We’ll look back and look forward in this report.
But first I must ask for prayer for my brother Tim, who has a cancerous tumor in his brain, and my son Isaac, who has the Wuhan virus, as well as longtime friends Andrea, Stephanie, Steven, Lorenda, and Johnny who are also afflicted by that virus. Thank you in advance for your helpful prayers.
A year ago, one of the things we were praying for in 2020 was more weekly Bible studies scattered around the city. This year we added so many that I’m probably not aware of all of them! We went from I think 4 a year ago to about 15 now! The pandamic, which prevented us from having church services for months, forced our leaders to step up and do more small meetings.
And not just our leaders! Since Paul called Timothy his son in the faith, I’m blessed to be a great-grandfather in a discipleship sense. I’m thrilled to have disciples who have disciples who have disciples!
Also this year, by the grace of God, we have a third church location! We have Sunday meetings within the city proper (DABC is the place where we rent a large room), plus meetings in Bacalso/Pequeño and, as of a few weeks ago, in New Valencia! After a generous donation, we built a roof over Joel and Sandra’s yard, plus several benches, so more than a dozen folks come every Friday for Bible study plus Sundays for church.
In 2020, we have baptized 14 people, including 8 since our last report 2 months ago!
Here’s Cathy baptizing her Mom (Ling-Ling), her sister (Lovely), her cousin (Julie), and her aunt (Jevy) on the same day. Please pray for them, because the rest of the family is strongly opposing what God is doing in these ladies.
Also started in 2020: Do you know of any missionaries reaching out to the lost in Myanmar, in Cambodia, or in various Muslim tribes in the Philippines? We do! Davao City Outreach helps to support nine Filipino missionaries serving those peoples every month. When you give to DCO, you are helping missionaries to UPGs (unreached people-groups). UPGs are tribes and cultures that don’t have a witness of Jesus without help from outside.
Here is why this is important:
There are many Filipinos who would love to be missionaries, but they can’t raise any money. Having support from DCO can make the difference between someone spreading the Gospel in Tawi-Tawi or working a job here in Davao City.
I’m also praying that God would allow us within the next few months to send two of our own missionaries into such places. Please join me in praying for this, according to Luke 10:2.
Every year, Gina is very busy before Christmas. This December she and her helper elves 🙂 prepared several hundred meals to distribute at various occasions, plus 100 gift bags full of children’s books, toiletries, and other goodies provided by our generous donors. Once Gina got up at 2:45 am to cook!
Our lockdowns are more strict than in the USA or other “Western” nations, so the economy here–which was already bad–is really hurting. Hurting for several months. By the grace of God, we’ve been doing whatever we can to help, with so much support from our sponsors.
Cousins Jelian and Julie work on a paper together.
Several of our church members organized a study day recently to help dozens of poor kids who are falling behind in school. They rounded up some teacher friends to help. DCO provided school supplies, and for five hours the volunteers were tutoring, plus they fed everyone at lunchtime. Since it went so well, they will try to do this weekly after the Christmas break.
Remember in my last report mentioning our ministry in a mountain tribe that’s only accessible by motorcycle or horseback? A young man there broke his leg. Friends had to carry him for several hours down the mountain in a makeshift stretcher. They asked me to be his ambulance driver, so I met them at the main road (about 1 1/2 hours from the city), and then I took him and his mom to the hospital.
In the USA, no doubt a helicopter would have gotten him from the mountaintop to the hospital within 20 minutes.
There have been dozens of times when I have preached or taught while animals are running around. But this time (in Gem Village) I put one to sleep. 😀
2020 has been a bad year for so many people, but God has been faithful to bless our labors. We look forward to more wonderful blessings in 2021. (If you want to know more about our desires/goals for 2021, please write to me at email@example.com. I didn’t want to make this report too long. Plus some things are best discussed privately.) 🙂
Gina and I would love to talk with your fellowship group, Bible study, or church via Skype or Facebook chat. We could talk about whatever you’d like: the Philippines, our mission, our personal testimonies, or to urge folks to prayerfully consider serving the Lord in another culture. I think it would be encouraging for your group–it would certainly encourage us!–and it might inspire more prayer supporters and financial supporters for Davao City Outreach. And it would be a chance for us to “see” the US again for a while. The time factor should be easy enough to work out–in the US, your evening is our morning.
To those who give, thank you so much!
Here are the ways you can donate:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!