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