I have intentionally delayed sending a letter update because I wanted to wait until after a recent pastors’ conference we held on at the island of Mindoro. During the time since our last letter, I also had to fly back to the U.S. for my youngest brother Scott’s funeral. He was only 62 and had just remarried 16 months prior. I was able to preach a memorial service, and six precious friends of his received Christ as Saviour.
Just a few days after returning from the U.S., Kay, Brianna and I traveled 11 hours to the island of Mindoro to hold a pastors’ conference we had been planning for over a year. It was an exhausting trip, and we have all returned with different health issues. Kay and I both are struggling with major sinus problems. The conference was amazing, and most of the 45 pastors and workers said we were such a help and blessing to them.
Back in 2008 while at GBC Bacolod, we held our 3rd Annual AWBM Conference. During that conference, our special music was provided by three brothers named Pasignhin. The eldest Zuriel related to me that God had called him to plant a church on the island of Mindoro during that conference. He went there and started the Messiah Baptist Church. Seven years ago Zuriel turned the church over to his brother Israel. Israel had married a lady who was previously from our church there in Bacolod, and they invited us to come and hold a conference for them. Part of the ministry at Messiah Baptist Church is with a mission work among a tribal group called the Mangyans. I was too sick to visit them, but Brianna got to go there after our meeting. That church is now pastored by a Mangyan by the name of Hyme Samuel, who was led to Christ when Zuriel was the pastor.
What I further found out when talking to Pastor Hyme was that he was the eldest of nine children. Mangyan tradition was that the mother always killed the firstborn by hanging so that those born after would live healthy lives. For a reason known only to God, Hyme’s mother chose not to take his life. God allowed a surrendered young preacher to reach him with the Gospel, and now today he pastors one of four tribal churches started by Messiah Baptist Church. Little did we realize years ago the impact that Asian World Baptist Ministries would have around the world.
What a pleasure it is to represent you to the people in Asia!
The Vest Family