God has given us over 30 souls saved since our last report. It is summer vacation here from the end of March to June and an exciting time of running our church teens to Youth Camp, conferences, music workshops, and youth activities. They are all still excited and on fire from Youth Camp, which we held with two other churches at the beginning of April. They enjoyed the games, fellowship, and great preaching; and we praise God that many of the 38 campers we brought made decisions for the Lord. Please pray with us that they keep their zeal as time goes on. This week the young people and adults are hosting Vacation Bible School; the theme is “A Vote for Jesus,” as we are having it the same week as the Philippine presidential election. Please be in prayer for many children to be saved and that we can use this to reach out to their parents as well.
Our assistant pastor, Bro. Jesse Leones, has had a heart for pioneering churches since his call to preach years ago. In 2012 he started a church in a neighboring town and after six months turned it over to another American missionary. Two of Jesse’s adult-men converts are now training for the ministry and are the right-hand men of the pastor at that church. Brother Jesse will be starting the Harvest Baptist Church of Bago City, which is about an hour south of us. Part of me would love to selfishly have him stay with us, as we rely heavily upon him as our only staff member; but as Dr. Hyles said, “I will not use my people to build my work but will use my work to build my people.” We knew when we brought him on staff that it would not be permanent, and the time has come for him to pioneer another church. He will begin canvassing for the exact location in June or July. Please pray for this endeavor, and if you are interested in giving financially to this mission church, please designate in the memo section of your check “to 143 Leones church plant.” God has blessed us with a good foundation of laymen who are currently serving faithfully at Harvest Baptist Church. With Jesse leaving, our laymen will need to step up even more and fill in the gaps.
Prayer for Land and Current Rental Agreement
Our church members are continuing in the weekly tithe and missions giving, as well as giving to our Land Fund. Please pray especially for our current landlord, Brenda, who, after finding out that we do not have the cash to purchase her property, has made it extremely difficult for us to rent from her. It seems that she is not willing to renew our contract, which expires July 1. We are trusting the Lord to guide and provide. We and our members are praying for wisdom and provision, as it truly seems that God is setting us up to purchase the 600-square-meter property just across the street for $25,000. We are only lacking $5,000 in order to pay cash for that land.
Trial and Answered Prayer
Even though Paul shared some of his trials in his mission letters, we missionaries of today tend to feel pressured to keep every update positive and rosy. We have had a few trials these past few months and are rejoicing that the Lord would allow us to be counted faithful to endure them. In January our family van, which we had only acquired one year ago, had the engine blow. We spoke of this need to God alone, simply prayed and waited on His provision. On February 1, after checking our support from January, I rejoiced in seeing that the Lord had laid it on the heart of a supporter to send a one-time gift that exactly covered the cost of the engine, shipping, and labor. We contacted five manufacturing factories outside of the Philippines before finally finding the right engine. Two and a half months without a vehicle, during which time we availed of the efficient, albeit crowded public transportation here, made us very thankful to have our own transportation again. We rejoice at how good Jehovah Jireh is! We can trust He has a purpose and plan in all things, even those seemingly “bad” things that happen in life, certainly are not without a reason. Our God is so good!
In Christ alone,
The Goodpaster Family