As a child growing up in an independent Baptist church, I often heard the statement, “You can’t out-give God.” I have found that statement to be 100% true! However, after 3½ years in Dapitan and over 8½ years total in the Philippines, I’ve learned another important truth: YOU CAN’T OUTGUESS GOD! We carefully lay out our plans, carefully considering every detail. We dogmatically declare, “This is what I am going to do for God!” And God looks down from His throne and says in an amused tone, “Oh, really? Are you sure?” If there is one thing I have learned, it is that I don’t know what God is going to do next! He is the one driving this vehicle that we call “our ministry,” and we are just along for the ride.
I wrote my first prayer letter 12½ years ago in October of 2008. At that point, I was a green missionary recruit, trying to raise support to go to India. (Needless to say, God changed our plans about that too.) Since that time, I have written scores of prayer letters, but today, I’m going to do something that I’ve never done before. I’m going to ask for money. One time, I can’t remember exactly when, I sent out an email asking for financial help for Sofia de Guzman, a sweet little girl in our church who was born with a heart defect. However, this is the first time I’ve asked for money for our ministry. If you know me, you know that I’m not much of one for beating around the bush, so I thought I would just go ahead and come straight to the point. We have an opportunity to purchase a nice piece of property near our current location. I believe that God wants us to have it, but we are short about US$17,000. Well, we were until last week, but I’ll come to that in a moment.
For quite some time, we have had our eye on an old Kingdom Hall building that has been for sale since our arrival in Dapitan in 2017. Ruth and I, of course, have been saving for property since we started our second round of deputation in 2015. Here in Dapitan, we launched our official Land Fund in June of 2019. Since that time, our people have sacrificed and given, and Ruth and I have continued to save any extra support or love gifts that we have received. Our plan was to make an offer on the Kingdom Hall property when we reached our goal of 2 million pesos, but God had other plans. About a month ago, we reached our goal, but God wouldn’t let me make the offer. So, I waited. Now I know why. God has opened up an opportunity for us to purchase a better piece of property in a much better location. It does not have a building, but I believe in the long run, it will be a much better option. More importantly, I believe it is God’s will. The new property option is a little over 4,800 square feet, and the price is a little higher than we were hoping to pay. The current asking price is 2,790,000 pesos. At the current exchange rates, that’s about US$58,000. It’s a good piece of property in a good location, and I believe this is the right time. Therefore, I’m asking for help. First, I would ask you to pray that God would provide the funds to purchase the property and give clear guidance every step of the way. Secondly, I am asking for financial help. Last week we received our donor statement and were stunned to see a US$2,000 love gift from a single church, so now we only need to raise about US$15,000! If you would like to invest in our long-term ministry, I think that this is a good opportunity to do that. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. We are thrilled with what God is doing through us on your behalf here in Dapitan!
Yours for souls,