We are thankful that even in times where we are unable to do all that we would like to do, God is not limited. Our heavenly Father is still on the throne, as strong and as able as He has ever been. We continue to see His handiwork in our ministry, as people continue to come to Christ, follow Him in baptism, and grow in their Christian faith. This past Sunday alone, we were blessed to have seven believers baptized between our morning and afternoon services. Some are saved family members of our faithful church members who are seeing family members come to know Christ.
It is a back and forth in the Philippines with the handling of the COVID virus. As soon as it appears that things are about to return to normal, it gets pulled back to restrictions, with no end in sight. Fortunately, our area has not had a change in quarantine status that would hinder us in greater ways, but the current restrictions continue to prevent us from bringing children to church (without their parents); we’ve also not been able to get back into the jail or the public schools (which are still not having face-to-face classes). Yet, our church services continue to grow!
We’ve enjoyed new members being added to the church and many more becoming faithful to multiple services each week. I am thrilled to witness the spiritual growth of our members as we take advantage of the time to study more and focus on the areas where we can minister. Please continue to pray that things will open up, especially for the children to be able to return to our church services.
My wife and I, along with our two youngest children, had to undergo a few weeks of quarantine in February, not because of any sickness on our part, but because we had to travel outside of our region for passport and visa issues for our children. Because of our being quarantined, we postponed our annual Couples’ Banquet. We had a wonderful activity with married and dating couples at the end of April. The strengthening of marriages and families in our church is glorious to see, especially as we have some upcoming weddings.
The month of June will bring us to our college graduation, with three more students graduating. We also have a wedding at the end of June, and two of our staff were just recently engaged to be married. I love the prospect of these new Christian marriages and the future they have of serving the Lord together.
Please pray for our family as we face the months ahead. Our visa situation, combined with the COVID travel restrictions, has made the steps forward a bit murky to us. We’ve come to the decision that my wife and children will need to travel back to the U.S. while I stay here and continue the work until the country opens back up to tourists or until I am also forced to join them. We do not like the prospect of being apart but believe it is a worthy sacrifice for the time being for the sake of Christ and His ministry here. We covet your prayers and any help you can provide, as our home is here, not in the U.S.
Our oldest daughter Allyson was married to Joshua Strong on March 5; they will be making their home in Montana soon. Our oldest son Christian is struggling with leaving the ministry and the people he loves here to move to the States to begin Hyles-Anderson College in the fall. I am so pleased with the young man he has become, his love for God, his desire to do right, and his passion to reach others. He will be missed in a great way here.
Thank you for your faithfulness in praying for and supporting the Lord’s work here in Dumaguete. Our church is thankful for your investment, and we desire fruit to your account.
That all the world may know,