I’ll be perfectly honest; I have struggled with this prayer letter! I wrote the outline over two weeks ago, but every time I’ve sat down to actually write the letter, I couldn’t seem to get it off the ground. I had a list of things that I wanted to talk about. God, however, just didn’t seem to be pushing the direction that I wanted to go, so I waited. A lot has happened in the last couple of months that I would like to share, but now I feel like God wants me to focus more on what we are getting ready to do in the coming weeks and months. However, before I jump into our hopes and plans for the future, let me say “thank you” to all of you who prayed for my wife’s surgery last month. For those of you who don’t know, Ruth had bilateral hernia surgery on February 16. It was by no means a major surgery, but it was still quite a speed bump for our church and family. The surgery was successful; and, praise God, she is healing very well. It is in times like these that we truly realize what a wonderful church family God has given us here in Dapitan! I do not know what we would have done without our people. I had more than one church member tell me, “Your family has helped us, and now we have a chance to help you.” I can’t tell you what that meant to me as a pastor. Truly, God has been very good to us. Now, let me jump into the coming events.
A New Sunday School Teacher
I would ask you to pray for Bro. Aldwin Damba as he prepares to start our sixth Sunday school class here on April 4. Our church is just over 3½ years old, and it is such a joy to watch our people grow and mature in the Lord. Aldwin was saved in early 2018 and has been a faithful member ever since. He has grown immensely in that time. Though he isn’t much older than some of the young men he will be teaching, I believe that he is ready, and I couldn’t be more excited for him and the young men that he will be leading!
Relaunching Our Transportation Ministry
Like many churches all over the world, the COVID-19 lockdowns forced us to shut down our Transportation Ministry. I am pleased to announce that within the next few weeks, we will be relaunching our Transportation Ministry with a renewed vision and several new workers! Please pray that our new workers will grow through this new ministry opportunity.
After 3½ years in Dapitan, it appears that God may be preparing to open the door for us to purchase our own property. We are currently just a few weeks away from our Land Fund goal, at which time, we will be ready to make an offer on an old Kingdom Hall building about a half-mile from our current location. We are going to offer them significantly less than they are asking, so please be in prayer regarding this opportunity. Thank you in advance for your prayers.
Dividends on Your Investment
It was Saturday morning, February 20. I had my soul-winning plan all set. I was going to take our soul winners in the church jeepney to a nearby barangay called San Pedro, but God had other plans. When I arrived at the church, one of my staff men was there, and it was obvious that he was in serious pain. He told me his symptoms, and I did some quick research. I quickly determined that he needed to see a doctor ASAP! I made a phone call or two and found a doctor who could help him. Unfortunately, like most good doctors in our area, the doctor’s clinic was in Dipolog, a city about 6-8 miles from us. Jedie and his wife Marites would have to ride the bus from Dapitan to Dipolog. I dropped them off at the bus stop, but as I drove away, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was supposed to take them to Dipolog. I went back to the church and conducted the soul-winning meeting and then called Jedie for an update. They were still sitting at the bus stop, and it looked like it would be another hour at least before the next bus left. That settled it. I told Jedie that I would take them to the doctor. We loaded our soul winners into the jeepney, and I drove back to pick up Jedie and Marites at the bus stop. San Pedro is on the way to Dipolog, so I stopped, dropped off the soul winners, and then continued on to Dipolog. After dropping them off at the clinic, I stopped at a bread shop to get a snack on my way back to San Pedro. After I got the snack, it occurred to me that Jedie might need to call me, and I wasn’t sure if he had any load (calling credit) on his phone. So, I went looking for a store that sells load, and that’s how I met Jomer and Gina, a young married couple who own a small store on the highway between Dapitan and Dipolog. I have never met a couple who was more hungry to know the truth. Unfortunately, Gina had to watch the store, so I focused on witnessing to Jomer. He had been doing some Bible studies with some other religious groups, so he had a lot of questions as I began sharing the Gospel. About halfway through my Gospel presentation, Jomer looked across the store at Gina and said in Visayan, “This is good. We should be writing these verses down.” A few minutes later when we arrived at Romans 10:13, he asked me a question about the deity of Christ. It was then that I found out that one of the groups he had been talking to denies the deity of Christ. He was confused, but he sincerely wanted to know the truth, so I took him to I John 5:7. When Jomer saw that verse, he turned triumphantly to his wife and almost yelled, “Na!” That’s a Visayan expression that basically means, “Told you!” or “I knew it!” In essence, he was saying to his wife, “I knew that other guy was wrong!” A few minutes later, Jomer bowed his head and put his faith in Jesus Christ! Over the next 20 minutes or so, Jomer watched the store while I shared the Gospel with Gina! They both got saved in the same day!