Gina prays with the girls as they shed tears of repentance
This is one of the wonderful things that happened while I was in the US from 4/14 to 5/5. There was some tension between some of the teen girls in the church. (Considering how much time we all spend together, it’s amazing that such problems are so rare.) We always have small-group prayer after the three Sunday & Wednesday meetings. We encourage folks to confess sin to one another at these times. After a Wednesday night Bible study, these girls began confessing, crying, praying, & apologizing to each other for over thirty minutes. In the weeks since this repentance happened, at least some of these girls are on every outreach, they’re at every Bible study, & they even attend both services on Sundays, even though it’s the same message twice. And they all continue to love one another. Teens can walk with Jesus!
This is our prison outreach team arriving at the Davao Women’s Prison. (No cameras are allowed inside.) The men’s & the women’s prisons are full of desperately lonely people. The living conditions there are horrible: They spend their lives squeezed in a room so small, there’s barely floor space for them to sleep. No beds or anything soft to sleep on. Unbearable heat.
Some inmates will be declared not guilty, but have to wait many years for a trial.
Yes, even the youngest kids on this team are quite helpful. They eagerly engage the inmates in conversation, making them feel loved.
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them” (Hebrews 13:3).
“I was in prison and you came to me” (Matthew 25:36).
Our house is more populated than ever now (up to 17 on weekends, in five bedrooms). Here are a couple of stories that demonstrate why we want to share this home with others:
When “June” (not her real name) first started coming last year to our teen fellowships after school on Fridays, she would often visit the next morning & ask to use our computer to watch the classic animated film Cinderella on YouTube. Later we learned why she is so moved by that movie. June also has a step-parent as well as two step-siblings, & the blended family had some problems that I can’t go into here. But I must point out that June wasn’t nearly as pure as her fictional counterpart. However, since she has been staying with us, we have seen a transformation in her character, by the grace of God.
(We always get written permission from a parent or legal guardian before any minor moves in with us.)
Joy (above) was a live-in maid for an older single man who would sometimes fight in the home with his adult son when they were drunk. Though he was contractually obligated to provide her room & board, he often didn’t feed her enough. He would even occasionally open Joy’s door without knocking. And she was separated from her kids because of her living on-the-job situation. When we invited her family to live in this house, Joy shed many tears of gratitude. They were able to move in while I was in the US. I had not met her kids yet, but when I arrived, we became best friends immediately. Every time I play monster-chase or squirt guns with them, the joyful look in their eyes says, “Wow, this is too good to be true. Can this be real?”
Joy is a huge blessing already. A new Christian, she loves the Lord & works hard to help the ministry.
Bee is in the middle. She loves missions…& Minions. 🙂
Bee is ready. Our first disciple, she began hanging out with us in October of 2013. We have seen her blossom in fruitfulness, zeal, knowledge, & wisdom. The 28 year old is an experienced English teacher who has been well-trained for missions work, & she is willing to go wherever our Lord sends her. We are just waiting for guidance from Heaven regarding where she should go & what she should do. Please pray with us.
Because of growth, our Wednesday night Bible studies had to be moved outside, just like the two Sunday services. When we first started these a few months ago, we were hoping for ten or so, because folks here work long hours, & traffic is awful at night. But attendance was over 70 a few Wednesdays ago.
The main reason I went to the US for a few weeks was to see my son, whom I hadn’t seen since my daughter passed away a year ago.
It turns out that there was another good reason for me to go. Ministry funds had been declining this year. We had a couple of generous donations while I was in the US, which we put to work paying off debt for things obtained for the ministry. But we feel like we should let you know about a need that we would rather not buy on credit (we should cut up the credit card!). Gina & her team serve well over 250 meals per week, yet we only have two small (by US standards) refrigerators. We bought a used one a year ago, but it is now broken. We would love to buy a large, new “ref” as they call it here. But again, we don’t want to use debt. Please pray about helping us.
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:
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 our blog to others who might be interested!
Please pray that God will send more laborers into his harvest field.