Our family was finally able to exit the Philippines for a short furlough to the U.S. during June and July. It was a wonderful time to reconnect with family and friends, to have our youngest child visit America for the first time, and to meet our son-in-law in person for the first time. COVID sure messed up a lot of “normal”!
We were so happy to be able to reenter the Philippines, and it has been a busy time since we arrived back home. Immediately we began our immigration process to convert our visas to missionary visas. Please continue to pray. We are in the process and expect to hear any day now that we are approved once again.
Our ministry is doing great as we come out of the pandemic. We are, for the most part, back to normal in our church activities, and God has been blessing in some incredible ways. I keep repeating to our folks that I am just excited to be a part of “what God is doing.”
Without any special days or pushes, we have seen our morning services filled, with extra chairs being set up weekly. Visitors are in in attendance each Sunday, and we are seeing multiple people professing faith in Christ and following the Lord in baptism each week. One recent Sunday, we had 11 baptized at the end of the morning service. We’ve had several weeks in recent days with 7 or more baptized.
We are now back into the local jail and have seen many inmates, both men and women, come to know Jesus. The attendance at these meetings is more than it was prior to the pandemic, and the warden seems very pleased with our presence there.
We have also begun getting back into our school ministry. One school is already fully opened back up to us, and other schools will be open to us in November, when they officially start holding face-to-face classes again.
Our soul winning has been great, especially our Thursday evening soul winning, much of which takes place along our city’s boulevard. There are larger crowds out now than there were before the pandemic, and we are seeing hundreds of souls saved. Last evening, our soul winners saw 108 saved in about an hour’s time.
We held our Missions Conference in September; our theme was “Make a Difference.” We were able to host seven missionary families this year, something we really missed doing during the pandemic time. Two families were new to us, and we are excited that our Faith Promise commitments will allow us to add these new missionaries for support.
Our home school ministry, “CHAPEL,” is back in action, as we help the families in our church with their children’s education. We have 35 young people at our house 4 days a week as my wife and those helping her assist in giving these children a Christ-honoring education; 7 who graduated from our CHAPEL ministry are among the 9 new students who have started Hyles-Anderson College of the Philippines this year.
We could not do what we do without your prayer and financial support. Please continue to hold us up in prayer and to invest in the work God is using us to help accomplish.
Please pray that the Lord will give us wisdom in locating a property or building that will better suit our needs in the future. We are grateful for the location we’ve been using since our beginning, but it is getting cramped. Land and buildings are getting more expensive, but we trust the Lord has something prepared for us in His time.
Also pray, as we are looking to help a new church get started soon. I’m excited to see our church help give birth to a new body of believers, and I pray this will be only the first of many new churches started out of International Baptist Church in Dumaguete.
We will conduct another wedding for two of our Bible college graduates in December, and my wife and I will be attending a wedding of another of our graduates in another place the day following the wedding here. It’s exciting to see new families start and for our nurseries to be filled with little ones from families we’ve helped to reach and train.
Again, thank you for your love, prayer, and support. If ever you can make it to the Philippines, we’d love to see you here. Please consider Dumaguete.
That all the world may know,
These are our CHAPEL ministry kids—this year’s crop of homeschoolers.
Another one of the classrooms our workers get to minister to weekly.
My wife and I are with our missionary families at this year’s Missions Conference.
Our first grandchild was born to Joshua and Allyson Strong on September 2, 2022!
One of the classrooms our workers get to minister to weekly