In Psalm 119:32, David makes a great statement: “I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.” I WANT TO RUN FOR MY GOD. I don’t want to walk. I don’t want to jog. I dead sure don’t want to sit. I WANT TO RUN! With every ounce of my being, I want to reach my potential for God, whatever that means, and anyone who knows me knows that is true. What many people do not know is that, for years, I have struggled with blood sugar problems and an annoying stomach condition. Truthfully, my entire adult ministry has been hindered by my ongoing health problems. Over the last four years, those struggles have only increased, as I’ve dealt with the burdens and stresses of the pastorate, and to be perfectly honest, about three months ago, my health was in a complete spiral! I was physically broken, emotionally unstable, and spiritually exhausted. God was blessing the ministry, but I was breaking down physically, and it was affecting every area of my life. Then, on top of everything else, I contracted COVID-19.
On July 13, I went to the hospital for a scheduled colonoscopy, where I was required to undergo a rapid antigen test. Within five minutes of the test, the result came back positive. I couldn’t believe it! To be honest, I was shaken, but not because I was worried about having COVID; I was worried about our church. I knew the Department of Health would quarantine me and close our church for at least two weeks, and I was deeply concerned for our people. As it turned out, I and my family were quarantined for a total of three weeks because God knew that was exactly what we needed! God used those three weeks to radically change my life! I was able to get some badly needed rest and to do some serious thinking and research about my health. As I researched and studied, God convicted my heart with a single phrase from Philippians 3:19, “whose God is their belly.” I made a decision: I am not going to be controlled by my appetites anymore! I will eat what my body needs so that I can reach my potential for God. I dramatically changed my diet, completely eliminating all sugars and most carbohydrates. I began eating vegetables, a lot of them, and those two changes have completely changed my life. Three months ago, I was eating six or seven times a day just to keep my blood sugar levels up. If I didn’t eat something every two to three hours, my sugar would drop, and I would crash—mentally, physically, and emotionally. Today, I’m eating three meals a day, and sometimes only two! God used COVID-19 to change my life! I still have a ways to go, but I feel better than I have felt in years! I have energy and excitement again! My mind is clearer, and I’m more decisive! For the first time in a long time, I feel like I can RUN for my God, and let me tell you, “WE HAVE BEEN RUNNING!”
PASTORS’ AND WORKERS’ CONFERENCE – “THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE”
Right now, we are preparing for our first Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference, scheduled for October 12-14. Thus far, 16 pastors have registered to come, and I expect several more will register over the next couple of weeks. I am so excited about this conference. We will be able to give song books and Cebuano Bibles to every pastor who attends, along with several other useful tools to help them in their respective ministries!
In the meantime, WE PURCHASED OUR FIRST CHURCH PROPERTY LAST WEEK – 480 square meters of land in an excellent location! Thank you so much to those of you who gave to help with this project! God is so good! It seems that purchasing property should be the one major focus of this letter, but God is also doing so many other things right now!
NEW BIBLE INSTITUTE STUDENTS
On September 2, God allowed my family to move to a new home. It is nearly twice the size of our old house, but the rent is identical. It has two stories and a small, one-room house in the backyard. We decided to move because the larger house would give us space for new Bible institute students. Granted, we didn’t have the students yet, but I believed that God was getting ready to give us some. My plan was to turn the upstairs into a girls’ boarding house and then remodel the small house out back for our men. Three days after we moved, we had a guest missionary preach for us in the Sunday evening service. He did a great job, and God moved in an amazing way! At the invitation, three of our young people surrendered to the ministry and decided to join our Bible institute! OUR GOD IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! HIS TIMING IS IMPECABLE!
• That God would give me wisdom as we make decisions regarding our new property
• That God would bless our upcoming Pastors’ and Workers’ Conference in a special way
• That God would bless our new Bible institute students as they settle into their new lives of preparing for the ministry
Thank you for your faithful prayers, support, and friendship. We thank God for you all!