The year 2014 was a busy one that went by at lightning speed. We rejoice at the many answered prayers and victories and are grateful for God”s blessings and His help during the more trying times. The months of November and December were very productive: 1,658 people professed faith in Christ as Saviour, and 75 followed Him in believer’s baptism. The total saved during 2014 was 6,132, with 102 baptized.
The highlight of the year was our Harvest Campaign that lasted for five weeks in October and November. There was a tremendous spirit of teamwork and enthusiasm among our people as they worked hard and bore much fruit. There are still people attending church and growing spiritually who were invited and first attended during our Harvest Campaign. Following the campaign, we had our Harvest/Thanksgiving Banquet coinciding with Thanksgiving in the U.S. Many of our folks went all-out making Native American costumes for the banquet. I was surprised that they knew about Native Americans. Not only did they know, but their costumes made them look like the real thing.
God blessed our young people as they raised almost $700 while Christmas caroling. Most of the homes they go to are by appointment. I hate to brag—well, not really—but I believe we have some of the finest teens around. People often comment on their appearance, demeanor, and performance as they sing and play musical instruments.
I cannot get over the wonderful spirit amongst our people during the Christmas season and during our Christmas party. I have never seen our people as close as they have been lately and during the past year.
It would be difficult to choose the greatest blessing of 2014, but as I reminisce over the past year, the thing that really encourages me is the increased involvement of our lay workers. When I think of the image I want for our nbso church, it is the image of men in the forefront who are taking the lead. That is asking a lot in a matriarchal society such as we have. I have wanted a better ushering program and never seemed to get it off the ground. Sam Naynes, one of our faithful men, asked if I would mind if he made some changes to the way our ushers were organized. The things he wanted to do were exactly the things I had been wanting to do. Praise the Lord for Sam’s initiative!
Our ladies have also been a tremendous blessing. Ester, who was already very busy in the work, began a bi-weekly ladies’ fellowship and a weekday ladies’ visitation program. The ladies have been very enthusiastic and have had a great impact in the lives of many of our families.
Our church celebrated Pastor Appreciation Month during October. I was overwhelmed for several weeks with fruit, snacks, and gifts each service. It was very touching and encouraging not only to receive their gifts and expressions of love but to see how much they thoroughly enjoyed doing it.
One tremendous answer to prayer was the return of Dondon, an autistic young man who disappeared for three months and ten days. He had been kept by the Department of Social Services in Metro Manila until they finally figured out where he was from.
Thank you all so much for making it possible for us to serve God in this white harvest field.
God is so good to us.
Yours for souls,
Courtney and Ester Godsoe