Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, spare not; lengthen your cords and strengthen your pegs.
Our Lord has mercifully caused us to grow again. As we moved into our home in January, we had in mind that we probably would have to build this tarp eventually, but we didn’t anticipate outgrowing our large living room so soon.
We just completed it on Tuesday, so we don’t have photos of our church services here yet. But we do have a pre-tarp photo of some of our people in the same spot:
We’re also growing the number of meetings we have every week. We felt the need for a mid-week Bible study, even though Filipinos work long hours M-F, & transportation is slow. We have been pleasantly surprised with the number of people coming on Wednesdays at 6pm.
Oning (pointing) is one of our excellent translators.
Re. language, I’m taking Visayan classes again. I think I’m now up to about 500 words in my Visayan vocabulary (a guesstimate, to be sure). 🙂 But no one here minds hearing a message in two languages, because they appreciate the opportunity to learn a little bit more English while they’re learning God’s Word.
Our disciples Bee & Marc have been doing short term missions in the town of Marilog (about two hours away). Especially Bee, who goes there most weekends. The people don’t have a full-time pastor, & the part-time pastor recently lost his wife to illness. Help of various kinds is badly needed in Marilog. There is a lot of animist religion in that place.
Here are some of the kids who are so often blessed by our disciples:
Now that we are in a largely Muslim neighborhood, I’ve been doing a lot of training & encouraging of our people to reach out to them, & indeed, we have had several Muslim visitors recently.
I took these photos as I was waiting for Gina outside a store:
The one in black is wearing a full burqa, including gloves, in our tropical heat. We actually don’t see a lot of that here. Note the contrasts in the second photo: the modest attire of the schoolgirls, & the immodest ad behind them. That’s an OB-GYN clinic in the background, BTW.
I was waiting outside the store because of the ‘skin tax.’ In some small businesses, if the prices aren’t written down, when they see a Westerner, inflation suddenly hits.
We had more street preaching a couple of weeks ago, & we’ll go again next Wednesday. We’re excited about how many want to preach & testify! I don’t get to do it anymore, because so many others want to! This boy wanted to be saved, right there in Magsaysay Park:
I have been doing a lot of missions teaching in places besides our church: for Kairos (in the town of Tugbok), & for Calvary Bible Institute (here in Davao & also in the town of Panabo). It’s my favorite topic.
Many of our disciples come from very sad backgrounds of abuse and/or neglect. Almost all live in desperate poverty. They are always grateful to come to our home & be filled with delicious food as well as with the Bread of Life. They even enjoy cramming up to 22 bodies into our 10-seater Toyota SUV, because it’s the only time they ever get to ride in a vehicle that nice (it’s 13 years old, BTW).
Greater church attendance (& more disciples) means more food to buy*. Our rent is higher in this place, & in the last couple of months we had to buy a lot of furniture to replace the landlord-furnished things in our last place. Plus the tarp, with accompanying equipment & tools…
We could not do this without the support of our US friends.
We could never repay you for your generosity to this mission, but certainly “you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:14)
I’ll be going to the USA in April! I don’t have dates yet–I’m still shopping for tickets–but I’ll edit this post when I do have a schedule. EDIT: I’LL BE IN AZ FROM 4/13 TO 5/5. May I speak at your church, Bible study, prayer group, or fellowship? The main reason I’m going is to see my son, whom I haven’t seen since my daughter’s funeral last May. But I would love to speak about missions wherever I can while I’m there.
I’ll go, but Gina will stay here to save money. Last year Chandler Christian Church generously paid for our expenses during our travel & stay because we participated in their bi-annual Missions Expo, but this time we have to pay.
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 us financially:
Please forward our blog to others who might be interested!
Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.
*We believe it’s important to our friends that they feel like our meeting place is like home, a place where they can hang out for hours. We don’t want the kind of church where everyone disappears as soon as “amen” is said. This is crucial because most people can’t attend multiple weekly meetings, such as our Wednesday meeting or small groups. People tend to work long hours, traffic is awful at night, & public transportation is very slow. If they can only attend one meeting, we want that one meeting to have a lot of impact. Our Sunday PM meetings often last seven hours. Plus the fact that many people in our meetings are desperately poor. And Jesus did some of his most powerful ministry around meals. And the early Church often ate together. So we feel obligated to feed our friends.