As is often the case, I’m not sure where to begin. The last couple of months have been busy as usual. We are continuing on with our “Every House—Dapitan” campaign and are beginning to see fruit directly resulting from our efforts. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling discouraged in the battle, so I decided to go out and deliver some “Every House” packets. Unbeknownst to me, I hung a packet on the boarding-house door of two young ladies from a city several hours away who are attending the state university here in Dapitan. The following Saturday night, they showed up at the church wanting to talk to “the pastor.” Just to be clear, that is not “standard operating procedure” in Filipino culture, so I was very curious about their intentions. I walked out of my office, introduced myself, and asked their names. They introduced themselves as Gela and Daniz and then explained that they wanted to know what our church believed. To say I was surprised would be an understatement, but I did my best to hide it and briefly explained our position on salvation by grace, through faith, not of works. As I talked, they smiled and visibly relaxed. Apparently, they were in agreement with my doctrinal position. At that point, I had my own questions: “How did they find out about us?” and “What kind of church did they attend in their hometown?” As it turned out, they had been saved back in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdowns. They had gotten so bored that they started watching an American preacher on YouTube, and under his preaching, both of them trusted Christ! After the lockdowns lifted, they began looking for a church in their area. They ended up at a Pentecostal-type church, which they attended for about a year, but they were never satisfied. Consequently, when they found our packet on their door, they were immediately interested! The day following our conversation, both of them showed up for church, and at the invitation, they both asked to be baptized! Since that day, they have not missed a single church service, and as far as I know, they are planning on going out soul winning with us tomorrow! Our God is amazing!
Well, I am running out of space, but I have one more piece of news that I MUST include. For those of you who have not heard, Ruth and I are expecting our fifth child. We are looking at a birth sometime next February, and we would really appreciate your prayers. This will be our first child born here in Dapitan, and to put it nicely, the medical care here leaves a little bit to be desired. 😊 Of course, as with everything else, we are trusting God, but please keep us in your prayers. Thank you so much for your prayers and faithful support.
Dividends on Your Investment
Yesterday, Thursday, September 14, God gave me a really special soul-winning experience. This story actually began more than five years ago when I decided to rent a very small, one-room apartment near our church to use as my personal office. Directly across from my office was a young married couple with a small child. The husband was a police officer, and the wife was a nurse. Shortly after I transferred my office, I had the opportunity to lead the wife, whose name is Janet, to Christ. From that time on, I began looking for an opportunity to witness to her husband Kirby. That opportunity soon came, and I found out that Kirby was just as open to the Gospel as his wife had been. However, as I began sharing the Gospel, I quickly realized that he was exhausted. He had just finished a long shift, and he was literally falling asleep standing up. Partway through my Gospel presentation, I realized that he was not going to be able to process the Gospel in his current state, so I promised to come back and talk to him at a better time. For the next few months, I looked for opportunities to witness to him, but our paths just didn’t cross. Then in August of 2018, God allowed us to move the church to a new location where I could have an office onsite. I opted out of my apartment rental, and eventually forgot all about Kirby–until yesterday morning. I was out delivering “Every House” packets in an area very near the church when I approached a fairly new house with the front door wide open. As is our custom here in Dapitan I called out “Ayo, ayooooo,” and a man came to the door. I couldn’t remember his name, but I recognized him immediately; it was Kirby! He recognized me and immediately invited me inside. He was just as open to the Gospel as he had been five years before, so I started witnessing to him again—but the Devil wasn’t done fighting yet. Kirby and his wife now have a second child, a son who is almost two years old. As I reached the third point of the Romans Road, that little boy decided to throw a fit! I don’t know what the older brother did, but the baby of the family went crazy! Frankly, I couldn’t believe what was happening! Five years before, I had lost Kirby around the same point in my Gospel presentation, and I was determined not to lose him again, but the boy just kept on screaming! After 15 minutes, I gave up and told Kirby that I would come back later. That evening around 7:15, I went back to the house and found the whole family home. They were just finishing dinner, but they invited me to come in and sit down. Seeing no point in beating around the bush, I told Kirby that I was hoping to finish our conversation from earlier. He quickly finished his dinner and walked over to where I was sitting and sat down to listen. A few minutes later, he happily bowed his head and put his faith in Jesus Christ. A few minutes after he got saved, he turned and pointed to his older son, who is now nine years old, and asked in Visayan, “Can he get saved too?” The boy sat down next to me, and a little while later, he also put his faith in Jesus Christ! As I walked out of the house a few minutes later, I heard Kirby excitedly call out to his son, “NALUWAS NA TA!” (“We’re saved now!”)
Yours for souls,