We reported last time that after asking for prayer, attendance for all three of our weekly meetings immediately went from averaging about 20 to about 30.
Then, a month after we broke through our all-time “ceiling” of 25, we began seeing about 50 in all three meetings! And this growth has been sustained, for nearly all of our subsequent meetings have been between 45 & 55 souls. Please pray that we would help them all to become disciples.
As our numbers grow, & as our lease approaches its end in early January, we’re thinking & praying about what we will move into. This seems to be the best option: A vacant open-air restaurant that can seat at least 100. That kind of place is fairly common here, because having only one or two walls increases wind blowing through, which is a lot cheaper than air conditioning. 🙂 Hopefully whatever we find will have a small living quarters on the property. Please pray with us about this. If God really, really helps us financially, buying such a place would be a huge blessing. Or we would be happy to rent it. Where God guides, God provides.
“Penong’s” is a typical Philippine open-air restaurant.
And having it open like this would mean that passers-by would see & hear what God is doing. 🙂
It’s already very crowded in our home three times per week, & we expect the growth to continue. Typically we have about 35-40 inside, while about 10-15 are in the carport for kids’ ministry. On Sunday mornings the kids’ ministry is for the smallest kids only, while during the other two meetings, it’s for all elementary & younger kids. Except babies, of course. 🙂
Marc, 18, shared his testimony with us so that we could pass it on to you (please remember, English is the third language for most of our friends):
God is my Savior…He died and crucified for my sin. He gave me the opportunity to have a repentance…I can’t explain or elaborate my feelings in the moment when I’m baptized…I feel the power of God in my heart and soul symbolized that God so really loved me. I would like to emphasized my feelings to other people to encourage them to be baptized, in order for us to return to God. As God nourished my soul to be his follower that I could spread the good news to everyone. I prioritized the Father’s will before my self-decision. I really thank God to give me an opportunity to embrace salvation.
Marc was born again & baptized less than two months ago. He has already brought seven or eight visitors to church, a couple of whom are coming regularly. He also helps with kids’ ministry & even does a little cooking. God, give us more Marcs!
While Marc is relatively new, Lingling has been faithfully bringing her kids since spring of 2014. She writes:
First of all, we want to thank you for your kind-hearted helping of us. Secondly, we thank God for using you as his instrument to help people. We thank God for bringing you into our lives. Saying thank you is not enough on how we express our gratitude for your goodness. Lastly, we know that you also can help other people aside from us. God is precious because he gave us a lot of Blessings. Our God is the reason why we live and still living and we believe that he is always there for us. Thank you again, God Bless you and we love you!
Lingling is in the gray shirt. She almost never smiles in public, especially for photos (we think she’s ashamed of her teeth), but she really is a sweet lady.
The photo above illustrates why I’m no longer going to Gem Village to pick up our friends there on Sunday mornings. They don’t fit in the Toyota any more! So for the last few weeks we’ve hired a “jeepney” for P350 (about $7.75) per round trip. The driver attends the service, too.
Oops. Right after I wrote this, the driver asked for a raise. Now he wants P500 per Sunday. I guess we’ll give it to him. 🙂
We still put the Toyota to good use. After our Friday PM meetings, I take three full loads to the canto (main intersection) about 10 minutes away, where most of the teens can easily walk home from, while a few catch public transportation (jeepneys) from there. We have the same routine for our Sunday PM services, except almost all of those catch the jeepneys there. And we fill up the Toyota for outreaches or baptisms or fellowships from time to time.
Gina & I so appreciate those of you who give financially & those who lift us up in prayer!
If you would like to contribute to our efforts, please go to http://ripeforharvest.org/ & ensure your gift goes to “John Allcott/Davao City Outreach.”
When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
— from Matthew’s Gospel, chapter 9
Gina & I would love to connect with your fellowship group, Bible study, or church through 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–& it might inspire more prayer supporters & financial helpers 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–your evening is our morning.
P.S. I just went through a Word doc with all names who signed up for email updates, & I searched each name in my gmail. I was shocked to see that several of you have been deleted from my gmail address list. I certainly did not delete you! Did gmail do it? Did someone hack into my account? Anyway, I added you all again. I’m sorry we missed you for a couple of months.