After a few months of gorgeous “winter” weather, summer has now officially arrived in Dumaguete! But rain or sunburn, soul winning and the work of the ministry continue here at International Baptist Church.
During the last two months, I have felt like God has really spoiled me in my personal soul winning. I wish I had time and space to tell you all that the Lord has done. In the months of February and March without any special event, God allowed Ruth and me to lead a total of 78 people to Christ! Therefore, I have decided to designate this letter as the “Soul-Winning Edition” of my bi-monthly prayer letter.
A Roger Update
In my last prayer letter, I told you a story about a man and his wife whom I had the privilege of leading to Christ in January of this year. The man’s name is Roger, and I have worked hard to keep in touch with him since that time. However, I have not yet managed to get him into church. Recently I went to visit him at his home on a Thursday night, and his sister-in-law happened to be there. When I walked into the house, the TV was on, and a boxing match was getting ready to start. There were 6 or 8 people in the house, and the atmosphere was very noisy. Roger introduced me to his sister-in-law, and we started talking. I wanted to witness to her, but with all the noise and the constant distractions, I didn’t think I would be able to carry on a decent conversation. I had just about given up hope and was preparing to leave when Roger suddenly got up, walked across the room, and turned off the TV. He walked back across the room, sat down, and then looked at me almost like he was saying, “Okay, you can start now.” The whole house got quiet, and I thought, “Okay, Lord, I can take a hint.” About 30 minutes later, his sister-in-law bowed her head and trusted Christ.
Well, I have only told two stories in my “Soul-Winning Edition,” but I have once again run out of space. With what space I have left, I would ask you to please pray for the health of our family. In the last few days, there has been a lot of sickness going around. My family hasn’t been visited by any serious illness; but both of my children picked up a raspy cough, and then they kindly passed it on to their father. We have always been such a sharing family! Thank you so much for your prayers and faithful support. Only God knows the difference that you have made and will continue making.
If you understand the Gospel, you can tell someone else! In the months of February and March, children from our Junior Church led 53 of their own classmates and neighbors to Christ.
News Flash! On March 9, 2014, Ruth led her first soul to Christ using only Visayan!
Dividends on Your Investment
On June 22, 2013, Brother Stan Lawrenson, another faithful member of our team, led Grace Diao and Welynda Acojedo to Christ. Grace was in sixth grade at the time and Welynda in fifth. They are neighbors, best friends, and practically inseparable. The Lawrenson family began picking them up every Sunday morning for church, and soon Welynda and Grace became very familiar faces in my Junior Church. They began to grow spiritually and were soon attending our other services fairly regularly as well.
Shortly after they began attending my Junior Church, I gave both of them a Visayan soul-winning card, which has a very basic plan of salvation written out with the verses of the Romans Road. I often challenge my kids in Junior Church to use the cards to try to witness to their friends at school. On August 23, 2013, Grace took up the challenge and led one of her classmates to Christ. Welynda, though definitely the shier of the two, tried to talk to one of her classmates that same week, but as she sadly told me the next Sunday, “They didn’t believe.” However, Welynda didn’t give up, and a couple of weeks later on September 12, Welynda led one of her classmates to Christ. Once they got started, there was no stopping this soul-winning duo. Grace has now led 20 classmates and neighbors to Christ, and Welynda has seen a total of 15 saved!
On Sunday evening, March 2, 2014, tragedy struck the Acojedo family when Welynda’s 22-year-old brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. Needless to say, the family was rocked by this shocking incident, but Welynda was amazingly stable throughout the entire ordeal. The following Thursday evening, I and one of our Bible college students named Airo Garcia went to the pre-burial viewing. There was a good number of people there, so I asked Welynda if her mom would allow me to speak a few words of comfort to the people. Welynda asked her mom, and her mom said that that would be fine; but before I could get started, the Catholic prayers for the dead began. Welynda then informed me that the Catholic minister and his entourage were scheduled to arrive at 9:00 p.m. It was about 7:30 p.m. at that point, and I realized that the timing could prove difficult. I was not able to stand up to speak until about 8:35 p.m. To add to the time pressures, I was forced to speak in almost pure Visayan, because most of the 41 people who were present spoke very little English. However, when I began to give the Gospel, God showed up. That’s the only way I can describe it. I spoke for about 45 minutes, and the people listened and responded. When I finished presenting the Gospel, I led them in the sinner’s prayer. After we prayed, I asked them how many of them had just called on Jesus. I was amazed at the response. The Filipino people are usually very shy, and it is often difficult to get a show of hands; but as soon as I asked the question, the hands started going up. Welynda’s mother raised her hand. Welynda’s older siblings raised their hands. The outspoken lady in the middle of the crowd raised her hand. The men sitting off to the side raised their hands, and, most surprisingly, the strong Catholic grandmas sitting behind me raised their hands. Of the 41 people present, 32 trusted Christ that night. I wish I could describe to you the look on Welynda’s face when her mother raised her hand. Those are the moments that make every struggle of the ministry worthwhile. God is awesome!
Yours for souls,
Mike, Ruth, Elizabeth, and Michael Morrissey