We so appreciate the team that came from Compass Christian Church, Chandler, AZ! Joining them were my pastor, Brian Jobe, as well as the missions pastor, Paul Street. The team paid their own way and used up their vacation time to come here and serve. We had many different kinds of outreaches, and the team completed all their tasks joyfully, despite some hard and very uncomfortable circumstances.
Pictured: My dear mother-in-law Helen was overjoyed to welcome the team into her home. (She lives about 15 minutes from Gina and me.)
Out of all the different kinds of outreaches we did with the Compass AZ team, the one that touched my heart the most was going room-to-room in the public hospital and laying hands on the sick. 
Gina and I will definitely be going back.
My second favorite of our outreaches: In the middle of a crowded public market, first we sang the gospel, and then we preached it.
I wish I could brag much more about the team’s many exploits, but I need to keep this report from becoming too long. So I’ll move on to other stuff. Thank you so much, Arizona team!
From the Life in the Philippines Department…
As the frog family gathered to watch their new big-screen TV, they did not realize that they also were being watched.
The frogs were being entertained by the insects in our bug-zapper. Perhaps they thought we were frying the insects for them!
The cats? They love teasing the frogs.  😸  🐸
After several months of squeezing into a too-small room, our Buhangin Davao City church will be moving! We found a bigger facility in a good location at a good price. It’s just down the street from our current location.
The worship room will be 3X as big, plus a room for kids’ ministry that’s much bigger than what we now have, plus another room for storage.
But the saints won’t get as much exercise in the new place. It’s second floor, not third. 🙂 We’ll have the entire second floor.
It needs cleaning and painting. We also need to buy and install a big a/c, plus move our small a/c to the new place for installation.
We are still looking for a better facility for our Catalunan Pequeño Davao City church. Here are some of them fellowshipping:
The building project for our new Apayao church is now fully paid for! Compass Christian Church AZ sponsored $25K, while we found other ways to cover the remaining $7K.

Pictured: The CGI of what the building will look like. 
Yes, $32K is a cheap price for a building this size! We are holding down costs by making it ‘bare-bones.’ Cement floor, no air conditioning, no ceiling (only roof), and no glass in the windows.
For our home, we rent tiny side-by-side studio apartments. One is our bedroom, one our kitchen, one for my office/storage… I recently woke up while it was still very dark and wanted to eat. We keep the porch light off so as not to attract more bugs. So I stepped out… onto a frog. Barefoot. It was right in front of the door, so I didn’t get a chance to get my flip-flops on yet. The dark frog blended in with the brown doormat. (It was even more blended in after I stepped on it.) 😂
After scraping my foot on everything, trying to clean it, I still felt yucky.
When I finished eating breakfast, I opened the kitchen door to go to my office. This time I turned on the light to be safe. As Dave Barry used to say, I am not making this up! A dead 8-inch lizard was right where I would have stepped. The cat killed it and left it there.

Two doormats, two creepy crawlies waiting to be stepped on. 🐸 🦎 One for each foot, right?

A SE Asia heat wave was already well under way in early April, and it’s still raging. Gina and I have a refrigerator with cold water, fans, and a well-ventilated home. But I feel sad for our neighbors who don’t have all of those things. 🙁

We have a demographic crisis in one of our Davao City congregations. 😂 The average age for single guys in our Buhangin Road church is like 17. For single girls, I think it’s about 21.
When we prayed for more males, we should have been more specific! 😛
BTW, they just baptized another young man–Eric–a couple of weeks ago. He also is a teenager! 🙂
Pictured: Our Sunday 1:00 PM youth group in Buhangin.

I got a report from a woman whom we support. She routinely serves with leaders in the movement to reach all radical Philippine Muslim tribes with the gospel. Our friend said she was overwhelmed by the grace of God in the room as she and her co-laborers met recently. For obvious reasons, I can’t share the photo.
When you support us and pray for us at Filipinos Reaching Nations, you are helping to convert radicalized Muslims from death to life.

I don’t know much Ilocano yet, but I know how to make Filipino kids smile. And I love doing it. ❤ ❤ ❤

Jeff (center)—who just turned 10 years old—is very faithful in a Davao young men’s Bible study every week, and he always listens attentively. He made me laugh some years ago when he asked his mom, “Is Kuya John God?” 😛 Jeff knows who God is now. 🙂

Gina, in Luna Apayao, teaching the mothers’ Bible study in Buhangin, Davao City. ❤ Other ladies usually teach that group since we moved here, but they miss Gina. So she does it once in a while.

I have several friends who have started new churches. It’s not uncommon for a brand-new church to have zero guests at times. By God’s grace, we have never had fewer than seven guests since we started the Apayao church in March. And we have celebrated six baptisms here.
Pictured: Our most recent service. I’m pretty sure none of these thirteen guests were going to an evangelical church when Gina and I arrived. The fruit of our sponsors’ investment!
Do you remember a recent Filipinos Reaching Nations update here that featured our biggest news in ten years? Well… God willing, our next report will have even bigger news than that! I can’t tell you yet, sorry! Stay tuned. 🙂
When I give you all reports about our mission, I know I am in good company. Two thousand years ago, Paul did the same thing. Luke records Paul giving such reports to the church in Antioch (Acts 14:27), to the churches in Phoenicia and Samaria (Acts 15:3), and to the church in Jerusalem twice (Acts 15:4 and 21:19). What was Paul’s motive? That God would be praised:
“They only heard the report… And they praised God because of me.” (Galatians 1:23-24).
I hope that my reports also inspire praise to God.
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

We’re excited! Gina and I arrived in Luna, Apayao in mid-January, and we hit the ground running.
We’ll start our church in two weeks, but first we have been building relationships with pastors and churches in Apayao. There are no seminaries or parachurch organizations here that promote missions (like the ones I was involved with in Davao City). So I want to start a fire! I’m planning a missions seminar or conference in October. I already have an eminently qualified keynote speaker scheduled.
I was honored to preach at the Agta tribe’s church, and Gina did a great job translating into Ilocano.
Here she is giving a testimony:
When dealing with other cultures, Rule Number One is:
If it’s not a sin, think very, very carefully before you correct it.
In the Agta church I had to practice this rule, big-time! As you can see from the photo, the tribe’s church building has no walls. Four dogs were wandering around during the worship time. I was horrified when—in front of everyone—the adult male urinated on a table leg, and then on a potted plant, and then ON THE PULPIT, and then on a pillar! Westerners, of course, would have angrily chased the dog away after the first incident. Actually before the first incident! But the dear people assembled yesterday didn’t even seem to notice it. Because it’s not a sin. And because they were focused on worshiping God.
Despite my Western sensibilities, I realized you can always wash that stuff later. So I went with the flow (no pun intended) and tried to ignore the dogs. I focused on worshiping the God who created the dear Agta people for his wonderful purposes.


I was asked this good question recently.
First, because we believe that’s what God was guiding us to do.
Second, because there are many thriving churches around the world that don’t have onsite pastors. They are cared for by pastors who constantly go from church to church, or by distant stationary pastors.
Third, just because it’s not something normally done in our culture does not mean God would forbid it.
Fourth, because there are biblical precedents for this…

PHILIP: In Acts 8, we see Philip being the leader of a great revival in Samaria. It was an important work: The very first place where non-Jews were born again! But God suddenly sent Philip away to a desert in 8:26. Not a word about any transfer of leadership. When Philip completed that desert mission, the Lord sent him to Azotus and other cities. Still not a word about appointing a pastor in Samaria. And there’s no mention of Philip returning to Samaria.

TITUS: Paul had started several churches in Crete. But he left those churches before any of the converts were ready to be appointed as pastors. Some time later, Paul wrote this to Titus in 1:5:
“The reason I left you in Crete was that you might put in order what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.”
(“Elders” is also rendered as pastors, leaders, or presbyters in other translations.) Then Paul gave instructions about pastoral qualifications in the following four verses.

JESUS: Several years before Philip, the Lord also left Samaria when it was starting to have a revival.
And after the Gadarene demoniac was set free, Jesus sent him to his hometown to spread the message, but certainly we could not call that new convert a pastor.
In fact, we don’t see much evidence at all that Jesus left any pastoral leaders to care for converts in the many places he preached.

By the grace of God, I am continuing to pastor the churches in Davao City. If Paul could lead churches from a distance in an age of slow communication and difficult travel, then I can do that today.

 

I happened to see Paul Barcena–pastor of God’s Light Seekers Ministry–-and I told him we would visit on Sunday. He said OK, we could, if I would preach. 🙂 Of course I jumped at the opportunity!

 

 

 


This is Zumigui Assembly. We were delighted to see a few Agta tribe members joining. The church graciously allowed us to speak for several minutes about our heart for missions and our plans for October, and a couple of weeks later I preached there.

 


Sadly, many Filipinos (and many Americans) think of the Lord Jesus Christ as a good luck charm. Put his name on there–next to the shooter–and maybe he will keep you from accidents.
Crossing the intersection? Do the sign of the cross, or else touch your rosary.
God wants prayer, not rosary touches, not statue touches, and not candles.
This reminds me of when the Israelites brought out the Ark of the Covenant during a battle. They were not living right, but they wanted the ark to be a lucky charm. God made sure they lost that battle.

 


Back in Davao City, Bee makes disciples better than anyone I have ever seen. Part of her connection with her young ladies is their Weekly Monitoring, as she calls it. For about three years they have faithfully encouraged, corrected, and prayed for each other. If Bee is traveling on one of her frequent short-term missions (either to unreached tribes, or else in training others to reach such tribes), they simply do it via their phones.
BTW, she has more disciples besides the ones pictured.
Not to mention how gracefully Bee also discipled several Indian women while they were studying in a Davao City medical school.
Gina and I think Bee is a treasure, one we’ve been blessed to have for over a decade. And I know God will do even more wonderful things through her in the future.

 


I’m so thankful for other amazing leaders whom I can trust to oversee the churches we left in Davao City. Prescy “is a fruitful vine” (Genesis 49:22). She starts evangelistic Bible studies in the unlikeliest places. Here’s a group of moms that Prescy encounters at their kids’ school, so she started a Bible study there. Pictured is that group in two recent meetings. Most of these ladies have not yet been to our church in Catalunan Pequeño.

 


As we have gone from place to place for the gospel during the past decade, I have told many people that I wish I could be in two places at once, because I miss them. Well, last Sunday I preached in two places at once! I made a sermon video that was played at our Catalunan Pequeño Davao congregation, and I taught at a church here in Luna at the same time. (Tomorrow they’ll play that video at our Buhangin Davao location.)
Gina did a great job translating. She’s kinda new at it, because we always used Visayan translators in Davao City. But here she can speak her first language, Ilocano.

 


A small college’s parking lot. Compare the number of motorcycles with the number of cars. In the USA, I would guess there are 50 cars for every 1 motorcycle in a typical college parking lot.
We just obtained permission to set up a ministry within this college! And it’s only one mile from where our church facility will be.

 


Look at this road! There is no road this big and wide and beautifully empty in Davao City! But there are many roads like this here in Apayao. Gina and I dearly miss our friends in Davao, but we don’t miss the traffic!
However, there’s a trade-off: We have to spend a lot of time on these big roads to find some things. The nearest department store–or big store of any kind–and the nearest American-style restaurants are about three hours away in Tuguegarao. That’s six hours on the road if I want a Big Mac! 😛
BUT Gina and I have learned to enjoy the long drives together. We talk about perfecting our marriage, or about the ministry, or about our loved ones, or we just tell dumb jokes to each other. 🤡

 


We were delighted to interact with this group of Agta kids for about 45 minutes.
Sometimes I miss kids’ ministry, which I did for 16 years before we moved here. I realized later that God used my kids’ ministry experience so that I would be well-practiced in communicating truths in simple English, because most Filipinos speak English as their third language.

 

 


Should I try their chicken? Maybe Gina is over there asking if the food is any good.  (Kantong means “corner” in Tagalog.)

 

 


I think the “island” surrounded by the green ‘sea’ of rice (in our backyard) is almost as beautiful as the island in the blue sea.

 


Marconi apparently is the only pastor in the entire Agta tribe that’s situated near Luna. We would like to help him however we can to shepherd his flock and make it grow.
See the cool bolo knife by his left hand? So he can get through the jungle, I presume.

 


Gina, are we in Texas? Actually, this was here in Luna, Apayao. 🙂

 

Gina and I are so blessed to be sent out from Compass Christian Church of Chandler, AZ! They believe in our mission!
“How much?”
I’m glad you asked! Not only do they send us a generous check every month…
Not only did they buy us a brand-new people-mover vehicle in 2018…
They gave us a check for $25,000 toward the construction of a church building! ⛪ 🎈 🎉 🎊
Second blessing: This donation coincides with a nice plot of land that was just donated to us! Which of course will save us a lot of money!
The total cost of the building project should be under $30K. (Nothing fancy. No air conditioning, floor tiles, or glass in the windows [only steel bars, like so many buildings here have]). Therefore, probably less than $5K will come from our funds.
Are we blessed or what? (Y) 🙂
PICTURED: A church building where I recently preached. We hope to build something like their facility, except smaller.

 

 

When I give you all reports about our mission, I know I am in good company. Two thousand years ago, Paul did the same thing often. Luke records Paul giving such reports to the church in Antioch (Acts 14:27), to the churches in Phoenicia and Samaria (Acts 15:3), and to the church in Jerusalem twice (Acts 15:4 and 21:19). What was Paul’s motive? That God would be praised:
“They only heard the report… And they praised God because of me.” (Galatians 1:23-24).
I hope that my reports also inspire praise to God.
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

We made a big announcement, and our congregations have received it well, albeit with some tears. Inspired by Acts 13:1-4 and Matthew 28:18-20, Gina and I will move in January to Luna, Apayao, in the northernmost part of the Philippines. (We’ve been living in Davao City, in the south, for over ten years.) Our goal is to start a church and raise up disciples who will minister to animist tribes there.
I will continue to pastor the congregations here in Davao from a distance. I have complete confidence in the fine leaders here that God has blessed us with. They will ‘run the show’ quite well, and if they need guidance, I’m just a message away. If Paul could continue to oversee churches from a distance 2000 years ago, then by the grace of God, I can in the age of internet and easy travel.
Our leaders have known about our vision for some months, and they have been praying with us. I also have wise, godly advisors who have guided and encouraged us along the way.
God is good! We’ll miss our many dear friends here in Davao very much, but we’re excited about the future.
Red dot, where we are going. White dot, Davao City:
They are 1400 KM or 870 miles apart. We’ll put our vehicle–packed with our stuff–on a ferry for part of the trip.
“John, you’re 62. Why are you starting over in a new place at your age?”
Because God is leading us that way. Why is he doing that? Probably because not enough younger people are doing it.
Luke 10:2 “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
We already made a deposit for three little studio apartments that we’ll live in for P4K ($70) each per month. ($210 is close to what we have been paying for rent in Davao City.) One studio will be our kitchen/dining room, one will be our bedroom, and one will be where we will host Bible studies and church services until we grow and need something bigger. Imagine: “John, I’m going next door to make lunch.” “OK, I’m going to our other place to study.” 🤪
(The ATV is the landlord’s.) More about our move at the end of this report.
I’m thankful for young men who would rather hear God’s word than play basketball or video games every Wednesday evening. Marc, who took the photo, has been discipling them, but I get to teach them once a month or so. Most of these boys also are faithful at church as well as the adult weekly Bible study in this home.
On every Sunday, in our Buhangin location, the second of three services is for youth. It was Bee’s idea, and she totally runs it… Well, she did, but she has trained the youth so well, they can now manage it without her! Bee had to be away for a recent youth service, but it went very well. That’s discipleship.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7)
I’m thrilled to see Jayr and Chona teaching plus organizing and raising up volunteers to minister to kids in several places, and to adults in some places as well. They minister to about 100 people on Saturdays, plus many more throughout each week.
Jayr, Chona, Bee, and Marc are four of the reasons why I’m fully confident that the congregations in Davao City will continue to thrive after Gina and I move to Apayao.
A politician was murdered last month at the fast-food place we go to more than any other–the Jollibee near our church building. Giselo Castillones had once been mayor of Canteel in Davao Oriental.
A very high number of politicians, journalists, activists, and judges are murdered in the Philippines. And throughout a recent six-year stretch, Davao City was the number one city in the Philippines for murder, according to Wiki.
Kim had never heard of Dorothy or “The Wizard of Oz” before. She just decided to wear a blue checkered dress over a white shirt. With pigtails. (We handed her the basket and stuffed toy for the photo.) 🙂
We ministered at a funeral/wake for some dear friends. Many unsaved people heard the gospel. I preached about how God comforted and helped Naomi after her loved ones passed away, and how God has sustained me despite losing my parents, two brothers, my father-in-law, and my daughter within the past 11 years. See 2 Corinthians 1:5-7.
During a scary few days at the beginning of December, of 50 earthquakes above 5.0 worldwide, 48 of them were here in the Davao area. The other two were in nearby Indonesia. The one that started them all was a 7.5. There were not many casualties, but there was much property damage.
It got to the point where we felt what turned out to be a 6.8, but we were tired of running outside, so we stayed and kept working. ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ syndrome, I guess. 😵‍💫
(Davao City is in the black circle; quake sites are red dots.)
We’ll be leaving Davao City’s earthquakes but moving into Luzon’s typhoons. As they say, out of the frying pan and into the fire! 😀 But if we do encounter disasters, God will use us to bring emergency relief as well as the gospel to those in need.
I’m so blessed by this young man’s dedication. Jerico was supposed to be at our Buhangin church building at a certain time for a practice, but traffic was stopped near his home… for a long time. I know, because I was driving the other way, towards his house (to teach a Bible study). So Jerico got out of the jeepney (public transportation) and started running. I know, because I saw him. I asked him later, How far did you run? He said he was able to catch another jeep at a mall. I looked it up, and that mall is 5KM (3.1 miles) from his house.
I’m a bit envious of Jerico, because he has a nice, deep voice. (I think he’s 17 or 18.) I keep telling him he will be a preacher one day.
This is one of the tribes we plan on ministering to when we move up north next month. The photo is from 14 months ago, when Gina and I went up to ‘spy out the land’ like Joshua and Caleb. The Bayugao tribe is mostly animist* but is 8% Christian.
*Animism is belief in many spirits and demigods which live in things such as trees or rocks. Animists typically live in fear, always trying to appease these entities by rituals and sacrifices. 
Please pray for Luna, for the nearby Bayugao tribe, and for the Pudtol Atta tribe in the area (1% evangelical, 94% animist).

We’re moving to another island, with islands in-between. If we put all our stuff onto a big moving truck, it would take them nine days of driving and riding ferries. So that would be way too expensive. We have to sell most of our stuff (at garage-sale prices) and try to replace it all at our destination. Therefore, for our airfare, shipping some stuff, plus buying furniture, etc., we need approximately $6000. Wanna help? 🙂 

Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

 

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

I’ll be in the PHX area from October 17 to November 10. I’d love to speak to groups of any size about our mission, or missions in general. Also, if you have a spare room for me to stay in for all or some of those days, please let me know. jgapinoy@gmail.com Sorry, my sweetheart Gina has to stay in the Philippines.

We’re excited that our brand-new Bible study had so many visitors! Only six people shown here are church members. Interestingly, the owner of the home is not a church member (though two of her kids are). She doesn’t seem to be born again… yet. But this is by far the biggest living room in the neighborhood that I know of. So I asked if we could meet weekly here. So far, so good!
This is our third weekly Bible study in Gem Village, each one well attended. God is doing great things there!

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When you pray for and/or support Filipinos Reaching Nations, you are blessing the several Filipino missionaries whom we financially support every month. (One of them is in these photos, shepherding former Muslims.) All those missionaries are in difficult places, doing amazing work.
We would love to support more like them. Many Filipino missionaries are very under-funded, because churches here don’t have the wealth that American churches have. Would you please consider helping us to help them?
Or, if you would like to support any of these missionaries directly, I would love to introduce you!

We are a very small ministry, but in just the past three years, we have sent more than $11,000 to support Filipino missionaries in unreached cultures.

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Our island has nine Muslim tribes that are 1.0% or fewer evangelicals. The red dots show where they are. One tribe is only about a three hour drive from us. But it’s not as easy as simply driving to these places and preaching. Overcoming hundreds of years of hatred and/or suspicion of Christianity, plus language and cultural hurdles, means the potential laborer has to be well-trained and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Muslim tribes on our island:
–Negrito, Mamanwa 0.3% evangelical
–Manobo, Umayamnon 0.5%
–Mandaya, Karaga 1.0%
–Kalagan 0.3%
–Maranao, Lanao 0.2%
–Iranun 0.0%
–Subanen, Tuboy 0.2%
–Maguindanao 0.04%
–Manobo, Cotobato 0.8%
The red dots are “unreached” tribes, while the orange dots represent “least-reached” tribes, where the number of evangelicals is only slightly higher.
The map and the statistics are from JoshuaProject.
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The pandamic restrictions ended here much later than in the USA, and even after they ended, many were hesitant to attend church in our Buhangin congregation*… especially parents of small kids. So we opted for a small, cheaper one-room facility because of the lower attendance then. We have had no kids’ ministry for years… until a few weeks ago. Even now, we don’t have a room for the kids, but we had to do something—kids were coming to church anyway. And our room is always packed. So we’re having kids’ ministry on the stairs. Thankfully we’ll move into a bigger building in a few weeks.
*Our Pequeño congregation meets in a neighborhood, so kids aren’t an issue there. Long story. 🙂
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Literally standing room only in one of the two Sunday services at our Buhangin location. We usually have young men standing in the back during the service.
We have almost as many people in the 1:00 PM service.
The air conditioning is overwhelmed with that many people–so hot.
I’m sure our numbers will go up as soon as we get that bigger building. More room, a kids’ ministry, and it will be cooler.
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These young men were first-time visitors at a Bible study I recently taught. But the one on the right didn’t want to enter the home during the study, because he was not wearing a shirt. We insisted repeatedly, “It’s OK, please come in.” But he remained sitting outside the door… and he listened to every word. Then, when we said “amen,” he entered.
I appreciate that he was trying to respect the teaching of the Scriptures.
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I thank God for Prescy. When I asked her to teach one hour for our evangelistic parenting seminar weeks ago, she could’ve easily said, “Sorry, I’m working all day.” (She teaches English to Vietnamese adults online.) But she squeezed her seminar teaching during a 90-minute break in between online classes. So here’s where Prescy taught English before and after her seminar teaching. It’s the best place she could find within walking distance to the seminar.
It was hot, but she was required to wear the jacket.
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The evangelistic parenting seminar I mentioned filled the house we met in. The many kids of these parents were outside participating in a kids’ ministry.
Most of those who attended never go to an evangelical church, and many expressed a desire to follow Jesus. So far, some are attending church and/or our new Bible study there.
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It’s my delight to teach again at FIRE School of Ministry, a mission-oriented seminary here in Davao City. Even better, for the first time I’m teaching my favorite topic there: Missions! This is my sixth semester with Fire. It’s one of various ways in which we are preparing Filipinos to reap the Lord’s harvest among the nations.
Pictured: 14 of my 17 students.
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This was the second time JR has been miraculously, instantly healed right before church.* He had hurt himself on the job and was wearing the Ace bandage on his wrist to facilitate eventual healing. But God wanted to hurry the process along!
Child of God, you too can lay hands on the sick and believe for miracles.
If you–like me–see nothing happen 90 or 95% of the time, trust me, the 5 or 10% will make all the prayers worth it!
*About three years ago, he was limping badly into the meeting. I laid hands on his ankle three times. After the third, he was completely healed! I made him jump up and down on his formerly-hurt foot. After church, he played basketball!
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Gina and I met Ban (black shirt) during our very first week here in Davao City (over ten years ago). He was nine years old. We’ve watched him grow in the Lord despite very difficult circumstances. He had already lost his dad (who was murdered at a political rally) when we met him, and then his mom was very sick for years until she passed away months ago. But Ban has remained faithful. Marc (bright red shirt) has been especially helpful in discipling the young man. Whenever Marc or I teach a Bible study, Ban wants to join, even if he’s already heard the teaching. And Ban is in various kinds of ministry, including leading teen boys’ group discussions after the sermon on Sundays. We all love Ban!
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I was honored to preach twice at the Mission Motivator conference on Samal Island in August.
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At REBUILD Youth Camp, with seven churches participating, we had about 40 baptisms! Seven were visitors invited by our church members! I love doing baptisms! It makes me feel like a doctor delivering babies! New lives in Christ!
Along with those seven, our mission has had three other baptisms since our last report.
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Jayr, Chona, and April are doing excellent work every Saturday in Ma-a. Their kids’ ministry has already led to a home Bible study through building relationships with parents. Jayr and Chona also do kids’ ministries in other areas. God, give us more families in your Kingdom!
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

 

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

We changed our mission’s name to Filipinos Reaching Nations because we knew we would be focusing more outside our city from now on.
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A friend of ours has dedicated his life to reaching Muslims for Jesus. He asked this intrepid team to translate an English-language video into Visayan. Marc voiced the part of a Muslim who repents and follows Jesus. Icyl is the technical expert, and Bee is the director.
It’s tough work, because Marc has to talk fast. Visayan sentences tend to be significantly longer than in English, but it has to fit in the video.
“Why not do subtitles?” Good question! Many in rural Muslim areas don’t know how to read. It has to be audio.
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Every month, we are delighted to take some of our support and pass the money on to Filipino missionaries who are doing amazing work for God in other parts of Asia. Here is one of them, a man who teaches the Gospel to Muslims. (Obviously I can’t publish his name or location.)
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This is part of the walkway from the road to where some of our dear friends live. It’s too narrow for people to walk side-by-side. If folks are passing in opposite directions, they must be careful not to rub the barbed wire. I don’t know why there is barbed wire. There’s nothing valuable in that field.
Of course there’s no way to drive anything bigger than a motorcycle to all those homes.
At least the cat doesn’t mind the barbed wire. Its tail is draped over the wire. Let’s name it “Barbara.” 😛
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I love it! How do you prepare the worship team for Sunday? Of course you practice, but after practice, how about doing some evangelism in a mall? Team leader Gina forced 🤣 the musicians and singers to go with her on that day. Sure enough, on the following Sunday, we had a great worship experience and some visitors!
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Ten years and one month ago, the facilitators of a five-month Pathways missions course in Mesa, AZ, stood in front to say a few closing words to the participants. Amazingly, I was ‘the boss,’ AKA the coordinator. It was one of the most challenging–and most rewarding–things I’ve ever done. It really helped prepare me for our mission, which began three months later, in August 2013.
I appreciate author and missionary Meg Crossman for twisting my arm and getting me to do this. She took a chance on me, and she guided me along the way.
If you had asked me before I accepted the challenge what were some of my weaknesses, I might have said public speaking, leadership, and administration. By running this class, the Lord helped me strengthen all those areas, and he prepared me for our mission.
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The cement slabs with holes are above drainage trenches. The slabs are supposed to be strong enough to drive on. The front tire made it past, but…
To make a long story short, a bunch of guys from across the street came. They pushed and lifted enough to get me out.
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The woman under the window, sitting next to her translator, has a doctorate. She could be making very good money. But instead she’s earning treasures in Heaven. She carries the gospel from Nepal to Vietnam.
My American friends would never have heard of her, nor the five other Filipino missionaries whom we help sponsor, if God had not sent Gina and me to the Philippines. But because we are here, these wonderful saints have some of their needs met by generous foreign donors. This is extremely important, because most Filipino churches are too poor to send and support overseas missionaries.
If you would like to learn more about the amazing ministries of any of these fearless laborers, let me know. ( jgapinoy@gmail.com ) I’d be thrilled if some of you would sponsor some of them directly.
“But John, I don’t believe in women evangelizing men.” Read John 4:28-39, please. 🙂
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I’ll say this quickly and then get back to the mission report: Expenses have been higher for a couple of months, and monthly giving is down, possibly because we switched to a different mission sending organization. If you could help us, we’d really appreciate it. We’re certainly not panicking–God is still on his throne. But we believe you have a right to know how we’re doing.
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I was honored to speak a few weeks ago at Hope of Salvation Church in Ilocos. My topic? Filipinos’ strategically important role in missions. To learn about that, please click ‘What is…?’ at the top of this page.
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Cathy (in baseball cap) taught the Scriptures to this family recently. Cathy has been a huge blessing to Gina and me for the eight years since she began to follow Jesus. She’s very humble yet quite gifted as a teacher, worship team member, kids’ ministry leader, and disciple-maker. She believes God will send her out as a missionary one day.
A while back, Cathy wrote her testimony of how Jesus changed her life, and she gave me permission to share it again:
“When I was in elementary and high school, I’ve heard a lot of God’s word but I’m not a Christian yet.
I just listen then forget it. I had a false religion, I didn’t have relationship with Him, but even then I knew there is a GOD. I believed that Mary is god also. I prayed then, but not whole-heartedly.
Then I met Kuya* John and Ate* Gina–I was working for them as a cook and cleaning for the ministry. They were doing church every Sunday in their house, and every time they worship I’m just clapping my hands. I’m so full of pride back then, self-centered…
But God used them. They taught me how to pray and read the Bible, because every time I read the Bible before I felt sleepy, and I didn’t understand what’s inside the Bible.
Then came the time that I decided to follow Jesus. But there were struggles. I was afraid because of my family. But God is faithful–he allows everything to happen according to his will.
Now I’m so grateful, and I did not ever regret. Not even once.
I love to worship God because he deserves it.
I treasure the presence of God every time. There’s a lot of struggles, but I always I cry out Him.
I want to be equipped and ready whatever God wants me to do. I will share the gospel.”
*Kuya means older brother, and Ate (ah-tay) means older sister)
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I was simply taking a photo of a plane flying over Manila, but I inadvertently caught a UFO in the shot! 😛 🤣 Seriously, it’s the ceiling fan in the room reflected in the window. I didn’t notice the reflection until I looked at the photo. 😄
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“Yaya” is a babysitter. Hmm… I’m pretty sure “old sitter helper” would be one who cares for an elderly person. There are very, very few elder care facilities in the Philippines. Elders are cared for in the homes of their families.
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It’s an hour’s drive to Catalunan Pequeño in traffic, but it’s worth it to see these friends. I’m usually slated to teach the weekly Bible study there once a month or so.
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Whenever I preach in Catalunan Pequeño on Sunday mornings, afterward I always hurry back to Buhangin so I can catch the end of the service there. This is what I saw when I walked in. I think this is beautiful. God’s people preparing to give their hard-earned pesos to the Lord as Marc rallies the troops.
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We had an overflow attendance at our evangelistic parenting seminar in our Catalunan Pequeño facility a few days ago. Several first-time guests, thank God!
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Pictured: Remembering Joy, who passed away at 37.
“It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting, for this is the end of all mankind, and the living will lay it to heart.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2)
I’ve spoken at two memorial services within the past week. Both of the dearly departed were younger than me. Our lives are fragile and transitory. There’s great insight in this prayer:
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
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In the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the shepherd left the 99 and sought the one. He used all of his resources to find the lost 1%.
It seems the priority is backwards today. Most Christian resources are used to preserve the flock. Only about 1% of the Church’s resources are being used to seek the totally unreached tribes and cultures that don’t even know who Jesus is. What makes this far worse is that this 1% of church money is for reaching the 42% of the world’s population that is in that totally unreached state.
At Filipinos Reaching Nations, we are trying to be like that shepherd. We are a very small ministry, but in just the past three years, we have sent more than $10,000 in support to Filipino missionaries in unreached cultures. And we have devoted nearly ten years (and much, much more than $10,000 per year) to preparing future Filipino missionaries. And like the shepherd, we will continue to do all we can until the lost are rescued.
Jesus said he came to seek and save the lost. Let’s be like Jesus.
BTW, we think our sponsors are like Jesus! If you are interested in also supporting FRN…
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

 

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

We at Filipinos Reaching Nations are thankful for the privilege of partnering financially with a man we’ll call “B.B.” He is making disciples in a Muslim stronghold, which of course can be dangerous.
Yes, we take some of your donations and pass them on to six worthy Filipino missionaries who minister in hard places. So when you support FRN, you are helping to reach unreached tribes with the Gospel.
If you want to learn about them to inform your prayers, or support any of the six directly, I would love to connect you with them! If I know you, that is. Just let me know via jgapinoy@gmail.com

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Also among the six whom we help support are these two ladies who serve on an island that is almost 100% radically Muslim. They regularly send me reports, photos, and videos of what God is doing there, as well as their strategies and prayer requests.

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Attendance here is growing: About once a month, we bring lunches to these ‘tricycle’ drivers at their base, and we proclaim the Word of God to them while they eat. We’re thankful for church member Cornelio, who got us this open door.
Please pray for souls to be saved.

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Rylie is a sweet girl who just turned 10. But I have a traumatic memory with her from years ago. I had been teasing some boys by making faces at them, including my ‘vampire fangs’ (inherited from my dad). When then-4-year-old Riley came into the room, she started screaming in terror! Then, when the fear began to subside, she was furious with me! I felt soooo bad. I don’t want to terrorize small children! I never had a child react that way before.
The good news is, I’m the only one who remembers the incident. 😊

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Our friend Ebi–who was a leader in our church until he graduated med school and went back to India–and his co-laborers preach on the street. (Ebi’s on the right.) Interestingly, the one who preaches always removes his shoes. It’s holy ground.
Sometimes Hindu village leaders force them to stop preaching. God, save some of those leaders!

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Have I ever mentioned that I love teaching the Word? So I had a wonderful time on this day, teaching Bible studies in four different locations.
Pictured: Normally Gina teaches these ladies, but since she was out-of-town, Marc and I got to minister here.

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Testimony Sunday! We had never done this before, but it went well. Instead of sermons, nothing but 10-minute gospel testimonies. You know, describing what God has done in your life from before Christ to today. Six people testified in each congregation, most of whom rarely or never hold a microphone.
Here’s Rose telling how the Good News impacted her.
BTW, notice the cement floor? We finished that project recently by the grace of God. The congregation in Bacalso had been faithfully meeting on dirt for years. No more mud when it rains!

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Tapawarma is a fast-food chain here in the Philippines. Sometimes a brand name doesn’t translate well. 😁
Many years ago, Chevrolet tried to sell their popular “Nova” car brand in Mexico. They should have done some research first. “No va” in Spanish means “it doesn’t go.” 🤣

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A new Bible study in the Catalunan Pequeño area, which is about 45 minutes from our Buhangin congregation. I was thrilled when Prescy told me they were having weekly meetings. So I insisted on teaching there. 🙂

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Women of very, very different backgrounds expressing Christ’s love to each other. A few of the Filipinos don’t speak much English, and the Indians don’t speak much Visayan, but love transcends language barriers. We thank God for our translators such as Nene, who led this group.
(After church we always get into small groups and make sure everyone understands the sermon and can apply it to their lives.)
BTW, all the Indians who had been part of the church graduated and moved back to India… carrying the Gospel with them! May they all be soulwinners like Ebi. And may the Lord give us more Indians to disciple. Sadly, the Indians in our city keep to themselves, because most Filipinos are not very friendly to them. Lord, help them to see your love shining through us.

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I was honored to teach GoTeam again via Zoom. That ministry had been on standby during the pandamic. GoTeam is a ministry that aims to fire up Filipino teens and young adults for the cause of reaching all nations with the Gospel.

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In a family that used to come to our church, I had warned the mom that she was spending too much time at work, that her kids needed her at home. Eventually one of her teen daughters got involved in witchcraft. She wore the amulet in the photo as part of her rituals. Then she became demon-possessed. She was speaking with demonic voices, and she tried to kill herself. Her family literally tied her to keep her from harm. In desperation, Mom called Bee. Bee called our friend Allan to help her cast out the demon. (I was in the USA at the time.) It was cast out, and Allan burned the amulet. Now the daughter is free! Both she and Mom are very thankful to our God who is infinitely greater than any devil!

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I’m no miraculous healing expert, but I can report what I observe! Jhong hurt his shoulder during a fall off his motorcycle about a year ago. He’s a quiet guy who doesn’t complain, so I wasn’t aware until some weeks ago that he was still suffering sharp pain if he moved a certain way. So I did what I know to do, laying hands on him and praying for healing in Jesus’ name. He said he felt better, but why stop at ‘better’? I prayed again. I said, “Try to make it hurt. Either you’re healed or you’re not.” After moving around, Jhong said he was even better—almost no pain at all. I said if God can do that, he can totally heal you. So I laid hands again. This time totally healed! Jhong says he’s still 100% healed, pain-free, limitation-free!
To paraphrase Peter in Acts 3:12,
Why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at me, as though by my own power or piety I have made him healed?
It’s God, friends. Just believe, and he can do that for you as well.
“But John, why did it take more than one prayer?”
I don’t know, but I do know the same thing happened to Jesus, in Mark 8.
In the photo, Jhong is with his wife Prescy, who also experienced instantaneous healing a few years ago.

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 

Donors, please see the important announcement at the end of this post.

Also, to reflect the expanding scope of our mission, we recently changed the name of our ministry to “Filipinos Reaching Nations.” The old Davao City Outreach link automatically sends you to our new website URL nations.ph.

It could have been a not-so-good Christmas Day. The previous night, our neighbors were screaming and laughing on their driveway until 3:30 AM. (Our windows are always open because of the heat and no air conditioner.) Then we were away from home for 12 hours: 2 church services and then setting up for a ministry to Indian medical students that lasted into the night. I was covered with sweat by 9:00 AM, and I was exhausted by the evening. BUT IT WAS A GLORIOUS CHRISTMAS DAY!
Our time with the Indians was one of the highlights of 2022!
When med students Olive and Janny, along with Bee, first asked about renting a venue for several dozen Indians—the vast majority of whom would be Hindus and Muslims—to celebrate Christmas, I was like, “What?” It seemed hard to believe that that many would come. But they did! About 60 unsaved med students! And it was a wonderful evening of worship, preaching, testimonies, games, and Indian food. Christians were outnumbered by more than 4-to-1, but God was in control all night! He is moving among Indians in Davao City!
Explanatory notes:
1. Not only do these short-term missions benefit the ones being reached, but the laborers gain valuable experience and develop ministry skills.
6. We partnered with churches near those Muslim areas.
10. I don’t like to call something a ‘miracle’ unless it couldn’t have happened without God’s supernatural power. For example, I would never call some non-emergency affliction gradually getting better ‘miraculous.’
Our prayer warriors and donors are just as much a part of FRN as we are! A BIG thank you to all of you!
Many thanks to our part-time accountant Nene for putting this together in time for the year’s end.
1. Stipends, wages, and expenses for staff, $675 or 29% of the budget. (Gina and I do not receive any of this money. We get by on my early-retirement pension.)
2. Rent for church facilities, $286 or 13%.
3. Miscellaneous expenses, $158 or 7%.
4. Funds supporting full-time Filipino missionaries to unreached tribes plus expenses for short-term missions outside of our city, $313 or 15%.
5. Feeding ministry volunteers, $293 or 14%.
6. Ministry transportation expenses including fuel, vehicle insurance, and maintenance, $119 or 6%.
7. Helping the poor with medical expenses, $249 or 12%.
8. Ministry equipment and supplies, $85 or 4%.
Spending more on missions than we spend on rent. And we actually cut our rent down; now it’s $184 monthly. The $286 is a year-long average.
Five of the men here never come to church. But we announced, “Let’s have a couples’ day. We’ll feed you all lunch, and we’ll talk for a while.” The “talk” was me preaching to the ladies about how to be better wives, so the guys didn’t mind that at all. 🙂 Everyone liked the meeting, and we agreed to do it again in two weeks. Next time I’ll talk about salvation.
Congratulations to Ann (in orange) and “Bam Bam” (her son) for your baptisms and your new lives in Christ!
I still get happy every time I see Gina teaching. This is her Friday moms’ group. One husband tags along; we don’t mind. 🙂
We had to move the Bible study to our house because of Annalie’s lack of mobility. She had a leg partially amputated due to diabetes. She and her sons stayed with us for some weeks, but then she had to be hospitalized again, and she’s still there. Please pray for the Ablao family.
We’re always trying to find creative ways to do evangelism. Cornelio, who is a tricycle driver, told us about the drivers who hang out in this spot when business is slow. So on two occasions we brought them meals and preached to them while they ate. We’ll try to do this once every month or so until some of them are converted.
Incidentally, Marc—my translator—was born again at a you-eat-while-I-preach outreach six years ago.
A reticulated python invaded our backyard! It was climbing the ladder of success, but it stopped to rest in the morning sun. Annalie and sons were living in the room where the ladder was next to! However, it’s too small to go after humans. Less than three feet long.
The sinister face in the background is on an onlooker’s t-shirt. Appropriate for a snake, huh?
Marc teaches a weekly Bible study to these young men. I was blessed to join them last month.
I’ve heard of park benches. This is the first no-park bench I’ve seen. Well, since I am a law-abiding man, I promise not to park here. (This is on the stairs that lead up to our Buhangin church facility.)
A MIRACLE AND A DISAPPOINTMENT: Gina and I went to a birthday party in November. I met an elderly gentleman who mentioned that he had pain because of a fall. I asked some of my disciples there to join me and pray for healing. After prayer, I did what I always do: I asked him to test himself to see if he was healed. “Move around, try to make it hurt! Either you’re healed or you’re not.” But as he was doing that, I turned around and saw that my disciples had resumed their partying—small talk, joking, eating popcorn, etc. As soon as we said ‘amen,’ they abandoned us. It turns out my new friend was wonderfully healed, but my disciples didn’t notice, because they were partying.
Friends, do you lay hands on the sick and pray? You should. If you do, do you expect anything to happen? Is God unable to work miracles today? Where does it say he stopped working miracles? You won’t find such a verse, because
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
I don’t believe I have the spiritual gift of healing, but I still can pray for the sick… and I have seen several wonderful miracles. I don’t have the spiritual gift of miraculous faith, but does that mean I can never believe God? You don’t need a certain spiritual gift to be spiritually minded! Besides, how will you know if you have a spiritual gift if you never move in the direction of the gift? Paul told a church that ALREADY HAD gifts of the Spirit operating:
“Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.” (1 Corinthians 14:1)
How do you define “eagerly desire”? That’s how you should seek spiritual gifts. And then believe that God will miraculously use you as you exercise those gifts.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: After several excellent years of partnering with our friends at Missions Alive, we believe we’re being called to a different mission sending organization (MSO). We have needed an MSO throughout our 9 1/2 years in Davao City because FRN has no 501(c)3 of our own. Donors giving through a 501(c)3 MSO can claim tax deductions. But we realized that we need an MSO big enough that it works with people in places where we want to reach out to, from west Mindanao to India. I investigated various MSOs for months, and I’ve found The Cause, which will not only provide 501(c)3 for our donors, but they will also give administrative support, strategic coaching, and spiritual care. You’ll find a link to The Cause on our donations page…
We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

NOTE: 

TO REFLECT THE EXPANDING SCOPE OF OUR MISSION, WE JUST CHANGED THE NAME OF OUR MINISTRY TO FILIPINOS REACHING NATIONS. THE OLD DAVAO CITY OUTREACH LINK AUTOMATICALLY SENDS YOU TO OUR NEW WEBSITE, NATIONS.PH

 

Gina, Sandra, Geraldine, and I traveled about 11 hours to Luna, Apayao. (I’m writing from Luna.) The timing of the trip is about Gina’s mom Helen and her 80th birthday, but another big reason for the trip is that we’ve been praying for months about the Pudtol Atta tribe that is near Luna. We believe God may be calling us to send a church planter to Luna or some other town in the area, and to use that church to reach out to this tribe that desperately needs the Gospel. (It’s only 1% evangelical, according to Joshua Project, where I got the images from.) So we’ll be looking at the tribe as well as possible locations for a church.

Also while we’re here in Luna, we’ll do school ministry. Gina’s mom is a retired teacher, and two principals in Luna were once Helen’s students. Connections! So we have permission to speak to several classes of the older kids. Plus we’ll try to get into other schools while we’re there.

Your prayers are very appreciated!

Happy 80th birthday, Mommy!

BTW, in the photos, red dots indicate unreached peoples, while orange and yellow represent little-reached groups. The need is great in this supposedly Christian country, because the Church has not been doing its job.

The obligatory group photo after our team’s ministry to the Tiboli tribe, about six hours away from Davao City. Food and gift distribution, gospel preaching, and kids’ ministry. And perhaps best of all, our people gained experience in cross-cultural ministry.

Attendance was down a bit in all three of our services some weeks ago… and I couldn’t have been happier! Because we sent most of our leaders as well as other disciples to minister to the Tiboli tribe all weekend. You can’t out-give God, so we reaped three blessings with our giving:

–The services back home went very well,
–Our travelers gained valuable ministry experience, and
–People in Davao rose up to serve in ways that our leaders normally do. For example, Mara Joy—who had never translated in church before—did an excellent job. (pictured)

Heaven sent its best when Jesus came to be our Savior, so churches should be all the more willing to send their best people away, whether temporarily or permanently, for the Gospel.

“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:1-3).

 

Life is tough for many Filipinos. Here’s an obstacle for a lot of people that’s been here for months: The exit to get out of the neighborhood is past the machinery. So you must either go left of it and risk falling into the river, or go right and climb the unstable dirt and construction junk. Imagine carrying stuff or a baby while trying to get by. We only go there occasionally (to teach a Bible study), but I feel sad for those who live there.

Let me tell you about Joy and Cathy, as well as our Heavenly Hiring Habits. 😂 

Twice in our ministry’s history, during times when we used to do a lot more feeding, Gina began to have severe menopausal symptoms. Both times we decided to hire a helper. Both times the helper was not born again. Both times we discipled them anyway, thinking, We pay your salary, so along with your duties, you’ll allow us to disciple you. 😛 (You can do that in this country!) 😮 🙂 And both ladies eventually became wonderfully born again!

Cathy has long been a discipleship leader in our church, as well as our best worship leader.

Joy, after she was saved for about a year, began to be interested in a widowed pastor in her hometown (about 2 ½ hours away) who was contacting her. She ended up marrying him—I was honored to do the ceremony—and Joy continues to serve the Lord in that church today. We had not seen her in person for a couple of years when she visited and brought us a big turkey all the way from her home. We all had a nice reunion.

 

Look what Bee and friends created for my 61st birthday in September! A big sign for our Buhangin church sanctuary.

 

Telling my testimony for about 40 minutes to a mostly unchurched group of fire victims. Big thanks to Christian and Adela for the opportunity. They worked with us to do a distribution of donated goods to 189 families. Christian and Adela live there, daily serving in this poor neighborhood. BTW, our church here donated at least as much to these victims as was sent from the USA.

 

While we were walking around the area that was devastated by the fire, these boys followed me for about 20 minutes. It’s so easy for me as a foreigner to make them smile and laugh, and I love doing it.

When they learned that Gina is my wife, they said (in Visayan), “But you’re so tall and she’s not!” 😂 My Gina is sweet, petite, and can’t-be-beat.

 

This little beauty was saved from abortion, which illegal but all too common in this country. GOD caused a certain woman to persuade her friend not to abort her child, because she knew a couple who could not have children naturally. The end result is a beautiful child in the home of loving adoptive parents.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” (Proverbs 31:8)

  

I want to honor Gina’s and my spiritual daughter* Daise. Besides several years of excellent faithfulness serving in various church capacities, during those years she has spent an incredible amount of time caring for her parents’ infirmities. Daise never complains, and she has only asked for help during emergencies. The family is very grateful for the times we have helped.

Pictured: At their home, ministering to Minda, Daise’s mom.

*She always calls me “Amahan” which means “Dad.”

 

Parking, Philippine style. We sometimes see this kind of mess at the stairway going to our third-floor church facility.

No, there is no elevator in our four-story building. I don’t know if there’s a four-story building in the country that has an elevator (except for in malls). So we get plenty of exercise on those stairs. 🙂

 

It’s always a joy to minister at our Bacalso site on Sunday morning.

We’re asking God to provide a better facility. They have patiently endured the tarp “roof,” the dirt floor (often mud), and the heat for years.

BTW, the last time I ministered there, it was a solid hour of teaching with no translation! This is one reason why I stopped studying Visayan. Over the years I’ve noticed that our people are learning English from me as I teach them and fellowship with them. Knowing English can help them get better jobs, plus, if they ever go out as missionaries to other countries, they would need to know English, since no one in those countries knows Visayan.

In our Buhangin location, we have one Visayan service and one English service. Most of those attending the English service learned much of their English from me.

 

In the Philippines, most motorcyclists do whatever works. Like waiting in the shade for the light to turn green. 😏

 

It’s often extremely difficult to find parking in this city. Sometimes someone is waiting who will guide you and help you squeeze into a space, and you’re supposed to give him a little money “to watch your vehicle.” Well, when I was out recently, and I came back to my vehicle, this bold little guy came up to me and said (in Visayan) that he watched my vehicle for me. 😂 I’m sure he fought off some potential car thieves. 😄 So cute!

 

In September we visited a public school, bringing lots of kids’ books, snacks, toys, and school supplies, but the best part was the ministry. Not only were the kids blessed by our team leading worship and by the practical Bible lesson, but many teachers and parents also witnessed the ministry. They saw a church reaching out to a school in a very poor neighborhood with God’s love.

Americans, can you imagine ministry like this in any public school in your city?

(I did kids’ ministry from 1997 to 2013, so I enjoy when I get an occasional chance to do it again.)

 

Visiting Safe Haven Orphanage, about an hour and a half away. We gave them lunch and a bunch of donated gifts, plus our team presented a fun program. They have 27 beautiful children, but we’re not allowed, per Philippine law, to show the kids here.

SHO is an excellent ministry to donate towards if your heart moves you in that direction. They definitely could use some help, due to some recent challenges.

 

A year ago, Davao City Outreach/Compass Christian Church was hit with our worst scandal. A leader–whom I always considered a dear friend–was accused of adultery and embezzlement. He did not deny the charges, but he responded by running away, leaving his wife and two young sons and moving to a far province.

Since then, the mom has been heroic, working two jobs and giving herself to the Lord and to her kids. And the church has stepped up, too, helping financially during the months before Mom got a job. Plus the guys in the church have been big brothers to the boys, giving lots of attention and love. 

The church only lost a few people because of the scandal, but I’m not sure they were even with us to start with. It seems like they left because they thought we were too tough on the backsliding leader. (We carefully followed the New Testament’s guidelines about church discipline. Our goal has always been for him to repent and be restored.)

As a ministry, we learned that we ought to be less ‘loose’ about money. So for the past year, we have required receipts and details from everyone who spends, plus we have an accountant and a financial board that’s totally independent of me. They meet every three months to look at the records.

Please pray for the mom and kids. They’re strong… but being strong hurts sometimes.

After the dad left, the mom told me her older son was misbehaving more than usual. I went to visit them. I called the boy and talked tough to him for about 15 minutes, and then I gave him hope and love for another several minutes. He has totally changed since then. He has been such a big help for Mom by watching his younger brother, and he has been doing all of his chores with a very good attitude.

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you also can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 


The obligatory group photo at Compass Christian Church’s Seventh Anniversary service. We brought the Pequeño congregation together with the Visayan and English congregations in Buhangin for one big meeting. What a joy to see us all together again.

 


A typical “sari-sari store,” kinda like a tiny 7-11. We have long-time friends who have such a store attached to their home… but ever since Papa had a severe stroke two months ago, the money from everything they sold went toward his expenses. So they couldn’t replenish their stock. So they had nothing to sell, and no profit. With no profit, there was a desperate need for Papa’s continuing medical expenses as well as buying food and paying bills.

I had a long talk with them, encouraging the family to begin saving at least 5% of all future profits. This would be for emergencies, so that they could always keep the business going. They promised to do this, if they could get started again. To that end, thanks to our generous friends, we bought $200 worth of items to replenish their stock and be back in business, plus I took them to a drug store and bought two weeks’ worth of prescriptions for Papa.

 


Marc was a facilitator and Mara Joy a participant in a youth camp where many people were saved, including eight LGBTs. Lots of baptisms, praise God!

Seven years ago, we baptized Marc. He admitted later that he was only coming to our teen Bible studies because he was underfed and he loved Gina’s cooking, but eventually the Word transformed his life. We have seen him go from a shy teen to one of the loudest people in the church! 😛 Seriously, Marc is now a leader, and he does most of the translating when I need it.
Pictured with Ari, an Indian medical student.

 

 


Imagine this scene just outside your door! The city was doing construction just before our Bankerohan Bible study. Thankfully they stopped at the time we started worshiping.
We thoroughly enjoy our times in Bankerohan.

 

While we were visiting a rural place four hours’ away, a somewhat drunken man invited me to join a card game… with his bottle and pack of cigs right there on the table. I wanted everyone there to know that because God loves them, Christians also love them. The man knows drunkenness is wrong. He needs to know there’s still hope for his soul. (He never touched the booze or the cigs while we were there.)


“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Matthew 9:10-13)

 

I was prepared to teach Acts 13:1-12, but the conversation was so deep, we only made it to verse 5 in an hour. I love the Yonson family! Even the younger teens were fully engaged.
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During a post-Bible study snack in El Rio, two dogs and a chicken were begging for scraps. I suggested to our host that she give the chicken to the dogs. Then there would be no more annoying begging. But she didn’t accept my advice for some reason.
Animal lovers, I’m just kidding! 😛
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A couple of years ago we started a Bible study in Jennifer’s home, but the number of adults decreased and (even though we were doing adult content) the number of kids kept increasing… until it evolved into a kids’ ministry. Then Gina took over, and she has been training Fretche, Jen, BanBan, and others to lead the meetings.
.
The Estoque guys are such a blessing. After I taught a Bible study at their home, the rain started, and I was shocked how quickly the dirt road there became undrivable. (The skies were clear when I arrived at their house. I normally park elsewhere.) Cornelio, Bench, Regie, and Ken got busy doing whatever they could for 20 minutes to free my vehicle from the mire. They all ended up soaked and muddy. But at least their mission was accomplished–I drove away quite thankful.
Lesson learned: park on higher, harder ground from now on.
We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you also can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

Thank God for three baptisms just a few days ago! From left, numbers 2, 4, and 5 obeyed the Lord in baptism as soon as they professed faith in Jesus. 
Ari, number 2, is a medical student from India whom we have been ministering to for some months. More about ministry to Indians later.

Where the saints belong on Resurrection Sunday–in church! Sadly, in this Catholic country, Easter is more about being with family, going to the beach, and eating binignit than honoring our Lord. But thank God we had good attendance in our three services.

 

Since we have a nice vehicle for such purposes, other churches sometimes ask for help if they need people moved around. A month ago, at 4 AM, I went to pick up 21 intrepid campers at the Ambassadors For Christ facility. Thank God, no rain! Because many do not have tents. They were at a youth camp learning evangelism. Then I drove them home to Carmen and Calinan.
(The Toyota is designed to carry only 14. 😁 )

 

You might be able to see two deep footprints and a butt-print. I was on my way to a Bible study when I couldn’t unstick my feet. While I was trying, I tipped over. The only thing that hurt was my pride, largely because I needed help getting up! A guy who happened to be there and Cathirene helped me up. Yes, a woman. 😂 She’s less than half my weight, but she and the stranger were strong enough to get me going.
Silt had covered the area after a flood, making it more sticky than normal mud. 

 

These little girls were working very hard, with no adult supervision. My heart was touched. What could I do for them? I asked my Filipino friend, and he suggested ‘pan’ (a sweet bread treat). The kids were so thankful.

 

I love public preaching! O.T. prophets did it, Jesus did it, and the apostles did it. 

 

Our Sunday evening men’s Bible study, examining David’s FAIL as a husband in 2 Samuel 6:16-23.

 

Since January 14, we have not had running water except for about an hour per day. Plus ‘brownouts’ have become more frequent. Thankfully our lease is ending, and we’ll move into a cheaper place in about a month that’s in a better subdivision.

 

A snack after our El Rio Bible study today. I appreciate how so many Filipino children join our Bible studies and patiently listen to the adult content. God’s Word is being planted in their hearts.
Dad Cornelio (not pictured) was the topic of the study today. 😁 Not really. In English, the name is Cornelius (in Acts 10). But in the Cebuano Bible the centurion’s name is Cornelio. 🙂

 

We went to a park to celebrate the birthday of Janny–one of our Indian friends–and some guys were walking around the park offering their animals to pose with for P50 ($1) each. I had never held a python or a crocodile before, so why not?

 

We love the Indians in our church as individuals, of course, but we also love their potential as harvesters in their own country.
Jesus commanded us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into his harvest. We would love to send Indians–discipled and trained–into their homeland to do ministry for Jesus. Our dear friend Ebi has already returned there, and is bearing good fruit.
India is in the smaller box within the rectangle in this map. Can you see the need? Red dots represent unreached tribes and cultures. Lord, send laborers!

 

Meeting Indian-style, with no chairs. Unfortunately, I literally cannot sit cross-legged like that. I never have been able to, even as a child. Something wrong with my hip joints, I guess.

 

We have been helping impoverished families to start small businesses, which is so much better for their souls than just handing them cash. It recently dawned on me (duh!) that for earning money, helping someone get a driver’s license is cheaper and better for most people than to help them start a business. The vast majority of Filipinos cannot afford to get a license. A license will open doors to jobs such as jeepney driver, truck driver, motorcycle deliveryman, or taxi driver.
(Pictured: Banban with his mother, Annalie. We helped Ban recently to get a license.)

 

I did kids’ ministry for 16 years before our mission. It’s fun when I get to talk to children again occasionally.
There’s a lot to learn from the story of Zacchaeus. That’s often my go-to text when I minister to kids.
I sometimes get to teach two or three Bible studies in one day. This one is in Gem Village, Ma-a. Our ministry recently provided Veronico–the head of this household–with a motorcycle cart from which he will sell street food.
We so appreciate our sponsors, who enable such blessings!

To those who give, thank you so much! Here are the ways you also can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested.

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

Please do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!