“So built we the wall . . . for the people had a mind to work.” (Nehemiah 4:6) December and January were productive months, as our people dedicated themselves to serving the Lord with a renewed zeal with the pandemic now in the “rearview mirror.”
Our college had no classes in December, but the students were still active during the activities of the Christmas and New Year’s season. On December 16, two of our college graduates, Oliver and Sheena, were married. Seeing godly families being formed after years of work is a great blessing! I look forward to seeing how God will use them as a couple in His service.
Our church family gathered on December 23 for a fun time of fellowship and gift giving. We also gathered for a Watch Night Service on December 31 to welcome the New Year. We went from 5:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. for an activity-filled evening and the first church service of 2023. We finished the year seeing 415 public professions for Christ in our church services and 197 baptisms (even with pandemic restrictions in the first half of the year).
January saw the resumption of classes, and I enjoyed teaching weeklong classes on I Corinthians, the Life of Moses, and Old Testament Survey. Our students were very busy soul winning and visiting for the “big day” of our church’s 12th anniversary on January 22. God gave us a great day, in spite of rain. We had 607 in attendance, with 74 public professions in the adult service and 50 more in our Junior Church. It was great to see each person being personally dealt with by a soul winner, making sure they understood the Gospel. We also saw 37 baptized during the service. Afterwards, everyone was served roast pig (8 of them!). We continued the service through the afternoon and had many wonderful testimonies of what God has done in the last dozen years.
Our public school ministry is expanding again under the efforts of Bro. Emirson Ubas. He is now in 3 schools, teaching the 6th graders a Bible-based character curriculum developed by our staff. On one day alone, he led just over 60 students to Christ. The best part is that he can continue meeting and teaching them once a week for the whole school year and encouraging them to come to IBC on Sundays!
In 2023, we are working towards setting up an FM radio tower to broadcast our online programming to the entire community. There has been a renewed emphasis on prayer, and we are seeing God bless our efforts for salvations, baptisms, and discipleship.
I will soon turn 67 years old, and I am thankful for the health and strength to keep serving in 2023. Thank you for your prayerful support that is producing eternal fruit.
Yours for souls in the Philippines,