“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (III John 1:4) During June and July, we entered into increased restrictions due to COVID-19. Our movements are limited to essential tasks and our church services to 10% of capacity. Our members under 18 years old are not allowed in church. However, in spite of this, we are seeing God continue to bless us and remind us that we can still walk in His truth.
In June we finished up our college academic year, as I taught classes on the Pastoral Epistles and about counseling. We have three graduates this year, and I am so proud of how the Lord has worked in their lives in the last five years. Jeciel Anasario, Elmer Rusiana, and Psalm Niel Villafuerte have completed all of their classes, and we are excited for what the future holds as they continue to follow the Saviour and walk in the truth they were taught. We are still waiting for a better time to have a graduation ceremony, so I will send a picture of them in their caps and gowns in a future prayer letter.
On July 9, Nelson Duran (a junior in our college) married Jonna Hayson. Their wedding party was limited to 20 people due to the restrictions. It was beautiful to witness two adults who have dated correctly and put God first in their relationship be united as husband and wife. Nelson is already a college graduate and left a career as a civil engineer to go to Bible college and prepare for the ministry. I am excited to see what God has in store for this couple who have dedicated themselves to walking in truth.
In July, my daughter Ruth and her husband Mike (missionaries in the island just south of me) came down with the virus. Thankfully, they are recovering well, but their family was put into a 21-day quarantine. Their church, Truth Baptist Church in Dapitan, was closed while they are isolated. They have had many of their members contract the virus, with one older member ending up in the hospital. In spite of the challenges, I am joyful that they continue to walk in truth.
My son Caleb, his wife Emily, and their one-year-old daughter Emma continue on the deputational trail as they prepare to serve as missionaries in Nigeria. They are now at 80% support and hope to leave for the field by early next year. I was able to watch Caleb present his field and preach online, and I am so thankful that they continue to walk in the truth as they were raised and taught.
Please continue to pray for our team leader, Bro. Randy DeMoville, and his family as they work through a complex visa situation. It was complicated by their contracting the virus and testing positive, which prevented the family from leaving the Philippines when it was required by the Bureau of Immigration. We look to the Lord to work out all the details so we can all continue together to walk in truth. Their family sets a godly pattern our people need to see.
We are encouraged by our church family continuing to walk in truth as we are constrained by all the restrictions. I look forward to being “set free” again and expect that we will be able to expand our outreach to be even greater than it was before the pandemic.
Our college begins another academic year the first week of August. I count it an honor to be able to teach the truths of the Scriptures and help our students grow in how to live the truth while they are here. It is a great joy when you can witness your family and your students (who have become another family to me) continue to walk in truth.
May the Lord bless you as you also continue to walk in truth during the summer months and into another school year. Thank for your supporting us so that others can know and grow in Jesus Christ, Who is the Truth (John 14:6).
Serving with joy in the Philippines,