Malipayong Pasko ug Bulahang Bag Ong Tuig (Merry Christmas & Happy New Year)!
We found a great deal on a house with a huge living room for church services. But we don’t have any photos yet! We’ll tell you all about it next month, after we move.
Many very generous friends from the US sent giant boxes full of Christmas gifts for our children. Gina & I were overjoyed to watch the kids’ faces as they received their gifts…
(This little doll wants me to pick her up ten times every Sunday afternoon, but she never wants to be held for more than a minute. I think she keeps testing me to see if I still care. 🙂 )
However, at some time on this past Sunday morning, the gifts for two of the afternoon kids were stolen. We’re choosing to look at the bright side: When we first moved here August 2013, we had Americans warn us not to allow Filipinos into our home. They would steal things & break things, we were told. Gina & I rejected that advice. “Free you have received; freely give” is what our Master commanded. He & his apostles did some of their best ministry in homes. Thankfully, even though we’ve had way over two hundred individuals in our home since we moved here, & we’ve had hundreds of gatherings, this is the first time we have noticed anything stolen from us. Stuff has been broken, but that’s nothing. We value people infinitely more than stuff.
Our evangelistic Christmas parties went very well, with many visitors, including seven of the folks in this photo.
Many of our guests eat not much besides rice for most of the week, so with your help, Davao City Outreach (DCO) meets a great need in their lives. The leftovers always go home with our friends.
We have been training our church about how to lead evangelistic Bible studies so they can do them in their own homes. Prescy (holding up two fingers) has done this several times, so she helped with the training.
It’s always a joy for Gina & me to participate in people’s “firsts.” The other day, she baptized a teen—obviously that was a first for the girl—& then we took “Queenie” for her first visit to a mall. She then rode an escalator for the first time–scared, clinging to Gina–& she had her first pizza during her first visit to a restaurant, as we celebrated her big day.
I’ve never linked a video here before, but…
Because of ISIS, there is a spiritual vacuum in the Middle East. And Jesus is filling it! We want to be a part of that! (Click “WHAT IS DAVAO CITY OUTREACH?” above to see DCO’s strategy.) Gina & I love our young disciple Marc. He cried through most of this 34 minute video, & at the end he said he would be willing to serve the Lord in the Middle East.
According to some, all Muslims are full of hatred towards Westerners & towards Christianity…
We outreached in a Muslim neighborhood a few weeks ago. One group of young Muslim males even allowed us to interrupt their basketball game. We want to assure you that the vast majority of Muslims worldwide do not want to harm Westerners or Christians, even if we preach Jesus to them.
Well, now that I’m linking videos…
It’s only 17 seconds. Life in the Philippines: A trash-strewn lot. A woman doing laundry out of two buckets. She had difficulty walking up & down the clothesline because of rocks & trash. Men on a roof doing construction, wearing flip-flops. Meanwhile, next door is the most luxuriously furnished hospital in the city, which I’m videoing from.
Since we’re in the hospital now…
Gina is with the girl we mentioned last month, who had the black birthmark that covered her face. She had surgery just in time for Christmas break. When she goes back to school, the kids won’t recognize her. (I’m wiping a lot of tears as I write) 🙂 She really is such a sweet kid. The Tebow hospital paid for her surgery, but DCO is paying for related tests, medicines, bandages, etc. And you help us do it! Thank you!
It is our Lord’s birth we’re celebrating, so why not give him a gift? Jesus told how to give to him in Matthew 25. When we give to “the least of these,” we give to him. There are many ways to do that, of course, but we would be honored if you would consider giving to our Lord through DCO.
For those who would like to donate:
(Please specify John Allcott or Davao City Outreach)
Please forward this blog to others who might be interested!
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.
Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.