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We at Filipinos Reaching Nations are thankful for the privilege of partnering financially with a man we’ll call “B.B.” He is making disciples in a Muslim stronghold, which of course can be dangerous.
Yes, we take some of your donations and pass them on to six worthy Filipino missionaries who minister in hard places. So when you support FRN, you are helping to reach unreached tribes with the Gospel.
If you want to learn about them to inform your prayers, or support any of the six directly, I would love to connect you with them! If I know you, that is. Just let me know via jgapinoy@gmail.com

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Also among the six whom we help support are these two ladies who serve on an island that is almost 100% radically Muslim. They regularly send me reports, photos, and videos of what God is doing there, as well as their strategies and prayer requests.

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Attendance here is growing: About once a month, we bring lunches to these ‘tricycle’ drivers at their base, and we proclaim the Word of God to them while they eat. We’re thankful for church member Cornelio, who got us this open door.
Please pray for souls to be saved.
(The ones looking at their phones are reading digital Bibles.)

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Rylie is a sweet girl who just turned 10. But I have a traumatic memory from when she was about 4.
I had been teasing some boys by making faces at them, including my ‘vampire fangs’ (inherited from my dad). When then-4-year-old Riley came into the room, she started screaming in terror! Then, when the fear began to subside, she was furious with me! I felt soooo bad. I don’t want to terrorize small children!
The good news is, no one else remembers the incident. 😊

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Our friend Ebi–who was a leader in our church until he graduated med school and went back to India–and his co-laborers preach on the street. (Ebi’s on the right.) Interestingly, the one who preaches always removes his shoes. It’s holy ground.
Sometimes Hindu village leaders force them to stop preaching. God, save some of those leaders!

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Have I ever mentioned that I love teaching the Word? So I had a wonderful time on this day, teaching Bible studies in four different locations.
Pictured: Normally Gina teaches these ladies, but since she was out-of-town, Marc and I got to minister here.

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Testimony Sunday! We had never done this before, but it went well. Instead of sermons, nothing but 10-minute gospel testimonies. You know, from B.C. to A.D. (before Christ to ‘the year of our Lord’). Six people testified in each congregation, most of whom rarely or never hold a microphone.
Here’s Rose telling how the Good News impacted her.
BTW, notice the cement floor? We finished that project recently by the grace of God. The congregation in Bacalso had been faithfully meeting on dirt for years. No more mud when it rains!

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Tapawarma is a fast-food chain here in the Philippines. Sometimes a brand name doesn’t translate well. 😁
Many years ago, Chevrolet tried to sell their popular “Nova” car brand in Mexico. They should have done some research first. “No va” in Spanish means “it doesn’t go.” 🤣

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A new Bible study in the Catalunan Pequeño area, which is about 45 minutes from our Buhangin congregation. I was thrilled! I didn’t even know about it until Prescy told me. So I insisted on teaching there. 🙂

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Women of very, very different backgrounds expressing Christ’s love to each other. A few of the Filipinos don’t speak much English, and the Indians don’t speak much Visayan, but love transcends language barriers. We thank God for our translators such as Nene, who led this group.
(After church we always get into small groups and make sure everyone understands the sermon and can apply it to their lives.)
BTW, all the Indians who had been part of the church graduated and moved back to India… carrying the Gospel with them! May they all be soulwinners like Ebi. And may the Lord give us more Indians to disciple. Sadly, the Indians in our city keep to themselves, because most Filipinos are not very friendly to them. Lord, help them to see your love shining through us.

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I was honored to teach GoTeam again via Zoom. That ministry had been on standby during the pandamic. GoTeam is a ministry that aims to fire up Filipino teens and young adults for the cause of reaching all nations with the Gospel.

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In a family that used to come to our church, I had warned the mom that she was spending too much time at work, that her kids needed her at home. Eventually one of her teen daughters got involved in witchcraft. She wore the amulet in the photo as part of her rituals. Then she became demon-possessed. She was speaking with demonic voices, and she tried to kill herself. Her family literally tied her to keep her from harm. In desperation, Mom called Bee. Bee called our friend Allan to help her cast out the demon. (I was in the USA at the time.) It was cast out, and Allan burned the amulet. Now the daughter is free! Both she and Mom are very thankful to our God who is infinitely greater than any devil!

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I’m no miraculous healing expert, but I can report what I observe! Jhong hurt his shoulder during a fall off his motorcycle about a year ago. He’s a quiet guy who doesn’t complain, so I wasn’t aware until some weeks ago that he was still suffering sharp pain if he moved a certain way. So I did what I know to do, laying hands on him and praying for healing in Jesus’ name. He said he felt better, but why stop at ‘better’? I prayed again. I said, “Try to make it hurt. Either you’re healed or you’re not.” After moving around, Jhong said he was even better—almost no pain at all. I said if God can do that, he can totally heal you. So I laid hands again. This time totally healed! Jhong says he’s still 100% healed, pain-free, limitation-free!
To paraphrase Peter in Acts 3:12,
Why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at me, as though by my own power or piety I have made him healed?
It’s God, friends. Just believe, and he can do that for you as well.
“But John, why did it take more than one prayer?”
I don’t know, but I do know the same thing happened to Jesus, in Mark 8.
In the photo, Jhong is with his wife Prescy, who also experienced instantaneous healing a few years ago.

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, 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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 

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!
Explanatory notes:
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! 
Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

We could never repay you for your generosity to Filipinos Reaching Nations, 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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

NOTE: 

TO REFLECT THE EXPANDING SCOPE OF OUR MISSION, WE JUST CHANGED THE NAME OF OUR MINISTRY TO FILIPINOS REACHING NATIONS. THE OLD DAVAO CITY OUTREACH LINK AUTOMATICALLY SENDS YOU TO OUR NEW WEBSITE, NATIONS.PH

 

Gina, Sandra, Geraldine, and I traveled about 11 hours to Luna, Apayao. (I’m writing from Luna.) The timing of the trip is about Gina’s mom Helen and her 80th birthday, but another big reason for the trip is that we’ve been praying for months about the Pudtol Atta tribe that is near Luna. We believe God may be calling us to send a church planter to Luna or some other town in the area, and to use that church to reach out to this tribe that desperately needs the Gospel. (It’s only 1% evangelical, according to Joshua Project, where I got the images from.) So we’ll be looking at the tribe as well as possible locations for a church.

Also while we’re here in Luna, we’ll do school ministry. Gina’s mom is a retired teacher, and two principals in Luna were once Helen’s students. Connections! So we have permission to speak to several classes of the older kids. Plus we’ll try to get into other schools while we’re there.

Your prayers are very appreciated!

Happy 80th birthday, Mommy!

BTW, in the photos, red dots indicate unreached peoples, while orange and yellow represent little-reached groups. The need is great in this supposedly Christian country, because the Church has not been doing its job.

The obligatory group photo after our team’s ministry to the Tiboli tribe, about six hours away from Davao City. Food and gift distribution, gospel preaching, and kids’ ministry. And perhaps best of all, our people gained experience in cross-cultural ministry.

Attendance was down a bit in all three of our services some weeks ago… and I couldn’t have been happier! Because we sent most of our leaders as well as other disciples to minister to the Tiboli tribe all weekend. You can’t out-give God, so we reaped three blessings with our giving:

–The services back home went very well,
–Our travelers gained valuable ministry experience, and
–People in Davao rose up to serve in ways that our leaders normally do. For example, Mara Joy—who had never translated in church before—did an excellent job. (pictured)

Heaven sent its best when Jesus came to be our Savior, so churches should be all the more willing to send their best people away, whether temporarily or permanently, for the Gospel.

“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (Acts 13:1-3).

 

Life is tough for many Filipinos. Here’s an obstacle for a lot of people that’s been here for months: The exit to get out of the neighborhood is past the machinery. So you must either go left of it and risk falling into the river, or go right and climb the unstable dirt and construction junk. Imagine carrying stuff or a baby while trying to get by. We only go there occasionally (to teach a Bible study), but I feel sad for those who live there.

Let me tell you about Joy and Cathy, as well as our Heavenly Hiring Habits. 😂 

Twice in our ministry’s history, during times when we used to do a lot more feeding, Gina began to have severe menopausal symptoms. Both times we decided to hire a helper. Both times the helper was not born again. Both times we discipled them anyway, thinking, We pay your salary, so along with your duties, you’ll allow us to disciple you. 😛 (You can do that in this country!) 😮 🙂 And both ladies eventually became wonderfully born again!

Cathy has long been a discipleship leader in our church, as well as our best worship leader.

Joy, after she was saved for about a year, began to be interested in a widowed pastor in her hometown (about 2 ½ hours away) who was contacting her. She ended up marrying him—I was honored to do the ceremony—and Joy continues to serve the Lord in that church today. We had not seen her in person for a couple of years when she visited and brought us a big turkey all the way from her home. We all had a nice reunion.

 

Look what Bee and friends created for my 61st birthday in September! A big sign for our Buhangin church sanctuary.

 

Telling my testimony for about 40 minutes to a mostly unchurched group of fire victims. Big thanks to Christian and Adela for the opportunity. They worked with us to do a distribution of donated goods to 189 families. Christian and Adela live there, daily serving in this poor neighborhood. BTW, our church here donated at least as much to these victims as was sent from the USA.

 

While we were walking around the area that was devastated by the fire, these boys followed me for about 20 minutes. It’s so easy for me as a foreigner to make them smile and laugh, and I love doing it.

When they learned that Gina is my wife, they said (in Visayan), “But you’re so tall and she’s not!” 😂 My Gina is sweet, petite, and can’t-be-beat.

 

This little beauty was saved from abortion, which illegal but all too common in this country. GOD caused a certain woman to persuade her friend not to abort her child, because she knew a couple who could not have children naturally. The end result is a beautiful child in the home of loving adoptive parents.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.” (Proverbs 31:8)

  

I want to honor Gina’s and my spiritual daughter* Daise. Besides several years of excellent faithfulness serving in various church capacities, during those years she has spent an incredible amount of time caring for her parents’ infirmities. Daise never complains, and she has only asked for help during emergencies. The family is very grateful for the times we have helped.

Pictured: At their home, ministering to Minda, Daise’s mom.

*She always calls me “Amahan” which means “Dad.”

 

Parking, Philippine style. We sometimes see this kind of mess at the stairway going to our third-floor church facility.

No, there is no elevator in our four-story building. I don’t know if there’s a four-story building in the country that has an elevator (except for in malls). So we get plenty of exercise on those stairs. 🙂

 

It’s always a joy to minister at our Bacalso site on Sunday morning.

We’re asking God to provide a better facility. They have patiently endured the tarp “roof,” the dirt floor (often mud), and the heat for years.

BTW, the last time I ministered there, it was a solid hour of teaching with no translation! This is one reason why I stopped studying Visayan. Over the years I’ve noticed that our people are learning English from me as I teach them and fellowship with them. Knowing English can help them get better jobs, plus, if they ever go out as missionaries to other countries, they would need to know English, since no one in those countries knows Visayan.

In our Buhangin location, we have one Visayan service and one English service. Most of those attending the English service learned much of their English from me.

 

In the Philippines, most motorcyclists do whatever works. Like waiting in the shade for the light to turn green. 😏

 

It’s often extremely difficult to find parking in this city. Sometimes someone is waiting who will guide you and help you squeeze into a space, and you’re supposed to give him a little money “to watch your vehicle.” Well, when I was out recently, and I came back to my vehicle, this bold little guy came up to me and said (in Visayan) that he watched my vehicle for me. 😂 I’m sure he fought off some potential car thieves. 😄 So cute!

 

In September we visited a public school, bringing lots of kids’ books, snacks, toys, and school supplies, but the best part was the ministry. Not only were the kids blessed by our team leading worship and by the practical Bible lesson, but many teachers and parents also witnessed the ministry. They saw a church reaching out to a school in a very poor neighborhood with God’s love.

Americans, can you imagine ministry like this in any public school in your city?

(I did kids’ ministry from 1997 to 2013, so I enjoy when I get an occasional chance to do it again.)

 

Visiting Safe Haven Orphanage, about an hour and a half away. We gave them lunch and a bunch of donated gifts, plus our team presented a fun program. They have 27 beautiful children, but we’re not allowed, per Philippine law, to show the kids here.

SHO is an excellent ministry to donate towards if your heart moves you in that direction. They definitely could use some help, due to some recent challenges.

 

A year ago, Davao City Outreach/Compass Christian Church was hit with our worst scandal. A leader–whom I always considered a dear friend–was accused of adultery and embezzlement. He did not deny the charges, but he responded by running away, leaving his wife and two young sons and moving to a far province.

Since then, the mom has been heroic, working two jobs and giving herself to the Lord and to her kids. And the church has stepped up, too, helping financially during the months before Mom got a job. Plus the guys in the church have been big brothers to the boys, giving lots of attention and love. 

The church only lost a few people because of the scandal, but I’m not sure they were even with us to start with. It seems like they left because they thought we were too tough on the backsliding leader. (We carefully followed the New Testament’s guidelines about church discipline. Our goal has always been for him to repent and be restored.)

As a ministry, we learned that we ought to be less ‘loose’ about money. So for the past year, we have required receipts and details from everyone who spends, plus we have an accountant and a financial board that’s totally independent of me. They meet every three months to look at the records.

Please pray for the mom and kids. They’re strong… but being strong hurts sometimes.

After the dad left, the mom told me her older son was misbehaving more than usual. I went to visit them. I called the boy and talked tough to him for about 15 minutes, and then I gave him hope and love for another several minutes. He has totally changed since then. He has been such a big help for Mom by watching his younger brother, and he has been doing all of his chores with a very good attitude.

We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you also can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 


The obligatory group photo at Compass Christian Church’s Seventh Anniversary service. We brought the Pequeño congregation together with the Visayan and English congregations in Buhangin for one big meeting. What a joy to see us all together again.

 


A typical “sari-sari store,” kinda like a tiny 7-11. We have long-time friends who have such a store attached to their home… but ever since Papa had a severe stroke two months ago, the money from everything they sold went toward his expenses. So they couldn’t replenish their stock. So they had nothing to sell, and no profit. With no profit, there was a desperate need for Papa’s continuing medical expenses as well as buying food and paying bills.

I had a long talk with them, encouraging the family to begin saving at least 5% of all future profits. This would be for emergencies, so that they could always keep the business going. They promised to do this, if they could get started again. To that end, thanks to our generous friends, we bought $200 worth of items to replenish their stock and be back in business, plus I took them to a drug store and bought two weeks’ worth of prescriptions for Papa.

 


Marc was a facilitator and Mara Joy a participant in a youth camp where many people were saved, including eight LGBTs. Lots of baptisms, praise God!

Seven years ago, we baptized Marc. He admitted later that he was only coming to our teen Bible studies because he was underfed and he loved Gina’s cooking, but eventually the Word transformed his life. We have seen him go from a shy teen to one of the loudest people in the church! 😛 Seriously, Marc is now a leader, and he does most of the translating when I need it.
Pictured with Ari, an Indian medical student.

 

 


Imagine this scene just outside your door! The city was doing construction just before our Bankerohan Bible study. Thankfully they stopped at the time we started worshiping.
We thoroughly enjoy our times in Bankerohan.

 

While we were visiting a rural place four hours’ away, a somewhat drunken man invited me to join a card game… with his bottle and pack of cigs right there on the table. I wanted everyone there to know that because God loves them, Christians also love them. The man knows drunkenness is wrong. He needs to know there’s still hope for his soul. (He never touched the booze or the cigs while we were there.)


“While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ On hearing this, Jesus said, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” (Matthew 9:10-13)

 

I was prepared to teach Acts 13:1-12, but the conversation was so deep, we only made it to verse 5 in an hour. I love the Yonson family! Even the younger teens were fully engaged.
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During a post-Bible study snack in El Rio, two dogs and a chicken were begging for scraps. I suggested to our host that she give the chicken to the dogs. Then there would be no more annoying begging. But she didn’t accept my advice for some reason.
Animal lovers, I’m just kidding! 😛
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A couple of years ago we started a Bible study in Jennifer’s home, but the number of adults decreased and (even though we were doing adult content) the number of kids kept increasing… until it evolved into a kids’ ministry. Then Gina took over, and she has been training Fretche, Jen, BanBan, and others to lead the meetings.
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The Estoque guys are such a blessing. After I taught a Bible study at their home, the rain started, and I was shocked how quickly the dirt road there became undrivable. (The skies were clear when I arrived at their house. I normally park elsewhere.) Cornelio, Bench, Regie, and Ken got busy doing whatever they could for 20 minutes to free my vehicle from the mire. They all ended up soaked and muddy. But at least their mission was accomplished–I drove away quite thankful.
Lesson learned: park on higher, harder ground from now on.
We so appreciate our sponsors!
To those who give, thank you so much! 
Here are the ways you also can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

Thank God for three baptisms just a few days ago! From left, numbers 2, 4, and 5 obeyed the Lord in baptism as soon as they professed faith in Jesus. 
Ari, number 2, is a medical student from India whom we have been ministering to for some months. More about ministry to Indians later.

Where the saints belong on Resurrection Sunday–in church! Sadly, in this Catholic country, Easter is more about being with family, going to the beach, and eating binignit than honoring our Lord. But thank God we had good attendance in our three services.

 

Since we have a nice vehicle for such purposes, other churches sometimes ask for help if they need people moved around. A month ago, at 4 AM, I went to pick up 21 intrepid campers at the Ambassadors For Christ facility. Thank God, no rain! Because many do not have tents. They were at a youth camp learning evangelism. Then I drove them home to Carmen and Calinan.
(The Toyota is designed to carry only 14. 😁 )

 

You might be able to see two deep footprints and a butt-print. I was on my way to a Bible study when I couldn’t unstick my feet. While I was trying, I tipped over. The only thing that hurt was my pride, largely because I needed help getting up! A guy who happened to be there and Cathirene helped me up. Yes, a woman. 😂 She’s less than half my weight, but she and the stranger were strong enough to get me going.
Silt had covered the area after a flood, making it more sticky than normal mud. 

 

These little girls were working very hard, with no adult supervision. My heart was touched. What could I do for them? I asked my Filipino friend, and he suggested ‘pan’ (a sweet bread treat). The kids were so thankful.

 

I love public preaching! O.T. prophets did it, Jesus did it, and the apostles did it. 

 

Our Sunday evening men’s Bible study, examining David’s FAIL as a husband in 2 Samuel 6:16-23.

 

Since January 14, we have not had running water except for about an hour per day. Plus ‘brownouts’ have become more frequent. Thankfully our lease is ending, and we’ll move into a cheaper place in about a month that’s in a better subdivision.

 

A snack after our El Rio Bible study today. I appreciate how so many Filipino children join our Bible studies and patiently listen to the adult content. God’s Word is being planted in their hearts.
Dad Cornelio (not pictured) was the topic of the study today. 😁 Not really. In English, the name is Cornelius (in Acts 10). But in the Cebuano Bible the centurion’s name is Cornelio. 🙂

 

We went to a park to celebrate the birthday of Janny–one of our Indian friends–and some guys were walking around the park offering their animals to pose with for P50 ($1) each. I had never held a python or a crocodile before, so why not?

 

We love the Indians in our church as individuals, of course, but we also love their potential as harvesters in their own country.
Jesus commanded us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into his harvest. We would love to send Indians–discipled and trained–into their homeland to do ministry for Jesus. Our dear friend Ebi has already returned there, and is bearing good fruit.
India is in the smaller box within the rectangle in this map. Can you see the need? Red dots represent unreached tribes and cultures. Lord, send laborers!

 

Meeting Indian-style, with no chairs. Unfortunately, I literally cannot sit cross-legged like that. I never have been able to, even as a child. Something wrong with my hip joints, I guess.

 

We have been helping impoverished families to start small businesses, which is so much better for their souls than just handing them cash. It recently dawned on me (duh!) that for earning money, helping someone get a driver’s license is cheaper and better for most people than to help them start a business. The vast majority of Filipinos cannot afford to get a license. A license will open doors to jobs such as jeepney driver, truck driver, motorcycle deliveryman, or taxi driver.
(Pictured: Banban with his mother, Annalie. We helped Ban recently to get a license.)

 

I did kids’ ministry for 16 years before our mission. It’s fun when I get to talk to children again occasionally.
There’s a lot to learn from the story of Zacchaeus. That’s often my go-to text when I minister to kids.
I sometimes get to teach two or three Bible studies in one day. This one is in Gem Village, Ma-a. Our ministry recently provided Veronico–the head of this household–with a motorcycle cart from which he will sell street food.
We so appreciate our sponsors, who enable such blessings!

To those who give, thank you so much! Here are the ways you also can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

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: jgapinoy@gmail.com
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.
Jezzel with her family
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:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

Ebi preaches while Prescy translates

We moved our city-center church location. Before, we were paying $160 a month for using a building for a only few hours each Sunday. Now we’re paying $200 monthly in our first 24/7 location! And we definitely use it several times per week. In fact, a young man even lives in it (to guard the place). 
Since the facility is smaller, we now have two services every Sunday there (in addition to the services at our two outside-the-city locations).
BTW, look at Gina’s artistic talent displayed through the Christmas décor.

 

A flood last month damaged this floor of some church members (the floor already needed replacing). Thanks to our generous donors, they have a new floor. We also bought a lot of furnishings for other friends whose stuff was lost or damaged in the flood.

 

From too much to too little water: Gina and I are entering our seventh consecutive day with either no water, or else water for half the day or less. The well servicing our subdivision is way past its prime, and the switch to city water is postponed until July next year or later. We never know in advance when the water will be shut off. So we really appreciate it when we reach for the faucet and something comes out!
EDIT: After four more days of more or less half-days of water–total of eleven–we now have water full-time again, thank God.

 

Parks have been closed throughout the pandamic, so we’re doing most of our loudspeaker evangelism in street markets. It’s a thrill that never gets old! Many of the merchants in these markets are Muslims, and they have never opposed us in any way.
BTW, guys commonly wear bags like that in this country, because of pickpockets, plus because motorcycle riders might have things falling out of pockets. In fact, a young man who got up at 3:00 AM a few days ago to do ministry was perhaps still a bit sleepy, and he did not secure his phone properly as he got on the bike. So it fell out and is lost. We hope to help him replace it. 

 

We took a team to meet with Muslim leaders in Cotabato (a five hour drive from Davao City), but we got stuck in the mud on the way. It took an hour to get out! Slippery when wet.
(Sorry, I can’t publish photos of that meeting.)

 

Third generation disciple Jemilyn (on the left) is being discipled by Prescy. Jemilyn is now discipling these ladies.
This reminds me of 2 Timothy 2:2, wherein Paul mentions four generations of disciples.
.
Our Agdao Bible study. This is the home that we (through our donors’ generosity) helped rebuild after it was destroyed in a neighborhood fire. Two pregnant ladies! The one on the right is due in a few days. 

We have over 20 Bible studies all over the city, and by the grace of God, they’re having a powerful impact. Recently I was thanking Jannette for allowing us to do Bible studies in her house. Here’s how she replied (English is her third language):

“We should be the one who will thank you, Sir*, for sharing the Word of God in our homes, especially with our family and neighbors. We are beyond blessed to have Bible Study here. I will tell you Sir why I together with my family is grateful: it’s because to compare now and before, all I can say is that it makes difference a lot! Before, some of my family members utters disrespectful words often, but since the time that the Bible study held in our house, my family has becoming now gentle, careful with their words. It’s like we now know how to be convicted with our words and deeds unlike before that it’s like just normal to us if we did these… Other than that, everyone is like being excited every Thursday morning, everyone initiates to clean up, set up the chairs and to invite our neighbors. Praise God for that.”

At least seven members of the family attend every Thursday, as well as some neighbors and various others. As with most of our Bible studies, we worship for about 15 minutes, then we have a time of thanksgiving and testimony, and then an hour or so of the Word being taught.
*Filipinos are very eager to respectfully address others as “Sir” or “Ma’am.”

A recent Bible study in the Yonson home.

 

A couple of months ago we had the worst crisis this ministry has ever endured. Our prayer and financial supporters deserve to know what happened, as well as how by his grace the Lord sustained us. But I don’t think it would be wise to talk about it in this forum. Please email me via jgapinoy@gmail.com to learn about all this. The good news is that, as far as I can tell, we did not lose one person except for the perpetrator! That’s a miracle of God’s grace!

 

THERE’S BEGGING, AND THEN THERE’S AGGRESSIVE BEGGING. Hopefully you’ll agree this isn’t the latter. 🙂
We at Davao City Outreach could use some help now:

–Friends have urgent medical needs.

–We would like to increase our monthly support for various Filipino missionaries to Muslims. (Or you could ask for their info in order to donate to them directly.)

–We need more drivers, so we’re trying to pay for driving lessons for a few faithful friends. (Plus, missionaries whom we send out should at least know how to ride a motorcycle.)

–We would love to buy a church motorcycle, which would be much smaller and cheaper than bikes in the USA. (Among members in all three of our church locations, there are only four vehicles. Everyone else uses public transportation.)

–We need to buy more Bibles. (They’re cheaper when we buy 100 or more.)

–We could use some big cooking equipment for feeding ministry opportunities. Some of our stuff is old and worn out.

If you aren’t able to give, that’s OK. Please pray.

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:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

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!

Here are the ways you can donate:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

Imagine being a Christian and accepting a job in a Muslim country… and you can’t find a church anywhere. Thousands of Filipinos working in the Middle East are in that situation, and they are hungry for God’s Word! So every Wednesday I teach what is for me a 1 am Bible study, because for them it is evening.
See the “210” at the top of the photo? That means 210 people were watching at that moment.
Not only me, but others in our ministry are also teaching, because the need is great.
These are Christians who are in the countries where the Gospel is needed most! To feed them spiritually is to equip them to reach their Muslim neighbors!
North American Bible teachers and preachers, if you get involved with this, you wouldn’t have to wake up at 1 am. The time difference is better for you.
Please tell me (jgapinoy@gmail.com) if you’re interested in helping. Yes, they all speak English. 🙂

 

Talisay Bible study

Last week on Wednesday was such an exciting day for me!
First, I got to preach again to the Filipino workers in the Middle East online at 1:00 am. That was one of four scheduled opportunities to preach/teach that I had that day. But I gave the fourth to Marc, who translated for me during the second and third messages. By the time we gathered at the last location, Marc already knew my message, so I gave him my notes and told him to do it. And he did it well!
Another reason for my joy is that after months of being shut down (because of the pandamic), we were able to start our Talisay Bible study again.
It’s kinda tricky ministering in our Talisay spot. 😛 As the sun moves, so does the limited shade there, so we have to move with it. But there are coconut trees, so as we’re moving, we have to be careful not to sit under one of those living bowling balls. And while we’re shifting around, we also have to maintain social distancing. But we have a great time anyway. 🙂

During a certain July in the mid-1990s, I went to a Christian conference in Prescott, AZ, for a day—four sermons. Mark Aulsen happened to be preaching that night. He was a missionary then, and he preached on missions. It was amazing. I still remember several parts of that sermon, even though I have only heard it that one time. At the end, he said, “If you’re willing to go anywhere God sends you, stand up and tell that to the Lord.” I did that.
The next few years were the hardest of my life. Heavy emotional and physical sufferings of various kinds. I grew closer to Jesus.
In 2002, God began to speak to me about becoming a missionary in the Philippines.
The vision finally came to pass when Gina and I left in August 2013. Before we left, I called Aulsen to tell him how he inspired me, and to ask for his advice, which he graciously offered.
Today, he is pastoring in Tempe, AZ, which is right next to Chandler, where I lived in the mid-1990s. And I’m in Davao City, Philippines, where he lived in the mid-1990s. We traded places. 😊
BTW, at no time did Gina and I say or think, “Let’s go to Davao City, because the Aulsens were there.” We didn’t choose Davao City until (I think) 2012, and by then it didn’t even enter my mind that the Aulsens had been there. We simply chose Davao because it’s the largest city on the island of Mindanao, which is where millions of Muslims live. (I think that’s probably why the Aulsens also chose this city.)
Mark Aulsen and his wife Michelle

 

Analie and “BanBan” (one of her boys) with their “vendo”

Thanks to our generous donors, we are able to help friends in their time of need. This dear widow has been more than faithful to the Lord for seven years, but for months she has been plagued by many health problems–cataracts, diabetes, thyroid, asthma, liver issues… Her husband was murdered many years ago for attending a political rally, so she has raised her boys in the Lord as a widow, but not alone–we’ve done as much as we can to provide male love and leadership to the boys.
We want to do more for her–and for others–financially than simply hand them money. We have been looking into various ways to help them start businesses. For Analie, thanks to a donor, we got her a Wi-Fi vending machine, so that when her neighbors need internet for a while, they can just pop some coins into the “vendo,” as they call it.
We have other business start-up ideas, since people have different situations. But all these ventures would require capital. Money, that is. If you want to help, please click the donation tab at the top of this page. If you want more information about our ideas, jgapinoy@gmail.com.

 

A Bible study I was invited to speak at last month usually has about 12 or 14 people. But on that day they had over 25! I think all the first-time visitors were ages 11 to 17.
I believe the Lord had guided me to teach on Judges 2:10-19, which is a summary of the entire very-depressing Book of Judges. When I saw those teens, I thought, “Lord, is that the right message for them?” But our God helped me to alter the message as I taught, making it evangelistic. Everyone received the Word with great interest.
Unfortunately, after two well-attended meetings like this, they locked down this neighborhood (and many others) because of the pandamic. (None of our people were sick.) We’re praying for that lockdown to end soon.
A future church location…? God knows. Many Muslims live nearby, BTW.
Three photos of the scene cut-and-pasted together.

 

Our Garcia Heights location

Due to government restrictions, some churches in our city still minister online-only. We’re worshiping in-person in all three locations, and thank God, attendance continues to be pretty good. The elderly and families with small children are not able to join us, though.

 

Seeing recent financial scandals in some institutions has made me realize the need for more accountability. I know I’m not doing anything wrong, but how do I prove that? So we hired a part-time accountant, and an advisory board of independent and honest men (not chosen by me) was formed to ask tough questions, check the math, and hold me accountable.
If you ever have any questions about our financial dealings, please email me.

 

Why am I so happy? Because I get to do what I love often. Preaching and teaching, that is. Next month, I’m scheduled to teach or preach 23 times in 9 locations.

 

Mara Joy recently gave her testimony in church. I asked her to type it out to share with you all. It’s very long! And it’s so powerful, I don’t want to edit it for this format. So if you’d like me to send it to you, please email me.
Hmm… In this report, I kept asking you all to email me. Maybe that’s because I love it when I get feedback of any kind. 🙂

 

We really felt like celebrities here. 😆 Compass Christian Church AZ missions pastor Jeff Christian is a great interviewer! He needs to have a TV show. Here he talked with Gina and me just before we left the USA:

 

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:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

My brother Tim in Florida has inoperable brain cancer, so Gina and I used our stimulus checks to fly to the USA for 28 days. Tim is hanging in there. Please pray for him.

 

We also visited my son Isaac in AZ. He’s a huge source of joy for me.

 

While in AZ, we were busy testifying before people on many occasions about what God is doing through DCO. Everyone was so welcoming and kind.

 

THIS GIRL sat by my side for 25 hours (including layovers) from Davao City to Phoenix. Then we were pretty inseparable for a month in AZ and in FL. Then once again side-by-side on the flights crossing the Pacific. Now we’re stuck in a Manila hotel room for a week, quarantined, waiting to get back home to Davao City.
But we never get tired of each other. We never run out of things to talk about. We never stop being best friends. I’m blessed to have you, Gina. ❤

 

While Gina and I are away, the work in Davao City goes on.
For those who don’t know, 22 people (four families) whom we have gotten to know shared a house which was burned down. The fire also left 1000 other families homeless in an area called Agdao. The fire was tragic, but tragedies can bring out the best in God’s people. Our church is certainly not wealthy, but from their homes they donated several huge sacks full of items to be distributed around the area. (Reminds me of 2 Corinthians 8:1-5!) And later we received a large donation from saints in the USA to rebuild our friends’ house. Daghang salamat sa tanan (many thanks, everyone)!
Sadly, one of the 22 was an elderly lady who was recovering from a stroke when the fire struck. She has since passed away. You’ll see a tarpaulin in the video that was made to commemorate her (a very common practice in the Philippines).
My assistant pastor Oning made a video of our new friends saying ‘Thank you’ to those who gave:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CftyII0_e8M

 

Yogi Berra is mostly known for funny, nonsensical sayings, but I found one that is quite profound.

On the night before we left to go to the USA, some friends threw an impromptu farewell party for Gina and me. Bee forced 😛 everyone to tell a nice memory they had of us. I was really struck by a teen girl who spoke of long ago, when she had not gone to church for some weeks. Through tears she told how she was touched by us messaging her, asking if she was OK, if we could do anything for her. It was such a little thing, but she was moved to tears describing it.
I resolved to do that kind of “little thing” more often.

 

Why am I so happy? Because I get to do what I love often. Preaching and teaching, that is. So in February—28 days—I scheduled myself preaching or teaching 18 times, and in March 17 times. For those who are curious as to how I am able to teach so often, one thing that helps is that we use STS (Simply The Story), which is a powerful Bible teaching method that engages the students much better than lectures. An STS takes me less than two hours to prepare.

STS works best in groups of 15 or less. It’s being used all over the world, especially in oral cultures (where illiteracy is rampant). But it works anywhere.

First, choose a passage that tells a story. From 8 to 12 verses is a good length. Have someone read it. Then challenge everyone to retell the story, bit by bit, with Bibles closed. Then ask a series of 10 to 12 leading questions that require the disciples to dig deep. (Jesus often used questions to teach.) I like to come up with my own questions first, then look at commentaries on the passage to inspire other questions.
I hope some of you teachers will prayerfully consider trying this method! Let me know if you’d like to know more about STS. Here’s a class that’s teaching the STS method:

 

One of Gina’s ministries is to oversee parents as they lead their kids in daily devotions at home. Jhong’s and Prescy’s sons Anzehl and Paul are two of the many kids who are learning to love Jesus. The boys call me “Lolo (Grandpa) John.” ❤ I like being a grandpa. 🙂 (Prescy has called me “Dad” for seven years.)

 

“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” (Malachi 3:16)

While the world is out doing karaoke or parties or shopping, Oning and others spend Friday nights doing online Bible study.

 

I recently taught from Luke 7:1-10, where Jesus healed a man from a distance. I noticed that two of these ladies were missing from church. Mom Lilebeth said daughter Krissa had to stay home to care for her little sister Marian, who had a fever. So we prayed for Marian from a distance… and she was immediately healed! Hallelujah!

 

A prayer meeting in New Valencia, where our newest congregation is.

 

WHY MOST FILIPINAS NEVER WEAR HIGH HEELS
I just thought it would be interesting for my non-Filipino friends to see how much effort it takes for many millions of Filipinos to simply get from home to the main street, where they can access public transportation. This is a very typical neighborhood. Imagine carrying a baby and groceries through these labyrinthine paths during a rainstorm. Yet I never hear anyone complain about their homes or how hard it is to get around.
(Video is less than 2 minutes.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Lctb2kxHZs

 

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:

https://nations.ph/donations/

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 jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!