We praise the Lord for continued fruit during these challenging times. I have taught our people from the Bible that, not only can we survive this pandemic, but we can move forward and have victory and success. We have truly seen that “. . . the LORD’S hand is not shortened . . . .” (Isaiah 59:1) We thank the Lord for 569 souls saved during the months of July and August.
Besides having live services, teaching our Bible college online, and doing many other activities, we have been very diligent to keep up with our people. Ester and I have been doing extensive video calls with each of our families and are able to keep aware of their conditions, needs, and prayer requests. Ester has weekly Bible studies and fellowships with our ladies. Besides being encouraged from God’s Word, they always have a great time. During their latest fellowship, they had a “Cowgirl Costume Contest.” I’m amazed at how they came up with authentic-looking costumes.
I used to warn our folks not to take the tremendous freedom we had for granted, as we could someday lose it. I had no idea it would happen so soon. Religious gatherings are currently limited to 10% of capacity, and attendees and ministers are required to be vaccinated. We are still not allowed to bring children on our jeepney routes, and there are strict social-distancing rules with transportation. To help offset this, besides having live church services, our church staff have been having meetings in the homes of our people, and they are still soul winning in neighborhoods.
I still believe that God’s hand is on the Philippines, and it is the strategic staging area for the final phase of world evangelism, the 10-40 Window. We already have missionaries throughout Southeast Asia and beyond, and there is so much more to do. We are in a time of testing, pruning, strengthening, and preparation. The Philippines is a heavy hitter in sending missionaries, but there are still only a small percentage of Baptist churches that are really involved in missions. Please pray that God would move and energize more pastors and churches to give and send.
I’m praying about what we can do to encourage pastors to get on board with missions. One of the things I’m considering is starting a team of missions evangelists to visit churches throughout the Philippines to promote world missions. Please pray for God to stir up more Baptist pastors and churches in the Philippines for missions. The time is short, and there is much to do!
Ester and I are very anxious to get back to our home and work in the Philippines. Due to the current situation with COVID, we are going to delay our return a while longer. Our people are doing well and are faithful and productive. We still have new families joining the church. If the situation doesn’t improve by the end of the year, we plan to return the Philippines in the first part of the new year. The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines has recently hit a record of over 26,000 reported new cases in a single day. The good news, though, is that it appears to have peaked. Please pray that the situation will drastically improve soon.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and financial sacrifice to keep us in the land of opportunity for spreading the Gospel. We are so grateful.
Yours for souls,
Courtney & Ester Godsoe