“In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19) The Bible has a lot to say about patience, and we are learning, in the crucible of life, how important it is to keep faithful in the “ups and downs” of life. The missionary William Carey once said that his greatest attribute was, “I can plod.”
In April and through the middle of May, we were beginning to see life returning a little bit more towards “normal.” While still under COVID-19 restrictions, we had very few cases, and people were more focused on routines than the pandemic. Our church’s services were at maximum capacity under the regulations, and we saw more saved and baptized in the services, including one Sunday when we had 7 baptisms. In April, we had a late, but well-attended Couples’ Banquet, entitled “Dessert Date,” that was enjoyed by all. It was beginning to look more like the “good old days,” and plans were underway to restart our organized, group soul-winning efforts.
But in mid-May, we saw a large spike of COVID-19 cases. Many of our people became sick with fever, muscle aches, and headaches. Then many lost their sense of smell, so we surmised that the virus had finally “found” us. I am glad to report that everyone seems to be recovering well. I have yet to come down with any symptoms, so I will have to continue to exercise caution until I can get an immunization.
In spite of this setback, God has still been at work. Our students and staff are handling the situation well. One of our college students noticed a young lady sitting under a tree in front of their boarding house. She was writing a letter and looked up. Jeciel found that she was very open to the Gospel. After leading her to Christ, we discovered that she had been writing a suicide note to her parents and had planned on ending her life that day. It is amazing to think of all the circumstances God had to work out for this divine appointment!
Please pray for our team leader, Bro. Randy DeMoville, and his family. Due to visa issues and the restrictions regarding international travel, Mrs. DeMoville and their children will be leaving for the States in June without a certain date of return. Bro. DeMoville will remain on the field for a while to continue to guide our ministry. Please pray that accommodations can be found for the DeMoville family while they are “stranded” in the States and that the Philippines would soon reopen to allow their return.
Classes continue to be held at our Bible college, and I have been teaching on the subjects of child rearing, the epistles of John, and counseling. In June, we anticipate that three students will be graduating and another will be getting married, so we are hoping to edge our way back to “normal” again.
I have been glad to hear from family and friends in the States that you are beginning to see fewer restrictions and that the pandemic is receding. We praise the Lord for this good news! Please keep in prayer all those in other parts of the world who are seeing surges and increased restrictions.
We all have been reminded about the importance of focusing on soul winning and discipleship. May we all determine to endure, and then when God graciously gives us more freedom, may we use it to the furtherance of the Gospel.
Thank you for your faithful prayers and your financial support that allow us to continue our ministry and take advantage of every open door.
Your co-laborer in the Philippines,