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For those who haven’t heard, I believe God is urging Gina & me to leave our 2 year old congregation in the hands of our excellent assistant pastor Oning in January, to go west about an hour from here to start a new work. If you want to check out the place on a map of Davao, we’re looking at the area between Ulas & Mintal. Some months ago, when I first told Gina what I thought God was showing me, she said she sensed the same thing. Oning & his wife Nene are very nervous but excited about the possibility of assuming more leadership/responsibility here. Please pray with us about this.

The new church & the current one will work together on the one-day rural missions that we have been doing since we started Davao Bible Fellowship.

Our goal from the beginning has been to multiply. Multiplying by two is our first baby step. God willing, we’ll multiply by four or ten or twenty in the future, including new works in unreached people groups!

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Oning & I recently visited Mintal to “spy out the land” (Joshua 2:2).

 

We’re not sure of the exact dates yet, but Gina & I think we’ll be in the US from 11/1 to 11/25. Please contact us* ASAP if you’d like to meet privately with us and/or have us speak at your church or small group. We very much want to fill up our calendar while we’re there.

I’ll update this post when we get exact dates.

*jgapinoy@gmail.com

 

Sandra recently wrote this grateful note, & she gave me permission to share it:

“Dear DBF (Davao Bible Fellowship) … I’m very happy that we belong to your church. Salamat (thanks) for your love, kindness and sharing your blessing to the others. Kuya (‘big brother’) John salamat for sharing the word of God. I learned so many things from you and Ate (ah-tay, ‘big sister’) Gina. I learned to read my Bible, pray always, and long patient to my children. Ate Gina salamat for cooking for us. Blessing po (‘respect’) kayo (‘abundant’) for us. Thank you for loving my kids. God bless you po”

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Sandra was baptized in August 2016. Prescy, who baptized her, also wanted to share how God has blessed her through Davao City Outreach/Davao Bible Fellowship, & to thank our sponsors. She is very gifted at ministry to women & girls. Prescy has already laid a foundation for the church Gina & I will plant in January, since she has already baptized a number of women & teens in the area we’re going to. Prescy also excels at translation when Oning is unavailable. She writes:

“To all our friends and partners in the ministry who are not tired of supporting Davao City Outreach generously & faithfully in prayer and in finances, I would like to thank you personally…Know that God our Father is pleased with what you are doing when you do it heartily to Him…I am one of those many people who are blessed with DCO with your prayers and financial support.

I’m leading a life-group in Bacalso Compound near where I am living…quite far from our worship meeting place…an hour or more drive. So every time I will bring the Bacalso friends I need help for their fare so DCO through your support is providing us money to rent a jeepney…Again thank you so much. Know that you are all in our prayers….May the Lord give you favor upon favor by your generosity to partner with Him in His work here in Davao, Philippines.”

 

A recent park outreach. The Good Person Test is a method of evangelism that draws a crowd every time. (16 of the 19 people in the photo are not from our church.) Please ask for details if you’re interested.

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We were blessed to hear Danny Hughes, missions pastor at Compass Christian Church (CCC) in Chandler, AZ, preach in the 10AM service recently. Then Brian Jobe, CCC’s senior pastor, shared the Word in the 1PM meeting. In between services, we all had lunch together like we always do. I think our American guests like Filipino food.

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The 1PM half of the church, posing after the service.

We took our visiting American friends with us to Digos, which is a couple of hours from our home. We brought food, clothes, other goodies, & the Gospel to over 100 locals. This outreach was on Gina’s & my wedding anniversary, BTW. 🙂

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Before we jumped into the rented vehicle. Thank you CCC for the shirts!

These one-day outreaches to rural communities are crucial for growing our disciples’ ministry skills as well as their vision for the world beyond our city.

 

I have used a lot of different ways to send money from the US to here in the Philippines. The cheapest way I know of is through World Remit. I have used WR dozens of times without any problems. They are running a promotion now: If you want to try WR, let me know (jgapinoy@gmail.com), & I’ll provide you with a special code for your first transaction. They will credit you $20 just for trying it (the money will be credited to you when what you send totals $100 or more). And they’ll credit us $20, too! We have already received one such credit, as did the donor who used WR.

Thank you so much for your gifts. Here are the other ways to donate:

https://davaocityoutreach.com/donations/

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.

For our Second Anniversary Sunday last month, we knew we would have a big crowd, so we moved back to the school basketball court for the day. We had our largest attendance ever — about 85 in the morning English service, & 115 others in the afternoon Cebuano service. We all had delightful fellowship during the celebration in between the services.
So many excellent volunteers contributed to the excitement by showing great hospitality (possibly because I had preached on hospitality the previous week). 🙂
Here, we are setting up a Bible trivia game:

dco u

 

Hmmm … Maybe we should be building an ark …? No, we haven’t been getting more rain than normal. You’ll see what I mean in a minute. 🙂

About a week ago, Gina was getting dressed when she felt something crawling on her belly. She lifted her blouse enough to brush it out with her hand, & she was shocked to see this!

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In the photo, she had just slapped it with her flip-flop. I told her to put her foot there so you all could see how big the monster is. 🙂
I looked it up. It’s simply called “giant centipede.” From Wiki: “The giant centipede has modified claws called forcipules which curve around its head and can deliver venom into its prey. … It can cause severe pain in humans which can last for several days…” We’re so glad it didn’t hurt her!
Also, within the past few weeks, we had a sparrow in our apartment, & a bat was in our ministry home. Not to mention the many bees, geckos, ants, mosquitoes, & other creepy-crawlies that visit. If we get more animals coming to us – especially if they come in pairs – we’ll take that as a sign that we should start building an ark. 🙂

 

Lani wrote a testimony about what God has done for her. This is part of her letter (remember, English is her third language):

Before, I don’t believe if there’s God. I didn’t feel in His presence, Even my father is in Church every sunday as a leader. My father didn’t teach me about God or who is He?

But now! God is in me. Because of Davao Bible Fellowship. … My life has change. Im so very thankful and excited every sunday to attend the service. Because, The God is with me. … Even the temptations are always near me, Im not afraid because he is always at my side. Thank you Lord, because you sent a good Missionary here. Thank you so much God you entered in my heart.

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Lani has been walking with Jesus for almost a year.

Jen gave me a note, wanting to express her gratitude to our sponsors:

Thank you very much for supporting Davao Bible Fellowship Church. You are really generous, you help us so big. Especially to the kids they are always happy for what they receive. And to the elders also. I thank God that you are the instrument for helping Ate (Big Sister) Gina and Kuya (Big Brother) for their ministry here.

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Jen is in the front row, in the apricot t-shirt, at our 2nd anniversary service.

 

“Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, and to teaching.” (1 Timothy 4:13)

bible reading

“Doc Mem” is Doctora Imelda Soriano, a dear friend of ours here.

 

Thirty-seven years ago last month, a rebellious, profane, shy, skinny 18 year old kid repented & began to follow Jesus. He had no idea what a wild ride he was getting on!

ako ang pangit

A coworker named Greg had been preaching to me since I arrived at the Air Force base in the UK where I would live for two years. After listening to Greg for two weeks, I realized he was right & I was wrong about the things in life that matter most.

No regrets, except that I wish I had done it sooner.

 

We’re so grateful for the small army of young people who do so much volunteer work for DCO/DBF. When I was their age, I hated working in the kitchen. When feeding an average of 100 people every week, there are a lot of dishes to wash.

good teens

 

At Fire School of Ministry, where we rent two rooms on Sundays for church services, I am privileged to teach again every Wednesday for this semester. Also, Gina & her disciple Cathy are taking a couple of classes together.

DCO helped send two Fire School students to Thailand & Laos on a short-term mission for two months.

Kathy Ruth

In the photo, Kathy & Ruth, whom we helped sponsor (& who were my students in a Fire School class last year) are seated, with other Fire School laborers in Thailand behind them.
Again, they are not directly affiliated with DCO or DBF. I mention this because I think it’s important for you all to know that we labor together with other ministries here in Davao City. In fact, next month, DCO will sponsor more potential missionaries from other churches for Kairos missions training.

I said that last sentence by faith. We do all of this by faith. Every week, our bank account dwindles down to almost nothing, & every week we believe God to provide again. And he does, through you.

 

For everyone interested in the topic of planting churches where they are needed:
Gina’s hometown of Luna, Apayao, Philippines is still kinda small but growing quickly. I can’t publicly give all of the details about why, but Luna desperately needs a new church. If you are praying about where the Lord would send you, or if you know someone who is, please ask God & ask us about this.

 

I have used a lot of different ways to send money from the US to here in the Philippines. The cheapest way I know of is through World Remit. It never occurred to me until recently that donors to DCO could use WR to support the ministry here. I have used WR dozens of times without any problems. They just happen to be running a promotion now! If you want to try WR, let me know (jgapinoy@gmail.com), & they will credit you $20 just for trying it (the money will be credited to you when what you send totals $100 or more). And they’ll credit us $20, too! We have already received one such credit.
When you ask, I’ll provide you with a special code for your first transaction.

Thank you so much for your gifts. Here are the other ways to donate:
https://davaocityoutreach.com/donations/

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 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

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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.)

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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.

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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.

bacalso
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:
https://davaocityoutreach.com/donations/

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.

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.

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The highlight of the trip: Oning preached a simple Gospel message…

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…& the power of the Holy Spirit brought great conviction of sin. Many of the kids wept & confessed their sins for about 20 minutes.

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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.

amy fund raiser

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.

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Please pray for Larry & his family.

with Loscanos Isaac

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.

lani kids dedication

 

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.

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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.

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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)

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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)

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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.”

james xavier
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:
https://davaocityoutreach.com/donations/

Please forward this website to others who might be interested!

Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.

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.

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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).

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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!

functi

functio

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.

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dbf debut 2

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.

distribution kirsten
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.

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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. 🙂

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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. 🙂

https://web.facebook.com/events/246356565775629/246369519107667/?notif_t=admin_plan_mall_activity&notif_id=1484957305714940

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:
https://davaocityoutreach.com/donations/

A friend set up a GoFundMe account for those who prefer to give that way:
https://www.gofundme.com/2a4rjhx8

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.

From last Sunday: Oning did a great job preaching. The kids were blessed with Christmas presents.

oning-preach

I wanted a little break. Not counting special events, I’ve been preaching & teaching for over six hours per week. I love it! Besides our church meetings, I’ve been teaching a group of men gathered at a local gym every Monday, plus I teach Leadership at a local seminary on Wednesdays.

I was extremely shy for the first 20-something years of my life. I’ll never forget a time many years ago, I was with a group of my peers. As they talked, a guy said something, & I immediately thought of a hilarious reply. I just knew that when I spoke this out, they all would finally think I was cool. Until then, I always just sat back & listened, never saying anything. So I said that reply. They all looked at me. Some girl said, “He talked!” And then they continued talking as if I had not said anything.
I’m not shy any more, by the grace of God!
If you’re too shy, there’s hope for you, too, by the grace of God!

Kirsten & a bunch of her friends in the US sent more boxes full of smiles to our friends here! Two Sundays ago, Gina & I were blessed to distribute much-needed school supplies, clothes, toys, food, etc.

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Amy & her friends also sent more boxes, which just arrived. We will distribute those goodies just after we move in January.

We’ll move from one facility to three, & we’ll save P8000 ($160) every month in rent in the process! We will live in an apartment & a small house, & we’ll have our meetings on an elementary school covered basketball court. And all three are within a ten minute walk from each other! However, there’s not as much living space in the two homes as we have now, so we’ll say good-bye to some of the up to 16 friends who have been living with Gina & me.

Gina & I are overjoyed with our disciples who are making disciples. We are teaching them the same things Paul taught his disciples:

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you.” (1 Corinthians 11:1-2)

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)

Here’s a disciple who’s making disciples:

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When was the last time you saw a woman wearing a jacket who was performing a baptism? 🙂 I hope it didn’t get too wet, Bee. Congratulations on your new life in Christ, MaraJoy! Good job mentoring her, Bee!

Also, Prescy, who has been reaching out to ladies in Pekenyo, where her extended family lives. It’s about an hour from here.

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Several ladies & older girls have been baptized. Some men are expressing interest, so I was eager to go there & teach. Please help us pray for wisdom how to best serve these dear friends.

I already mentioned Oning (here with wife Nene, baptizing Jessa). He has been a huge blessing to us for more than three years. So hard-working, & so fruitful.

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And regarding another disciple, a compelling drama with an AMAZING plot twist:

Gina & I have known Justine since we moved here. Soon after we met her, she started calling us Mommy & Daddy. But there has always been an empty place in her heart, because she never knew her birth father. Well, a month ago, a relative told Justine that her dad was on Samal (a nearby island) & wanted to meet her. On the big day, Justine didn’t want to go alone, so she asked Gina & me, plus a couple of girlfriends, to join her. The big meeting was awkward at first (of course!), but dad & daughter soon warmed to each other. As he talked to Justine about the side of the family she never knew about before, she heard a surname she recognized. After hearing more details, she was amazed to discover that one of her two girlfriends with us on this outing–Queenie–is Justine’s cousin! Her first cousin! What are the odds of that? Justine also met her dad’s mom for the first time. She is soooooo happy. I think she told Gina & me “thank you” about 15 times for taking her there. 😀

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I had just taught in our Bible study on the previous night that God sometimes surprises by giving us more than we’re expecting, & I gave a few Biblical examples. As we were all praying before this big meeting, we expected Justine to gain a dad, but we never expected her to gain an already-beloved cousin!

Here are some kids (including a Muslim boy) whom Justine brought to our place last Saturday for a meal & a message from me.

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Every move of God’s Spirit is opposed by false religion. A couple of weeks ago, a teen told Gina that her friend was afraid to come to church with her. She had been told by her father, “Those people seem nice, feeding everyone who goes there, but one day, they’re going to put poison in the food!” Why would a dad tell such an outrageous lie to his daughter? Because he can’t defend the dead religion he’s clinging to, so he has to attack the life-giving religion we have.

They have abandoned me, the fountain of life-giving water. They have also dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that can’t hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:13)

 

Thank you so much for considering a gift:
https://davaocityoutreach.com/donations/

A friend set up a GoFundMe account for those who prefer to give that way:
https://www.gofundme.com/2a4rjhx8

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.

eskwelaa
A couple of weeks ago, Bee & I taught three sixth-grade classes in the public elementary school a few blocks away about various kinds of crisis that can happen in their lives. We told the kids over & over, “If you ever have such an emergency, you can find help at our home at any time, day or night.” All of them know where we live. A few days ago, a girl (we’ll call her “K”) came to us with such a crisis. Her parents live very far away. A relative K was staying with had been trying to molest her. K said she had been considering suicide during the previous weeks, but after she heard what I said about suicide in that class, she knew that wasn’t the answer.
We counseled K for hours. Working with the authorities & her other relatives, we helped her find a safe place to stay. Please pray for K to be healed emotionally, & for her to become a disciple of Jesus.
Also, two months earlier, another girl (18 year old “S”) told us she was being sexually harassed by a relative. She had already been coming to our church for a long time. We had seen symptoms in her emotions that led us to believe something was not right. After Gina & I questioned S about her symptoms, she finally told us what was happening at her house. We ensured that she got into a safe home, & Gina has been spending a lot of extra time with her.
(During our announcements every week, we remind our people that we are always available for counseling.)

…..

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Jesus said, “All who have given up home or brothers and sisters or father and mother or children or land for me will be given a hundred times as much” (Matthew 19:29).
Gina & I left behind beloved family & friends in the US.
We “claim” the beloved “prizes” in this photo as part of our reward.

…..

pinoys-around-the-earth
A big reason why Gina & I are here is that Filipinos can get into nations that often reject Westerners, such as in the Middle East. Filipino missionaries typically adapt to new cultures more quickly than their Western counterparts, too (ask me the reasons why). And the Philippines is near to most of the world’s population, as well as within the “10/40 window.” So we’re here to prepare laborers for the Lord’s harvest.
We’re hoping to soon have a big announcement about that, BTW.

…..

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I have experienced this, but do not feel sorry for me!
“With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.” (Psalm 109:3-5)
I am blessed! My Savior in Heaven will vindicate me.
If you are telling truth motivated by love, then people will hate you, too. When it happens, rejoice! Leap for joy! Your reward in Heaven is growing!

…..

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This Sunday-morning group & the folks that came in the PM added up to our biggest one-day attendance ever. Many were attracted by a big distribution of donated items that were sent to us from our generous US friends. This was about a month ago.

…..

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Psalm 134:2
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the LORD.

…..

joykids
Our home’s population dropped from 18 to 15. Joy & her kids went back to her parents’ property a few hours away to help. They had lived with us for several months. Joy thanks God for changing her life through our ministry. Not only was she empowered to repent of vices like smoking & drunkenness. The best part is that she now has a Father in Heaven who adopted her into his family.
We are eager for her & the kids to visit, hopefully for Christmas.

…..

Thank you so much for considering a gift:
http://www.ripeforharvest.org/about-john-and-gina-allcott/

A friend set up a GoFundMe account for those who prefer to give that way:
https://www.gofundme.com/2a4rjhx8

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.

davao-bomb
Muslim terrorists killed 14 & wounded nearly 70 here in Davao on 9/2, but the vast majority of Muslims in our city are peaceful. We have hundreds of Muslims in our neighborhood (there’s a mosque a few hundred meters from us), & it is well known that Muslim teens often visit our meetings, yet we feel very safe.
Please pray for our city.

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Teaching sixth-grade kids in a nearby public (yes, public!) school about how science proves God is the Creator. The kids–including nine Muslim girls (I don’t how many of the boys were Muslim)–listened cheerfully. We also visited two other classes. In this class, Gina’s & my “daughter,” 18 year old Justine, was translating, but she was stumbling over a few scientific words (the topic was how the universe points to a Creator). The class’s teacher happened to be there, & she offered to translate! We had a great time.
We appreciate Justine’s initiative in reaching out to these classes week after week. She has been bringing several of these kids to church. One Muslim girl has come seven or eight times.

Friends of ours are raising funds for Davao City Outreach by hosting an online sale. Until 9/29, all profits will go to Gina’s & my labor of love. https://www.mymaryandmartha.com/MARCIA/shop/eventhome.aspx?eventId=E44293&from=DIRECTLINK

lyn-lyn
Lyn-Lyn was hospitalized with dengue fever. The doctors at one point said she only had a 50% chance of survival. But she is OK now, thank God. Davao City Outreach gave her parents cash & food to help them after they had missed work to stay with their baby.

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I thought I had dengue again (I had it 14 months ago). I was experiencing 6 of the 9 symptoms for dengue, most of those symptoms since Thursday, 8/25. But I was way too busy then to go to the hospital. We actually took a friend to a hospital for half of the day on Friday, then I taught Friday night Bible study. Then we had a Saturday class from 8am to 2pm. Then that evening, for our wedding anniversary, we renewed our vows in a beautiful ceremony entirely put together by our friends…but I was doing my best not to faint or something. 😛 Then on Sunday, preaching & hosting in our house church for two services–& the feeding program–all day. On Monday morning (8/29), Gina ‘put her foot down’ & made me check in to the hospital. They treated me for dengue the entire time. It was not until the doctor was signing my release Wednesday at noon that she told us I did not have dengue! She realized it because my blood platelet count never went below 100 (dengue sufferers normally see their count go below 30). She said I had a viral infection, whatever that is. 😛 Within the next week or so after my release, I felt as good as new.

“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split” (Matthew 27:50, 51)
While I was talking about Jesus’ crucifixion during our communion on 9/4, we felt a 5.0 earthquake!
EDIT: After I started sending out notices that we have a new update here, we experienced a 6.5 earthquake! The epicenter was out in the Pacific Ocean, but it was the strongest & longest quake I ever felt! And it was the fourth quake we felt this year, & the third quake within the last two months.

gina-the-48-yr-old-hot-chick
I should know Gina pretty well by now, but sometimes she still amazes me, like she did on our 10th wedding anniversary. Gina has become accustomed to lots of fun & romance for all of our anniversaries (especially when we lived in the US & we had money). 🙂 She may have been expecting an even bigger one on that day, since it was the big 10. But I had been very sick, & we spent much of that day in the hospital caring for our friend Joy. When we got home mid-afternoon, I had to work on that night’s Bible study. So Gina got absolutely nothing on her special day. (She didn’t know about the surprise our friends planned for us the next day.) Yet she never uttered a word of complaint or even a hint that she was disappointed. She was focused on caring for me (& for Joy). I’m adding this to the long list of reasons why I love my wife so very much. Thank you, Gina, for being such a blessing to me & to so many others.

queenie
Queenie turned 14 on 9/18 (which was also my birthday). She had been living with us for several months, but her parents needed her at home for a couple of months. She came back to us some weeks ago…so skinny! She had not been eating well. Queenie was already slender before she left. But now Gina’s cooking is helping her regain weight.

We are facing the heartbreaking possibility that maybe we’ll have to stop feeding our poorest friends during our meetings, which is the only healthy meal many of them get every week. We have already dramatically reduced helping people with medical emergencies. We keep meeting families in our neighborhood with desperately sick kids who should see doctors. We used to be able to help those regularly.
We believe we’re here in Davao to stay, even if we do have to make severe adjustments. But we want to keep you informed. The wonderful ways that lives have been changing here lately give us confidence that God is blessing this work, so he will provide for us through your generosity.

Thank you so much for considering a gift:
http://www.ripeforharvest.org/about-john-and-gina-allcott/

BTW, a friend set up a GoFundMe account for those who prefer to give that way:
https://www.gofundme.com/2a4rjhx8

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.

On 8/8/2013, Gina & I left LAX for the adventure of our lives. No regrets! I hope we keep serving here for 33 more years. 🙂

Gina tells me that in the three years since we moved to the Philippines, I have only spoken out loud twice while sleeping/dreaming. She said both times I spoke only in Visayan. Siyempre! Pinoy ang akong kasing-kasing. (Of course! I have a Filipino heart.) #‎ThePlaceOfMyDreams‬

Our dear friend Sandra (pictured with daughter Liezel) & her husband Joel ride their bike/carts around looking for recyclables to collect & then sell. It’s their only source of income. They have always been careful to lock the bikes at night…except one time recently, one bike was left unlocked, & it was stolen. So Davao City Outreach bought a cart & paid for it to be welded to another bike Sandra owned.
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We have a lot of Muslim neighbors, so we wanted to wait a few months before we did a big outreach to our own neighborhood. We wanted to establish a reputation of being generous & loving to the community before we directly presented the Gospel in a widespread manner. We believe we have such a reputation now. We have outreached around here twice since our last report, & we have people who are coming regularly who were reached during the first one.
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It’s common for Filipinos to use umbrellas in the hot sun.
We simply went house-to-house & gave everyone greetings, fliers, & bags of candy. If we had opportunity to witness, we took it.
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During the first outreach, we met this mom her son. He was extremely sick with a fever, & she asked us to pray for him. The next day, they came to church. He was good as new, running around & playing with the other boys.
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A couple of days ago, we felt the second earthquake of over 5 on the Richter scale within 2016 (this one was 5.5). I was freaking out when I felt my first quake in 2013, but now I’m kinda used to it. 🙂

We recently had a two-part sermon series on a topic I had never preached on before: “Sex: What’s good, & what’s bad?” It was challenging to cover this subject sufficiently, because traditionally such things aren’t talked about in polite settings in this country. Therefore, most Filipinos are seriously under-informed or else badly misinformed by corrupting elements such as the entertainment industry. So we have symptoms such as high rates of child molestation, homosexuality, & unmarried pregnancy. Thankfully the messages were well-received–though I did have one complaint–with more than the usual number of people asking for printed copies of the sermon notes.

We’re back in school! Justine, Cathy, & Gina are ministering to four 6th grade public school classrooms every week in the Values Education program. They are allowed to quote the Bible freely, share the Gospel, & even invite the kids to church! In fact, six kids have recently visited our meetings because of this opportunity…two of them Muslims, who came last Friday & again on Sunday!
Fire Class 2016 Tebow 003

Concerns:
–A church member’s 20 year old sister went to live in another part of Davao City two months ago. The family has completely lost contact with her for the last month or so. They don’t know if she is safe or even if she is still in our city. Human trafficking is big business here, so of course we are worried.
–A 10 year old told us during our time of small-group prayer in recent a service that her 18 year old sister is being physically abused by her boyfriend.
Please pray for the families involved, & pray for us to know how we can best serve them.
We had one more emergency, but the situation turned completely around by the grace of God. An older teen who began coming to church a few months ago was physically abused by her older sister about a month ago, so we helped her move in with relatives in another part of the city. Later, the two sisters reconciled. Now the older sister has been coming to church, too!

Gina is often in the kitchen on Sundays before 4am. She is quite gifted at cooking, whether it’s a meal for 2 or for 72. Our feeding ministry goal has been to make it as nutritious & delicious as possible, since some of our friends do not eat well throughout the week. But we have to change that goal; we’re phasing it toward making the meals as cheap as possible. Giving toward Davao City Outreach in July was lower than it has been since April of last year, & we were struggling before July. (We’re not panicking. 🙂 We believe we’re here to stay. But we want to keep you informed.) We have been putting off buying things we’d really like to have, such as a screen for kids’ ministry (now, when we want to show a video, we have up to 30 kids squinting at a laptop).
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And we have been delaying renewing my visa (costing an extra P1000 [$21] per month for one-month renewal fees) because we don’t have the money for the long-term visa.
We are so thankful for those who have been giving so generously to DCO, as well as those who continue to lift us up in prayer. We hope some more will be able to give & to pray for this mission. All of the wonderful things that have been happening here lately give us confidence that our God is blessing, & he will provide.

For those who would like to help Davao City Outreach financially:

http://www.ripeforharvest.org/about-john-and-gina-allcott/

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.

UPDATE: A friend set up a GoFundMe account for those who prefer to give that way:
https://www.gofundme.com/2a4rjhx8

Many thanks to our wonderful friend Jeremy here in Davao for setting up this website! If you need a website, please ask me for contact info to reach him.

A generous donor saw that we were driving all the way to a pool every time someone wanted to be baptized, & he offered to pay for a container of some kind that we could use to baptize at our place.

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This ugly thing once was used to haul liquid soap around. 😀 We removed the top bars & cut the plastic off the top.

Congrats to Hannah for obeying the Lord’s command to be baptized! 🙂 We have also baptized three others since our last report.

GAP Ate Des, DBF church etc 141

Cathy is one of our MVPs. She has only been following Jesus for about nine months, but she has already helped us in so many ways including cooking, cleaning, assistant worship leader, & she has overseen the kids’ ministry from its beginning. She’s very mature & capable for an 18 year old, & she always has a joyful spirit. Gina & I thank God for Cathy.

DU30 house , Ate Des 007

Ma’am Lourdes Reyes (the older lady on the right) visited us from Manila. She gave our women & girls a seminar on making everything from bowls to purses using recycled materials. And she gave an inspirational talk about investing in the lives of the poorest children among us, a topic which she is well acquainted with: She has raised dozens of kids as her own, kids who were taken from abusive situations.

Some of the ladies are making extra income selling the items they make.

I have known “Mommy” Lourdes for 12 or 13 years…I met her just before I met Gina. 🙂

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Our guests from Manila wanted to see one of President-elect Duterte’s houses. When we got there, we saw CNN Philippines hovering around. Then they began to video me while I was taking pictures of our friends at his house. Then they came up to me with a mic & started asking how long have I been here, what do I do, etc., & also about my thoughts about Mayor Duterte!

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Then one of Mayor Duterte’s “two wives” (as he calls them) showed up, & things got more interesting!

brent bday

Brent just turned 8 yrs old. This was his first birthday cake ever. He was so eager to blow out the candles, he didn’t even wait until the birthday song was over. He’s such a good boy, well-behaved & helpful. Gina & I love his whole family.

Our disciple Bee organized this outreach to the Jangan tribe, bringing food, clothes, school supplies, toys, & the Gospel. Many thanks to Rachel Pafin for putting together this video & the one posted farther below.

Our church just turned 1 year old! We had been teaching a Bible study for a year & a half prior to that, but we felt like God was leading us to start a church. For our AM & PM anniversary services, we had about 120 people, perhaps our highest one-day total ever.

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Here are some highlights from the past to the present:

We thank God for all of you who faithfully pray for us often, as well as for those of you who give & give & give to this ministry!

For those who would like to help Davao City Outreach financially:

http://www.ripeforharvest.org/about-john-and-gina-allcott/

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.

If you’re new to this ministry & you want to see our old posts, please check out the blog here:

https://davaocityoutreach.wordpress.com