Thank you so much for your continued prayer and support. Due to not updating about our son Jonathan last month, I will start off with a bit about him in this letter. He had a bout with pneumonia just after Christmas and spent 11 days bringing in the new year in the hospital. We are extremely grateful for God’s mercy in touching Jonathan’s body; it could have been much worse, as chemo-kids’ immune systems fluctuate so much. God allowed the pneumonia to hit while his blood counts were up. A few weeks later after a routine MRI displayed Jonathan’s ventricles were slightly enlarged, he needed another brain surgery. He spent another 5 days in the hospital at the end of January having an endoscopic third ventriculostomy. This procedure seems, so far, to have been a success; and we are so thankful, as it avoids the need for a permanent shunt to be put in, which we pray he will not need. He has just begun his 5th cycle of chemo and has 7 more to go. In the midst of this ongoing trial, we continue to be strengthened by the Lord’s presence; His amazing grace is sufficient.
Jemimah’s Brain Tumor in the Philippines
We received word of a three-year-old Filipina girl named Jemimah, who had very similar symptoms to Jonathan and was also diagnosed with a brain tumor. As soon as we knew of her situation, we knew we must do something to help. This precious little girl’s family are faithful church members of our fellow missionary and personal friend, Eddy Galyean. Together we were able to raise a good chunk of money in just a few days, and Jemimah’s life was saved, as she successfully had major brain surgery and the tumor was completely removed. We praise the Lord it was not cancerous! Someday we would love to have some type of medical-mission outreach—there is such incredible need for this in the Philippines. Please pray that the Lord would open that door of ministry in His time.
Boltons’ Arrival and Church Plant’s First Baptismal Service and Vehicle Need
We are very grateful that the Bolton family arrived safely to our ministry in early January and hit the ground running. Our main church has taken a hit in attendance, as the Devil is surely hoping to slow us down. The Lord will protect His church, and we are so very thankful for the reinforcements He has sent. We refuse to be discouraged; we know God is in control! The Boltons’ current trip will last until mid-April. Pastor Jesse and the Harvest Baptist Church South Pointe baptized their first 4 converts in January. In addition to these baptisms of our mission church, our main church baptized 3 in December and January.
Brother Jesse has an opportunity to purchase a used mini-truck, called a multi-cab here in the Philippines, to help transport children for Sunday school. The cost is $500; please pray and consider what the Lord may have you do in helping meet this need.
Current Building Project and Future Building Need
The main auditorium is complete other than the air conditioning. It seats 200 Filipino-style (which is packed in). We are just about ready to begin digging the foundation for our two-story Sunday school building that will have four to six classrooms. We have raised $3,500 to start the project and need a total of $25k-50k. It is difficult to know the total cost at the beginning, as we are hoping to save money and be our own contractor again. I will be headed back to the Philippines for the last two weeks of February and then again for three weeks in April and May. Thank you so much for your prayer and encouragement and to those who have given to our building project. In our next prayer letter, we will explain the brick fundraiser for the Sunday school building that will get your name engraved on a brick in our baptistery area for a minimum donation of $75 or more. Thank you so much for your prayers, as they are being answered.
In Christ alone,
The Goodpaster Family