“. . . this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (I John 5:4) As we have continued to work our way through the year 2020, we rejoice that for every obstacle we face, God enables us to overcome as we place our faith in Him.
Our big news is that we began having our Bible college classes again, as local quarantine restrictions have relaxed somewhat. We began classes on October 13 with safe practices. We check every student’s temperature and wash our hands with alcohol as we enter our building, wearing masks and taking other safety measures to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. After not meeting together since mid-March, it was great to be able to make academic progress again!
I have had a full load of classes in these two months, teaching classes on Baptist History, Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Biblical Character Traits, and Prayer. Our students have maintained a great spirit, even with restrictions on our church services and soul winning. We are doing our best to forge ahead in preparing these students for full-time Christian service.
In our church services, those between the ages of 15 and 65 are now allowed to attend (compared to 21 to 60). I was finally able to be back in church rather than just watching online. It was amazing to see how much several of our teens had grown physically in seven months! We continue to pray for the elementary students, who have not been in church (or school) since March.
I know that many of you in the States have faced many difficulties and tragedies in these last months. My father’s younger brother in Missouri, Roger Christiansen, died in November after a few weeks of battling the Coronavirus and being on a respirator for 10 days. He was 87 and a faithful pastor for over 50 years. He has now been called to his Saviour’s side but leaves behind a grieving wife and three children. I just found out that my son Amos and his family are being quarantined in their home in Maine for 14 days after being exposed to the virus as well. I would appreciate your praying for him and his family, as he pastors a new church he started last year under challenging circumstances.
I especially enjoyed Thanksgiving Day, as our church staff spent the day at Pastor DeMoville’s home. We all owe much thanksgiving to our loving Lord since He has been so good to us. Christmas and New Year’s will definitely be different, but we all know that our futures are as bright as the promises of God.
Thank you for your continued faithful support and prayers. Your obedience to the Great Commission is an encouragement to us all at International Baptist Church in Dumaguete City!
Your co-laborer in the Philippines,