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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” (2 Timothy 2:2)

Here’s a disciple who’s making disciples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested!

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

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

…..

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

…..

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

…..

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

…..

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

…..

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

…..

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

…..

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

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

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gina is often in the kitchen on Sundays before 4am. She is quite gifted at cooking, whether it’s a meal for 2 or for 72. Our feeding ministry goal has been to make it as nutritious & delicious as possible, since some of our friends do not eat well throughout the week. But we have to change that goal; we’re phasing it toward making the meals as cheap as possible. Giving toward Davao City Outreach in July was lower than it has been since April of last year, & we were struggling before July. (We’re not panicking. 🙂 We believe we’re here to stay. But we want to keep you informed.) We have been putting off buying things we’d really like to have, such as a screen for kids’ ministry (now, when we want to show a video, we have up to 30 kids squinting at a laptop).
7 9 16 Bible study 007
And we have been delaying renewing my visa (costing an extra P1000 [$21] per month for one-month renewal fees) because we don’t have the money for the long-term visa.
We are so thankful for those who have been giving so generously to DCO, as well as those who continue to lift us up in prayer. We hope some more will be able to give & to pray for this mission. All of the wonderful things that have been happening here lately give us confidence that our God is blessing, & he will provide.

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

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

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested!

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAP Ate Des, DBF church etc 141

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

DU30 house , Ate Des 007

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

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

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

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

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

brent bday

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

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

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

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Here are some highlights from the past to the present:

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

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

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

We could never repay you for your generosity to Davao City Outreach, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)

Please forward this website to others who might be interested!

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

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

https://davaocityoutreach.wordpress.com