Greetings from Dumaguete City, Philippines, where we are so excited to be able to serve our Lord Jesus Christ and to see His mighty works. Little by little, we are emerging out of the COVID restrictions; we are finally at what they are calling “Alert Level 1” for our city, which now allows for businesses to operate at 100% capacity. There are a few caveats, but we are once again able to put all of our chairs up in our auditorium and are not forced to overflow people to other rooms to watch by screen.
Transportation is still a bit of a challenge, but we are working now on the logistics of getting all of our routes operational again and helping riders come back to church. We especially miss our children, who have not been able to come to church without their parents until now. We had our Vacation Bible School planned for April but are having to postpone it, because the public schools have decided to start face-to-face classes again, even though this is normally the Summer Break. We will be ready to go as soon as the school break happens. We are waiting to see if we will likewise need to postpone our Youth Rally scheduled for May 17-19.
For the past few months, we’ve been able to take groups out soul winning on Thursday evenings again, and it has been incredible. We are seeing better results now than we often did before the pandemic; it is not unusual to have 100 or more souls saved on Thursday evenings in a relatively short time. People are still open to the Gospel, and we have much work to do. Please pray that we can get our converts to church and help them to grow in the Lord.
We have been seeing regular visitors and many new believers following the Lord in baptism. We’ve had 17 baptisms year to date for 2022, and we are just into April. It is exciting to see our church family witnessing once again, which was so regular before the pandemic started. God has been faithful, and we know that He is blessing because of the faithfulness of His people here and abroad.
My family has already, by God’s grace, had our visas extended two years beyond the limit. We are having to return to the U.S. this June for a short furlough so that we can reenter the Philippines and begin the visa process afresh. Please pray for our travel, that we can accomplish all that we need to, and for smooth reentry into the Philippines. We will be visiting in California, Georgia, and Indiana on this trip. We are especially excited to be able to see our three children who have been Stateside and to meet, for the first time, our son-in-law. Our children will be able to participate in Youth Conference in Hammond, while Kelly and I attend FBMI’s Missions University at the same time. We look forward to seeing so many who are our friends and who uphold us in prayer as we serve here.
Please continue to pray for International Baptist Church in Dumaguete City. Please pray for our new families to continue to grow and for the Lord to continue to add to our church as we continue to be witnesses for Him. Please pray for our Bible college, as due to school changes and the pandemic, it has created a gap. We expect several new students to begin their training in August. Please also pray that the Lord will continue to grant us wisdom and favor as we labor.
May the Lord continue to bless you richly.
That all the world may know,