When the lockdown began this past March, I had this strange idea that maybe my life would slow down a little bit. Well . . . THAT HASN’T HAPPENED! We have had more newsworthy events take place in the last two months than I could possibly fit into a one-page letter, but I will do my best. First of all, let me give a brief update on the pandemic here in Dapitan. For the first several months of the lockdown, we had no positive cases anywhere in our province. However, several months ago, the government began allowing “locally stranded individuals” to return home from other parts of the Philippines, and some of them, blessed souls that they are, decided to bring the virus along with them! Consequently, we now have COVID-19 here in our province, but on a relatively small scale. At the time of this writing, I believe we are just over 200 total cases in the entire province. We’ve had a few positive cases scattered around Dapitan, but we continue to have freedom to serve God. We truly have been blessed here in Dapitan City! Now let me jump into what God has been doing over the last couple of months in Dapitan.
In our last prayer letter, I told the story of a man named Julius Bacayan who had recently begun attending our church with his family. He was baptized at his first service, and at that time, we were praying that Farrah, his wife, would choose to be baptized also. I’m happy to report that on September 20, Farrah also chose to follow the Lord in believer’s baptism. The following Tuesday, Ruth had the privilege of leading their 10-year-old daughter Mhily to Christ, and she was baptized the following Sunday. Then, to put the icing on the cake, Mhily’s two little brothers both got saved and baptized this past weekend! Oh, and I almost forgot, Julius and Farrah both showed up for soul winning this past Saturday! Our God is awesome! Please pray that they will continue to grow individually and as a family.
Farrah’s baptism wasn’t the only exciting thing that happened on September 20. We also launched a brand-new, high-school girls’ Sunday school class! Gellete Garado, one of our staff ladies, is now our fifth Sunday school teacher! A couple of weeks later on October 4, we had a church business meeting to discuss the possibility of building an open-air structure for our growing Junior Church ministry. On October 18, the 18×12 foot structure was finished and ready for use! October 25 was Missions Sunday at Truth Baptist Church! We were blessed to have Missionary Bruce Rice preach for us. Pastor Rice has served in the Philippines since 1986. He did a great job. Our people were really blessed by his messages! Last but not least, this past Sunday, November 1, after over three years of waiting for the right time, we officially began our adult choir with 17 people in attendance! It truly has been a blessed two months. Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. I pray that God will continue to bless you as you seek to serve Him during these uncertain times.
Dividends on Your Investment
It was Saturday morning, October 3. My partner Christian and I were soul winning in a new area about 20 minutes’ drive from the church. We approached a house and were greeted by a dog, who was somewhat “less than friendly.” (I think he actually may have had ties to Antifa, but I’m not sure. 😊) We were not welcome in his house, and he wanted to make sure we knew it! Fortunately, his owners were of a more friendly disposition! A middle-aged lady and a young man, who turned out to be her son, came to the door. They greeted me and apologized for their dog’s lack of manners, and we began a friendly conversation. While the son held the dog in check, I began witnessing to them and found them both to be very open to the Gospel. While I was talking, a younger brother walked out of a bedroom and began preparing his breakfast. I didn’t pay him much attention at the time, but as I continued sharing the Gospel, it became more and more obvious that he was listening. At one point, I asked his mother a question, and he answered from across the room where he was eating at the kitchen table. From then on, I tried to include him in the conversation, looking at him and occasionally sending my questions in his direction. By the time I finished my presentation of the Gospel, he was fully engaged, though still enjoying his breakfast. As I prepared to lead them in a simple sinner’s prayer, I invited the younger brother to come over and join us in the doorway. As he walked across the room, his mother said something to him in Visayan that I couldn’t understand. He nodded his head and then turned and disappeared into the bedroom! I stood there, trying not to show my confusion. I had no idea what had just happened! She then turned and said the same thing to the older brother, but this time I understood. She was telling him to go put on a shirt! Until that moment, I had not even noticed that neither brother was wearing a shirt. That’s when it hit me—if they were going to call on Jesus Christ and be saved, their mother wanted them to look right! After several minutes of searching, both brothers came back much more modestly attired, and all three of them bowed their heads and put their faith in Jesus Christ!
Yours for souls,