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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.

 

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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.

 

sandra liezel

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.

 

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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.

 

blood

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.

 

batangas

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.

 

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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.

 

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“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.

 

gina n me

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.

 

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

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 

 

la di an

It was an honor to preach the gospel at the Obu-Manobo tribe’s women’s civic association in Ladian last month. It was totally unplanned. Our group was passing by, and a friend of a friend got us the opportunity. God is good!
The Obu-Manobo people are largely animist.

 

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In October, we hosted an all-day seminar about ministry to Muslim tribes on our island. Gina fed everyone lunch and dinner, just as she always does. Four churches are represented here. We hosted another training 10 days later, and we just had a two-day seminar in our home this past week. Remember, DCO’s biggest focus is preparing Filipino laborers for the Lord’s harvest. After 2000 years, the harvest is still plentiful, and the laborers are still few.

Of course everything we host is free. Your donations help us so much!

 

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My assistant Oning and I are honored to preach the gospel twice per month to these 80+ men as part of their rehabilitation from drug violations. After the message, we all get into small groups to discuss the message. Some of the groups here were led by Oning, Tom, Donna, Prescy, and me.

 

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Three out of the four strongest quakes in the world during October were within 44 miles of us. We had dozens quakes or aftershocks of 5.0 or higher in October. Experts are saying a much worse quake may happen soon.

 

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…So seven of us volunteered at a disaster relief center, unloading trucks and stacking supplies in the warehouse.
Due to a request from our contact in Mlang–one of the places where an earthquake hit hard–we will delay our relief work there until 11/19. Today we prepared and packed a load of goods to be distributed then.

 

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I was asked to teach the youth at GoTeam recently. GT is an organization that works with churches around the Philippines to light a fire in the youth for missions.

 

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We needed an organizer for folks to grab fliers at our meetings. So I went to a fancy office supply store and bought this expensive display rack. 🙂 Seriously, it’s a recycled Honey Bunches of Oats box.

 

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I had several symptoms that I thought might have been indicating skin cancer on my legs, arms, and face.
My brother Larry died from skin cancer, plus I had some pre-cancerous lesions removed from my face 12 years ago, so Gina and I were concerned.
So I saw a dermatologist about a month ago. She sold me this soap and this lotion…for about $105! That’s over 10% of what Gina and I live on per month.
(Almost all drugs, medications, supplements, and toiletries are much more expensive here.)
Thankfully most of the itching, spots, bumps, lesions, bleeding, and peeling subsided after two weeks of using this stuff. This proved that those spots weren’t cancerous. But there are a couple of places on my face where the bumps and spots didn’t shrink, so I have to keep using the stuff and then report back to the doctor as soon as we can afford it (she said to come back after a month). If they still look the same, I’ll get a biopsy. But she’s confident that there’s nothing to worry about.

 

They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
(Jesus, quoted in Luke 12:53)

If you’ve seen my reports of us preaching the gospel in public, you might assume that there is no persecution of Christians in our city. But that’s not true. The persecution here is almost entirely within families. We have had church members physically assaulted, mercilessly taunted, and/or shunned by family members who demand that these saints return to the dead religion they were brought up in.
Lately some dear friends of ours have been harassed by family members in the Quiboloy cult. Even a super-sweet 12 year old girl has been subjected to many verbal attacks from children of the cult members. What makes this kind of persecution worse is that many times, the family members doing the persecuting are next-door neighbors, or even within a household.

Please pray for the family now being harassed by Quiboloy members. If you’d like to pray for them by name, please email me at jgapinoy@gmail.com

Persecution here can also be job-related. We once had a bunch of people quit our church because their employer told them to (though some stayed with us).

 

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God bless Tom and Donna’s weekly ministry to very poor people who live under a highway overpass.

Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.
— Jesus, quoted in Matthew 25:40

 

 

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:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

moms

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!

 

lilebeth

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!

 

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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. 🙂

 

talisay

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.

 

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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.

 

ladian

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.’

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This is Gracy’s bed while in Ladian. She shares the room with some non-Christian young ladies.

 

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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.

 

dco sponsors

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.

 

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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.

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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.

goteam
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:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 

 

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Our disciples have been working in a ‘harvest field’ near Bacalso. They invited me to speak to these mostly-un-churched folks for 40 minutes recently. Everyone listened intently. Please pray for them to enter the Kingdom by grace through faith.

The man in the back owns the home. That’s his ‘sari-sari’ store behind him, where he sells everything from cell phone loads to little packets of shampoo.

 

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Wednesday night prayer meeting. If you are a supporter of Davao City Outreach, we pray for you!

 

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At our house, learning the C.H.E. method of blessing needy neighborhoods and/or tribes with the Gospel and with material needs. There are six churches represented here. 

 

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We are really excited about our evangelistic Bible studies. This one led by Oning has grown from about six people a few months ago. Groups led by other disciples have won souls as well as brought a lot of seekers to the doorstep of the Kingdom. Please pray that all of these seekers would take the next step:

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

 

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Prescy testifies of God’s healing power at our PM Buhangin location. She really didn’t want to attend the morning service in Bacalso (our church plant), because she had a painful UTI for several days straight, and pain off and on for weeks before that. But she felt God stirring her to go that morning, and she obeyed. We brought her up to the front for prayer, and she was immediately healed! I said, “Try to do something to make it hurt. Either you’re healed or you’re not.” Moving and jumping around, she could not make it hurt! More than a month later, still no symptoms! God is on the throne! James 5:13-15!

 

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By the grace of God, we have had 14 first-time baptisms this year! Plus baptisms of some who said they wanted to rededicate their lives to the Lord after backsliding. Plundering Hell and populating Heaven!

 

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An outreach to Marilog, about 3 hours away, at a public high school that we have ministered at several times. Our friends Tom and Donna bought a lot of cleaning materials and paint for the school, and we also brought lunch. Bee emceed, Meljun shared his testimony, I preached, we worshiped together, and then we had plenty of small group time to connect with them more personally. 

 

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We also had a big outreach to a poor neighborhood that involved preaching, basketball, testimonies, games, singing, skits, food, and kids’ face-painting. 

 

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Our first-ever youth camp was a great success! It was mostly preaching, teaching, discipleship, and small-group time, with not really a lot of fun…but the teens loved it!

 

Our One-Day Samal Island Adventure

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The last time I had slept somewhere besides my own bed was in 2017. We love our three house-mates, and we love our job, but… It was about time I took my Gina on a one-day vacation to Samal (a nearby island). Transportation, hotel, food–everything–only cost about $115! (We used my pension money, of course.) It was sooooo nice to have 24 hours with just us two hanging out together. Exotic animals, idyllic scenery, no noise except fascinating bird calls, delicious food…super nice.

 

fire me

I just began another semester teaching at Fire School of Ministry. We are involved with two seminaries as well as other missions-training ministries here in Davao City, doing everything we can to prepare laborers for the Lord’s harvest. I believe training future missionaries is our most important work here. 

 

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I got to perform my third wedding! Congratulations to Jinnefer and JR!

 

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:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

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The Bacalso/Pequeño baby church…minus the kids…plus Tom and Donna, who arrived from Australia recently. Please pray for God’s guidance as they seek his will. They want to serve the Lord here in Davao City.

 

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Oning faithfully teaches in this neighborhood every week.
The group has doubled in size recently.
(Tom is really concentrating on the Visayan lyrics. 🙂 )

 

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Prescy is a working wife and mom of two little boys, plus a she’s a student, but she finds time to facilitate not one but two weekly Bible study groups in the Pequeño area. Her disciples Jemilyn and Tes help her a lot. What a blessing!

 

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Our weekly prayer meeting. BTW, we have young kids who would rather stay inside and pray than go outside and play!

 

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Two thirteen year olds baptized since our last report.
C o n g r a t u l a t i o n s to Ana Lisa and Lance for their new life in Christ!

 

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Our very own water heater, bought by our friend Jim, just arrived in a big box sent by our friend Amy that was full of items for the poor.
No more cold showers! We get to keep the water heater when we move from place to place. Gina and I feel so spoiled. Thanks so much Amy and Jim!

 

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I recently preached about how much I love Eliezer, Abraham’s servant. The more I think about it, the more I realize that my assistant pastor and dear friend Oning is just like Eliezer: humble, honest, faithful, wise, led by the Holy Spirit.
And, in a way, he lost an inheritance of sorts when I came along (it’s a long story), just as Eliezer did when Isaac was born, yet he has no hint of regret or bad feelings. Oning always wants what’s best for me, just as Eliezer always wanted what was best for Abraham and Isaac. God bless you, Oning!
(Pictured: Oning teaching Sunday School.)

 

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Nene, Oning’s wife, is a mother of two and a big sister to many. She disciples teen girls on spiritual matters, and she teaches them about practical things that girls should know. Nene also runs the ministry every Saturday in the Santo Rosario Gym. They serve between 30 to 70 children–plus a bunch of parents–with food, songs, skits, and the Word of God.

 

buda

No, they didn’t misspell “Buddha.” 🙂
Buda is a town that’s in between BUkidnon and DAvao City, so they took the first two letters from each name.
Bee helped facilitate an evangelism training there recently.

 

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We at Davao City Outreach are happy to work with other groups in our goal of preparing Filipinos for the Lord’s harvest. My assistant pastor Ronilo Oning Diayon and I have served for hundreds of hours with Kairos, FIRE School, and Calvary Bible Institute (pictured). It’s an honor to have excellent co-laborers here in our city.

 

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:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

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We’re picking up where we left off six months ago. You may remember that we tried to start a church plant in Pequeño (in the outskirts of the city) a year ago, but we had to leave six months later because we struggled paying the building rent. Still, we have been bringing those dear people here every Sunday (it’s a long drive), and visiting them every Friday, but they needed more than that. So now we’re having church services in Pequeño, albeit in a smaller venue—the living room of one of our friends. Our first service went really well. We already need more space. May the Lord provide.

 

My latest video: A couple of minutes of fun, then a surprise ending.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9VIIacgOLg

BTW, our new house is 4BR, 4 restrooms, a big living room, and lots of storage space. P30K ($575) per month. So far we have three friends living with Gina and me. We’ll try to get a couple more in here later. Living together helps facilitate discipleship.

 

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There’s nothing like a ladies’ prayer meeting to ‘break in’ a new home!

 

gracy

Gracy is one of the young people we’re supporting in seminary as she prepares to become a missionary. She describes how our Lord has changed her life:

I was raised in a Catholic family but on my mom’s side their belief is Spiritism. Both parents are rice farmers. I experienced a lot of physical and verbal abuse. It’s so hard to believe what is the truth in my life. I know my parents love us. But seeing my scars and remembering the pains, I just felt like I need to prove myself worthy of acceptance but I’ve always failed to do that. Later on I don’t know what I want to do in my life. I was in bad relationships, though I didn’t experienced sex at all but I became so controlled, these guys have their own girls. But the Lord never gave up on me. He sent my class mate at High School to evangelize me at the park together with my friends, so after that I was so amazed to his testimony and he was so bold about sharing that junk in his life about being a drug dealer and a gangster. That evening on, he keeps on texting me, he invited me to their church. Seeing and experiencing the love of God there, it was reminding me that when I was little, I wanted to serve God. So finally it gives me hope again to live a life with a purpose. I decided to get baptized. Now I’m in Bible school and graduating this year. Through the obedience of the laborers of God, they help this journey of my life and excited to work more for God. It’s not an easy thing to follow Him and take up our own cross but there’s His Grace that always be sufficient to all weaknesses.

(With her permission, I edited and shortened Gracy’s story for this format.)

 

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Driving is more fun in the Philippines!
You never know what you’ll see in the middle of the road!
Yes, I did drive under the ladder.

 

I have felt a lot of earthquakes in the 5 1/2 years since we moved here, but the 7.0 on 12/29 was the biggest!

 

Christmas outreach

We participated in several big Gospel-preaching parties in public high schools and elementary schools throughout our city during the last week of school before Christmas. The tall girl is an Australian professional basketball player who shared her testimony as my assistant pastor Oning translated.

 

CCC Christmas portrait

Gina and I love everyone in this Christmas church service photo, but we’re most excited about the six Indian men in the back row. Please pray for them.

 

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Our mobile Christmas outreach choir. At each stop, after we sang, we distributed meals to homeless people downtown, and we shared God’s message–“tidings of great joy”–face-to-face.

 

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Discipleship: We started going to Santo Rosario Gym months ago to bless neighborhood kids with their own little church service and feeding program every Saturday. I believe the best way to bless kids is to win their parents to the Lord. But sometimes we win the parents by blessing their kids. Almost from the start, I wanted this to be my assistant pastor Oning’s “baby.” So I avoided going there, because he would grow more doing it without me. Now, once in a while, Oning doesn’t go, either! The disciples he trained can do the entire ministry without him.

 

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Gina and I have known Jemilyn for more than a year. She is a blessing. Here is her story, translated:

I am a mother of two. I was a typical housewife.

I knew there is a God; I even went to church every Sunday with my family. But after going to church, I still felt a void inside.

I was a quick-tempered mother. I spanked my kids too much.

I was also so afraid of the unknown. When a family member or I would get sick, I would worry a lot and go to the ‘quack doctor.’ *

I didn’t care much about people outside of my immediate family. I didn’t even get along with my in-laws. I would start fights over what I thought people were thinking of me.

Thankfully God used Prescy to share Jesus with me. She encouraged me to actually experience him** and not just depend on a priest to tell me about him. I started reading my Bible. I never did before because some people say Bible reading will make you crazy. Thanks to Prescy, I now know Jesus personally. I have boldly declared my faith in public since I was baptized. Now, the way I treat my kids has changed. I am still a work in progress, but I have learned the power of prayer. I ask God for wisdom. I don’t worry about sickness anymore, and we never go to the quack doctor. I now care for others and want to share Jesus with them. I also pray for those who are sick.

Now I get along with my in laws, and they also have seen the change God is doing in me.

All glory to God!

I am looking forward to more of Him, and I desire to have my own Bible study group to be able to teach others to know and follow Jesus.

*Not a real doctor. Quacks are very common here, using witchcraft and preying on the fears of the people.

** “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).

 

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Feeding our hungry volunteers after a project. We worry that some of our friends don’t get enough to eat. When Gina is too busy to cook, sometimes we have to splurge on McDo (as they call it here) or some other fast food place.  Thankfully, McDonald’s is much cheaper here than in the US.

 

Even after years of living in the Philippines, I still learn new things about the culture occasionally. Recently, through a family’s crisis, I had an especially heart-breaking learning experience.

To me, the emergency was very easy to solve: Their 24 year old daughter was kidnapped by a cult over her P5000 ($95) debt, so the police should be called upon to rescue her.

It turns out that’s not how Filipinos see the situation.

Apparently, if you sign a loan agreement with details allowing it, a lender can hold you against your will. Hospitals do it all of the time here.

Even if there is no such written agreement, the cops would apparently not do anything about it. They would see it as her fault for not paying her debt.

We gave the family the P5000 to release her.

 

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Dolly has three small children. Her husband left her. She does laundry by hand for others to make a living. When she heard about Jen’s home burning down (see last month’s report), Dolly donated two bags of clothes to Jen’s family. God loves it when poor people give as much as they can. When the widow in the temple gave her last two coins, Jesus called his disciples and praised her to them. When Dolly gave those clothes, I’ll bet Jesus called some angels over and told them about her. 

 

Here are the ways you can donate to DCO:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you! 🙂

 

 

These teens really touched my heart with their devotion to Jesus.

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They decided to use their time off from school for the Lord. So they walked about 3 miles (5KM) to my home to get some church fliers for evangelism, because they didn’t have money for public transportation (jeepneys).

They were going to walk back home, but I insisted that they take some jeepney money.

When they were going to leave, it started raining hard, so I wanted to pay for a taxi (about P180 or $3.40), because riding jeepneys involves waiting outside each time you change. They insisted no, that this was part of their commitment to the Lord. Besides, they said, they had an umbrella. One umbrella for four girls, and they were grateful! But they did allow me to lend them the umbrella I had.

In all these things, I had to ask them questions to get the info, because they didn’t want me to worry about their needs. One more question I asked was “Are you hungry?” They all admitted that they were, so I told them to eat whatever they wanted (they wanted peanut butter sandwiches).

I am quite honored that all of these young ladies call me “Dad.”
I love being a missionary.

 

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I was worried. None of my translators were able to come with me to the weekly Bacalso prayer meeting. Yet my concerns were needless—we all had a great time, and we definitely communicated well enough. They even said they were blessed by my 10 minute message (I teach briefly before the prayer time each week). It’s actually fun when someone doesn’t understand something, and we go back and forth until we get it. We all laughed at those situations. I’m glad that there was no translator, because now I see that their English is getting better, and my Visayan is getting better. I love my Bacalso friends!

 

Gina, Bee, and Catherine went to the northern province of Apayao for 2 1/2 weeks. They visited Gina’s mom there (Gina had not seen her for two years), but they also testified to the grace of God in marketplaces, in schools, in visits to homes, and to the neighboring Aeta tribe, which is majority animist–only 8% professing evangelical.

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Marketplace ministry

 

We sometimes see laborers hitchhiking after their shift. It’s an opportunity for evangelism. Here Cathy and Marc share their faith with some men in the back of our Toyota. 

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Well over 300 teens gathered in a public high school during school hours to hear the Gospel. This is Marilog High School of Agriculture. Marilog is an especially poor area. It’s very rural. Some kids walk one to two hours to get to school.

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The students were blessed by $1500 worth of groceries that were donated by evangelist Phillip Blair from the US as well as his teammates Thurston and Chihwah Kiang from China and James Louis from Australia.

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Phillip, a fearless street preacher, stirred us all the more to do bold soul-winning. We rejoiced as he baptized three people on a Sunday after church.
He was kind enough to post this on Facebook:

If you’re looking for great ground to sow into, my new friend John Allcott is a very genuine, sincere man of God who is doing some very important work of the Lord here in the southern Philippines. Some really great people here. Please pray for their mission and church. Thank you.

Look up Phillip’s YouTube channel Torch of Christ for videos of him publicly preaching in places such as Pakistan, Columbia, UK, and Indonesia.

 

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It was easy to predict that my dear friends would “surprise” me at 6am on my birthday. That has become a tradition in our church. So when I was on our balcony praying during the late afternoon before my birthday, I didn’t have any idea what was about to happen. Gina asked me to come inside at 6pm…but why were the lights off? Suddenly the lights came on, and 26 friends who were crammed into our 17’ X 10’ kitchen/living room area yelled “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” What a joy it is to know that I’m so loved by such wonderful people. They’re all busy, traffic is awful on weekday afternoons, and it was raining, but they wanted to bless me. And I am blessed.

 

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Ten days before my birthday, Gina wanted to fill her birthday with serving others, because that’s her biggest source of joy. So she spent the morning evangelizing, and she spent the afternoon doing kids’ ministry. BTW, we felt a 6.3 earthquake on that day!

 

We have begun serving a very crowded refugee camp in our city. The residents are from various Manobo tribes. They have been driven from their land, and they only want to go home. They have many material needs and a huge spiritual need: According to Joshua Project, only 6% of Manobo claim to follow Jesus. Almost all of the rest are animists.

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Animism is the belief that many unseen spirits interfere in the lives of humans. The spirits are both good and evil in nature and can be evoked to both anger and pleasure. The people are constantly afraid, and forever trying to appease these fickle spirits. All of the Philippine Islands were animist before the Muslims and the Spanish arrived hundreds of years ago.

 

My assistant pastor and best friend Oning teaches premarital classes every Thursday in our barangay hall. (The local government actually allows us to teach biblical principles to marriage license applicants!) He invites me to teach in his place sometimes. I enjoyed interacting with these nine new friends. (Here we are opening the class in prayer.)

buhangin barangay marriage

 

Our longtime friend Jen and her family lost most of their possessions in a fire. Many other homes burned down. Most of the families are taking shelter in a covered basketball court. We brought food and the Word of God to them twice, and hopefully more in the coming days.

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For Jen’s family, we bought groceries, clothes, school uniforms, school supplies, and a lot of wood for building a temporary home. 

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As you can tell by this brief (and very incomplete) report, we’ve got a lot of costly stuff going on. We believe it’s God will for us to be doing everything we’re doing. So we thank God for the generous friends who keep trusting us with their hard-earned money. 

Here are the ways you can 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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks to a large one-time donation, we did some fixing up of our beat-up old Toyota SUV, and we used the rest of the money–plus cash from the sale of that Toyota–to buy this nice Hyundai Starex! Thank you Compass Christian Church AZ! Now we have two nice people-mover vehicles.

 

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A reunion gathering from San Pedro College helped us to bless over 150 high school students! They bought meals, chocolates, and pens for the students, and they invited us to share songs of praise as well as a short message. We were able to freely lead these students in worship, right there in a public school, during school hours!
That was a full, exhausting day for me–awake from 2am to 10pm. After the school ministry, a family was being kicked out of their house last-minute, so we went to help move them. The day ended with very poor fast-food service as we were trying to bless our hardworking helpers, and then 90 minutes of traffic taking them home. BUT when I saw this in my Facebook inbox the next morning, I realized that all of the problems are nothing compared to the blessings!

Kim Cattleya Kate thanks

 

 

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I love these young people! Every Sunday, when church is over and everyone else goes home, they wash all of the dirty dishes. (The church eats lunch together before each service.) They really enjoy serving.

 

A murder victim’s body was dumped right next to our home. I saw a commotion outside, so I took this photo from our window. I learned later that it was about a murder.
You might be able to see the yellow police tape around the scene. The white vehicle in the middle is a police truck.

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Davao City’s motto: “Life is here.” But our city has the highest high murder rate in the Philippines. 🙁

 

Every Wednesday morning I get to see these delightful faces as I teach evidence for the faith in Fire School. They are all being trained for ministry in powerful, practical ways. The seminary has a very strong emphasis on missions.

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Have you ever experienced a prayer meeting having not-yet-saved visitors?
On the previous week we had two visitors, and in this meeting we had three more, with the two from last week returning! Please pray for those five to follow Jesus!

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It’s a neighborhood prayer meeting in Bacalso. Some of the regular attenders don’t come to church on Sundays, because it’s so far. Lord, provide the resources to plant a permanent church in Bacalso.

 

When the door of life closes on you: This gecko became two-dimensional when we inadvertently closed the door on him. Sadly, he won’t be eating any more mosquitoes in our home.

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“Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

Adoniram Judson and family arrived in Burma in 1813. It wasn’t until 1819 that they had their first convert. By 1823, they only had 18 converts. During this time Judson suffered many things, including the deaths of two of his kids. His wife and a third child died in 1826. But by the time Judson died, he had started over 100 churches with more than 8000 believers!

“Those who go out weeping as they carry seeds to plant will come back singing with joy. They will bring the new crop back with them.” (Psalm 126:6)

 

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:

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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me via jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you!

 

The school year here starts in June. Thanks to our generous donors, we took these families out to buy badly-needed uniforms, shoes, and school supplies.

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We’ll take some more boys out this Saturday. 🙂

 

We took over a hundred Bibles plus school supplies and toothbrushes to a public high school in Marilog, about two hours’ drive from Davao. And we gave them the gospel.

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I so appreciate Jaybon of the Buhangin congregation. He has had very serious health issues as well as some other heart-breaking problems in his life recently, yet he keeps faithfully and joyfully serving.
Here he leads the worship team during Compass Christian Church’s ministry at the local public hospital.

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Our old policy: When you have a birthday coming up, if you promise to try to bring five visitors to church on the Sunday nearest your birthday, we’ll buy a nice cake for everyone (even if the visitors don’t show up).
New policy: If you allow us to share the gospel for several minutes to everyone at your home birthday party, we’ll buy the cake.
We reach more new people this way.
Here, Prescy translates for me at her son’s birthday party.

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These eight ladies plus Bee (who took the photo) traveled about two hours from here to minister to moms and children in an indigenous people group. Bee has been doing an excellent job discipling these girls. The teens did the ministry while Bee observed. It was kinda like an “exam” for her “course.”
All of this was Bee’s idea! I had nothing to do with it. I love that!

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We have the new, larger Hilux now, but that doesn’t mean we don’t stuff bodies into the old Revo any more. We have 16–all teens or older–inside this time. Plus equipment!
As you can see, no one minds. Filipinos are used to it. 🙂

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Evangelistic VBS: For four days, at two locations (outdoor covered basketball courts in Buhangin and Pequeño), we had games, skits, songs, crafts, mini-sermons, and we fed 300+ folks per day. Super-sized thanks to the team from Compass Christian Church in Chandler, AZ, and to CCC AZ also for providing most of the supplies and food. Here are most of the VBS volunteers:

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One of the many games:

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Oning sharing the gospel:

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We thank God for the new people in church as a result of these efforts.

 

My mom (Barbara Allcott) fell and injured her arm and her hip six weeks ago, which can be devastating to someone of Mom’s age (79). I’m phoning her almost every day, but I wish I could visit her. Please help me pray for Mom’s healing as well as for my guidance and provision.
If you want to send her a get-well card, she’s staying at
Middlefield Oaks Memory Care, 1500 Village Dr., Cottage Grove, OR 97424 Room 115 

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Several weeks ago, the Buhangin congregation had five baptisms in one day. Here, they take turns testifying what Jesus has done for them. On the previous weekend, the Pequeño congregation had five baptisms. God is helping us.

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Finally, this: Because we have had constant struggles with money for the past five months–since we launched the work here in Pequeño–we have prayerfully decided to do some restructuring.

We are far too often completely out of money.
We can’t properly fix the old Toyota SUV that I passed on to Oning, let alone buy a reliable vehicle for his Buhangin ministry.
We can’t buy him a decent sound system to replace his deteriorating one.
I can’t send Gina to visit her widowed mom in the north, because we’re giving most of our personal income to the mission. (In almost five years since we moved here, Gina has only seen her mom twice.)
Etc.*
So we believe our Lord is leading us to merge the Pequeño congregation into the Buhangin congregation.
We will simply lower our costs by reducing the number of places we are renting.
This will immediately solve Oning’s sound system problem, of course, since we’ll bring the newer sound system from Pequeño to Buhangin.
Oning and I will visit Pequeño every week to lead prayer meetings and/or Bible studies. This hopefully will help them not to feel abandoned. And of course we will bring them to Buhangin every Sunday.
Please pray that these new converts will continue to make good decisions.
We don’t believe it was a mistake to move to Pequeño. Much good has been accomplished here, while Oning has strengthened some of his ministry skills in Buhangin. But the move is turning out to be a short-term mission rather than a church plant.
We earnestly desire to make a permanent church plant in Pequeño in the future, when our Lord provides the money to do it well.

“Silver lining”: There have been times when we didn’t know how we were going to pay bills, when we received unexpected large one-time gifts. Our monthly donations are down, but generous one-time gifts have kept us afloat.

I think it’s important for you all to know that we are a non-profit in the truest sense of that term. Gina and I do not take one penny (or peso) from donated funds. We get by on my USPS early-retirement pension.

To those who give, thank you so much!

Here are the ways you can 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 do not write to me here. Your message would get buried in the 1000s of spam messages. Please contact me at jgapinoy@gmail.com. Thank you.

 

*While Gina and I are fine without most home luxuries like A/C or dishwasher, we really would like to one day have one of those little water heaters that mounts next to the shower head. 🙂

Compass Christian Church Davao: One church with two locations.
Here’s a typical Friday night prayer meeting for the Buhangin (central Davao) congregation, in Oning’s home.

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Great things are happening there in Buhangin. They don’t need Gina or me anymore! But Oning & I trade places once every couple of months so I can preach there while he preaches to the new congregation in Pequeño (west Davao).

 

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Joining together, we put about 32 folks on the streets for Jesus in this Buhangin outreach, evangelizing & inviting folks to an upcoming event. The 15 or so from the new congregation had never done anything like this before. They said they loved it & want to do it again! We will, soon!

 

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At a recent fellowship, these fowl creatures were well-behaved…until the food was served. Then they became foul, trying to pluck the food out of our laps! They’re easily shooed away, but you have to eat with one eye on them.

 

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It’s a privilege to be able to speak at the local public hospital’s chapel service twice a month. Oning always does a great job making my messages better as he translates…but he occasionally teases me for my wrong Visayan grammar. 🙂

 

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One of the reasons Gina & I chose to come to Davao City is the 1000s of Indians studying in universities here–we wanted to reach them with the Gospel so that they will go home & reach their countrymen. But to my dismay, at three different times in 2014, doors suddenly closed that I thought were wide open for such a ministry. Then I believe the Lord told me that it would not be me but our disciples who would reach these dear souls. I shared this vision long ago with my best friend Oning. Then we waited until the time was right. We believe now the time is right. Please pray for Oning & Nene as they are being faithful to the vision.

 

christening

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:16-17)

When we were invited to join a huge “christening” party, we could have said, “Sinners will be drinking there! Besides, christening is not biblical!” Instead, we saw an open door for the Gospel. They all were happy to meet the missionaries who keep going to their neighborhood.
I asked for a chance to speak for a few minutes to about 20 of them who were in one place, and they graciously allowed it. No, I did not blast them with “Repentance must accompany baptism! Babies can’t repent!” Instead, I praised the parents for wanting to dedicate their babies to the Lord, which has biblical precedent (Samuel’s & Jesus’ mothers dedicated them as babies). Then I talked about the importance of following that dedication with godly example-ship; parents need to walk with Jesus if they want their kids to follow Jesus.
Everyone listened to this advice, and they thanked us for coming.
We will continue going to that neighborhood. Please pray for a big harvest there (we have a few converts already).

 

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Every Sunday I say, “If you want me to make two trips, I’m happy to do it.” And they all reply, “No, this is OK, Kuya (Big Brother)!”
There are two long benches where the adults are sitting, facing each other. The kids are in the middle.
Many thanks to Compass Christian Church in AZ for buying this vehicle!

 

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Wow! These rural outreaches keep becoming more and more amazing! We shared food, gifts, songs, testimonies, and the Gospel with almost 300 students and staff at Marilog High School of Agriculture. They were deeply impacted for God’s glory. Many thanks to our guests from the US (Amy, Rachel, and Courtney) and Manila (Mommy Lourdes), to our friends from FIRE School (Nathan, Meljun, and Gracey), our team of volunteers, and to you, our supporters.
We did a similar outreach to Ladian a month later.
Two of our reasons for doing these are to give our people a vision for regions beyond our city, plus practical experience in reaching out.

 

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Thanks to a couple of recent one-time donations, we were able to buy a screen for power points that’s large enough for everyone to see, plus a nice sofa. For three months, we only had plastic chairs in our Pequeño home. Now our many guests can relax in comfort.

 

 

5 baptisms

We baptized five people yesterday! Also pictured is Rosalie testifying. Nine have been baptized in just the last two months in Pequeño! God is helping us, through your prayers!
BTW, everyone attending the Pequeño congregation was totally un-churched before joining us (except for the few we brought from the first congregation). We always aim for lost people. In fact, if I learn that someone attending one of our congregations is a believer who left another church, I try to to make sure he/she is not running from God’s will.

 

OPPORTUNITY!
On May 7-10, we will be having a huge event that we hope will draw well over 1000 people (300 per day). For two days in Buhangin & two days in Pequeño, a mission team from Compass Christian Church in AZ, USA will present a VBS-style event–including lunch–which we hope will bring many families into the Kingdom! In the USA, a VBS would have an admission charge, but this event will be free to our poor Filipino visitors. The visiting team will cover all other expenses, but Davao City Outreach will provide the food and rent 300 chairs. Obviously 1000+ meals will cost us a lot! Would you please prayerfully consider helping us with these expenses?

Thank you so much for your gifts. Here are the 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.