We thank God for a great start to 2016, and we thank you all for making it possible to represent you on this golden harvest field. During the months of January and February, we saw 3,314 precious souls receive Christ as Saviour and 11 follow the Lord in believer’s baptism.
We were able to go into two more large public schools and preach the Gospel from classroom to classroom. We are working for authorization from one of those schools to enable us to go there once a week for “values training,” as we have been doing in the high school I mentioned in our last prayer letter. Schools here are required to have “values training” as part of the Philippines’ attempt to improve character and reduce corruption. Of course, we use the Bible to teach values to the students.
Ester recently had a “Tea Party” for the ladies in our church with the theme “To Be Used of God.” It was an idea that she had for an informal get-together that grew into a mini-ladies’ conference—32 ladies came. Marrisu, our assistant pastor’s wife, spoke first, and then Ester spoke. The ladies who attended said that God really moved in their hearts. Many tears were shed, and many decisions were made. Ester had a staff lady tape biblical character traits under the saucers. For example, one said, “To be used of God, I will be honest.” Another read, “To be used of God, I will be forgiving.” One of the ladies wept and said, “This is exactly what I needed!”
I would like to feature one of our staff ladies, Miss Brenda Pakias. Brenda came to our Bible college eight years ago just before her 17th birthday. She comes from the mountain village of Domolpos in Northern Luzon. It is an eight-hour hike through rugged mountains to get to her home. Brenda is a teacher and librarian in our Christian school and also helps out with the administrative duties of our church and school. As a jeepney-route captain, she has been responsible for bringing hundreds of people to church over the years. She is a soul winner and a precious, honest, hardworking young lady. At 4’9” she also holds the distinction of being the shortest person on our staff or Bible college.
Ester, our staff, several of our members, and I recently attended a spiritual-leadership conference in Manila, hosted by Dr. Paul Chappell. It was inspiring and educational with an emphasis on reaching Asia and Africa with the Gospel. I was able to attend the planning meeting for the conference, and while there I realized the importance of our staff attending the conference. It was fairly expensive for all of them to attend, so I prayed about it and asked our church to help and took offerings for several weeks before the conference. I was so blessed, as our folks gave about $400 to cover the entire registration fee for our staff and college students. A friend of mine from the States gave money so that each of our staff was able to eat in a restaurant for three days, and a church in Manila let us stay in their facility. God is so good to us.
We are so excited that we were finally able to purchase a 700-square meter of property for our church last year. It is our dream to build on it. I’m praying that we can get all the planning and permit requirements and the funding started on the foundation of the building before the end of this year. We would appreciate your prayers for this project. If we could get our own facilities, it would save many thousands of dollars each year for rent.
Thank you all for your sacrifice for this ministry and your part in seeing souls saved and lives changed. We are eternally grateful.
Yours for souls,
Courtney & Ester Godsoe