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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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Gina & I had seen steady rain for days, but then almost no rain for a day. Then BOOM the Davao River overflowed & low-lying areas of the city were submerged. The floodwaters originated far upstream, so we were all surprised by the flood. Most people in flood-prone areas didn’t have a chance to prepare. Thousands of poor people (including many of our friends) lost everything to muddy water that reached their ceilings. We at DCO are helping our friends to recover.

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Visiting flood victims, distributing water & food.

 

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Our beloved friend Sandra & her family were devastated by the flood. We found her in front of a business, a few blocks from her home.
It broke my heart to see her sad. I’ve known her for over 4 years. I had never seen her sad before.

 

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Buying stuff for flood victims. We turned several moms loose in a store & said get whatever you want within P4000 ($80). Then, as more donations came in, we kept buying more for them and/or distributing cash.

 

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Oning & me visiting victims.

 

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Stuck! After another long day, we didn’t appreciate the traffic jam that was moving about 10’ per minute for about 30 minutes … until someone suggested a shortcut … but there we became even more stuck! A previously decent road had been ruined by the flood. It took us about 15 minutes to get out. I haven’t noticed any damage to the old Toyota from this incident besides what was already broken.

 

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Our last outreach to Bacalso before Gina & I planted the new church near there.
Thank God, though we have done many of these evening events at this spot, we have never been rained out, even though 4pm to 4am is the time that gets the most rain.
Now we’re able to meet in our house near this place.

 

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Gina & me receiving prayer during our last service in the church we planted 2 1/2 years ago. Then we moved west about an hour’s drive to Pequeño to start a church there.
Leaving is always hard to do. The apostle Paul’s words to a church he loved reflect how I feel:
“… being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and … all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6-8)
(The balloons are not ours. We rent a restaurant ‘function room’ there every Sunday. Apparently there was some kind of party right after our service.)

 

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Ivy testifies how Jesus saved her from lesbianism.

Our new congregation is now only five weeks old, but we are averaging 36 in weekly attendance during those weeks! We already need more space. Also, we need to somehow buy a bigger screen so everyone will be able to see the sermon & song power-points. But those are good problems to have!
Prescy is a soul-winning machine! She’s the one who has been bringing the most people. We’re blessed to have her.

Praying friends, our brand-new church here in Pequeño experienced persecution already. About half of them live in a fiercely Catholic compound near our house. It’s mostly Catholic-in-name-only, wherein most of them forget God for 6 ½ days a week. But if somebody attends another church, apparently that’s worse than not going to church at all & openly living in sin. Please pray for that neighborhood, that new believers would be strong & even multiply.
We don’t want any conflict with other groups. We only want to help people to find & follow Jesus.

We so appreciate Compass Christian Church in Chandler, AZ, for donating the money to buy a 2018 Toyota Hilux! Gratitude for this is one of the reasons we decided to change our church’s name from Davao Bible Fellowship to Compass Christian Church. Now we have CCC Buhangin & CCC Pequeño–both within Davao City’s metro area–which are daughter & granddaughter congregations of CCC Chandler.

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Oning, now the campus pastor of the Buhangin congregation, inherits the old 2003 Toyota Revo. Hopefully we’ll raise enough money eventually to replace that with something newer … hopefully before anything else on it breaks besides the a/c, speedometer, three window cranks, a bench in the very back, the oil leak, plus the floorboard, which is rusted throughout. 😛

 

 

 

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.

“I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4) The ministry thrived under Oning’s leadership while Gina & I were in the US during November, confirming that I’m no longer needed here. Two & a half years after this church began, it’s time for Gina & me to move on & start another church. I’m so excited! …Yet I’m so sad. I dearly love these people. I would love to stay here. But “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43). The most difficult part about obeying Jesus’ “Go” is leaving loved ones behind. I left my kids, my mom, & others in the US years ago. Now it’s time to leave again. Our Lord comforts me with these words: “Truly I tell you, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for My sake and for the gospel will fail to receive a hundredfold in the present age — houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and fields, along with persecutions — and to receive eternal life in the age to come” (Mark 10:29, 30).

We call it a ‘split’ because Gina & I will keep the 14 or so folks who live in the new area, while Oning gets the rest. 🙂

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Small group time after the sermon on 12/3

 

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Training young disciples how to share their Christian testimony. We believe it should consist of three parts: How I was before Christ, how I met Christ, & how Christ has transformed me. We think it should include relevant Scriptures in each part.

 

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Making lumpia.

The English proverb says “Too many chefs spoil the broth,” but I say the many chefs that help Gina in our feeding ministry all produce excellent results.

 

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Queenie helps with children’s & feeding ministries.

When we met Queenie in 2015, she was far from God, she felt rejected by her family, & she was failing in school — often getting into trouble there. English was her worst subject. She now loves God & is in ministry. She now loves & appreciates her family. And she now is an award-winning, teacher-pleasing student. I think even her English is very good now — remember, English is the third language for most folks in our city. Queenie wrote this to give to us when we returned from the US:

Dear Kuya (“Big Brother”) John and Ate (ah-tay, “Big Sister”) Gina,
Thank you that you both are always there for me…for showing your love and care for me. I am happy and blessed that I have both of you in my life. You became my parents and thanks for being such a wonderful and amazing spiritual parents to me. You both been there at the happy times and even at my worst. You inspires me very much… I love you from the bottom of my heart.

 

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Lani (with baby in her lap) seemed to enjoy her first time facilitating a small group after the sermon on 12/10. And the group seemed to like her. In fact, you can’t really call it a small group! Proof that Lani is very loved. She had help from her best friend Sandra (red-striped jacket). Lani was baptized in August 2016.

We’re now looking for a home in our new area. We need a large living room (for church services) & a large kitchen (to feed a lot of people). We’ll be moving in exactly one month.

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.

 

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.

We’ll be there from 10/28 to 11/28.

*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:

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.