All posts for the month May, 2024

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.
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