Please pardon the Wizard of Oz reference in the title. 🙂 And forgive me if that seems too light-hearted given the gravity of the events, but I’m trying to communicate to you that we’re not fearful. I’ll get to those things later, but first, we had some visitors from India. Here’s what one of them had to say:
My name is Steve Hines. I am the Regional Field Director of Ripe For Harvest in Asia. One activity that I enjoy very much is visiting the other missionaries in my region. Recently my wife and I had the great privilege of visiting John and Gina in Davao, Philippines. I would like to report on what a great job they are doing, serving the Lord. John gave me permission to write to you in order to give you an update on their ministry. First, I want to sincerely thank you for your prayers for them and for your financial partnership. Your investment in them is making a profound difference in the lives of many people that they minister to in the Philippines! We were privileged with the opportunity to join them for a day of worship at their church and to see them in action. There were two services and John delivered a beautiful sermon about the second coming of Christ, and Gina prepared a delicious meal (along with her assistants) that was served after the close of the second service. We were very impressed with the many ways they are glorifying our Lord. In every way, they are depending on God to guide them and to help them show others the way to Him.
Pray for them to have strength, patience, and wisdom. Pray that they have more than enough financially to keep them from worry and undue stress. They are very content (just like the Bible teaches) with what God has given them, but we could see that they have to be extremely careful with each dollar that they have because they are on a very tight budget. Speaking of that, it would be great if there were a few of you who might desire to help them buy a better van. The one they own could be described as “a bucket of bolts!” It is being used like a bus to drive the kids and families to and from church. This van got us around but it was barely drivable and needs immediate replacement. Please help them with this. I would think that a 10,000 dollar used van would really be appreciated!!! Again, they never complained, but it would be great to bless them with a vehicle that would be more reliable. They did not ask for us to say this, but if you are able to help them with a special financial gift for this, or just to expand their growing ministry, I know this would come in very handy! (If you want to do this, make your check out to Ripe for Harvest and include their account number on the memo line –account #20011)
Please, please keep them in your prayers! Thank you so much for being their support team and for committing to stand behind them in the coming days. You can be very proud of all that they have accomplished. May the name of the Lord be praised!!!
In Him, Steve Hines, Field Director for Asia, Ripe For Harvest
Steve & his wife Brenda, as I introduced them to the church
Some of our ‘subscribers’ received that report already in your snail-mail a month ago. If you didn’t, that means we don’t have your mailing address. Would you please send that to me, if you live in the US? I’d like to contact you maybe once or twice per year via the USPS.
Thanks to your gifts to Davao City Outreach, we just provided 13 needy local kids with school uniforms, shoes, notebooks, pens, school fees, etc. (Here, the school year is from June to March.)
We do frequent one-day short-term missions–each with preaching, kid ministry, feeding, & distribution of clothes & other goods–to poor communities that are hours away. We want to give our people a sense of the Great Commission. (Some of our friends had never been more than 30 minutes from Davao City, but we dream of sending some of them to other countries as missionaries one day.) These missions also help them experience various kinds of ministry, & of course we do these outreaches to be a blessing to the communities we serve. We have done missions in Digos & Malungon since our last report, involving many hours of traveling & great expense.
These Malungon girls received full bellies, goody bags, & new dresses
A little closer to home, Prescy has been baptizing converts & making disciples in Bacalso, which is over an hour away. We are sending outreach teams there once a month to have Bible studies, & we also rent a “jeepney” to bring them here for church as often as they’re able to come, especially to provide some male leadership to the recent converts.
We believe this Bacalso work will become our first church plant, God willing, in January. Please ask God to guide & to provide.
Losses: I had to fly back to the US for a few days for my brother Larry’s funeral on 5/3 (see last month’s report for more about Larry). And the very next day was the second anniversary of my daughter’s passing away. Also, Gina lost her dad since we’ve been on this mission. But God comforts us by adding to our spiritual family, fulfilling Mark 10:29-30:
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.”
On our island in the last couple of months, we’ve experienced communist violence, Islamist violence, & several more earthquakes. The communists attacked a corporation in a suburb of Davao City, & they blocked one of our city’s main roads for about an hour. Now Islamists are trying to capture a small city about 180 miles from us. Maybe God is allowing things to be shaken up so that we’d seek him as we should. Our entire island (with 20 million people) is under martial law. What’s next? Only God knows. But for now, by God’s grace, Gina & I feel very safe.
Thank you so much for your gift:
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.