Ester and I are still in the States after what was supposed to be a very short furlough. We have rescheduled our return flight four times, with the latest being August 10, but even if we are able to return, our area, Dasmarinas City in the province of Cavite, is currently one of the hardest-hit areas and has perhaps the strictest quarantine measures in the Philippines. The hospitals are overcrowded, and we have had people die with COVID-19 in the immediate vicinity of our church. If we were to return at this time, we would not be allowed to leave our property. Senior citizens and minors are strictly quarantined to their residences. We are anxious to get back to our work, but it would not be prudent at this time.
Fortunately, we are still able to do much of our work using electronic means of communication. Our people and I are actually learning new things that we plan to use even after this pandemic is over. I preach our Sunday morning service using livestreaming and teach in our Bible college using video chat. We have resumed our Bible institute using a virtual classroom via Google Meet. We are able to have discipleship, and our people are able to do visitation on a limited basis and go soul winning as opportunities allow. We have staff meetings, men’s fellowship, youth classes and preaching, ladies’ fellowship, choir, and mini-orchestra practice using online means. We have also been able to keep in close contact with our members with messaging apps.
Providence Baptist Bible College welcomes its newest student, Joshua Rosales (pictured right), a twenty-year-old young man from our work in Lipa City, Batangas. Please pray for Joshua as he studies and prepares for a life of full-time service for God.
Congratulations to our newlyweds, Jeremy (our music director) and Ana, one of our Bible college graduates. They had been waiting to get married until Ester and I got back to the Philippines, but I didn’t want to keep them waiting any longer. I advised them to have a civil wedding with the mayor; then they would go straight to church, and we would do a virtual church wedding. When they tried to schedule the civil wedding, they were told that the mayor was not doing weddings due to the pandemic. The mayor’s office authorized me to officiate their wedding using video chat. Jeremy then sent the marriage contract and certificate to me in the States via FedEx. We had a wonderful virtual wedding, after which I signed the wedding documents and sent them back to the Philippines via the same method.
Thank you all so much for your prayers, love, friendship, and financial support. We are so very grateful.
Yours for souls,
Courtney & Ester Godsoe