I had a short but wonderful trip to the Philippines in February. This was my last solo trip before returning with our whole family at the end of the summer. I was able to baptize three men during this trip, and I had the privilege of leading a worker to Christ at a mall department store. We have challenged some of our adult church members to begin teaching Sunday school to the children. Conducting Sunday school had become difficult because of inadequate facilities and because some of our teachers were teenagers. After prayer and a no-pressure letter of invitation to help revitalize our Sunday School Ministry, six readily agreed to teach and attended our initial meeting for orientation. Please pray for Doming, Lani, Amy Cecil, Michael, and Antoinette to be faithful to their commitment. They are all married adults who are faithful Christians. Some have taught in the past and are starting back up again. After noticing the low, long-term retention rate of our Jeepney Children’s Ministry, we believe the answer is faithful teachers, organization, and classroom facilities that provide a quality teaching environment.
With all of the sudden and unexpected transitions that our son’s cancer trial brought into every aspect of our lives during the past two years, we are thankful that Harvest Baptist Church is still going strong in spite of it all. Of course, there are still areas of great need, but we are ever grateful to the Lord for strengthening the local body of laymen to do the work of the ministry, even in their pastor’s absence.
Asia Spiritual Leadership Conference
This biennial conference held in Manila was attended by 6,000 Asian Christians from 49 countries, with the unified goal of targeting the 10/40 Window with the Gospel. We were blessed to have four church members and four pastors attend this amazing conference. This was a very good spiritual investment in all of us. We participated in a three-day, intensive ministry, teaching, and preaching event; and while there, I was able to see and fellowship with three supporting pastors visiting from America. I strongly encourage any who can to attend this conference in February 2020. You could start your trip by visiting our ministry and then finish with the conference. It’s exciting to see the bigger picture and all that God is doing in Asia. By God’s grace, we can reach the 10/40 Window!
Sunday School Building Update
The plumbing and slab are taking a little longer than expected, but that comes as no surprise, since there is currently a shortage of plumbers on our island. Since the infrastructure of the Philippines is booming, it’s also difficult for our contractor to find enough men who can be pulled from other bigger, higher-paying jobs. We have challenged our Filipino church members to pay for the hollow-block walls, which is the next item needing to be funded. We will use temporary bamboo walls until they raise the needed funds. Until then, any U.S. donation will be held in the bank to pay for roof materials and labor.
Fruit to Your Account
While at a missions conference in Galesville, Wisconsin, in March, I had the opportunity to witness at length to a hotel clerk named Maria. She was under obvious conviction, but her excitement was also evident, as the Gospel truth took root in her soul. Although she did not pray to receive Christ that night, she assured me that she and her family would visit the church there, even before I had a chance to invite her. The conference ended on Tuesday night, and I left the next day. The following Monday I got a text from the pastor that Maria, together with her husband and kids, had come to church on Sunday morning as a first-time visitor. The week following that, the pastor again texted me with the wonderful news that both Maria and her husband John had gotten saved after he visited them in their home!