The Big Announcement
First of all, I’d like to say that Ruth and I are not expecting another child! Having two little terrorists in one house is quite sufficient for the moment! What can I do? They take after their mother!
In all seriousness, we do have an exciting but somewhat sad announcement to make. For the past 4½ years, Ruth and I have had the privilege of serving with the Indo-Philippine Team, led by Pastor Randy DeMoville and sent out by the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana. During that time God has blessed and used us in ways that we could never have dreamed. We love International Baptist Church. We love the people whom God has allowed us to reach and influence. We love the families that God has allowed us to work with, and we love the work that God has allowed us to do! However, in recent months God has begun leading me to launch out and start a new church here in the Philippines on the island of Mindanao.
To be perfectly honest, God has surprised me once again! I never thought that I would be a pastor in the Philippines. In fact, I never thought I would serve in the Philippines at all! The road bringing us to Dumaguete has been full of unforeseen twists and turns, but there is no question in my mind that God brought us to where we are today! Each step of the way, God’s sovereign hand has been obvious. We now look to the future with a strange mixture of emotion, excited about what God is going to do with and through us.
I believe with all my heart that all along God has been preparing us for this work. We have learned so much during our time at International Baptist Church. We have learned how to communicate in the Cebuano language and how to interact in the Filipino culture, but more importantly we have learned the basics of starting a soul-winning church in the Philippines. I am so thankful for the many things that we have learned from Pastor DeMoville and the other members of our team.
I can truly say that I am excited about what God is calling us to do; yet, while we are excited about the future, we are also very sad to leave the people whom we have served and loved for over four years. Dumaguete has become home to us; the other families on our team and the faithful members of our church have become our family. Please pray for us and the ministry here as we prepare for the transition.
The Next Step
In the coming days and months, we will be preparing for the move and working to make the transition as smooth as possible for the ministry here. Lord willing, we will return to the States on May 19 of this year. Our plan is to begin deputation as soon as possible to raise the additional support that we will need to start a new ministry in the Philippines. While we are traveling on deputation, we would love to visit those of you who have faithfully prayed for us and supported our ministry here in the Philippines. We are truly looking forward to seeing many of the great friends that we made during our first deputation. I look forward to updating you in person about the work that God has done here in the Philippines and sharing with you the vision that God has put in my heart for our future ministry. If you have questions about the coming transition or would like to schedule us to come and give an update to your church, you can email me at email@example.com.
Please pray for the following requests as we prepare for this big adjustment in our lives and ministry:
• Pray that God would give us a smooth transition at International Baptist Church at Dumaguete.
• Pray that our converts here in Dumaguete would continue to be faithful and grow in the Lord.
• Pray that God would allow us to quickly prepare for deputation and begin scheduling meetings.
• Pray that we would quickly be able to purchase a vehicle to use on deputation.
Thank you so much for your faithful prayers and support for our ministry. We are thrilled with what God has allowed us to do here in Dumaguete, and we are looking forward to what God has planned for the future!
Dividends on Your Investment
A couple of weeks ago on Wednesday, January 21, one of our Bible college young ladies named Daisy May Anasario learned that her former classmate, Crystyl Ann Batiller, had been diagnosed with leukemia and was not expected to live more than a week. The following morning, Daisy May and Jennifer, another Bible college lady, went to visit Crystyl in the hospital. When they arrived at the hospital, Crystyl’s boyfriend was also there by her bedside. Daisy was able to share the Gospel with both of them. A little while later, both Crystyl and her boyfriend bowed their heads and put their trust in Jesus Christ. In the meantime, Jennifer led the person in the next bed to Christ as well! Soul winning still works even in tragic situations!
In the following days, Crystyl surprised the doctors; she lived for another 2½ weeks, but on Sunday morning, February 8, Crystyl’s battle with leukemia ended when she went Home to be with her newfound Saviour. Praise the Lord for a committed soul winner named Daisy May! However, that was by no means the end of the story! The same day after the Sunday evening service, Daisy May’s father, Jun Anasario, was given the opportunity to preach the Gospel to many of Crystyl’s friends and family members at her home, where the body was interned. When he was finished, approximately 20 people bowed their heads and trusted Christ! However, that’s still not the end of the story.
The following day more family members and many of Crystyl’s former classmates gathered at her home once again, and late in the evening, I was given the opportunity to preach to them. I preached the Gospel in Cebuano to the 20 or more people crowded into the living room of her home. Some of them had already been saved the previous evening, but many of them were not yet saved. When I was finished, I led them in a sinner’s prayer. As we began to pray, I was startled by the sounds of many voices praying with me. Not only were the people in the living room calling on the name of the Lord, but I was also hearing the voices of people praying outside the house. I didn’t even know that they were there! When I went outside a few minutes later, I saw at least another 15 people who had been quietly sitting outside listening to the entire message! I don’t know how many people got saved that night, but I do know that God showed up once again. Only our God can take such a tragic situation and use it to bring about the salvation of dozens of lost souls! The God of Romans 8:28 has not changed!
SOUL WINNING STILL WORKS!
• Since arriving in the Philippines in May of 2010, Ruth and I have personally led over 2,600 people to Christ.
• In addition to our personal soul winning, we have had the privilege of training many new soul winners who have led many thousands more to Christ.
Yours for souls,