Since our last update, many things have taken place, and I’ll do my best to summarize for you what God has been doing in Dumaguete.
Mrs. Lawrenson was in the hospital with what was thought to be a broken ankle, possibly turned to infection. She’s home now, but the recovery has been very slow. Please pray for her to fully recover. I also had a short visit to the emergency room recently with a broken finger that is still healing. I’m glad that the accident happened in our church parking lot, and our men were there to help me right away. If you would, please pray for my wife, as she is due to give birth to our tenth child in April.
Praise the Lord! First Baptist Church of Hammond was very generous and helped us to replace our old broken-down generator with a new one. As I write this letter, concrete is being poured for a foundation upon which to place the new 50KVA generator. We will have it delivered and set up as soon as the concrete has cured in a couple of weeks. This is a tremendous blessing to our church, and we are so grateful for the gift of love.
In December, we had our Christmas program at International Baptist Church. This year it was a musical play, “The Lamb of Bethlehem.” We held two performances, which were both well attended, and several souls trusted Christ as a result.
This past Sunday, January 27, International Baptist Church celebrated her 8th anniversary. We had a wonderful day. Though 588 did not break an attendance record in the morning, we did break the record for our afternoon service with 326. We just advertised the day as a “Funday,” with popcorn, cotton candy, and shaved ice for everyone, along with 16 carnival-style games in which they could earn raffle tickets for prizes. We had 113 decisions for salvation and 40 baptized. Of all our big days, I believe this one will yield more fruit that will remain. It was wonderful to see so many families at the church.
Our theme this year is “So Much the More.” We have put together an elaborate program for our church that is being very well received. I can’t think of a time in our church history where the spirit has been better than it is right now. Most of our church members have teamed up with another church member to form a two-person team for the year. Each team has been assigned to a league: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The teams have various ways to earn points, and each Sunday night the league that is ahead enjoys a treat after the service: popcorn, cotton candy, or shaved ice. It has been a lot of fun observing the friendly competition. I can hardly step into a room or soul-winning meeting without a church member asking for “bonus points.”
Hyles-Anderson College of the Philippines
Our Bible college is doing well, and we will have our third graduation in April. I am so pleased with our young people and their hearts to serve our Lord. Please pray for this coming year, as we already expect at least 4 of our high school young ladies to be entering Bible college. If you would like to invest in the lives of those in training, please send support to FBMI with “Missionary/Project #6311” in the memo section.
Radio Ministry Update and Request
I’ve been in communication with Missionary Rick Martin, who is helping us, along with several others, to get radio stations started throughout the Philippines. We’ve already begun the process for a station in Dumaguete, and he tells us that our recent hearing went well and that we will be ready for the next phase by the end of February. We will need about $1,500 to complete the next phase of preparing for our station here in Dumaguete. This is a tremendous opportunity that we believe God would have us participate in. Would your church consider helping us to get to the next level? Please pray about what you could do.
There is not a date set, as of yet, but we anticipate having our first wedding at International Baptist Church before too long. Two of our first-year graduates, who are also on staff, have been dating and are now engaged to be married. They’ve been a great example to others of how to date properly; I couldn’t be prouder of them. Please pray for Emirson Ubas and Clarice Arriola as they prepare for their married life.
We ended 2018 with more than 7,781 souls saved throughout our ministries and 279 following the Lord in baptism. We’ve seen more of our members out soul winning and finding areas in the church to serve. It is just wonderful to see how faithfulness is paying off in the lives of so many. Please continue to pray, as we expect to see God do more with and through us in the year ahead, if He tarries His coming.
Please pray for the following:
1. Continued spiritual growth among our team, staff, and church family
2. Health and provision for all team families
3. Finances for our radio station ($1,500 currently needed)
4. New canvas for our 30’x60’ tent, which holds three Sunday school classes and children’s services
5. Continued growth of new converts
6. More souls to come to Christ through our soul winning
7. America’s spiritual condition to improve—we’re praying for you.
We’d love to share more photos and video with you of our Anniversary Sunday. Please visit our page on the FBMI website (www.fbmi.org).
That all the world may know,