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!
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!