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Ministry in Talisay. Oning is doing a great job leading it every week. I am honored to teach there once a month.
It really seems like our church is transitioning to focusing on various smaller neighborhood groups rather than only the big weekly gathering. Of course I’ve been asking the Lord about this for many months, but now it seems to really be happening.

 

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Ministry in New Valencia. We are still new there, since our plans for NV were put on hold months ago due to the pandemic. The people eagerly hang on every word we teach.
The community still has no electricity, no running water, and mostly nonexistent cell phone service.
The men all work during the day. We’re trying to figure out the best time to meet there when the men are available.
I’ll tell you at the end of this update about another new harvest field for us!

 

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Gina hosted her Bible study group for the first time face-to-face in July (they had been communicating online). Most are new or somewhat new converts, so she taught the ladies how to meet with the Lord every morning through the Word and prayer. They had lunch together, too. Then Gina gave them devotional notebooks to take home…plus plenty of malunggay (AKA moringa), since our malunggay trees are so big and healthy. (I eat malunggay every day.)

 

duck

This guy was guarding the restroom at our church building.
I asked him if he knew of any ducks in the Bible.
He said, “No, but there should be at least one. Goliath should have ducked.”

Because of where he is, I’m glad he’s not a Peking duck.

 

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For about six weeks there were eight of us living in our house. Eight is enough, right? But the two youngest missed their mommies and went back home a week ago. Now I hear that they’re bored at home and want to come back. 🙂

 

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We’ve been seeing 20 or more (not counting kids) every week in Catalunan Pequeño. It’s very hot under that low tarp, but the people don’t mind. We had a problem with the roosters crowing during our meetings, so I bought a small PA/speaker to keep there.
The big papers hanging down in the front are song lyrics.

 

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Street preaching for the first time in months! Ebi has the ‘bullhorn,’ while Bee has the better-quality mini-PA for translating, since she’s the one speaking in their ‘heart language.’
Tom and I were also there, so we represented India, the Philippines, Australia, and the USA.

 

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Years ago, Marites felt far from God. When our friend Prescy started ministering to her, she began joining Bible studies. Marites fell in love with Jesus and began doing ministry. For years she has been Prescy’s assistant leader for the women’s group in Pequeño.  Because of her prayers and faithfulness in the Lord, her husband Jerry has been attending the Sunday services lately.

Recently an impoverished pregnant mom asked Marites if she would take her baby when she gave birth (and also pay the expenses from pregnancy to delivery). Marites’ coworker had persuaded the mom not to abort* the baby girl, and he introduced the birth mom to the adopting mom.
Of course Jerry and Marites love little Jemari dearly. 🙂
Informal adoption is common in the Philippines; my wife Gina has a younger sister via informal adoption.
*abortion is illegal here, but many abortions happen anyway

 

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I had a two-week missions mobilizing class with these good people a few weeks ago.
I’ve been studying that topic for years, but I still want to learn more. Especially because…

 

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Bangladesh is the most densely-populated large country on Earth. Only 3/10 of 1% of its 164 million people are Christians. 

We have a young lady in our church who believes God wants to send her as a long-term missionary to a SE Asian country within the next several months. She plans on going with another young lady whom she befriended on a short-term mission to Myanmar.
Which country? They believe it will be either Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, or Cambodia.
Our friend is asking to be anonymous for now—she’s very humble—but when everything becomes clearer, we’ll introduce you to her and her companion. Please pray, and then pray, and then pray more for guidance and provision.
This is the number one reason why Gina and I are here! For more about that, please click on “WHAT IS DCO?” at the top of the page. 

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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

Tagabawa Bagobo 3

For as long as we are able, Davao City Outreach will be sending monthly support to seven friends (some single, some in families) who are doing full-time mission work to Muslim tribes that have few Christians. Some are working in a 100% Muslim tribe where there is not one known Christian tribal member. Muslim extremists are very active in that place. There have been many murders and kidnappings, and even battles with Philippine military forces. Please pray for the safety and fruitfulness of our friends.

We are also financially supporting two Filipino missionaries to Buddhist tribes in Myanmar and Cambodia!

If I know you, and you would like to know more about any of these missionaries, please write to me at jgapinoy@gmail.com. Sorry, but if I don’t know you, I can’t tell you anything more.

I would be thrilled if some of you would support some of them directly!

One day we will send out our own laborers into the harvest fields, but at least until then, God willing, we will help missionaries from other churches on a monthly basis.

 

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Viruses can’t stop the work of God!
Congratulations to Rodel, Yoligie, and Rizza, who were baptized last Saturday. Welcome into God’s family!
These were all touched by our weekly food distribution. They wanted to know more about our generous God.
Thanks to our supporters, we have been helping as many as 90 families each week with groceries. Most of our friends have been unemployed for months. They were already poor before the pandemic, and now they’re much more in need.

It’s such a source of joy to receive a tsunami of gratitude every week from these friends. We want our sponsors to share that joy as well, so I’ll share these photos.

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In the last photo, from a few weeks ago, they’re holding P500 bills (about $10). We tried to do a little more than usual to help many of our friends.

A few of our friends are going back to work, so some families said they don’t need the weekly groceries anymore. I hope we’ll hear from more soon about that. Unemployment is still extremely high here (we’re much more locked down than the USA is), so the ones who still need help are as grateful as ever.

 

Cathy, whom we baptized in 2015, will do a four-month internship in Calinan. This is an important part of her training for future ministry, plus she will be a huge blessing to those orphans.

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We recently lost Marc from our home when his job re-started and he moved back to the other side of the city. My philosophy is “I want my house to be full” (Luke 14:23). So Gina and I prayed about who to invite to live with us. Jessie and Lilebeth graciously allowed us to steal their daughter Kristine from them. She’s a 12-year-old sweetheart who is already very experienced in children’s ministry.
Now we’re back to having six in our four-bedroom house. The more, the merrier!
But will Kristine survive sharing a room with Bee?

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In our home, we take turns teaching before our daily group Bible reading and prayer. Since we do this during early mornings, sometimes we do a quick ‘ice breaker’ first to wake everyone up. Since we were going to study Esther one day, we kinda-sorta had a beauty queen getting glamour treatments. 😂 But Kristine put on Gracy’s make-up from behind, with no mirror. I think King Xerxes would still choose you, Gracy!

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Congratulations to Daise, Mary Claire, and April! They graduated from GoTeam recently (in an online ceremony). GoTeam is a program for Christian teens to educate, inspire, and prepare them for missions. The girls participated weekly for the entire nine months. God bless Bee and the other GoTeam leaders for mentoring the girls.
BTW, Daise got to share her testimony to the few dozen of us watching the proceedings.

daise ug mga manghoodz

 

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A week ago, I was looking in the refrigerator for a snack. I saw some yummy siomai on a plate, so I put four pieces in the microwave and then ate them. They tasted different, but OK. Then Cathy said, “Kuya (older brother)! They were not cooked!” I ate raw chicken. So I got food poisoning, including the worst diarrhea of my life, loss of appetite, fever, weakness, nausea, and headaches. It lasted for five days! Lesson learned: Ask if it’s cooked! 

 

They’re serious about curfews here. A good friend of mine went out 10 minutes early. He was hauled to jail, where he spent the next 11 hours. He also faces a fine and community service. 🙁 Others in our city were forced to swim in a filthy drainage ditch for allegedly violating restrictions. Pray that I don’t get into trouble like that!

 

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The muffler on my assistant pastor Oning’s van had become disconnected to the exhaust pipe. No repair shops were open then.

Maybe you’ve heard an auto-repair quip such as “It was held together with duct tape and bailing wire.” Well, it halfway came true.

Oning cut up a big tin can. He wrapped the “sheet metal” around the disconnected parts, and he used wire to hold it all in place.

A month later, it’s still holding!

Then…

Someone donated money for Oning to get a newer van!

Since Oning was having mechanical problems with his Starex, we were asking God for another vehicle. When we received the gift, we hoped to sell the old one, then combine that money with what was donated to buy something much newer. But no one seems to be buying vehicles now, with the economy shot down by the Chinavirus. So we simply bought another used Starex. Now, when one is being repaired, he will still have the other one to drive. What a blessing!

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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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

 

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Davao City was already on a tighter lockdown than anywhere in the USA, and a couple of weeks ago it become even more strict. Only two designated persons are allowed to leave the house for the coming weeks–or months–and only one person at a time. So, among the six who live in our home, four of us can’t leave home until the crisis is over (except for a medical emergency). And even the two persons listed on our ‘pass’ can only go out during certain hours, and only for absolute necessities such as for food or medicine.
Among the few professions allowed to continue is food delivery service, because they would rather people not go to grocery stores. Of course, going to grocery stores is not banned, because most can’t afford delivery services. If only there was a free food delivery service…with free food…
Thanks to Davao City Outreach’s donors, we have been distributing free groceries to about 90 households for once a week for four weeks. This is desperately needed because almost all our friends are unemployed, and there are very few social programs in the Philippines. I have read that the unemployment rate is now 20% in the USA. I believe it’s about 80% in Davao City.
(EDIT: One month later, we are still doing this every week, thanks to our donors.)
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We’ll try to continue these distributions every week throughout the crisis, but that will require spending that is not in our normal budget.
We know that some of our generous donors are struggling, too, and some may not be able to continue donating.
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We also drop off printed Bible studies to each family every week.

 

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While Gina and I were in the USA (in January), I bought a bunch of books at a second-hand store. I want to see the kids here get better and better at English (plus other subjects). Knowing English can lead to a better job, and it could open doors for our future missionaries.
In the boxes that the books were shipped in, we also were blessed with donated t-shirts, costume jewelry, shampoo, toys, and toothpaste. We thank God for those who helped us by buying these goods, as well as those who paid to ship the boxes here!

Now that kids are stuck at home all day every day, I’m sure they will have all of their books memorized by the end of the crisis.

If you’re interested in sending a box, I think they are about 36 X 36 X 28 inches, and there’s no weight limit. It’s about $110 to send. It’s from your house to ours; you wouldn’t have to lift the box after you fill it. Please ask us for the details.

 

Every Thursday or so, I preach a sermon to my cell phone camera, then load it onto YouTube. Then my assistant pastor Oning studies the video. Then he preaches it in Visayan live on FB on Sunday.

The church really participates with our online services. They even join us in communion. Every household is ready with flat bread and cups at their homes each week.

It’s a struggle for some to get internet, so we provide for each of their cell phones a “load” to go online. (About $1 per person.) The loads are also enough for them to send photos.

If you’re interested in seeing me preach–sorry, no fancy recording equipment or lighting–here’s the latest:

 

rim

I went on a part of a road that doesn’t get driven on much. There was some tall grass in the road. And there was a surprise in the grass: a big rock.
We’re using the spare tire and rim now, because every tire repair place is closed.

 

Before the enhanced lockdown:

 

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Our Gem Village friends were forced to move about one hour’s drive away, to a place with no electricity and no running water. * And they have to build their own homes (the government gave them money for that). So, we’re doing what we can to help them.

* They will eventually get electricity and running water. It may be six months or a year or more, though.

 

Before the virus crisis:

 

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Bee joined a team that flew to Myanmar for a 15-day mission to train city folks for rural ministry. She learned just as much as she taught, which was my prayer. Now she is even more equipped for future ministry.

 

daise mom

Minda needed type A+ blood. I’m type A+, so I went to the hospital complex to donate for her. But they said since I donated to someone else in January, I couldn’t donate again so soon. Anyway, while we were there, we got to visit her (with hubby and son). Minda needed surgery on her arm because of diabetes complications–to recover from mistakes the hospital had made.

Thanks to two Davao City Outreach donors who read about the need on Facebook, we were able to give them $200 for their hospital bills. They were so grateful. Minda was crying for joy.

BTW, they found another blood donor for Minda.

 

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Dozens of men were squeezed in this jail cell, plus seven women in a smaller cell next to the men’s. They were very hungry for the hope in Christ that we preached during our visit. Plus, we led them in worship, and we gave everyone a meal and a drink.
(We don’t want to show their faces, per the jailer’s instructions.)

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Oning, my talented assistant pastor, knows how to illustrate the Gospel in ways that kids can understand. For example, he’s great at sleight-of-hand AKA magic (though it’s not really magic).

 

My Gina leads worship, she’s the chief cook, she excels in hospitality, and she oversees kids’ ministry. And she also occasionally teaches–here’s a women’s Bible study group.

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Our friend Amy Kay visited again from Alabama. She worked side-by-side with us in our ministries (such as prison, orphanage visit, home visitation), and she generously gave, too. Amy had this to say about Gina:

This woman!!!!! She is kind and strong. She is compassionate and passionate. She is beauty and grace. She loves God and people with all that she has. Every year our bond grows stronger. Thank you, Gina Edrozo Allcott, for being the example of a godly woman to so many here in the Philippines but to me also. I’m so thankful to call you my friend and my sister. I love you.

 

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Friends, I’m so grateful for your prayers. I was in a tough season for a while, but through your prayers the Lord sustained me.
My mother was near death for weeks. I tried to call her every day, but only I could talk; she was not strong enough to talk to me. She passed away on 2/28, her 81st birthday.
I had a painful condition in my jaw for some weeks. Dental therapy cost about $350. It’m much better now, but I’m still wearing a corrective mouthpiece.
Another doctor says I must protect my face, ears, forearms, and calves from the sun from now on because of possible skin cancer issues. My brother died from skin cancer, and I have had pre-cancerous lesions removed.
Plus other painful and ongoing issues that are too personal to describe here.

I was so touched and blessed by the kind messages so many sent after I asked for prayer on Facebook. Prayers, helpful suggestions, encouragement … This is the Body of Christ.

I just need to say something here about the very well-intended suggestions about returning to the USA. It’s true, some of the things I asked for prayer about (especially the unspoken ones) would become better or possibly even fixed if Gina and I moved back there. But I wasn’t necessarily asking for prayer to fix everything. I was asking for prayer for God’s grace to sustain us. We need God to help us to really, really believe–and live by–this verse:

“But my life means nothing to me. My only goal is to finish the race. I want to complete the work the Lord Jesus has given me. He wants me to tell others about the good news of God’s grace.” (Acts 20:24)

Again, thank you all very much. I’m very encouraged.

 

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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

 

2020 Vision: These are the new things that we are asking God for this year:

1) We want more Bible study groups, to meet in every area where we have church members.

2) We want our Bible study groups to look a bit more like church services. This will mean more responsibilities to be delegated, which will help more people to grow in character and especially in ministry skills.

3) We want to move out of the restaurant we are currently meeting in, which would save us $200 a month. We would eventually meet in our home instead. It would be a bit cramped, but eventually…

4) Within a few months we think we will have two Sunday church services in our house, one in English and one in Visayan. That would enable us to serve our members in the language they prefer, plus it would give us more space.

5) We want to send another short-term mission team to Luna, Apayao, Luzon (Gina’s hometown). We did that before about 18 months ago.

6) Lord, we want 2020 to be the year that CCC Davao sends out at least one full-time worker into the Lord’s harvest!!! We have done a lot for over the past six and a half years to help other churches to send out laborers. Lord, please, we want it to be our turn!
We have members who are potential goers, and we are asking for the Lord’s provision and direction.

 

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We thank God for the strong young men who help us pack up and load equipment before and after church every Sunday. It’s a lot of work, sometimes stuff gets broken, and occasionally small stuff gets left behind or forgotten. Again, we’re asking God for guidance about having services in our home, rather than moving everything every week to our rented facility.

 

sandra liezel

We recently had to visit several friends in Gem Village. First, we wanted to pray for little Marian, who was recently treated for chicken pox as well as a huge boil on the back of her head. We helped her mom (Lilebeth) with medical bills. We also wanted to talk to our other friends in the neighborhood because all the homes there will eventually be demolished. The landowner wants to develop the property. The government wants to move most of them far away. We’re trying to help our friends during the transitions to their new homes. Sandra (pictured, with daughter Liezel) is our Gem V. liaison. We have known and loved her since we baptized her in 2013.

 

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Lilebeth and BonBon dedicated their kids Marian and Einstein to the Lord recently. They also shared their stories of how Jesus changed their lives, and they asked the church to pray for them and help them raise these cute little ones.
Marian was the one I mentioned having a huge boil on the back of her head. She’s doing well now. God is good.
Ronilo Oning, my amazing assistant pastor, helped us pray.

 

blood

In the Philippines, if you need surgery that involves a loss of blood, most people have to recruit someone of their blood type to donate blood before they can get the surgery. That’s because few people donate blood unless it’s for a specific person.
A woman who happens to be my Facebook friend (but I don’t know her at all–I still have never seen her) needed surgery. Her husband got on her FB and started messaging people, asking for A+ blood. That’s my type, so I replied, and I was recruited. So, I spent about 4 hours at SPMC (the public hospital) for a 10 minute blood draw. There were a lot of other people donating in a very small facility with few staff members.
I ended up in the higher bed that’s under the yellow sign that says “Risk For Fall.” 🙂 I didn’t fall.

 

batangas

DCO gave these four GoTeam friends a donation for their mission trip “with no strings attached,” but out of gratitude they insisted on doing some chores for us. Bee, April, Daise, and Mary Claire will go to Batangas, Philippines in May, and they need to raise their own air fare. (Bee was raising money for a mission trip to Myanmar as well! But she reached that goal!) We are blessed by these mission-minded disciples! If you would like to give for that mission, please click the Donation link above, and let me know your gift is for them.

 

The first death outside China from nCoV was in the Philippines. We continue to be harassed by earthquakes. Manila was recently polluted by ash from a volcano (which delayed our flight from the USA by over eight hours). The Philippines is full of rumors, fake news, and fear. But we at DCO are not afraid. God is still on the throne. We believe our Lord has a special purpose for Filipinos in reaching unreached cultures with the Gospel (see here), so it may be that God is using nature to get everyone’s attention. We are continuing to do what we have been doing, and we’re putting the future in God’s hands.

 

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Preaching outside a mall on a Saturday morning. Folks line up for at least 15 minutes, awaiting the mall opening at 10 am–captive audience. Bee did a great job translating. God is good! We’ve been going almost every Saturday.

 

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“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 1 John 1:4
While Gina and I were on the other side of the world, our dear friends remained faithful. Here’s the monthly prayer meeting.

 

gina n me

From when we were in the USA. I never dress like this in the Philippines. If there’s a fancy occasion, I wear Filipino formal wear.
My jacket, tie, shirt, and shoes were from 2nd-hand stores. The pants? Dickies work pants from Walmart. Hey, it worked, right? 🙂
I only buy clothes while in the USA. Stores in the Philippines don’t have my size (except for the expensive stores that cater to foreigners). We hadn’t been in the USA for over two years, so I had to stock up, on shirts especially.

 

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My favorite thing about being back in Arizona was hanging out with my son Isaac. He loves shooting, BTW.

 

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Mom is not doing well. Because of her dementia, it’s difficult to communicate. Worse, she’s not eating enough. Her body is shutting down. But at least Gina and I were able to give her some smiles and some laughs while we were there.

 

Also while in the USA, Gina and I were overwhelmed by the number of folks who blessed us with a place to stay, a vehicle to borrow, and/or meals. We received some generous donations for the mission as well. And we had wonderful opportunities to share our vision at various meetings. We were so refreshed by all of your kindness!
When you help a mission, you are a part of that mission. Matthew 10:41-42

 

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My phone was broken for months. It couldn’t send or receive calls, and it couldn’t take photos. But at least it could send and receive texts.
Then God blessed us with airfare to the USA to see my ailing mom. And then God blessed us with some cash to buy a phone in the USA (where electronics are much cheaper).
Then the Lord showed us a family in which both parents have physical problems. No one in the family had a phone at all. So they were very happy and grateful to receive the phone that I had considered too broken.
People tend to throw things away when they’re not functioning right. But we have a God who takes broken lives and makes them useful in his Kingdom. He looks not for the most able but for the most available…and he makes us able.

 

bro

Davao City Outreach’s list of needs:
1)  Replacement for my assistant pastor Oning’s old van, which seems to be in constant need of repair.
That’s all. 🙂
Thank you for prayerfully considering us!

 

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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

 

 

la di an

It was an honor to preach the gospel at the Obu-Manobo tribe’s women’s civic association in Ladian last month. It was totally unplanned. Our group was passing by, and a friend of a friend got us the opportunity. God is good!
The Obu-Manobo people are largely animist.

 

btm 031

In October, we hosted an all-day seminar about ministry to Muslim tribes on our island. Gina fed everyone lunch and dinner, just as she always does. Four churches are represented here. We hosted another training 10 days later, and we just had a two-day seminar in our home this past week. Remember, DCO’s biggest focus is preparing Filipino laborers for the Lord’s harvest. After 2000 years, the harvest is still plentiful, and the laborers are still few.

Of course everything we host is free. Your donations help us so much!

 

80

My assistant Oning and I are honored to preach the gospel twice per month to these 80+ men as part of their rehabilitation from drug violations. After the message, we all get into small groups to discuss the message. Some of the groups here were led by Oning, Tom, Donna, Prescy, and me.

 

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Three out of the four strongest quakes in the world during October were within 44 miles of us. We had dozens quakes or aftershocks of 5.0 or higher in October. Experts are saying a much worse quake may happen soon.

 

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…So seven of us volunteered at a disaster relief center, unloading trucks and stacking supplies in the warehouse.
Due to a request from our contact in Mlang–one of the places where an earthquake hit hard–we will delay our relief work there until 11/19. Today we prepared and packed a load of goods to be distributed then.

 

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I was asked to teach the youth at GoTeam recently. GT is an organization that works with churches around the Philippines to light a fire in the youth for missions.

 

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We needed an organizer for folks to grab fliers at our meetings. So I went to a fancy office supply store and bought this expensive display rack. 🙂 Seriously, it’s a recycled Honey Bunches of Oats box.

 

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I had several symptoms that I thought might have been indicating skin cancer on my legs, arms, and face.
My brother Larry died from skin cancer, plus I had some pre-cancerous lesions removed from my face 12 years ago, so Gina and I were concerned.
So I saw a dermatologist about a month ago. She sold me this soap and this lotion…for about $105! That’s over 10% of what Gina and I live on per month.
(Almost all drugs, medications, supplements, and toiletries are much more expensive here.)
Thankfully most of the itching, spots, bumps, lesions, bleeding, and peeling subsided after two weeks of using this stuff. This proved that those spots weren’t cancerous. But there are a couple of places on my face where the bumps and spots didn’t shrink, so I have to keep using the stuff and then report back to the doctor as soon as we can afford it (she said to come back after a month). If they still look the same, I’ll get a biopsy. But she’s confident that there’s nothing to worry about.

 

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
(Jesus, quoted in Luke 12:53)

If you’ve seen my reports of us preaching the gospel in public, you might assume that there is no persecution of Christians in our city. But that’s not true. The persecution here is almost entirely within families. We have had church members physically assaulted, mercilessly taunted, and/or shunned by family members who demand that these saints return to the dead religion they were brought up in.
Lately some dear friends of ours have been harassed by family members in the Quiboloy cult. Even a super-sweet 12 year old girl has been subjected to many verbal attacks from children of the cult members. What makes this kind of persecution worse is that many times, the family members doing the persecuting are next-door neighbors, or even within a household.

Please pray for the family now being harassed by Quiboloy members. If you’d like to pray for them by name, please email me at jgapinoy@gmail.com

Persecution here can also be job-related. We once had a bunch of people quit our church because their employer told them to (though some stayed with us).

 

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God bless Tom and Donna’s weekly ministry to very poor people who live under a highway overpass.

Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
— Jesus, quoted in Matthew 25:40

 

 

Gina and I would love to talk with your fellowship group, Bible study, or church via Skype. 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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

moms

We had an evangelistic parenting seminar at a secular school with about 90 in attendance, counting kids. The vast majority of people there were unchurched as far as we could tell, but they were really touched by the ministry. At the end, when everyone was asked if they learned something that really helped them, six ladies went forward to testify. Remember, most were not churchgoers! In fact, one of the six was a Muslim!

 

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One of the ladies blessed by the seminar was Lilebeth. When we baptized her, she couldn’t stop crying for joy. She’s bringing visitors to church, she has been faithful to services and prayer meetings, she has demonstrated generosity to the saints, she posts about the Lord on Facebook, and she invited me to preach the Gospel to a party she hosted recently. Not only that, when her work began to interfere with her being in church, she quit her job! Lilebeth used to be a member of one of the most popular cults here. Now she renounces that blasphemous group, and she witnesses to her neighbors who are still in it. Jesus is a great Savior!

 

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This is not my best look, but the kids’ cuteness makes up for that. Since I’m 6′ 4″ and white, a lot of small Filipino kids are very attracted to me…but some toddlers are scared of me. However, I am able to eventually win the trust and friendship of some of those. 🙂

 

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Our weekly Talisay Bible study. I want to put up a tarpaulin here to shield folks from sun, rain, and falling coconuts. Then I’d like to level the ground and cover it with gravel, which would be better than mud. Then I want to build a couple of long benches. The neighborhood would be free to use all of that, except of course on Wednesday mornings, when we meet there.

 

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Here are Gemma and Sinda obeying the Lord in baptism.
God has blessed us with 22 first-time baptisms so far this year!
Gina has been praying for women in her age group to be saved. (She’ll be 51 on 9/8.) Now we have two more.
God bless Oning and his disciples for their fruitful labors in the Talisay neighborhood, where Sinda and Gemma live.

 

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I was able to preach twice in Ladian (about 2 hours away) a few weeks ago. In the photo, Bee is introducing me. She has been planting seeds there for years. We were there to drop off Gracy in Ladian for a two month short-term mission there. And we did a clothing distribution as well.
I was blessed to spend the entire time driving to Ladian and back with Matt next to me. He’s one of the saints whom we have baptized this year. He reminds me so much of myself when I was first saved–10,000 questions!
On the way back, we stopped at our Bacalso church plant for a birthday party. I was blessed to share the Word there also.

 

For those interested in Gracy’s two-month mission in Ladian, she’s doing well. It’s not easy–she’s having culture shock. She’s surprised how different life is in that area. There are other struggles. For example, men often get loudly drunk downstairs while she’s trying to sleep upstairs. But she is encouraged in the Lord. Please pray for her.
Actually, I believe all of her struggles are blessings, as I told her. They are all preparing her for future missionary work. She said ‘amen.’

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This is Gracy’s bed while in Ladian. She shares the room with some non-Christian young ladies.

 

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Mid-term exams! Every student’s favorite part of the school year. 🙂 Especially in my class, because I think all of my students agree that Apologetics is their toughest subject this semester! But I have high hopes for all of them to learn as well as use the material.
This is a very missions-oriented seminary. I believe training future missionaries is our most important work.

 

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We had 116 in church recently, our most ever in this building.
Yes, my assistant pastor Oning–and all the rest of us–are so thankful for our generous donors!

 

Without question, the absolute hardest thing about being a missionary is being away from my son (in AZ) and my mom (in OR).
I call Mom often. She has been very slowly slipping into dementia for many years, but it has accelerated in the last few months. About one-fifth of what she says now doesn’t make sense.
Mom would love to go to church, but no one will take her. I’m tormented by that: “If you were there, she could be learning about God and making friends.” And “By the time you see her, she may not recognize you.”
My 24 year old son no longer wants to go to church or walk with the Lord. That’s another weight on my shoulders: “If you were there, you could be mentoring him and pointing him toward the Kingdom.”
There are many logical reasons I could cite why I am doing much more good for more people by being here, plus I know it’s God’s will for me to be here, but sometimes those facts don’t comfort me much.
Please pray for them and for me.

 

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Taking a break after evangelism in a park. Some of the ladies are new converts who had never done this before, yet they did a great job!
Sadly, on the way out, we saw a huge fire at the police station/jail next to the park.

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Davao City Outreach has long been partnering with two missions-oriented seminaries and a missions-oriented para-church organization here. Our passion is to prepare Filipino missionaries for the Lord’s harvest.
Now we have one more partner: Go Team, an intensive, missions-oriented discipleship ministry that focuses on preparing young people to serve in the unreached tribes/cultures on our island.

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Here, Gina and I, plus our friends Tom and Donna, talk with Go Team’s Gretchen and Melay about training.
Our new friends at Go Team said they were amazed at how enthusiastic we are about reaching unreached groups with the gospel. Sadly, they said they were surprised because as they try to find partners, they rarely see church leaders interested in those kinds of missions.

 

Gina and I would love to talk with your fellowship group, Bible study, or church via Skype. 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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

 

 

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Our disciples have been working in a ‘harvest field’ near Bacalso. They invited me to speak to these mostly-un-churched folks for 40 minutes recently. Everyone listened intently. Please pray for them to enter the Kingdom by grace through faith.

The man in the back owns the home. That’s his ‘sari-sari’ store behind him, where he sells everything from cell phone loads to little packets of shampoo.

 

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Wednesday night prayer meeting. If you are a supporter of Davao City Outreach, we pray for you!

 

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At our house, learning the C.H.E. method of blessing needy neighborhoods and/or tribes with the Gospel and with material needs. There are six churches represented here. 

 

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We are really excited about our evangelistic Bible studies. This one led by Oning has grown from about six people a few months ago. Groups led by other disciples have won souls as well as brought a lot of seekers to the doorstep of the Kingdom. Please pray that all of these seekers would take the next step:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

 

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Prescy testifies of God’s healing power at our PM Buhangin location. She really didn’t want to attend the morning service in Bacalso (our church plant), because she had a painful UTI for several days straight, and pain off and on for weeks before that. But she felt God stirring her to go that morning, and she obeyed. We brought her up to the front for prayer, and she was immediately healed! I said, “Try to do something to make it hurt. Either you’re healed or you’re not.” Moving and jumping around, she could not make it hurt! More than a month later, still no symptoms! God is on the throne! James 5:13-15!

 

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By the grace of God, we have had 14 first-time baptisms this year! Plus baptisms of some who said they wanted to rededicate their lives to the Lord after backsliding. Plundering Hell and populating Heaven!

 

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An outreach to Marilog, about 3 hours away, at a public high school that we have ministered at several times. Our friends Tom and Donna bought a lot of cleaning materials and paint for the school, and we also brought lunch. Bee emceed, Meljun shared his testimony, I preached, we worshiped together, and then we had plenty of small group time to connect with them more personally. 

 

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We also had a big outreach to a poor neighborhood that involved preaching, basketball, testimonies, games, singing, skits, food, and kids’ face-painting. 

 

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Our first-ever youth camp was a great success! It was mostly preaching, teaching, discipleship, and small-group time, with not really a lot of fun…but the teens loved it!

 

Our One-Day Samal Island Adventure

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The last time I had slept somewhere besides my own bed was in 2017. We love our three house-mates, and we love our job, but… It was about time I took my Gina on a one-day vacation to Samal (a nearby island). Transportation, hotel, food–everything–only cost about $115! (We used my pension money, of course.) It was sooooo nice to have 24 hours with just us two hanging out together. Exotic animals, idyllic scenery, no noise except fascinating bird calls, delicious food…super nice.

 

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I just began another semester teaching at Fire School of Ministry. We are involved with two seminaries as well as other missions-training ministries here in Davao City, doing everything we can to prepare laborers for the Lord’s harvest. I believe training future missionaries is our most important work here. 

 

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I got to perform my third wedding! Congratulations to Jinnefer and JR!

 

Gina and I would love to talk with your fellowship group, Bible study, or church via Skype. 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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

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The Bacalso/Pequeño baby church…minus the kids…plus Tom and Donna, who arrived from Australia recently. Please pray for God’s guidance as they seek his will. They want to serve the Lord here in Davao City.

 

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Oning faithfully teaches in this neighborhood every week.
The group has doubled in size recently.
(Tom is really concentrating on the Visayan lyrics. 🙂 )

 

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Prescy is a working wife and mom of two little boys, plus a she’s a student, but she finds time to facilitate not one but two weekly Bible study groups in the Pequeño area. Her disciples Jemilyn and Tes help her a lot. What a blessing!

 

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Our weekly prayer meeting. BTW, we have young kids who would rather stay inside and pray than go outside and play!

 

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Two thirteen year olds baptized since our last report.
C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s to Ana Lisa and Lance for their new life in Christ!

 

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Our very own water heater, bought by our friend Jim, just arrived in a big box sent by our friend Amy that was full of items for the poor.
No more cold showers! We get to keep the water heater when we move from place to place. Gina and I feel so spoiled. Thanks so much Amy and Jim!

 

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I recently preached about how much I love Eliezer, Abraham’s servant. The more I think about it, the more I realize that my assistant pastor and dear friend Oning is just like Eliezer: humble, honest, faithful, wise, led by the Holy Spirit.
And, in a way, he lost an inheritance of sorts when I came along (it’s a long story), just as Eliezer did when Isaac was born, yet he has no hint of regret or bad feelings. Oning always wants what’s best for me, just as Eliezer always wanted what was best for Abraham and Isaac. God bless you, Oning!
(Pictured: Oning teaching Sunday School.)

 

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Nene, Oning’s wife, is a mother of two and a big sister to many. She disciples teen girls on spiritual matters, and she teaches them about practical things that girls should know. Nene also runs the ministry every Saturday in the Santo Rosario Gym. They serve between 30 to 70 children–plus a bunch of parents–with food, songs, skits, and the Word of God.

 

buda

No, they didn’t misspell “Buddha.” 🙂
Buda is a town that’s in between BUkidnon and DAvao City, so they took the first two letters from each name.
Bee helped facilitate an evangelism training there recently.

 

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We at Davao City Outreach are happy to work with other groups in our goal of preparing Filipinos for the Lord’s harvest. My assistant pastor Ronilo Oning Diayon and I have served for hundreds of hours with Kairos, FIRE School, and Calvary Bible Institute (pictured). It’s an honor to have excellent co-laborers here in our city.

 

Gina and I would love to talk with your fellowship group, Bible study, or church via Skype. 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://davaocityoutreach.com/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!

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We’re picking up where we left off six months ago. You may remember that we tried to start a church plant in Pequeño (in the outskirts of the city) a year ago, but we had to leave six months later because we struggled paying the building rent. Still, we have been bringing those dear people here every Sunday (it’s a long drive), and visiting them every Friday, but they needed more than that. So now we’re having church services in Pequeño, albeit in a smaller venue—the living room of one of our friends. Our first service went really well. We already need more space. May the Lord provide.

 

My latest video: A couple of minutes of fun, then a surprise ending.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9VIIacgOLg

BTW, our new house is 4BR, 4 restrooms, a big living room, and lots of storage space. P30K ($575) per month. So far we have three friends living with Gina and me. We’ll try to get a couple more in here later. Living together helps facilitate discipleship.

 

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There’s nothing like a ladies’ prayer meeting to ‘break in’ a new home!

 

gracy

Gracy is one of the young people we’re supporting in seminary as she prepares to become a missionary. She describes how our Lord has changed her life:

I was raised in a Catholic family but on my mom’s side their belief is Spiritism. Both parents are rice farmers. I experienced a lot of physical and verbal abuse. It’s so hard to believe what is the truth in my life. I know my parents love us. But seeing my scars and remembering the pains, I just felt like I need to prove myself worthy of acceptance but I’ve always failed to do that. Later on I don’t know what I want to do in my life. I was in bad relationships, though I didn’t experienced sex at all but I became so controlled, these guys have their own girls. But the Lord never gave up on me. He sent my class mate at High School to evangelize me at the park together with my friends, so after that I was so amazed to his testimony and he was so bold about sharing that junk in his life about being a drug dealer and a gangster. That evening on, he keeps on texting me, he invited me to their church. Seeing and experiencing the love of God there, it was reminding me that when I was little, I wanted to serve God. So finally it gives me hope again to live a life with a purpose. I decided to get baptized. Now I’m in Bible school and graduating this year. Through the obedience of the laborers of God, they help this journey of my life and excited to work more for God. It’s not an easy thing to follow Him and take up our own cross but there’s His Grace that always be sufficient to all weaknesses.

(With her permission, I edited and shortened Gracy’s story for this format.)

 

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Driving is more fun in the Philippines!
You never know what you’ll see in the middle of the road!
Yes, I did drive under the ladder.

 

I have felt a lot of earthquakes in the 5 1/2 years since we moved here, but the 7.0 on 12/29 was the biggest!

 

Christmas outreach

We participated in several big Gospel-preaching parties in public high schools and elementary schools throughout our city during the last week of school before Christmas. The tall girl is an Australian professional basketball player who shared her testimony as my assistant pastor Oning translated.

 

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Gina and I love everyone in this Christmas church service photo, but we’re most excited about the six Indian men in the back row. Please pray for them.

 

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Our mobile Christmas outreach choir. At each stop, after we sang, we distributed meals to homeless people downtown, and we shared God’s message–“tidings of great joy”–face-to-face.

 

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Discipleship: We started going to Santo Rosario Gym months ago to bless neighborhood kids with their own little church service and feeding program every Saturday. I believe the best way to bless kids is to win their parents to the Lord. But sometimes we win the parents by blessing their kids. Almost from the start, I wanted this to be my assistant pastor Oning’s “baby.” So I avoided going there, because he would grow more doing it without me. Now, once in a while, Oning doesn’t go, either! The disciples he trained can do the entire ministry without him.

 

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Gina and I have known Jemilyn for more than a year. She is a blessing. Here is her story, translated:

I am a mother of two. I was a typical housewife.

I knew there is a God; I even went to church every Sunday with my family. But after going to church, I still felt a void inside.

I was a quick-tempered mother. I spanked my kids too much.

I was also so afraid of the unknown. When a family member or I would get sick, I would worry a lot and go to the ‘quack doctor.’ *

I didn’t care much about people outside of my immediate family. I didn’t even get along with my in-laws. I would start fights over what I thought people were thinking of me.

Thankfully God used Prescy to share Jesus with me. She encouraged me to actually experience him** and not just depend on a priest to tell me about him. I started reading my Bible. I never did before because some people say Bible reading will make you crazy. Thanks to Prescy, I now know Jesus personally. I have boldly declared my faith in public since I was baptized. Now, the way I treat my kids has changed. I am still a work in progress, but I have learned the power of prayer. I ask God for wisdom. I don’t worry about sickness anymore, and we never go to the quack doctor. I now care for others and want to share Jesus with them. I also pray for those who are sick.

Now I get along with my in laws, and they also have seen the change God is doing in me.

All glory to God!

I am looking forward to more of Him, and I desire to have my own Bible study group to be able to teach others to know and follow Jesus.

*Not a real doctor. Quacks are very common here, using witchcraft and preying on the fears of the people.

** “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).

 

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Feeding our hungry volunteers after a project. We worry that some of our friends don’t get enough to eat. When Gina is too busy to cook, sometimes we have to splurge on McDo (as they call it here) or some other fast food place.  Thankfully, McDonald’s is much cheaper here than in the US.

 

Even after years of living in the Philippines, I still learn new things about the culture occasionally. Recently, through a family’s crisis, I had an especially heart-breaking learning experience.

To me, the emergency was very easy to solve: Their 24 year old daughter was kidnapped by a cult over her P5000 ($95) debt, so the police should be called upon to rescue her.

It turns out that’s not how Filipinos see the situation.

Apparently, if you sign a loan agreement with details allowing it, a lender can hold you against your will. Hospitals do it all of the time here.

Even if there is no such written agreement, the cops would apparently not do anything about it. They would see it as her fault for not paying her debt.

We gave the family the P5000 to release her.

 

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Dolly has three small children. Her husband left her. She does laundry by hand for others to make a living. When she heard about Jen’s home burning down (see last month’s report), Dolly donated two bags of clothes to Jen’s family. God loves it when poor people give as much as they can. When the widow in the temple gave her last two coins, Jesus called his disciples and praised her to them. When Dolly gave those clothes, I’ll bet Jesus called some angels over and told them about her. 

 

Here are the ways you can donate to DCO:

https://davaocityoutreach.com/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! 🙂

 

 

These teens really touched my heart with their devotion to Jesus.

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They decided to use their time off from school for the Lord. So they walked about 3 miles (5KM) to my home to get some church fliers for evangelism, because they didn’t have money for public transportation (jeepneys).

They were going to walk back home, but I insisted that they take some jeepney money.

When they were going to leave, it started raining hard, so I wanted to pay for a taxi (about P180 or $3.40), because riding jeepneys involves waiting outside each time you change. They insisted no, that this was part of their commitment to the Lord. Besides, they said, they had an umbrella. One umbrella for four girls, and they were grateful! But they did allow me to lend them the umbrella I had.

In all these things, I had to ask them questions to get the info, because they didn’t want me to worry about their needs. One more question I asked was “Are you hungry?” They all admitted that they were, so I told them to eat whatever they wanted (they wanted peanut butter sandwiches).

I am quite honored that all of these young ladies call me “Dad.”
I love being a missionary.

 

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I was worried. None of my translators were able to come with me to the weekly Bacalso prayer meeting. Yet my concerns were needless—we all had a great time, and we definitely communicated well enough. They even said they were blessed by my 10 minute message (I teach briefly before the prayer time each week). It’s actually fun when someone doesn’t understand something, and we go back and forth until we get it. We all laughed at those situations. I’m glad that there was no translator, because now I see that their English is getting better, and my Visayan is getting better. I love my Bacalso friends!

 

Gina, Bee, and Catherine went to the northern province of Apayao for 2 1/2 weeks. They visited Gina’s mom there (Gina had not seen her for two years), but they also testified to the grace of God in marketplaces, in schools, in visits to homes, and to the neighboring Aeta tribe, which is majority animist–only 8% professing evangelical.

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Marketplace ministry

 

We sometimes see laborers hitchhiking after their shift. It’s an opportunity for evangelism. Here Cathy and Marc share their faith with some men in the back of our Toyota. 

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Well over 300 teens gathered in a public high school during school hours to hear the Gospel. This is Marilog High School of Agriculture. Marilog is an especially poor area. It’s very rural. Some kids walk one to two hours to get to school.

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The students were blessed by $1500 worth of groceries that were donated by evangelist Phillip Blair from the US as well as his teammates Thurston and Chihwah Kiang from China and James Louis from Australia.

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Phillip, a fearless street preacher, stirred us all the more to do bold soul-winning. We rejoiced as he baptized three people on a Sunday after church.
He was kind enough to post this on Facebook:

If you’re looking for great ground to sow into, my new friend John Allcott is a very genuine, sincere man of God who is doing some very important work of the Lord here in the southern Philippines. Some really great people here. Please pray for their mission and church. Thank you.

Look up Phillip’s YouTube channel Torch of Christ for videos of him publicly preaching in places such as Pakistan, Columbia, UK, and Indonesia.

 

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It was easy to predict that my dear friends would “surprise” me at 6am on my birthday. That has become a tradition in our church. So when I was on our balcony praying during the late afternoon before my birthday, I didn’t have any idea what was about to happen. Gina asked me to come inside at 6pm…but why were the lights off? Suddenly the lights came on, and 26 friends who were crammed into our 17’ X 10’ kitchen/living room area yelled “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” What a joy it is to know that I’m so loved by such wonderful people. They’re all busy, traffic is awful on weekday afternoons, and it was raining, but they wanted to bless me. And I am blessed.

 

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Ten days before my birthday, Gina wanted to fill her birthday with serving others, because that’s her biggest source of joy. So she spent the morning evangelizing, and she spent the afternoon doing kids’ ministry. BTW, we felt a 6.3 earthquake on that day!

 

We have begun serving a very crowded refugee camp in our city. The residents are from various Manobo tribes. They have been driven from their land, and they only want to go home. They have many material needs and a huge spiritual need: According to Joshua Project, only 6% of Manobo claim to follow Jesus. Almost all of the rest are animists.

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Animism is the belief that many unseen spirits interfere in the lives of humans. The spirits are both good and evil in nature and can be evoked to both anger and pleasure. The people are constantly afraid, and forever trying to appease these fickle spirits. All of the Philippine Islands were animist before the Muslims and the Spanish arrived hundreds of years ago.

 

My assistant pastor and best friend Oning teaches premarital classes every Thursday in our barangay hall. (The local government actually allows us to teach biblical principles to marriage license applicants!) He invites me to teach in his place sometimes. I enjoyed interacting with these nine new friends. (Here we are opening the class in prayer.)

buhangin barangay marriage

 

Our longtime friend Jen and her family lost most of their possessions in a fire. Many other homes burned down. Most of the families are taking shelter in a covered basketball court. We brought food and the Word of God to them twice, and hopefully more in the coming days.

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For Jen’s family, we bought groceries, clothes, school uniforms, school supplies, and a lot of wood for building a temporary home. 

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As you can tell by this brief (and very incomplete) report, we’ve got a lot of costly stuff going on. We believe it’s God will for us to be doing everything we’re doing. So we thank God for the generous friends who keep trusting us with their hard-earned money. 

Here are the ways you can donate:

https://davaocityoutreach.com/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! 🙂