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!
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!
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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.’
This is Gracy’s bed while in Ladian. She shares the room with some non-Christian young ladies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!