteers so that we could reach out to the youth and parents in addition to our original plan of reaching the children. We spent three months in prayer, with visits to the location to establish healthy relationships with the people and lots of investment before we launched this new outreach.  Pray with us to for unity between our volunteers and the community of Sitio Libo. We desire to bring the community as a whole to Christ.

  • Pray for the new outreach to Sitio Libo to start smoothly and continue to grow in numbers.
  • Pray for an active group of believers in Sitio Libo to become leaders and witnesses to their community.

The children were so excited when I announced the weekly Bible class. They listened attentively at their first lesson. Eunice is their teacher and a new volunteer. She is a college student, and her parents are working abroad. We are excited that she has devoted herself to serve God by helping in our outreach ministry rather than roaming the city with friends. She leads singing and teaches Bible stories so the children will gain knowledge of God and an understanding of salvation.

  • Pray for the children to continue to grow and seek the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior.
  • Pray for Eunice to grow in the Lord and be a witness to those around her.
  • Pray for her to find comfort and strength in the Lord despite being far from her parents.

Philip is one of our young people and just returned from his internship as a seaman student. We invited him to observe in one of our outreaches, and later he texted me to ask to be a regular volunteer with the youth. We rejoiced for his commitment. Our greatest need was with the young children, so he graciously offered to minister to them. He and the children are excited to meet every Sunday afternoon. We also are grateful for Nene, she is not yet a Christian but offered her house for our class with the children.

  • Pray for Philip, for his love for God and the ministry to grow deeper.
  • Pray for the salvation of Nene, we have invited her to join the Bible study, but she is hesitant at this time.

What a joy and privilege it is to lead young people to Christ. The youth was shy when we first invited them to join the Bible class because we were strangers. When we praised God together, we were surprised that they responded so enthusiastically to the Word of God on the very first day of our outreach. We gave them Bibles because they are so eager to learn about God. As I listened to their stories, there was a common thread of gratitude and thankfulness that we had come to their place. They are now excited to meet us every Sunday.

  Jahzel was a former youth at our church but for many reasons, she became discouraged and stopped doing ministry work. She is now a full-time teacher at the same school as my wife, Christine, and we have been trying to coax her into ministry again. We praise God that she is still committed to volunteering with us and is more passionate now about ministering to others. She is our team leader in the Sitio Libo outreach and has recruited two teachers to minister too.

  • Pray for the youth to continue to seek and grow in the Lord despite peer pressure.
  • Pray for Jahzel and her fellow teachers, for their passion for God and ministry will continue until the Lord returns.

God is our generous provider. This month we fed the children in Sitio Libo a meal at our first meeting. God provided for all our needs, not only the money to purchase food but also the number of volunteers needed, strength, and pleasant weather for the event. We were able to feed the children and their parents too! They enjoyed the delicious food, fun and games, prizes, and the Word of God.

We praise God for the women who responded to the Word of God. About ten women attended the first Bible study in Sitio Libo. While the children were having their Bible class, we asked these women if we could do a separate Bible study with them and they said yes. We gave them each a copy of the Bible in their language, and they were so excited to have a personal copy of the scripture. Alvin and John are leading the Bible study while I focus on disciplining the new believers in Sitio Bankerohan and prepare them to be future leaders in the church.

Praise God for the provision for the monthly feeding event and the blessing upon the community of Sitio Libo.

  • Pray for Alvin and John, and their families, that they will grow deeper in their relationship with God.
  • Pray for Desiree, John’s wife. She is pregnant, and we are praying for the safe and healthy delivery of the baby.
  • Pray for the women in Sitio Libo as they started to seek the truth, that the Holy Spirit will continue to convict their hearts, and that they will continue to seek the Lord earnestly.

Our Bible study in Sitio Bankerohan is continuing and almost every Sunday there are new faces at the meeting. Our lessons are going deeper as we move from “knowing Christ” to “following Christ.” We praise God that many are regularly attending and have expressed the desire for a more official worship service in their area. Our style is to start with a Bible study, like a house church, as we teach and prepare the people to organize into a local church. Peter plays the guitar. He had a very dark story in his former life and is finding comfort and joy in growing in the Lord.

  • Pray for the regular attendees in Sitio Bankerohan to continue growing in the Lord.
  • Pray for Peter and his family. Peter is studying full-time at the Bible college in Cebu, and his wife is working to support the family. Pray for provision for their daily needs.

The youth in Sitio Bankerohan are growing in the Lord. Three months ago they used to roam around and play computer games all the time, but now they are excitedly waiting for us every Sunday in preparation for Bible class. The youth who use to hang out with friends are helping our volunteers to do the monthly feeding events. They are growing in their knowledge of God, and as a result, their character is changing too. I recently visited some of the houses and the parents expressed their amazement and gratitude for the transformation of their children who are now praying at home and living as believers.

At our most recent meal for the group, we celebrated with the theme “Everybody’s Birthday.” We had noticed that very few of the children had experienced a birthday celebration, resources are scarce and some of the parents even forget their child’s birthday. So we celebrated with special food and a cupcake for each child.  The children listened attentively to the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. Christine, my wife, shared how powerful our God is and that He can use anybody, including little children, for his glory and the expansion of his kingdom. Even the parents were encouraged and challenged by the message.

  • Pray that the Word of God is planted in the youth and children’s hearts will grow and bear much fruit.
  • Praise the Lord that Greg, the husband of Ailyn, has been saved. The entire family is rejoicing together.
  • Pray for enough cars to be available each week for all three outreach sites. We have over twenty volunteers, and the places are not accessible by public transportation.

Our livelihood program is expanding, and I see the impact it is having on the community. I do not see any more gambling in the community and yet there is extra income from the livelihood program. Pray for me to be able to meet the increased demand for the raw materials for the program.

Elvie is doing a lecture in the community on how to prevent sickness, promote a healthy lifestyle and treat minor illness at home. It is a new concept for many people since many of them did not know that a healthy life starts in the home.

Praise God for the change in the community through salvation that affects all aspects of life.

I received a call from my wife that there was a fire in the Barangay Hipodromo where my in-laws live. When I heard the news, I rushed to their house to help them but when I arrived, I saw them crying and holding nothing because the house was burned. The fire started at a neighbor’s house, and due to the narrow road and light building materials of many of the houses, the fire volunteers struggled to contain the fire, and almost two-hundred homes were burned. My in-laws were unable to save any valuables because they were at work. They are temporarily staying at the local center while the area is cleared before they can start constructing a new house.

  • Pray for a fast recovery by my in-laws and siblings from the trauma and for them to be able to construct a new house as soon as possible.
  • Pray for the people affected by the fire to recover and heal as well.

August 2018I am intentionally discipling four new believers in Sitio Bankerohan so they will grow in the Lord and become future leaders and bring more people to Jesus Christ. I was amazed and grateful to see how the Lord is adding more people to our discipleship every Friday afternoon. These people asked to join us when they saw how I was teaching Jonaly and Ailyn. Since Ailyn’s house was too small for the group, we gathered outside. I am happy to see how eagerly these women learn the Bible and seek to apply it in their lives.

  • Pray for the continued spiritual growth of these new believers in Christ.
  • Pray for the new attendees to grow in their understanding of the gospel.                          

Building healthy relationships and growing spiritually in the Lord are vital components of our ministry. Last month, we invited our youth volunteers to a time of team building and refreshment. Most were able to join. We had Bible studies, singing, prayer, personal reflection time and of course had a lot of fun. Everyone was encouraged and refreshed by the word of God and by fellowship with each other.

Give thanks to our team of volunteers and their service to our ministry.

Give thanks for their commitment to our ministry and for their desire to serve God at their highest capacity.

  • Pray for our youth volunteers to continue growing in the Lord.                                        

 

I recently attended the third phase of training in church planting with a group of pastors. We meet every three months for training, mentoring and coaching. I am blessed to be a part of this network of church planters. This training has equipped me to minister more effectively in the field and has provided encouragement and guidance.

  • Pray for wisdom and guidance as I apply the principles I have learned from the training to further the work of God’s kingdom.

When John and Alvin became a part of my ministry team, I saw great potential in them. I started training them for pastoral work. At first, John was not confident in managing the Bible study, so I had Alvin stay by his side. John was assigned to lead, and Alvin was there to be his support. Every time John encountered difficulty during the discussion, Alvin would help continue the conversation.  As I watch them lead together, I am glad to see their confidence grow. John is now excited to conduct the Bible study. I have John leading for the next several weeks while I take care of communicating with new contacts.

  • Pray for the continued growth and confidence of John and Alvin and their effectiveness in ministry.

Give thanks for Alvin’s desire to do fulltime church planting work and pray for wisdom as he pursues this desire.

Language Month, Buwan ng Wika, is a month-long celebration in the schools and an excellent opportunity to share the love of God to the children and their parents. During our outreach, we celebrated uniquely by focusing on the word of God, and how God is the creator of language. The children enjoyed the games, trivia, food, and prizes. We had thirty children and their parents attend from Sitio Libo. As a result, the people of Sitio Libo are open and ready for a children’s outreach program. Glory to God for such a great opportunity to preach the gospel.

The night before the Buwan ng Wika celebration, I visited the house of Ailyn for ministering. To my surprise, I found the youth busy preparing decorations for the event and practicing their presentation. Mary Mae is a young believer who took the initiative in gathering the youth in her neighborhood to help prepare for the event. I was blessed to see the youth volunteers happily serving the Lord and their spiritual transformation.

  • Pray for these young volunteers to continue growing and serving the Lord and be future strong leaders in the church.
  • Pray for the parents of the youth, that they will also be reached with the gospel.
  • Pray for the seeds planted in the hearts of the children and their parents, to sprout, grow and bear much fruit.
  • Pray for wisdom as we continue to minister in Sitio Libo and launch a children’s outreach program.

I praise God for answered prayers and his provision. We were able to feed the children in Sitio Bankerohan a full nutritious meal this month. I saw joy in their eyes as they enjoyed the food and company of each other. We also fed about thirty children in Sitio Baha-Baha. Though it was raining there, and we were in an open space, we were able to manage the situation, and the people remained excited and blessed by the meal and the spiritual food from the Word of God.

Give thanks for the provision for this past month and the witness provided through this service.

  • Pray for provisions to continue these monthly feedings of the children.

                 Luz has six children, three of them are still in school. Her husband, Renie, is working in Midoro as a welder but seldom sends money to support his family. The family lives below the poverty level. Their house is floating on the sea, and when it is high tide, they are unable to cross over until the next low tide. As a result, the children’s learning is suffering. When Luz started attending our Bible study, I noticed her children were learning slowly because they were not able to eat three meals a day. When I visited their house, I saw how difficult their situation was. We provided them with rice so they would have more food. I desire to build a bridge from bamboo so they can cross over during high tide and attend school. Luz and her children regularly attend our Bible study and outreach on Sunday.

  • Pray for materials to build a bridge from bamboo for the family.                                                
  • Pray for the spiritual growth and daily needs of the family despite their hard financial situation.

July 2018

Obedience Based Bible Study

Our, “Obedience Based Bible Study” (OBBS), in Sitio Bankerohan, is growing in attendance in its second month. We started with eight people and now have more than twenty people attending. We have outgrown the indoor room, so we decided to meet under a tree outside.

  • Pray for the spiritual growth of these new believers and for good weather.

The first time I met Nick (the man in the white shirt), he did not want to talk to me. He would sit under the tree almost every day because he is suffering from physical illness, but every time he saw me, he would walk away. Just this month, I intentionally approached him and prayed for him. The following week, he sat down and listened to our Bible study. Now he attends Bible study every Sunday with his wife Dayan.

  • Pray for physical healing of Nick.
  • Pray that Nick understands the gospel and comes to faith in Jesus.

In the previous update, I reported the tragic loss of Jessyman’s two-year-old son, John Carlo, and the grief of the entire family. I have continued to visit the family for counseling. Despite the shocking tragedy, Jessyman has continued to attend the Bible study every Sunday and now her husband and mother are attending with her. She is growing in her relationship with the Lord and healing from the tragedy.

  • Pray for the continued emotional healing of her family and their spiritual growth.

Youth and Children’s Ministries

Naomi and Ellen are volunteers from the church discipling the youth in Sitio Bankerohan to follow Christ.  We started to reach out to the young people in June and were able to gather about twenty of them in a Bible study, but only ten of them are actively attending. Most of these young people come from broken families and they hunger for love and care. They are grateful to God because in this group they feel accepted, cared for and loved. Just this month, we gave them Bibles to help them grow in their personal walk with God.

In my last update, I talked about the children’s ministry in Sitio Bakerohan. I have seen the hand of God working powerfully in the life of the children as well as the volunteers. The children are excited to share what they have learned with their parents, especially the gospel stories, and are memorizing Bible verses. Just this month, our volunteers have noticed these children, between first and fifth grade, can still hardly read and write, so they started teaching them academics in addition to the Bible lessons.

  • Pray for the leaders as they teach both academics and Bible lessons.
  • Pray for the spiritual growth of the children.

Intentional Discipleship

Our greatest joy in this ministry is to see a person transformed from being an unbeliever to become a disciple maker. I’ve started doing intentional discipleship with four women, Jonalyn, Virginia, Ailyn, and Amelyn to be future Bible study leaders in their community and to become future leaders in the church.

At our recent event to feed the children, I was surprised to see Ailyn’s husband, Greg, helping prepare food. At the time, he was also drunk.  Later in the day, while I was preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Greg was listening attentively to the message.  The next Sunday, Greg was sober. He used to drink every Sunday, but this time something was different and unexpectedly, Greg attended the Bible study. Pray for him to continue attending the Bible study and for his reception to the gospel message.

  • Pray for these women to be a strong witness to their husbands, family, and community
  • Pray for the women to continue growing in the Lord and for the salvation of their husbands.

New Community Outreach

In my previous report, I asked for prayer for the community of Sitio Libo. I met Judith (the woman in the white sleeveless shirt). The second time we met, she brought twenty other women from her neighborhood and I shared the gospel with them. We are now doing a Bible study every week and planning to start a children’s outreach next month.

  • Pray for the gospel with continue to spread and these first twenty-one women will become witnesses to their community.

Goodbye to Jaime

Our heart is sad because of the loss of our brother Jaime. Recently, his wife Conchita and sister Ely started attending the Bible study. After the first time, they had more questions and invited me to their house. When I arrived, I met Jaime suffering from illness. I shared the gospel and prayed for him. Just a week after his acceptance of Jesus as his Lord and Savior, God took him to his eternal home. I praise God that Conchita and Ely are still attending the Bible study. Pray for them to be comforted.

Sitio Baha-Baha

In my last update, I celebrated the baptism of the seven believers and explained the persecution they are facing in their community. We were blessed to give new Bibles to the believers to replace the ones that had been burned. The group is also struggling with internal family conflicts since many of the families in the Bible study are related, and work conflict as well as community persecution. Only a few are remaining faithful to attend the Bible study. Pray for the reconciliation of the families and the faithfulness of the believers despite the persecution.

Spring 2018

(1) Lucina was the first person I met in the community. She accommodated me in her house during my first visit in the area. Lucina was separated from her husband for 25 years. Her husband left her with seven young children two of whom died from sickness after a few years. The rest of her children married except her youngest son who stayed with her but is a drug addict and is continually giving her a hard time. Lucina makes her living from collecting seashells. She rises very early in the morning and goes out to the seashore to find shells to sell in the marketplace.

I praised the Lord for providing me teachable, passionate, yet humble disciples. I had my first discipleship meeting with my core leaders to prepare them before we engaged the community. We must prepare our hearts first then our skills. These young couples enjoy learning the word of God and are excited to go out and proclaim the kingdom of God in the community. I schedule weekly discipleship with them to enhance both their knowledge and skills in the ministry and to deepen their love of God and their experience in God.

(2) My wife Christine is a Godly woman. She graduated from Evangelical Theological College of the Philippines with an emphasis on AB-Christian Education. She loves children and works tirelessly in the church. Currently, she is teaching in a private school at Abby Park Academy. Our eldest son Kerith Ravine is eight years old; he is in second grade studying at Living Stone Christian Academy. He loves to play drums and enjoys attending junior church.

Our youngest son Kanah Ravine is three years old. He is a miracle baby because God performed a miracle in his life when he was still an infant. Three weeks before Christine gave birth, Kanah Ravine was diagnosed to have a diaphragmatic hernia during the ultrasound. The doctor said that there was a hole in his diaphragm which had caused all his intestines to go up into his left lung, so his lungs would be undeveloped. At that time, we were in denial, so we went to get a second opinion which caused us to become more stressed because our son’s condition became evident in the second ultrasound. We went back to our original doctor. The doctor said to us that the case of our child is very rare, and he had no chance to live because he did not have a left lung. The only thing that they would be able to do after he was born was insert an oxygen tube while they did surgery to put his intestines back in place and close the diaphragm hole. The chances of survival were small, even if he survived the surgery they told us there was a chance he would only live more than a few months because of his oxygen needs. Our hearts were grieved when we discovered this information.

I prayed continually during this time, I said, “Lord if you let this child live, please let him enjoy his life here on earth and let us enjoy the time we have with him. If you let this child die I will still praise you, I will still worship you, I will still love you, and I will still serve you.” The day before and during the delivery the whole church prayed, and I said to the doctor, “Doc, I prayed for this child, so when he comes out do not perform the surgery if God will let him live he will be whole. And if not he will die peacefully.” The doctor did not agree at first, but later he consented.

God was so gracious to us, after hours of a confusion and extreme tension the doctor called me saying, “Sir, please come to the nursery your child is doing well, and everything is normal.” I ran crying and praising God! I asked the doctor, “Doc what happen to his diaphragmatic hernia?” He replied, “I don’t know your child is just healthy.” After our conversation, I went back to the room thinking that everything was fine.

After four hours, the doctor called again and said, “Sir we have another problem with your child, he has “severe anemia,” and in your case, you can only have one child, and the rest will all die because your blood type is not compatible with your wife. So, I asked, what is the best thing that we can do? He replied, we will try to do a blood transfusion, and we’ll try to double the amount of blood needed if it works the child will be saved, but if not, he will continue to need blood transfusions for the rest of his life because he is in danger of getting “leukemia.” So, we did, but the problem was that after many blood screenings coming from many donors nothing was compatible with my child. The doctor said, “We have no choice our last chance is the mother’s blood.” My wife was recovering from her cesarean section gave her blood to our child. At that time, I was comforted by God’s word in Philippians 1:6 “Being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

We believe in the power of prayer. Part of my weekly discipleship with my core team is to teach them the importance of reliance on God in worship both in their ministry and daily lives. After a recent discipleship class we went out for practical application, we roamed around the whole Tayud for prayer and groundwork. We went to the streets, establishments, remote places, and residences to pray for the salvation of the people. We prayed for people who were enslaved to sin and the restoration of their homes. We prayed for open doors for the gospel and transformation of the residents. John and Desiree are newlywed and new in the ministry particularly to this field; they were very excited to go out and practice what they’ve learned from our discipleship class. Alvin and Melchora are a young couple who are also committed to this ministry. Alvin is a Bible school student right now and at the same time working as a sales agent to provide for his family. Alvin has a big heart and desire to work as a full-time pastor but is still in the process of figuring out how he will provide for the needs of his family. We praised God for opening both our hearts and eyes to see the situation and needs of our target community as we do the prayer caravan.

It is a privilege and honor to mentor a fellow worker in the Lord. Pastor JonJon Delig is an Evangelical Free Church pastor from Panaytayon Agusan a very remote place in Mindanao. He has two children, and a wife Eunice (who was born blind). Pastor JonJon is indeed a church planter by heart and calling. He has already planted three churches and is the one pastoring them as well. He shared with me that he struggles in the ministry because his wife is disabled and he is only receiving a very small amount of financial support from the church which is only three thousand Pesos monthly and is not consistent. Out of three thousand, he will give one thousand pesos to Andrew his brother in law who is also blind because he helps him fulltime in music ministry at the church. His wife sometimes is discouraged because of their situation and urges him to look for a secular Job, but he is committed to the ministry and his calling.

So, he came to me and asked me if I could mentor him in his ministry because he badly needed it. Upon hearing his situation, I agreed to disciple him beginning this month, God also convicted my heart to help not only in mentoring but also in their financial needs. My wife and I decided to give them one thousand pesos each month, I know it’s a small amount, but it will help them in their personal needs. After we talked, I saw the joy and new courage in his heart to continue in the ministry. God has blessed us in many ways so that we can also be a blessing to others.

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

(3) During my outreach evangelism day in Sitio Baha-Baha Tayud, I made connections with the residents. As I walked the streets, the Lord led me to a group of people who were gambling. At that moment I said to myself, “The gospel must be preached in this place.” I approached one of the women wearing black and offered a prayer for them, they immediately stopped playing and allowed me to pray. After I prayed, I told them I would come back to start a Bible study with them, and they said they would like to be part of it.

Delsa, The Crying Lady

Pastor Lito and Delsa

I met a widow named Delsa, she’s been a widow for 13 years and has six young children. I started a conversation with her outside her home, and as I talked to her, she started crying. She told me that her son had just committed suicide, he was 29 years old. She then said her mother had died a few days ago before her son died. I talked to her and prayed with her; I shared the gospel and the peace that God offers us. Delsa felt relieved and found new hope in Christ. I invited her to have a Bible study after her son’s funeral.

Lady Celing

During our home visits, Celing was one of the first people who accepted us in her home. During our visit, I explained the gospel, and she agreed with what I shared. Pray for this family, Celing has eight children, and they live in a very unhealthy home. They are squatters, and the homeowner has asked them to move by next month. Help us pray that they can find a place to live.

First Community Outreach and Bible Study

My entire family and I went on our first community outreach to the people we encountered last month. We went back to Sitio Baha-Baha Tayud, Consolacion. This place is very remote, and nobody has reached them to share the gospel. Most of the people who live in this area are scavengers who live together in one place, and they make their living by collecting garbage. I was overwhelmed to see their hunger for God’s word, I shared the gospel and praised the Lord for the twelve people who heard and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Each one of them was happy to receive a Bible.

The road to the people needing God

My Son Kahrin

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

What a fulfilling joy to see my son Kerith Ravine joyfully serving the Lord to the best of his capacity. Before we reached the place, he was so excited to see the children and share with them about Jesus. My wife allowed him to sing, play with the kids, assists, and serve the snacks. I praised the Lord that he was able to establish a friendship with the kids. Not only my son but also the children of my team were enjoying serving the Lord to the best of their capacity. We intentionally trained and exposed our children to engage in actual ministry in the field as part of fulfilling our mission, vision, and core values in obedience to the commands of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Church’s Commissioning

Pastor Lito’s Commissioning

Acts 13:2-3 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them. So, after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

What a real blessing to have a family in Christ. The Mabolo Evangelical Free Church in Cebu Philippines, (this is the church that I am formerly serving at as the Senior Pastor) has commissioned us as church planters in the northern part of Cebu. What a great joy and assurance in doing ministry knowing that the whole church is praying for us faithfully.

After raising up a new pastor to lead the congregation, I resigned from this church as the Senior Pastor effective March 2018 to do full-time church planting work. My decision to leave was painful to my wife and I, we both had tears in our eyes, but the church released us with blessings and commissioned us with great joy knowing that my direction in the ministry is in obedience to God’s calling for the greater work of God’s kingdom. Rev. Presco Allocod, the president of the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines, was the one who officiated the commissioning. What a grateful and humbled indeed that the church loved us so much and supported us tangibly in the ministry.

After a full day walk of evangelism, my shoes gave up. But it was indeed a fruitful, productive and fulfilling day. We were able to minister, share the gospel, and make new bible study contacts in the community. All the glory and honor of God alone.

(4) I attended the monthly Barangay council session as a courtesy to the local government authorities. I praised God for the positive response of the Barangay Officials. They allowed me to engage the community by presenting different topics. Some of the items I introduced are moral recovery, hygienic training, teaching the word of God, and other related programs that benefit the community. I’m seeing God work powerfully in these government men, they have allowed me to have contact with the Roman Catholic church leaders and even given me a specific place in the Barangay area to work. I praise God for using the Holistic Community Development Initiative as a bridge to connect with people.

I was asked by the Barangay Captain to speak with their women’s organization to promote the different topics that I proposed to the officials. The women were interested and excited to start the community program. I met Jonalyn, a person of peace who God sent to us. I asked her to gather the women in the community, and she did. We started the hygienic training, and the door was opened to share the Gospel.

As a result of the meeting with the women’s organization, God opened a door in Sitio Bankerohan. I praised God because we had about fifteen women attend our first community development meeting. I connected with the people and shared the gospel. The group of women will meet every week for Bible study and livelihood training. These meetings will help them become free from spiritual poverty and financial poverty as well. During our meeting, the parents requested if I could teach their children about God, I was blessed by the parent’s request. I have prayed for another children’s outreach, and our team is now planning a feeding next month to connect with the children and share the gospel.

I praise God for the privilege to attend a three-day intensive church planting training with the Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches of the Philippines (CAMACOP) Pastors. The training is a four-phase church planter training, and I recently attended the second phase. The training will help me enhance my skills and widen my connections for the advancement of God’s kingdom. This training is contextualized to the Filipino culture. I thank the Lord because He is Jehovah Jireh and provides help in areas I am weak in my ministry.

Last month we prayed for the opportunity to feed a community through our food ministry. The women’s group from our church (Mabolo EFC) sponsored our first feeding at the Sitio Baha-Baha outreach. Both children and parents were blessed with the Spiritual food (Bible) and Physical food (rice, chicken, and spaghetti). We gave them a heavy meal because these children and parents are mostly from the poorest of the poor and rarely eat delicious and nutritious food. I am so blessed because we did not minister only to the community but also to members of our church. Some of the women who went with us had never participated before. Many of the women who went testified about their experience. The women shared how they were blessed and encouraged to have served the community, and how their passion for the ministry has grown into a deeper understanding of what it means to serve.

I praise God for giving us another opportunity to start a new Bible study inside a warehouse in Pagsabongan, Mandaue. These people are workers from different companies, and I gathered them in one of the shops inside the warehouse to teach a Bible lesson. They are hungry for the word of God, during our first bible study 16 people heard the gospel including two young couples who were very eager to learn the Bible. They wanted to have a bible study every Tuesday night.

The great commission is not making converts but making “disciples” of all nations. Every Thursday we have intentional discipleship training with my core group of people. I am training them and preparing them to become future pastors in our church planting works. It is a great joy and fulfillment to see Alvin and John who used only to play guitar and now lead the bible study on our outreach days. I was able to open a new bible study with two young couples in our neighborhood and delegated our bible study outreach in Baha-Baha to John and Alvin. It encouraged me so much that these guys have potentials in the ministry. Now every Sunday they take charge of our bible study in Baha-Baha, and I lead the Bible study in our neighborhood.

Ministry is all about healthy relationships. What excites me are the relationships I build when I go out into the community to preach the gospel. Elrod is a child that was very shy when I first met him. We invited him and his friends to our bible stories> At first, they did not join, but as the weeks went by Elrod and his friends felt more comfortable. Every week the children are excited about the bible stories and activities. Because of our relationships with the children, the parents have also started developing a relationship with us and have heard the gospel as well.

Summer is one of the most awaited seasons for every student. Every summer my son Kerith Ravine is excited about the camps and travels. He recently attended a 3-day Kids Camp in South Cebu, Philippines. My son had never been away for three days and was nervous and excited to feel the independence. It is our joy to see our son growing not just in the physical aspect but spiritual as well. His experience in the camp was meaningful and transforming. He was able to manage himself, sleep without looking for us at midnight, and establish himself and connect with new friends. He learned a lot from the God’s Word. He enjoyed the activities, co-campers, and counselors. When he came home, he expressed his gratitude and thanked us for sending him to the camp. My son has developed a passion for helping children, especially those living on the streets. He is excited to help his mom in our children’s outreach every Sunday afternoon.

Summer 2018

(5) I praise God for the privilege of ministering to the police officers in our town (Consolacion, Cebu). Shortly before our Barangay Election, the chief of police of our city called us and asked us to share the Gospel and pray for all the Police and Commissioners on the election personnel team before their deployment to there respective areas. It was around 2 AM when I went to the Police Station and Municipal Hall to share the Word of God and pray a blessing and protection for these men. It was indeed a great blessing that we were able to connect and establish a good relationship with them. God has opened doors for us in our government offices to share the gospel.

My ministry team has committed themselves to depend on the power and leading of God in their personal lives and ministry. We determined to have a weekly dawn prayer meeting every Saturday. We meet on an open hill which is overlooking the town of Consolacion. We prayed for the salvation of the entire city and our intimacy with God during this time. The dawn prayer meeting is one of the things that my team looks forward to most each week. It refreshes, revives, and prepares our soul for our day and ministry to the community.

Family camp is one of God’s instruments to equip and encourage the whole family to serve God together. Just this may; I had the privilege to be the main speaker of our EFCP family camp. This family camp composed of 10 local EFC churches from different districts was indeed a very fulfilling and encouraging ministry for the whole family. Because of busyness, most families do not spend enough quality time with each other. At this event, these families were able to bond with each other and be ministered to by the word of God. It was also an encouragement for our family to have quality time and be refreshed through this camp. I was ministered to as well and reminded that one of my primary ministries is our Family.

Stephanie (white shirt) and Narsel (black shirt) are best friends. They are our newest visitors to the Bible study and hungry for the word of God. During our first meeting, I shared with them the gospel through the life of Zacchaeus. After sharing, I ask them, to whom you will share this with? And it just so happened that Stephanie’s cousin dropped by, so she called him and invited him to sit down and listen. Right away I ask Stephanie if she could share the Gospel with Bem-Bem (her cousin). Without any hesitation, she shared what we just studied, this happened again with her step-brother. Stephanie and Narsel continued to study the scripture every week.

One of our strategies in evangelism is “Pray, Care, and Share.” I went to the community in Sitio Bankerohan to do house to house pray, care, and share visits. Concordia, a Grandmother, is one of the people that I prayed for and shared the gospel with, she is 90 years old and is still strong enough to collect seashells every morning. Jonalyn is a granddaughter of Lola Concordia. During our conversation, I found out that her nephew was in the hospital for dehydration and she was not on good terms with her husband. So, I took the opportunity to show the love of Christ through tangibly caring for her and helping her financially with the hospital and counseling so that she can reconcile with her husband.

Lighthouse Community Church is a five-year-old independent church. The man who started this church is a very close friend of mine, Pastor Philip Lim. He started this church with a few people from my Bible study. Three years ago, God called Pastor Philip Lim to do tribal missions in Palawan. That is when he departed the church and unfortunately left no one to take care of it.

Our desire for the community is not only to reach them for Christ but also to help them improve their quality of living. So we try to be “holistic” in our approach by helping the person develop in the physical, spiritual, social and emotional aspect of life.

Since most of the people that we reach are extremely poor, we introduce them to a livelihood program in the area. We praised God that we were able to conduct livelihood training in Sitio Baha-Baha and Sitio Bankerohan. We taught them how to make soap detergent powder, and the women are enjoying making their first products.

(6) June 3rd, 2018, was opening day for the 2018-2019 school year. The children were so excited for their first day of school, but many of them were sad because they didn’t have school supplies. So the church decided to give them a gift by hosting an event called “Back to School Fun Day.” We bought school supplies and packed them according to grade levels.

We praised God that 137 school kids in Sitio Bankerohan and Sitio Baha-Baha received their bundles of supplies. The children live in the coastal squatter area, and most of their parents have no permanent jobs. I also found that the whole community has no electricity and these children struggle when they are trying to study and do their homework. They even walk 2-3 Km back and forth every day to reach the public school. Despite all these hardships, the children are eager, diligent, and attend school every day even if many of them do not have much. We also praised God for providing volunteers from our church to help assist us with the event.

During the gift-giving, I was surprised by how many people came. The entire community gathered in the open space both adults and children, and in the middle of our program, God impressed on my heart to share the gospel of Jesus Christ because I might not see them again after the event. So, I took the microphone and started preaching Jesus as the Savior and Lord. I praised God because more than a hundred of them were able to hear the gospel and were responsive to the word of God. The harvest is plentiful all we need to be is ready to preach the gospel in season and out of season.

God can use anybody including children to make a significant impact for his Kingdom. Our little boy (Reed) is three years old. Before we gave away the school supplies to the students, he was thrilled to go to the community and meet other children. He joyfully helped us prepare the materials and during the event was busy helping us give snacks to the children while other volunteers distributed the gifts. As a father, it is a great joy to see my children enjoy serving God and helping us in the ministry in their capacity. Reed is very excited to go with us every Sunday to Bankerohan and Baha-Baha to help out during our outreach as well us to play with his new found friends.

These children in Bankerohan were attentively listening when I shared the gospel with them through an object lesson. While I was presenting the gospel, they were very engaged and interactive. When I asked them to surrender their lives to Jesus, to my surprise not only the children but many of the adults together decided to surrender and commit their lives to Jesus Christ. We will continue to follow up with these people to be sure they understand the Gospel and are committed to following Jesus. We cannot underestimate the role of children in evangelism, they believe it sincerely and truthfully. The encounter with the people was our first, but it seemed as if we already knew each other because they are so close to us and even urged us to come back because they wanted to continue hearing the word of God.

The word of God will never return empty and not accomplish its purpose. A few days after our mass evangelism I returned and found that the people were hungry for the word of God. We started our first Bible study with ten people in the house of Ailyn in Bankerohan. Ailyn has eight children, and they are eager to learn the Bible. Ben was a drunk during the time he visited our bible study and after the Bible study asked us for a copy of the Bible, and he asked me to pray for the salvation of his wife. Days later I heard the news that Ben is no longer drinking alcohol and his wife attended our next Bible study with him. More people came to the Bible Study the following week, so we decided to do it in the open space since there was not enough space for us in the house.

We praise God for the new Children’s outreach that God has opened for us in Bankerohan. After our school supply outreach, we returned and had about 70 children from preschool to high school see us again. These children were very attentive and hungry for the word of God. We thank God for providing us with volunteers from our church to help us teach the children how to have a personal and growing relationship with God. They are the active young people in the church and have a heart for the lost. These young people traveled nine kilometers from the church to the outreach site. Those who joined us include: (from the left)  Elaisa, our Sunday school teacher, Janiña a new member in the church, Toto a young drummer and sound guy, Trifone the youth president, Khiara the keyboardist, Malaicha a new believer, Kathlene a Sunday school teacher, Gea one of our newly hired full time staff, and Eunice a church youth leader. I praised God that they are a blessing to this community.

An unfortunate and shocking tragedy happened two weeks after our bible study site was established at Bankerohan. A two-year-old died after he wandered off and drowned in the sea. His mother and grandmother had just started attending our bible study. I was told that on June 14 around 11:00 am, high tide was happening, and the sea was at a very high level. While his mother was doing laundry, she lost sight of her two-year-old son John, and a few minutes later her neighbor found John Carlo in the sea. They did everything to revive the child, but when they brought him to the hospital, he was declared dead on arrival. The entire family and community are grieving. I was there when the accident happened and afterward was the one who carried John Carlo from the hospital to the funeral home. That Sunday we decided not to have an outreach but instead stayed with the family to minister and comfort them. We helped the family with the funeral and burial of John Carlo, but most of all prayed for their recovery. By the Grace of God a week after the burial, the whole family including the grandfather, uncles, and aunties started attending our weekly Bible study.

In my previous report, I mentioned that the lighthouse community church (LHCC) expressed frustration in their ministry and their desperate need for help. They asked if I would join them and become their pastor. We informed them that if they wanted to join us, we would be an Evangelical Free church. This month they processed their affiliation to the Evangelical Free Church of the Philippines (EFCP), and on June 18, 2018, the President, members of the National Board of Directors, and other leaders of EFCP interviewed with the LHCC leaders in response to their application for affiliation. This coming September 10, 2018, the EFCP National Board of Directors will have a meeting to make a final decision about this matter.

We started our Bible Study in Sitio Baha-Baha in March 2018. We praise God that after three months of Bible study seven people have decided to profess their faith in Jesus Christ through water baptism publicly. During the baptism, I exhorted them from the word of God as well as reminded them that there may be persecution in the future as they seek to follow Jesus.

When we went home from the baptism, the rials and persecutions came. There was great trouble in the community. Three community leaders that are related to some of the women who were baptized were enraged at us for baptizing them.

Their fury was so great that they came and took our bibles we were carrying and burned them then threatened our brothers and sisters in Christ. A few days later I confronted some of the people that were causing problems, I showed them the love of Jesus and prayed for them. I praise God that most of them had become remorseful and asked to have a Bible study with me. One of the guys who burned the Bibles is still enraged and refuses to talk to me. He continues almost every day to threaten our brethren. But we praise God for our brethren who have stood firm in the faith, and pray for two of our brethren who no longer attend our bible study because of fear.

Our daughter Esther was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis three years ago. Last year she underwent Thymoma Surgery, and we thought that everything was ok. But just this March 2018 her condition became worse, and she underwent a plasmapheresis procedure, but her situation has not improved. I praised God for Pastor Steve from White Fields who took the time to visit Esther in our house and pray for her on his last visit. My daughter was greatly comforted and encouraged. As of now, she is still weak and taking her medication, we are prayerfully hoping for God’s miracle of healing.