“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” (Psalm 62:8) We continue to have restrictions due to COVID-19 in our location. Our church services are still limited to 10% of capacity, and those under 18 years old are not allowed to attend. We see the social and spiritual effects of the isolation of our young people and are praying our members will make God their refuge as we all wait for a return to normalcy.
We were reminded recently of the need to reach others while we can. We mourned the passing away of one of our teen girls due to cancer, just 17 years old. We are thankful for the Lord using her to reach souls, even at a young age. A friend of our ministry, Pastor Gilbert Toquero of La Loma Baptist Church in Quezon City, went to Heaven after a struggle with COVID-19. God used him greatly to promote missions in the Philippines, Asia, and Africa. He will be greatly missed. Truth Baptist Church in Dapitan, Mindanao (where my daughter Ruth serves with her husband Mike Morrissey), also lost a member to COVID-19. We are thankful for many others who have recovered from the virus.
In spite of the struggles, we are still seeing God bless efforts to reach souls. At a memorial service for a relative of one of our church members, Bro. Emirson Ubas preached and saw 13 come to know Christ as their Saviour.
Recently, two of our college men (Bro. Elmer and Bro. Theo) went out soul winning. Walking near a construction site, Bro. Elmer saw a group of workers sitting down to eat and rest after laying down brick sidewalks all day. He asked Bro. Theo, “Brother, are you ready to preach, pray, or die?” He said, “Preach!” After asking permission of the crew’s leader, Theo preached the Gospel. Six of them attentively listened and bowed in prayer to trust Christ. Amen!
We are also making progress in other areas. In preparation for starting an FM radio station, we have an internet station and discipleship app on our church’s website. See it for yourself at www.ibcdumagete.com! The app can be downloaded into a smart phone and has many features to present the Gospel in Cebuano and English, as well as help Christians to grow in their walk with God.
We are thankful for an answer to our prayers to extend the visas of our team leader and his family. The DeMovilles can now stay without threat of deportation until June 2022. Hopefully by then the Philippines will allow travel back into the country.
We were thankful to have our annual Missions Conference after missing last year’s due to the pandemic. While we could not have visiting missionaries and had to livestream the conference to those who were not allowed to attend, we had a conference that God blessed. The theme this year was “The FAQs of Missions.” Each service was devoted to answering one of the “questions” about missions: What? Why? Where? When? How? and Who? We had great special music and video updates from some of our missionaries. We enjoyed videos sent to us by some Christian leaders on how they would answer each of the FAQs. Our new families were helped to understand the meaning and importance of the Great Commission. Many made decisions to be soul winners and submit to God’s will for their lives.
Compared to what many believers in the world have to suffer for the sake of Christ, our frustrations are very small. We are thankful that God is our refuge and strength in time of trouble. Thank you for your faithful praying and financial support of our efforts here. May the Lord give you wisdom and grace as you reach your “Jerusalem.”
Your co-laborer in the Philippines,