My brother Larry has had skin cancer for about ten years. Recently it has gotten worse, & his doctors say he doesn’t have much longer to live. I told some of you that I would go alone to visit him to save money, but family members kindly insisted that they will pay for Gina’s trip.
We will also visit Chandler 2/16-3/5 to see my son Isaac. While I’m in AZ, if anyone would like us to visit with you or to speak at a church or Bible study regarding our mission, or regarding missions, please let me know.
And please, please pray for Larry & his wife Debbie.
Here, we’re just about finished getting everything out of the place.
“Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you” (Psalm 84:4).
It has been a blessing for the last two years to live where a house-church meets, especially since a bunch of the church folks lived with us. There have been up to 18 people sleeping in that 5BR house, which was great for discipleship. Gina & I love those house-mates. But since we couldn’t afford the rent there anymore (support for DCO had dropped months after we moved there), we downsized last month, when our lease was over. We actually split up into a small house & a 600 sq ft apartment. We’re not able to have as many living with us due to the reduced space—we’re down to 8 (we will add a couple more later). And since neither place is suitable for church services, we’re renting a school’s covered basketball court (for only about $10 per Sunday).
We’re fortunate in that both homes are only a 5 minute drive from the school. And rent for all 3 is $185 less per month than at the previous place (the total is about $550).
But we had many frustrations during the weeks after we entered our new lease at the house. The water was not turned on for several days, & when it came on, we discovered various bad leaks that necessitated running out to the curb to turn on the house’s water when we needed it, & turn it off immediately afterward. The electricity was not turned on until a week after the water was. Huge trash piles & halfway-done repairs also plagued us for weeks. Once, a mom was home alone with her kids, & she was bathing them when the bathroom doorknob broke. It took her many panicked minutes to get out… I won’t bore you with the rest of the list.
Regarding our first church service in the new location, the school told us (with only two days’ warning) that they needed the facility on that Sunday. After scrambling, I found a nice room in close proximity to the school, but it was sobra mahal (so expensive): $133 for four hours.
Then the “jeepney” driver-for-hire told us at the last minute that he was too busy to help us, despite his earlier promise.
The good news is that we got everyone to church on time anyway, & it was a wonderful meeting–in air conditioned comfort!
Having church at the school has been excellent. There’s a lot more space, & we are using the basketball court to reach more men & boys.
Quick Christmas summary:
Gina & her girlfriends filled seven big tubs with useful household items & gave them as gifts to some of our neighbors, as well as serenading each home with Christmas carols.
We gave away the Gospel as well as meals to 80 homeless people in our downtown area.
We also had two big distributions since I last wrote an update here (one was just before Christmas). Generous friends in the US loaded up big boxes full of useful items to bless our friends.
On 2/11, we will distribute more goodies when we re-visit our friends in Marilog, a small, very poor community about two hours from here.
Their English is very good, considering it’s their third language:
Dear Daddy John & Mommy Gina, Thank you so much for all the help you have given us all. I have witnessed that all your help to the DBF church is so great! All I can say it that God is real in your life. You really love to help people…I think you both are the most helpful person I’ve ever known. I have known some leaders before that are helpful too but you both surpass them all. You gave even beyond you can afford. God Bless you both with your generous heart. Thank you even for the mentoring. I’ve learned a lot from you both in missioning and service. My prayer for you is that God will multiply your years and that you will enjoy good health and happy life serving our Creator.
–Our disciple Prescy. She is in the previous photo wearing black & brown, holding her baby.
I just wanna say thank you to My Mommy Gina and Daddy John. I’m blessed that you both came into my life. You’re the wonderful gift that God has given me. I’m happy because you both are always there for me. Thank you for your advices and thank you for the love that you have given to me. I’m glad that you both are My SPIRITUAL PARENTS… Thank you for making me smile and happy. Thank you for not giving up on me, in spite of being bugay (naughty)…I pray that God will continue to pour out His blessings upon both of you…I love you both with the love of the Lord.
–Eighteen year old disciple Justine.
Justine (above, with guitar) actually gave us a scare. We took her to a doctor because of a persistent cough, & he said her lung had something that might be tuberculosis. Davao City Outreach paid for her to have a series of tests & examinations that lasted for weeks, but thank God, she doesn’t have TB. Amidst the scare, Justine also gave us some chuckles as she (in our opinion) over-reacted to her first ever doctor visit, then at her first blood test, & at her first prescriptions. I saw how amazed she was when they poked her with the needle for that blood test. 🙂
A wealthy Christian businesswoman (also named Gina) sponsors an outreach to a huge public hospital every Christmas, & we were invited to participate. The team visited every room in the hospital, praying for sick, preaching the Gospel, & distributing donated fast-food meals to all patients as well as visitors who happened to be there. There are always many visitors, because they have to provide much of the care, since the hospital is desperately under-staffed. … I’m weeping as I write this: Perhaps God would call someone reading this to become a missionary to this hospital. It would be a full-time job that’s desperately needed.
For the third time in five months, we had to help a young lady who was suffering from domestic abuse (two involved molestation by relatives, & one was about a girl being hit by a man). Once again, the victim came to our home in the middle of the night, seeking refuge. She stayed with us until she could get to a safe, permanent place.
Our kind & generous friend Amy is organizing a fund-raising dinner to support our missionary work. If you’re free on 2/24 at 5pm, please consider joining us. 🙂
Again, we will be in AZ 2/16-3/5. If anyone would like us to visit with you or to speak at a church or Bible study regarding our mission, or regarding missions, please let me know.
Thank you so much for considering a gift:
A friend set up a GoFundMe account for those who prefer to give that way:
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.