I have enjoyed preaching through the book of Judges for the last couple of months and seeing the consequences that idolatry can have on an individual and on a nation. We are grateful to see the Word of God and Spirit of God working. It has been a blessing to see some of our young men decide to give up the false god of gaming, which had previously consumed much of their time. Their decisions have encouraged all of us to examine more closely our time, which is so easily wasted on the many addictive devices that comprise our idols of today.
Father’s Day this year was very special for our church family and especially for our own family. We acknowledged the many fathers present and gave praise and thanksgiving to our heavenly Father for this full-circle day we had dreamed of reaching. You see, exactly three years ago on Father’s Day of 2016, I tearfully stood before our church family and informed them of Jonathan’s brain-cancer diagnosis and how our family would be rushing back with one-way tickets to the U.S., with no idea of when we could return. The church men gathered around Jonathan that day, anointing him with oil and pleading for his life to be spared, while, in the same prayer, dedicating his life to God, knowing ultimately that Jonathan already belonged to God anyway. When our youngest child David was born in the U.S. in the midst of Jonathan’s cancer battle, we dreamed of having a special dedication service for him on our first Father’s Day back in the Philippines, with his big brother healthy and well again. So Father’s Day 2019 was that dream fulfilled. We thanked God publicly for not only graciously sparing one son, but for giving us another son as well. We glorified Him through church members’ testimonies, sharing how He had taken care of His church in our absence. It is an honor and privilege for us to get to serve Him here in our beloved home and with our dear church family of Silay City, Philippines.
Our church Sunday school building has a completed nursery room, which we have put to great use, and we continue construction little by little as the money comes in, with hopes of eventually having classrooms for all 10 of our current Sunday school classes. We are blessed with our layman Sunday school teachers; it is a privilege to see the parents taking the responsibility of teaching the Bible to the next generation. Please pray for the faithfulness of our teachers to rightly divide the Word of God.
We had a great time encouraging two Filipino church planters in June, and we are planning to supply them with weekend mission trips one weekend a month to help them. Please pray for our family, as I will be traveling with Emily and Jonathan for a 19-day trip to America in July for Jonathan’s yearly round of follow-up scans and appointments with his doctors in Cincinnati. Of course, we continually pray he remains cancer-free and that he can continue to overcome the many daily challenges he faces from the damage to his brain the cancer
caused. Audrey will hold down things on the home front in the Philippines with our other three children.