A recent Sunday 1 pm Garcia Heights service. We also have locations in Pequeño and New Valencia that meet at 9 am. I think we’re the only church in the city with a 1 pm service. It’s what our folks want. 🙂
But we’re moving this congregation from this four-hour-per-week Sunday-only rental place to a 24/7 rental place! Our rent will increase a bit–to only about $200 per month (thanks to a godly and generous landlord). But the costliest part will be buying lots of chairs, lots of paint, fans, and two window-mounted air conditioning units.
Sometimes the roads are so narrow, it’s not practical or safe to take the Toyota. So we hire a ‘tricycle’ for about 20c per person. This video shows us on the way out of Jen’s neighborhood (where a weekly Bible study is). At the end of this 10 minute ride, we have to walk for 10 minutes to get to our vehicle, then drive 20 minutes to our home. Oh, I didn’t count the 10 minute walk from Jen’s home to the tricycle place. So about 50 minutes total… but it’s only about 3 miles from our house to Jen’s (“as the crow flies”). Can you say labyrinthine? 🙂 (26 second video.)
Gina and I were looking forward to a nice quiet day together to celebrate her 53rd birthday. But some of our leaders were sick, so I had to cover for them in teaching Bible studies. Thank God for a wife who is flexible and who is eager to serve.
Here’s our Talisay Bible study on her birthday.
We actually have a falling-coconut hazard at Talisay. Twice that I know of, coconuts fell during the meetings! (No one got hurt.) But a generous donor learned about this via our Facebook posts, and she sent money for a tarpaulin “roof” that would also provide needed shade. We’ll try to set that up next week.
Keep in mind that most of our friends have very small homes, so a “home Bible study” sometimes means meeting outside.
The water often gets shut off without warning, so at home we like to keep full buckets here and there for washing or flushing. Recently the water was off for a longer-than-usual time (about 15 hours). When it came back on, I tried to fill this bucket, but *yuck.* 🤢 Our water is occasionally a bit off-color, but this is too much.
One of our strategies for reaching our city and beyond is to multiply home Bible studies everywhere. Thank God we have a bunch of leaders who can teach and preach, but most of them also have occupations. So I feel obligated to do a big chunk of our church’s ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4). As our Bible studies increase, so does my workload. During August, I taught or preached 30 times in 16 locations. I was fine with that, but I wanted to slow down in September. But some of our teachers got the pandamic. Other problems happened. So, another 29 times this month. I’m scheduled for ‘only’ 22 times next month. Lord, please keep it at 22.
Thank God for our sixth baptism since our last report! Congratulations, “JP”!
Most of these dear souls were saved as a result of home Bible study ministry. God works powerfully through home groups!
For example, I finished teaching a Bible study in the Yonson home when I felt inspired to ask if anyone wanted to be baptized. Manuel said he wanted to, praise God! I learned later that he had been asking his sister Mara Joy about baptism days earlier. Thank God for new lives in Christ!
Many Philippine homes have what is jokingly called a ‘dirty kitchen.’ Not really dirty (at least ours isn’t 🙂 ), but it refers to a kitchen that’s outside. Unfortunately, ours is flooded like this 24/7, even though there’s an awning. The landlord won’t do anything about it, so it’s up to us to figure something out.
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!
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