“. . . that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” (Joshua 3:4) This verse has really gripped my heart over the last few days as we prepare for the big transition back to the Philippines. In some ways, it’s hard to believe that the time has finally come, and we really are headed back home to the Philippines. It’s been over 25 months since we left the Philippines, and God’s blessings during that time have been nothing short of amazing!
We have traveled over 75,000 miles with two—and later three—children in the backseat, and we didn’t kill any of them! We visited over 130 different churches, where I stood to preach or teach God’s Word over 200 times. We have seen souls saved everywhere from New England to the West Coast, from the Gulf Coast to Ontario, Canada. We have stayed in homes, prophet’s chambers, hotels, mission houses, cabins, apartments, and even an RV trailer; and never one time did we leave a child behind . . . intentionally or accidentally! Certainly there have been difficult days, but every step of the way, God has been there, assuring us of His presence and reminding us that we are following His plan, not ours.
Now as we prepare for one of the biggest moves of our lives, I am gripped by the thought that we have not passed this way heretofore. We’ve lived on the mission field, and we’ve helped to start a church. We speak the Cebuano language and are comfortable in the Filipino culture. However, I’ve never been a pastor before, and though I am certain that Ruth will make a great pastor’s wife, she’s never done it before either. As we prepare to turn the page to an exciting new chapter of our lives and ministry, I become increasingly aware of my need for God’s guidance. Over the last few days, Joshua 3:4 has become the prayer of my heart: that we may know the way by which we must go. In Proverbs 3, God promises to direct our paths. I am absolutely certain that we are on the path of God’s will, but as we walk this path, I want God to order our steps. We desperately need God’s guidance in the days and months ahead. The Devil is not excited about a new church getting started in Dapitan, and over the last couple of weeks, we have felt his attacks on multiple levels. Thank you so much for your prayers, but please keep praying.
1. Please pray for us . . .
• That we will have God’s guidance, wisdom, and power as we seek to plant a church in Dapitan City.
• That God will allow us to have a smooth transition back to the field.
• That we will be able to quickly furnish our home and find a car that will meet our needs.
2. Please pray for Dapitan City . . .
• That God will give sight to those who have been blinded by the lies of Catholicism. (Dapitan is and has been a Catholic stronghold for decades.)
• That God will give us “Lydias” in Dapitan, people whose heart the Lord has opened (Acts 16:14).
Dividends on Your Investment
In late May, we had the privilege of spending a weekend with the Brian Johnston family in Toronto, Canada. Bro. Johnston has done a great job building a ministry in a very diverse area. I have never in my life talked to people from so many different countries in such a short time span. As a language lover, I was in heaven!
On Saturday, May 20, I got to do some soul winning with Bro. Johnston’s oldest son BJ. We were knocking doors in a fairly affluent subdivision when I saw two teenage boys ride by on bicycles, just as we were walking off a porch. My initial thought was, “Aahhh, we missed them!” But then I realized that they weren’t riding very fast, so I turned on my heel and started walking briskly after them. BJ looked at me incredulously and said, “You’re not gonna catch them.” Without looking back, I said just two words: “Watch me!” At that point, I started jogging and then running, with BJ close behind. As he chased after me, I’m sure BJ was wondering what in the world he had gotten himself into. After running for at least half the length of the street, I finally got within earshot of the teenagers and called out to them. Thankfully, they stopped to talk to the crazy American running down the street, so I wasn’t forced to tackle them. 😊
Trying to regain my breath, I offered them both a tract, introduced myself, and asked their names. Their names were Josh and Abisan. Both were 15 years of age and had grown up in Canada. Abisan’s parents moved to Canada from Sri Lanka, and Josh’s parents were from Japan. As it turned out, both were very intelligent and very open to the Gospel. Once I caught my breath, I opened my Bible and led them down the old Romans Road. About half an hour later, both of them bowed their heads and put their trust in Jesus Christ! Praise the Lord! The chase was worth it!
Yours for souls,