I have determined in my heart to limit this letter to a single page! However, it is going to be a challenge! SO MUCH has happened in the last two months, and SO MUCH is coming up in the near future! I’m going to do my best just to brush over the highlights of the last couple of months, in hopes that I will have space to discuss some of the upcoming events. First of all, I would like to say that we have continued to emphasize the Sunday school in our ministry. Our teachers and workers are growing in their knowledge, teaching, and visiting; and slowly but surely, we are seeing the results of their personal growth mirrored in the numerical growth of their classes. For the last two weeks, we have had exactly 72 in Sunday school, and I believe we have good reason to believe that that number will continue to hold fairly steady. In keeping with our Sunday school emphasis, I have rearranged our weekly soul-winning schedule to include a time specifically designated to Sunday school visitation and follow-up. It has been a joy to watch our teachers grow in this crucial area of ministry work. In addition to this, we are preparing to add our sixth class in the next couple of weeks. Please pray that God would bless this newest step with continued growth in our Sunday school. Speaking of Sunday school, instead of having an extended Sunday school program for 4-6 weeks, we have decided to choose one Sunday each month for a special Sunday school promotion. In April, it was “Pie in the Face Sunday.” It was simple; we pitted the boys against the girls and set a base number for each class, and the teacher who lost got a pie in the face after the morning service! Our teachers worked hard, and the Devil fought, but God gave us a great day! In spite of torrential rain (in the middle of hot season, I might add!) and multiple core families missing for a variety of bizarre reasons, we still had 97 in attendance, with many visitors, salvations, and 1 baptism! Most encouraging is the fact that the lady who got baptized hasn’t missed a Sunday morning since that day! Okay. There is a lot more I would like to share, but allow me to move on.
Writing Under Duress!
I have never considered myself to be an author. Quite frankly, writing my bi-monthly prayer letter is one of the most stressful regularly scheduled events on my calendar! Yet, for some reason, in the months since our return to the field, I have felt an inescapable compulsion to write . . . IN TWO LANGUAGES, NO LESS! Apparently, God didn’t think that I was busy enough! 😊 It started in February, when God began pushing me to write English articles on what I like to call the “Issues of Our Time.” (If you would like to receive these articles, please send me an email at email@example.com, and I’ll be happy to add you to my mailing list.) Sometime after that, God began pushing me to write my first Visayan booklet, Unsay Pasabot sa Born Again? (“What Does It Mean to Be Born Again?”) Through countless hours of mind-numbing work and with the help of God and a very competent staff member, I finished the booklet on April 6! Since that time, God has allowed me to write my second booklet, Unsay Katuyoan sa Baptismo? (“What Is the Purpose of Baptism?”) God has already begun using both booklets in ways that I don’t have space to include in this letter. Please pray that He would continue to do so!
Every House – Dapitan
Please pray for our upcoming campaign entitled “Every House – Dapitan.” I believe God is leading us to place a copy of my Born Again booklet on every door in Dapitan. With a population of over 85,000 people, this is no small task! Please pray that God would bless our efforts in a special way. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support.
Dividends on Your Investment
On Thursday evening, April 20, I was out making some Sunday school visits . . . well, that was my plan anyway. Unfortunately, none of my visits panned out. Within 10 or 15 minutes of arriving in the area, I had failed to make even one profitable visit. As I walked back towards our car, I was a little puzzled because I felt very strongly that God had led me to visit in this particular neighborhood. It was then that I saw Benjie and his wife Nenie sitting on the porch of their bamboo house. I didn’t know either one of them, but after introducing myself, I found out in the course of the conversation that their daughter had visited our church a few times. Eventually, Benjie invited me up to sit with him on the porch, and I began sharing the Gospel with him. Unfortunately, Nenie retreated back inside the house. However, it quickly became apparent that God had been working on Benjie’s heart. When I began explaining to him that sinners deserve to go to Hell, Benjie interrupted me and said in Visayan, “Yes, many times, I lay awake at night and wonder where I would go if I were to die before morning.” To say that he was ready to be saved would be a gross understatement! I couldn’t get to the end fast enough for him. He knew he deserved to go to Hell; he just wanted to know how to be saved! About 20 minutes later, he put his faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. The following Saturday, I had the privilege of leading Nenie to Christ as well, and this past Sunday, they both showed up for church with their two youngest children. At the invitation, I was able to use my brand-new booklet on baptism, and Benjie decided to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism! GOD IS GOOD!
Yours for souls,