One of the highlights of my life! My son Isaac was baptized! I really cried when I saw these pics!
In 2013, as Gina and I were answering God’s call to this side of the planet, Isaac was 18 and not walking with Jesus. I said, “God, I’ll reach them for you. Please reach my son for me.” (Isaac lives in Chandler, AZ.)
We love our Indian med student friends! And we are always happy to see them in church. We had five ladies on this past Sunday–one stayed for both services! Three of those have not yet decided to follow Jesus, but they are very involved in Bee’s weekly Bible studies (along with several other Indians), and we are trusting God that one day they will all be baptized.
Of course we love them as individuals, but we also realize what a blessing it would be to get Indians saved, disciple them, and then send them back home to reach their own people for Jesus!
“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” (Luke 8:39)
A joyous yet sad last meal together with Ebi, who has gone home to India. It was my first time eating at an Indian restaurant! (Though I have enjoyed Ebi’s cooking before.)
Ebi is already putting into practice the evangelism and discipleship he learned here.
Bible studies with the Catalunan Pequeño men are always a joy. Topic: Elisha, the man of God.
We took a lot of donated items to a kids’ ministry in a very poor area in Marilog, which is about three hours away. But on the way there, we visited a prison with the Gospel as well as several days’ worth of food for the men. The prison is actually one tiny cell where eight (I think) prisoners live. They were extremely happy to see us (some of us had visited there on past occasions), and they were visibly touched by the Gospel preaching and especially by Bee’s prayer.
Our El Rio Bible study. Topic: Seeing the Gospel in 2 Samuel chapter 9.
Normally Cornelio is able to join, and occasionally Bench, but they both had to work.
BTW, I think American flag t-shirts are almost as common here as they are in the USA.
Because of the pandamic, we haven’t had a midweek prayer meeting for a long time. But it’s time to crank it up again!
Filipinos often work long hours, and public transportation is slow, so it’s hard for many to get to events during weekday evenings. So we’re grateful for these folks.
The Catalunan Pequeño congregation has also started to have weekly prayer meetings.
Is this a race or some other kind of competition?
You couldn’t pay me enough to get me up there!
We have Nissan in the Philippines, but we don’t have OSHA. At least not one that has any authority.
What a wonderful resource we have to minister to our ladies! Virgie
(with table in front of her) had to retire from her long-term missions in Myanmar and Cambodia because of severe health problems. But she can still teach (while sitting). She brings a wealth of biblical knowledge, experience, and passion as she ministers.
We are helping her with her medical and living expenses, but she could use more help. If you are interested, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The water problems we had in the last report eventually got fixed, BUT on January 14, we started another streak that’s still going strong: On average, only about one hour of water per day since then. So we have to do a lot of washing and stuff out of buckets and containers that we fill up while the water is on. The subdivision is not predicting when the water will be fixed, but they said it could be months from now.
Compass Christian Church Christmas party, 2021.
I think this was the first time since 2019 when all our congregations and Bible studies were able to gather together.
ITEM RECOVERED BUT SOUL TRAUMATIZED
A close friend lost his phone. Using another phone, he texted to his phone that he’s offering a small reward for its return. Some days later, he got a reply… but the one who found the phone was demanding a lot more money. So my friend called the police, who set up a sting operation. My friend texted the man OK, I’ll give you the money. The cops gave him the asked-for amount of money in marked bills. They instructed him to scratch his head as a sign that he had handed the money to the perpetrator. When the cops came to make the arrest, my friend was shocked and sickened by how savagely they beat the perpetrator, who did not resist arrest in any way. Days later, he was still tormented by what he saw, and full of guilt for turning the guy in.
Obviously the police will put in their report that the criminal resisted arrest, just as they have done thousands of times. If my friend had not been there, maybe they would have shot the perpetrator dead and put a gun in his hand, just as they have done thousands of times.
I have said for years that while Americans complain too much, Filipinos complain too little. In the USA, a relatively few instances of police brutality generate thousands of protests. In the Philippines, thousands of instances of police brutality generate few protests.
THE MISERABLE TRIAL BECAME A MIRACULOUS TRIUMPH
Jezzel’s left arm was in severe pain, and she was throwing up. She and her husband Jicky had just suffered an accident on their motorcycle. (Jicky was OK.) I offered to drive Jezzel to the hospital. Jicky followed on his bike.
Every little bump in the road caused Jezzel to moan in pain.
At the emergency room, she sat kinda leaning forward so that her arm could hang limp. I wanted to lay hands and pray for her, but I felt like God wanted me to wait. A doctor came, and Jezzel told her the pain was 9 out of 10. (Jezzel is a mom, so I can imagine what 10 out of 10 would be.) Finally, after the doctor interviewed Jezzel, I believe God gave me the ‘green light.’ I put my hand on her good elbow and prayed for the hurt one. Jezzel said it was much better! She cried tears of joy. But I wanted more. We prayed again. And again, it was better. Jezzel was moving her arm around in every direction! But she said there was still a little pain where the scab was. I told Jicky to put his hand on the scab (which would have been far too painful a minute earlier), and I put my hand over Jicky’s. Praise the Lord, she was completely healed! She went home and did housework! And weeks later, she’s still 100% healed.
From intense, immobilizing pain to strength, mobility, and blessing, all within a couple of minutes!
I don’t understand why God heals. Why is he so good to us?
I don’t understand why God often doesn’t heal.
And I don’t understand why God would use me.
All I know is that he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness and truth!
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 email@example.com. Thank you!