Dear Family and Friends,
We are very excited to share with you all of the good things that the Lord has been doing here over the past couple of months. We have exhausted ourselves, but God has really blessed the labor! We just finished up our VBS program and it was the most successful we've ever had! We averaged 190 students each day, with a high of over 200! All together there were 280 different children and youth who attended. Of these, 120 were able to graduate. These were the students who attended each day without any absences and also attended Church service on Thursday evening. The children were divided up into 4 different groups and I DID NOT teach! I say that with excitement, not because I don't want to teach, but because I want to see more of the Filipinos doing the teaching! I limited myself to the preparation of a daily puppet skit and overall supervision of the program. Their graduation program was incorporated into the Sunday activities (which went from 8AM - 4PM) in which we took the opportunity to show a Gospel video in the afternoon. Throughout the VBS the students daily collected an offering for a missionary who was with us on Sunday. This family is preparing to go to the field in Thailand. The students were excited to be able to meet the missionary for whom they had raised support. We were also blessed to see a good number of parents attend this day that would not normally attend. This Sunday was really terrific as we had nearly 300 in attendance. The result has been some new open doors for Bible studies with some of these parents, please pray that these follow-ups will result in the salvation of many of the parents! On this Sunday we also saw three more baptisms, including two 10 year olds who have been attending Church for a long time now and have now truly received the Lord. This was especially exciting because these two young people have already become a great example to others that they too can receive the Lord and be saved and follow Him! Please pray for much more fruit to spring up as a result of this ministry!
Please continue praying for other visitors who are attending regularly, but have not yet been baptized. Pray for these people to truly surrender themselves to the Lord. Elisabeth, whom I mentioned before, has not yet been able to return to Church, but wants to; please pray for her husband to surrender as he is the hindrance.
Please pray also for many more to surrender to the ministry! One young lady who was recently baptized has expressed the desire to do full time ministry for the Lord also, pray that she would become a Pastor's wife when she grows older. We are also praying for the day when we will be able to send out missionaries to other neighboring nations here in Asia, please join us in striving for such a great goal for the Lord!
We also recently started working on the fence in front of the Church building. The men recently had a couple of days off from their jobs and so they decided to spend this time on the fence project. It was a great project for the men to spend some time on and they had a great time as about 10 of them were able to come out and help in different ways. The people here have now saved up a good amount of money for the building project and are ready to finish up the fence as well as the front door and all the windows. The people have been busy sacrificially giving and are proud to be able to do this work without having to ask for foreign help! That has really been one of the great successes in the ministry here. As I've seen other mission works in other places I find that almost everything seems to be riding on foreign financial support, which means that if some problem was to arise the entire ministry might end. However, the Filipinos here have been taught to do their own work through their own sacrifice and the result is a ministry that doesn't need a single dollar to survive, praise God!
Please continue praying always for the mission work in Neuva Ecija. The attendance there remains steady and we're looking to spend more time in this area. We're also feeling the Lord's leading to begin another mission outreach, though we are not yet sure where exactly. We are in the process of praying about this currently and ask for your prayers as well regarding this. Thanks to each of you for your faithful prayer and financial sacrifices towards the ministry here in the Philippines! May God bless you in many ways!
Yours in Christ,
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Sapagka't sa ganang akin ang mabuhay ay si Cristo, at ang mamatay ay pakinabang. (Mga Taga Filipos 1:21)