We have shed more tears throughout the past two years than during all other years of life combined. In that time, we had more questions than we had answers, yet all of this was made bearable by the ultimate answer, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has been our ever-present help and guide. At times it seemed as though we accomplished nothing of value for the Lord. There was much uncertainty surrounding our son and his future, and we often found ourselves feeling useless to the Lord, while spending the majority of our time in the hospital in Cincinnati instead of on our beloved mission field. Through it all, we have experienced profound peace and joy through the journey and have been reassured of our identity and worth being in Christ alone. He taught us just to be still and let Him have His way, while He worked a transformation in our hearts. We offer praise to our Saviour for going to the Cross, which only He could conquer with His very life’s blood. He alone is why we press on. Our hope resides not just in Heaven, but also here on earth during this life. Thank you for your part in being faithful to continue to support us financially and, more importantly, through your prayers during Jonathan’s brain-cancer battle. We were comforted to know so many people cared to bear our burden with us.
During June and early July, we were finally blessed to travel to meetings once again as an entire family. This had not been possible during the year and a half our son was in chemotherapy treatment. We loaded up our family in our van and drove to eight different meetings in the states of Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, and Ohio. Currently we are at 95% of our needed support level, and we are also raising funds for the ongoing construction of a two-story Sunday school building for our main church. We look forward to the Lord providing the remaining $15,000 needed for the first floor. It’s been at a standstill for the past several months, but we know it will be completed on God’s timetable, not ours.
Our family arrived safely in Manila on July 28. Soon after, we met with our attorney to sign our visa application. Please pray that our application will be accepted, that our hearing with the Philippine Bureau of Immigration will be scheduled, and that it will be a smooth approval for the 9G status. The Lord has truly been working in the ministry here in the Philippines in our absence. We are so very aware of His power, presence, and ability to work despite our weakness and inability.
Team Coming Together
When we left two years ago, our main church had just one assistant pastor, Jesse Leones, whom we have been blessed to assist in planting a new church in a city an hour south of us. A little over a year ago, Mhel Veloso, the first man called to preach in our church, completed Bible college training and followed the Lord’s leading back to serve at our church for more hands-on training in ministry. We have also had one of our church members, Lani Tanaleon, step forward to serve as the church secretary. In addition to this, Chris and Rebecca Pattison, fellow American missionaries, will be joining our ministry to work with the youth beginning in August. We are also overjoyed to have the Boltons with us once again for the entire month of August. We are truly having a grand reunion, while at the same time, ready to hit the ground running. Please be in prayer as we seek to lead the team that God has so clearly orchestrated and brought together.
• Please continue to pray for Jonathan to stay cancer-free and healthy and for his development in balance and in speech.
• Pray that our family will quickly adjust to life on the field again.
• Pray for wisdom in leading our church and for vision and action to win our city for Christ.