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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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, email@example.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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!