It’s hard to believe that July is already upon us, and 2019 is more than half over! My parents always told me that the older I got, the faster time would go. At 34 years old and nearly 7 years on the mission field, I’m starting to understand what they meant. What is even more startling, however, is the fact that the end of this month will mark 2 years that we have been here in Dapitan City! In some ways, it feels like our deputation was an eternity ago, but in other ways, it feels like we just started the church a couple of months ago. The last couple of months have been extremely busy. I wish I could tell you everything that God has been doing, but in keeping with my ridged belief in one-page prayer letters, let me just give you a few of the highlights.
Youth Rally – Dumaguete City
In the month of May, I had the opportunity to travel to Dumaguete with 4 of our best young people to be a part of a 3-day Youth Rally at International Baptist Church at Dumaguete. It was great to see so many of our good friends there. Having served there for 4½ years, International Baptist Church will always have a special place in our hearts. Pastor DeMoville and the staff did a great job hosting the conference. The preaching was great, and God really did a work in the hearts of our young people. At the invitation on Wednesday night, I wept as 3 of our 4 young people made a public decision to go to Bible college. All 3 of them still have 2 or 3 more years of high school. Please pray with us that they will remain steadfast in the coming months and years.
Mid-Year Program – “Increase My Faith”
We are currently in the middle of our mid-year program, with the theme “Increase My Faith.” My goal for the program was to challenge our people to step outside their comfort zone and do things they never thought possible. The contest covers a myriad of areas from personal Bible reading to soul winning to bringing visitors. Many of our people have risen to the challenge, particularly in the area of soul winning. Many of them have preached the Gospel in situations that previously would have terrified them. We’ve had young people witnessing to adults and even senior citizens. Many of our people have witnessed to groups of five or more at a time, and as you’ll see in the story to the right, one of our young people got to share the Gospel with his entire class! In the last four weeks since the contest began, we have seen our people step out and witness to teachers, drivers, vendors, construction workers, police officers, and businessmen. We’ve seen them witness in homes, on the street, at basketball courts, and at waiting sheds. People have gotten saved at the police station, at the state university, at the public market, and even in the rain. I LOVE BEING PART OF A SOUL-WINNING CHURCH! Many of our people are also learning that they can bring visitors to church . . . if they will simply invite them. In the course of the program, we have had many visitors come and be saved, including several married couples. Please pray that God would continue to work in their hearts and lives as we seek to follow up and help them grow in their newfound faith. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.
Dividends on Your Investment
Justin Dionsay began attending our church with his parents about 8 months ago. He was saved and baptized and, in recent months, has begun to develop into an aggressive soul winner. He is very outgoing by nature. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that he doesn’t have a shy bone in his whole body. He is also a big kid, which, combined with his outgoing personality, makes him appear to be older than his 12 years.
On June 18, Justin was sitting in Religion Class at his Catholic school. His teacher was talking about the importance of memorizing the Bible. Yes, you read that right—at a Catholic school, the teacher was encouraging the students to memorize the Word of God. The teacher then stopped and asked if any of the students could stand up and quote a verse from the Bible. Just a few weeks before as part of a church contest, Justin had memorized 23 verses on the deity of Christ. So, when none of his classmates volunteered, Justin stood up and quoted not 1, but 10 verses! His teacher was absolutely amazed, so much so that she told him to choose another verse for the following day and be ready to explain it!
The next day, 12-year-old Justin stood up in front of his class of over 50 students and quoted John 14:6. He then proceeded to share the Gospel, using the Roman’s Road. His teacher stood in the back and listened as Justin took nearly the entire class hour to explain God’s simple plan of salvation. When Justin finished presenting the Gospel, he asked how many of them would like to call on Christ and be saved. To his amazement, many of his classmates raised their hands . . . ALONG WITH THE TEACHER!
Truly, it is “. . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” AMEN!
Yours for souls,