Two days before Gina & I went to the US, a team sponsored by Davao City Outreach & our supporters met with about 80 very poor teens at the Marilog School of Agriculture–about three hours from our home in Davao City–to share the Gospel as well as to provide for physical needs.
The day turned out even better than our high expectations!
We loaded a rented “jeepney” with volunteers as well as food, clothes, & other items that we later distributed to the kids.
The highlight of the trip: Oning preached a simple Gospel message…
…& the power of the Holy Spirit brought great conviction of sin. Many of the kids wept & confessed their sins for about 20 minutes.
While Gina & I were in the US from 2/14 – 3/12, Oning blessed the church with excellent leadership. He has been kinda acting as an assistant pastor for a long time anyway, so in our first church meeting after our arrival from the US, we made it official: Oning is Davao Bible Fellowship’s assistant pastor.
In the US, Gina’s longtime friend Amy put together an amazing fund-raising dinner for Davao City Outreach. What an experience! Seeing so many people express love & generosity.
And this was only one out of many such experiences Gina & I had with dear friends of this ministry. Everybody wanted to feed us! We were blessed beyond measure.
The main reason we went to the US was to see my brother Larry, who has been told that he only has a few months to live (his 10 year battle with skin cancer has gotten much worse recently). Here he is with daughter Dana, wife Debbie, our mom Barbara, & Gina.
Please pray for Larry & his family.
It was a blessing to see my son Isaac. The biggest hardship for me living in Asia is that I’m away from my son for most of every year.
Also pictured is the Loscano family, who were gracious hosts for Gina & me. And Danny & Kristi Hughes put up with us in their home for the other half of our stay in AZ. 🙂
Back in the Philippines, we have felt many 4.0 & above earthquakes in the last several months, especially since January. Please pray for the entire island of Mindanao as well as for our city.
Dedicating children to the Lord certainly has Biblical precedent, so we encourage it in our church. Here, Lani gives a testimony as she dedicates her kids.
It had been way too long since I went on an outreach (Gina & I were in the States when our church outreached the last time), so I got my fix on 3/18. Here, Bench (with backpack, on the right) preaches to a bunch of folks, including a cop.
After the preaching, we had a picnic, & though we didn’t plan it, we were blessed to feed some street kids whom we saw staring at our food.
But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.
(Luke 14:13, 14)
We’re excited about our modified church-meeting format! Now I typically preach a 30 minute or less message. Then we break up into small groups led by our disciples. (I prepare them for this during the week.) They go over my message for 45 minutes to make sure everyone understands how to apply it to their lives. Then the groups share their needs, confess their sins, & pray for one another for about 20 minutes. So our small group leaders are developing as teachers, preparing for the day when, God willing, we will send some of them out either as missionaries or else to plant new local churches.
“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
We used to have preaching for an hour & small groups for 30 minutes every week. Now it’s the other way around. Less of me = progress 🙂
Helda (along with husband Hans & their five kids) began following Jesus a few months ago. I mentioned on Facebook that my late dad was an airline pilot, & she wrote,
“You’re also a great PILOT Kuya (“older brother”) John Allcott coz you have traveled places for a mission. The church is like the Airline Jet and you are the pilot. You direct us to know GOD more. Just like the pilot who drives the jet to reach the destination and that destination is the way to God…My husband and i are very glad to know the people in the church…I checked the (Facebook) post of one of my children and I was very happy to know that he’s trying to be good. At home kids mentioned some of the lessons they learned during the church service (sermons). Thank you so much. Praise God.”
She also posted this photo, saying,
“I hope and pray that these 2 sons of mine will grow up as good as these 2 men beside them.”
Well, my ‘pilot’s salary’ is to see dear people like this family grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I have found five principles that can be gleaned from the story of Elijah & the widow of Zarephath (1 Kings 17:7-16), & I think it is wise for us all to prayerfully apply these principles to our lives:
1) We see from the passage that God himself “directed” the widow to provide for the prophet’s needs…just as God has directed the Church to provide for the needs of pastors & missionaries.
2) Elijah still had to ask her for provision…just as many people in full-time ministry must ask individuals and/or churches for support, whether it’s a pastor receiving the offering on Sunday, or a missionary sending out a fund-raising email.
3) The widow could not afford to give, but she gave anyway…& the same is true of some of our Davao City Outreach supporters.
4) God intentionally sent the prophet to a foreign land, so that the Lord’s blessings would not be hoarded only by Israel…just as our Lord commands the Church today to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).
5) After the widow met the prophet’s need, God met her need…just as our Lord promises to meet the needs of those who generously give to his Kingdom (Philippians 4:15-19).
So I am not ashamed to ask for donations to Davao City Outreach. We are doing God’s work, & asking people to give is God’s method, as we can see from this story & from countless other Bible texts.
Thank you so much for considering a gift to DCO:
Please forward this website to others who might be interested!
Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.