During one of my home visits, I was surprised when I arrived because Basilio’s birthday celebration was underway. As a minister, it was my privilege to pray for the celebrant. We all know that when there is a celebration, many people come to join the party. So, I took the opportunity to share with them the gospel. I spoke of the importance and value of life according to the Bible. I thank God that the people were listening while I spoke from God’s Word.
- Pray for Basilio and his family to grow spiritually.
- Pray for the Bible study in his place to prosper.
Every Saturday, our feeding program continues. We feed the kids porridge and the Word of God through Bible stories, worship songs, and games. Many children memorize the Bible verses and know how to sing worship songs for God. I encourage the parents to bring their children every Sunday for the worship service. Then the children learn to honor Sunday as the Lord’s Day. We do the singing together, and then the children go with my wife, Mercy, for Sunday school.
A couple of our former children are now young people and continue to teach the other children in the community. Nyamae and Rizza have so much fun and joy in serving the Lord by reaching out to the kids.
- Pray for our children’s ministry every Saturday and Sunday; pray for more teachers and more children.
- Pray for our volunteer teachers to grow as they continue to serve the Lord.
The Lord has provided various wide and spacious rooms for our church activities. We often use the small thatch for our children’s ministry if the weather is not favorable, or we use the “Banana room,” which has more shade due to the number of banana plants surrounding the area. The corridor alley is also used since not many people pass by it, this spot is long, and the children can just sit anywhere. It is more fun to be out in nature, and we thank God for all the natural rooms.
Binal and his mother Amelita have been active in attending the worship service. I was present when Binal and his family offered the open space near his house to host the children’s ministry. Sometimes Binal asks to borrow my guitar because he wants to sing worship songs with his mother. She was known as a quack doctor in the village. God changed her life by the power of the Holy Spirit and the gospel. Praise God!
- Pray for Binal and his mother Amelita to know the Lord deeper and serve Him.
Ramil has been my friend for a long time. We attended a Christian church together when we were young. However, his busy work schedule made Ramil disconnect from Sunday services, church people, and God. His seventeen-year-old daughter just died from cardiac arrest. One of his family members shared the news with me, so I went to Ramil’s house to comfort him. He allowed me to conduct the funeral service that day and night and at the cemetery. Ramil realized the importance of having God, serving the Lord, and being faithful in our commitment to Him. I preached during the funeral service and gave words of encouragement and comfort to the family. Ramil proposed opening his house for bible studies for his family, neighbors, and his wife’s relatives. Thank the Lord!
- Pray for Ramil and his family, for God to give them comfort and peace after the loss of their child.
Sometimes we face obstacles in doing the work of the ministry. There are times when the unexpected happens. One of these times was when I was going to the mountain for Bible study, and the tire of my car exploded. I thank God that nobody was hurt. We recognize God’s protection in our lives.
- Pray for protection and provision for my family.
Leny has five children, and her youngest are twins. They live close to where we hold our feeding program. One day, one of her twins got sick, and they brought the child to the hospital because of the high fever. A few days later, he died, and the authorities declared the cause of his death to be a covid-19 infection. Because of this situation, the baby was buried immediately. The barangay officials and police officers went to their house and cordoned on the home with a police line so that no one can enter the nearby area. The whole family of Leny was quarantined in their home. Because our feeding program is close by, we decided to postpone it for three weeks. Just recently, I was able to visit Leny and talk to her, sharing the Word of God. Her children are frequent attendees to the feeding program. After the police removed the police line, we resumed our feeding program in the area.
- Pray for Leny and her family.
During our feeding program, the young people help me cook the porridge. They brought firewood and water and did the cooking while the teachers taught the children. After our feeding program, I gathered the youth and taught them how to share the gospel using the gospel tracks. I encouraged them to tell others the good news and share their testimony of what God has done in their lives and serve the Lord with gladness.
- Pray for the youth to continue sharing the gospel with others and for God to use them for His glory.
We have Bible study with the Noval family. God opened the door of opportunity for this family, and their eldest daughter Nyamae is our guitarist during the worship service. They allowed me to have the Bible study in their home. I could not read the Bible when we first met in their house because their light was dim. I decided to bring a bigger bulb and change it for their little bulb. Then we can read the Bible. They also invited their parents, neighbors, and relatives to join the Bible study. I thank God that this family is now actively joining our worship service every week.
- Pray for the Noval family to grow in faith.
Lendsy is sixteen years old and is the granddaughter of Romulo, our leader. Before, she was living far from her family because she is a working student. Sometimes she did not have her meals at the right time, and she misses her family. One day she had hypertension and an autophobia (fear of isolation) episode. Her grandparents asked me to pray for her after the worship service. We prayed together with the leaders and church members. We thank God for healing. Now Lendsy is back in a normal situation, and her physical condition is fine. We thank God for answering our prayers.
- Pray for Lendsy that she can finish her studies and that God will prompt her family to serve the Lord.
- Pray for God to use her for His glory.
- Pray for our worship place, church lot, and building.
The whole province of Cebu is under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ), which means people can go travel. The Agape riders of Family for Christ informed me that they would be visiting our pioneering place here in Naga. They wanted to give blessings to the church members, including rice and canned goods, as the covid crisis continues. About thirty riders came to our place. One of them preached the gospel, and they prayed for the church’s needs and its members. They gave gifts to the believers as expressions of love and generosity.
During my community visits, I met Hulyo, now the leader of PGMS, a group of fishermen in Talisay. I approached him and expressed that this is the time for his people to hear the Word of God through community teaching about moral and spiritual values. The first core value is about the love of God. He agreed, and he allowed me to speak to his people. They meet every first Sunday afternoon of the month. I thank God that many had a good response and seemed to understand that they must put God first in their lives rather than anything else. We have created a daily schedule for community teaching. I encouraged Pastor Rene Despi, our resident pastor at the existing church in Talisay, to follow up with the members and families to build relationships with them and teach them more about Jesus Christ.
- Pray for our community teaching to continue and for the gospel to change the lives of people.
After our community teaching beside the seashore, we saw a woman lying on her bed because she was paralyzed. Her name is Nenen. She was recently released from the hospital due to a high blood pressure attack. When we saw her, we approached her and asked if we could pray for her. She allowed us to pray for her physical condition. With the church leaders, we prayed that God would heal her illness according to his will. While we prayed, Nenen cried; she believes that only a miracle from God would heal her. Because of her poverty, Nenen is unable to do therapy because it is expensive. I am encouraging our married ladies to visit Nenen and pray for her.
- Pray for Nenen’s complete recovery.
Catalina was a faithful member of our church. She was very punctual to our Sunday worship service and brought her sons, daughters, and granddaughter to the church. One day Catalina became sick, and her family could not admit her to the hospital because they did not have the finances. They were also afraid to find out if she had the covid virus. A few days later, she died at the age of seventy-eight. Her family asked me to conduct the funeral service. We gave them a small amount of money to help their family and to express our love and concern as one body of Christ.
- Pray for Catalina’s family as they navigate this time of grief.
This month, the property where we conducted our Sunday services has already been sold. The owner fenced the property, including the road going to our meeting place. The people were worried because we no longer have a place to meet for worship. I encouraged our church members to pray that God will open another place for us to worship. We are praying for the farm lot near the road; we would like to rent or borrow the land. But we must wait for the owner to return to the country so I can talk to him. We believe that God will one day reserve a place for us to build a church building.
- Pray for a church lot and building.
- Pray for the ability to hold a baptism.
We gather the people in an open place outdoors as it is large enough for the group. During our worship, there was a time when suddenly it started pouring, so everyone ran inside the small cottage. It was quite crowded, but we continued our worship service. The music team stood just outside the door, which meant they were starting to get wet until the boys helped by holding umbrellas. Since we do not have a proper place for worship that is large enough to contain everyone, I challenged our group to bring this request to the Lord. I asked them to pray that God will provide a church building for His people.
I met a young man named Mark; he is eighteen and a wild animal hunter. I met him and his dog along the river. Our conversation was friendly, and as we talked, I shared the gospel. The concept was not new to him because Mark already knew about Jesus. I shared with him that I desired to have a feeding program near his house. I asked him to help us by cooking and gathering firewood and water. I invited Mark to come and to bring his friends as well. Since we started the feeding program last month, Mark has been active in joining our worship service. I encouraged him to share the gospel with his family and friends.
Mark responded to my encouragement to reach his family. One day, he brought me to his grandmother’s house. Her name is Amelita. While I was there talking, I discovered that Amelita is a quack doctor and very devoted to her religious beliefs. But it did not hesitate the share the gospel, and Mark did not hesitate to share what Jesus had done in his life. Mark believes that God can change his grandmother’s life even though she is holding the power of darkness that she uses as a quack doctor. We believe that the gospel can change a person’s life when they hear it and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray that Amelita will surrender her life to God.
- Pray for Mark and his friends to continue to serve the Lord.
We continue our feeding program every week. I encourage the church members and volunteers to support this program. This event is one way to reach the community by feeding the children and demonstrating how God loves them. We visit the families of the kids. We teach them to memorize scripture verses and sing gospel songs. We play with the kids, and now they are no longer shy but enjoy playing with their teachers and peers. The kids are expressing their talents and growing in confidence. We enjoy watching them grow. We thank God for the volunteers, teachers, and cooks who make this program possible. We also are grateful for the house of Encel and Vinal to host our feeding program.
- Pray for the volunteer teachers to continue to have compassion and patience as they teach the children about the Word of God.
- Pray for the children to come to know the Lord.
I just celebrated my birthday with family and a few relatives. It was a simple celebration with a small group since we could not have many due to the social distancing policy. The time was full of emotions because my loved ones made a birthday message for me. Also, they had many wishes and prayers.
- Praise the Lord for the support and encouragement of friends and family.
- Praise the Lord for another year to serve and honor Him.
This month we are increasing our efforts to care for and share the gospel with more children in the city of Naga, Cebu. However, only my wife was teaching, and we need more volunteers to bring God’s love to the children. So we decided to train the youth, so they would be equipped to teach the children. We are thankful that Sis. Jen Pano offered her time and expertise to teach our youth. We had a one-day training for five girls. They are willing to teach but need the experience and know-how to do so. We taught them how to pray with the kids, share the story and do action songs. It was a mix of excitement and nerves as they did their teaching demonstration. Everyone experienced fulfillment by the end of the day for the satisfying adventure of learning and teaching.
As they have the same desire to share God’s Word to the children and adults, some of the church members volunteered to share porridge ingredients so we can do ministry areas back-to-back. Not only did they volunteer to teach but also to cook. We walked some distance to reach another place where children are abundant. We crossed a few wooden bridges, and I thank God for this collaborative work.
Nervous but excited, the five new teachers did their first-class among the community children. They taught new songs, stories and applied classroom management styles to fit their learners. Michelle is one of the new teachers; she is married and has one child. She volunteered because of her curiosity and passion for the children. Michelle was delighted and felt accomplished as she explored teaching skills and techniques that she had not tried before.
While the cooks were preparing the food and our teachers taught the kids, curious adults came wandering through the area. I used this opportunity to share the gospel with them and brought the group to the other side of the house for a Bible study. The house owner who allowed us to borrow the space for the feeding program also listened to my teaching. I thank God that some of these curious men and youth are now attending our weekly worship service.
Japhet and Jopher are eight-year-old twins. They are special children and need special attention. They also have eight siblings. The twins actively attend our children’s classes and are excited to sing and participate in the children’s ministry. Their parents are impoverished, and because of their poverty, they cannot send their children to school. I believe that the twins the channel God will use to reach the parents and help them by sharing the gospel.
- Pray for our feeding program.
- Pray that God will touch the hearts of the children so they believe in Jesus.
- Pray that the teachers will commit their time and ability to teach the kids weekly.
- Pray that we can reach the parents through their kids.
- Pray that God will send laborers and support this feeding program.
- Pray for our church lot and building because we are doing our worship service in an open place, and it is hard during the rainy season.
- Pray for more souls to be saved through our evangelism program.
- Pray for more people to publicly commit their lives to follow the Lord by the act of baptism.
The first month of the year, our church received a box of booklets titled Wisdom for Life. It is a Cebuano version from the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. This tool has been useful to reach the community because it is thin and small, so people can easily bring it anywhere.
The people are busy caring for their everyday needs, especially providing food for their families. Many people from our area are still struggling to survive during this crisis. During the day, I go to their places of work to share the gospel with them.
One day, I met a father with his two sons quarrying sand and gravel from the river. Their names are Reynaldo, Arnold, and Val. I shared the good news with them by using this booklet and gave each of them a copy. After sharing, they decided that they wanted to know more. The father opened their home for Bible study with his family and neighbors.
A Father and his sons listen carefully to Pastor Tame.
- Pray for the father and his sons.
- Pray for their continued openness to hearing the Word of God.
- Pray for their understanding of the gospel and for them to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Most of the youth are studying, every day, they focus on answering their work at their homes. Once, a group of youth went out to find ways to help their family. I met the teens and talked with them for a while. I encouraged them to remember the importance of education. I shared with them the booklet. Every week I went to their place to follow up with them and to visit their family.
- Pray for the youth that they would remember what Pastor Tame shared with them.
During our weekly worship service, there are not enough chairs for everyone to sit. We met a man named Apring standing in the back, hearing the read verses. He is eager to know what is in the Bible. He believed the God in the Bible can do miracles. Apring was in prison when he first read the Bible. When his case was dismissed, I met Apring, and now he is actively joining the worship service.
- Pray for this young man as he continues to seek the Lord.
As a father, we must take care of our families by providing for their needs, education, discipline, especially teaching them spiritual things. I teach my daughter Jasmin, ten years old, how to open the Bible and find verses. Every Sunday, her duty is to help the new teenagers who attend the worship service find the Bible’s verses.
- Pray for Pastor Tame’s Children.
- Pray for Reynaldo and his family to grow spiritually and for God to help their financial needs.
- Pray for our youth activities.
- Pray for more people to be saved.
- Pray for a church building; it is hard for the people during the rainy time because we meet in an open space.
- Pray for our leaders to continue to support me to do the ministry faithfully.
- Pray for good health and protection for my family.
At the end of 2020, we looked back on another year of trials and difficulties with the pandemic’s added stress. Many people lost jobs, and businesses were closed. People were hungry and longed for support from the government or anyone who could give them food. Even though times came when this help failed, people continued to move forward for their families’ sake. The problematic situation opened many people’s hearts to the gospel because they realized and believed that hope is only found in the Lord. At the end of the year, we did not fail to thank the Lord for everything He has done in our lives. Despite the pandemic, we held a thankfulness celebration with a simple banquet after our worship service. Everyone brought what they could afford, and the youth facilitated games so we could enjoy Christmas together.
- Pray for our youth ministry to be active in joining our Bible study.
Poverty is not a hindrance that means one cannot give generously. I have told you before of Dhessa, who is half-paralyzed from a stroke. I shared the gospel with her, and she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Her generosity displayed her genuine faith. When she heard we would be celebrating thankfulness, she offered bananas. Her husband is a farmer, and their only crop is bananas. We were thrilled that God touched her heart to give as a result of the gospel.
- Pray for Dhessa’s health and for her family to continue to serve the Lord faithfully.
We are thankful to White Fields for extending their love and support for our church leaders. These leaders are essential in helping the church planters in their locations. We gave rice to our church leaders, Romulo and Delia, Jenalyn, Nyamae, and Eliezer, and they expressed their gratitude to receive rice this Christmas. They extend their gratitude to those who pray and support them.
- Pray for our church leaders to continue to support the work here in Cantao-an Naga.
We recognize that God is the giver of life. I dedicated two babies to the Lord. Manuel and Johanna have their first baby, named Ayana Reign. Another couple, Ethel and Jorilon, had their fourth baby named Steve. These couples are members of our church in Talisay City. They recognize that God is the giver of life, and so they asked me to dedicate their babies to the Lord, just as the Bible says.
- Pray for their families that they would continue to seek and serve the Lord.
- Pray for our church building.
- Pray for our protection going in and out of our place because the road is slippery.
Everyone has hardships and difficulties in life and needs someone to lean on. I found that sharing these experiences with others who have similar stories or circumstances is more relatable. The ladies are hesitant to share their personal lives with me, even if I ask and show concern for them. But my wife is effective in being a confidant for the women. She is handling the married ladies’ Bible study. She gathered all the married ladies in a small house for mutually encouraging conversation.
- Pray for my wife Mercy, for God to give her wisdom in sharing the Word of God with the married ladies.
- Pray for my family as they support me as a church planter.
Dhessa is fifty-six and has twelve children; some of them are already married. Her husband is a farmer. Last year she experienced a hypertension attack, and half of her body was paralyzed. It happened when her son got involved in illegal drugs and was caught by the police. She had a hard time accepting the situation, and her health was negatively affected. Because of poverty and their lack of finances, she relied on government assistance for medical care and ambulance transportation. When I met Dhessa during my visits, she shared her story, and I told her of the hope of Jesus Christ. I shared the gospel message of salvation. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. At present, her health is improving, and she actively attends our worship gathering every Sunday.
- Pray for Dhessa to grow in her faith and trust in the Lord.
- Pray for her body to recover completely.
- Pray for her testimony.
Every week, I gather the young people for fellowship, Bible study, and music practice. I encourage them to read the Bible every day and aim for three chapters. I challenged them to memorize the New Testament books and gave surprise gifts to those who accepted and accomplished the challenge. This knowledge allows them to quickly open the Bible, follow along during my preaching and Bible study. I encouraged them to bring visitors to our gatherings. Since they are new believers, they are still learning how to share the Word of God clearly. The best way, for now, is for them to invite their friends to our events.
- Pray for the young people to grow spiritually and for their lives to be transformed by the gospel.
Romulo is our first convert in the church planting ministry. I trained him early on how to share the Word of God. When we visited the mountain area of Magdoc, we met Samuel, a friend of Romulo. While they talked, Romulo shared his testimony with Samuel and shared about Jesus. Samuel believed in Jesus because of Romulo’s testimony and life transformation.
- Pray for Romulo to grow in his faith.
- Pray for our leaders, for God to use them for his glory.
- Pray for a church lot and building.
During the pandemic situation, the government is allowing fifty-percent capacity for face-to-face gatherings in churches. Our former house church is in an area with strict protocols and security. So, I decided to hold church closer to the congregates’ homes. I borrowed a small house beside a farm. Since it is small, not everyone can fit inside, so some people sit outside. When it rains, the road is too slippery for my car to accomplish the climb, so my family and I walk. Thank the Lord that the people are excited to hear the Word of God.
- Pray for the lot and church building.
- Pray for the people to continue to serve the Lord despite the pandemic situation.
Every week, we gather the young people in the area. My eldest daughter Hazel and nephew Elizer join me. We teach music, including guitar for worship songs. After we sing, I share the gospel with them and challenge them to memorize verses from the Bible and the New Testament books.
Nina Mae is sixteen and studying in senior high school. I met her during my visits, and she is always smiling. I discovered that she is gifted in singing and composing songs on the guitar. I shared the Word of God with her and encouraged her to learn worship songs. She was excited to practice, and I recommended she use her ability to bring glory to God. Every Sunday, my daughter and Nina Mae lead the worship service.
- Pray for Nina Mae to grow in faith and musical ability.
- Pray for God to use in for His glory.
- Pray for the youth to grow in faith.
The Department of Education opened the school year with a different study modality – online classes and modular classes. My kids are in modular courses, so they are studying at home. The school provides the materials and answer sheets for the guardians to guide the children’s learning. My wife and I became instant teachers to our kids. It is a challenge for all involved as sometimes our children do not listen to us as carefully as they did with their schoolteachers. Despite the challenges, we are enjoying studying together for their future.
- Pray for my family to be protected and have good health.
- Pray for my wife and me to have wisdom and patience as we teach our children.
Jessa is a member of my former church planting in Talisay City. Last month her mother, Gregoria, was confined to the hospital from tuberculosis. Jessa called to ask me to pray for her mother to recover from this illness. Days went by, and Jessa again called to inform me that her mother had died. Jessa asked me to do the funeral service in their hometown of Balamban, South Cebu. I traveled there to do the service. It is an excellent opportunity to share the gospel because, during agony times, the hearts of the people are open, especially the family.
Four days after the funeral service, Jessa asked me to preach the gospel during the burial because many people and family friends gather at the cemetery to witness the last moments. On that day, I saw the worried faces; they are like sheep without a shepherd, crying without hope. Then I stood in front and proclaimed to them the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Before the funeral, I saw the children playing cards, so I grabbed the opportunity by gathering them to hear the gospel. I used the gospel tracks, and they listened because I was new to them. The people who live in the mountain communities listen respectfully to someone from the city or a spiritual leader or pastor. I thank God because these children and youth professed Jesus as their Savior. I led them in prayer.
- Pray for the children and youth in Balamban, South Cebu, to grow in faith.
- Pray for Jessa’s family as they mourn the loss of Gregoria.
- Pray for the seeds of the gospel to grow and flourish in this community.
Because of the pandemic situation, the government would not allow gatherings for over six months. As a result, we did not have face-to-face church worship services. However, we planned to have worship together while following the social and physical distancing and recommendation sanitation. In preparation, I encouraged Junjun, Jean, and Romulo to visit the people and inform them of our worship services plans. We walked along the narrow road to reach the houses because our vehicle cannot pass due to the rocks. I encouraged our leaders to have joy as they walk by, reminding them of Paul’s words, “How beautiful are the feet that preach the gospel of peace in good tidings.”
I continued to help the people in the mountain community by bringing them water to drink. It is my joy and delight to meet the people’s physical and spiritual needs; many live far from the well.
- Pray for our church leaders to continue to grow spiritually.
- Pray for our worship services as we start meeting face-to-face.
- Pray for our church project, portable amplifier, and speaker.
- Pray for my children – Hazel, Jasmin, Lester, and Zion – that started modular learning.
Two of my children celebrated their birthdays last month. Jasmin Grace is ten and Dave Zion, my youngest, celebrated his fourth birthday. Because of the pandemic and lockdown situation, my wife and I only planned a small celebration for our family. But when the neighbors, church members, and family friends learned that my kids were celebrating their birthdays, they extended their love by bringing food. This influx of well-wishers was genuinely unexpected, primarily as the pandemic and lockdown have caused financial struggles. We are so thankful for everyone wishing for my children to be happy and celebrated. The group extended prayers for my children amidst the hard times. My children, Jasmin and Dave, were delighted, especially since they missed everyone due to the lockdown length. I am grateful for everyone’s hospitality.
Felipe is seventy-two and a retired engineer in a logging company. He and Lisa, his wife, are community leaders in the place where I am residing. I met this couple a few months ago, and they expressed appreciation that my family is active in every community program. When Felipe discovered I knew how to make organic fertilizer, he called me to ask about natural farming. I went to his home to teach him. As a church planter, I always insist on teaching the Word of God every time I teach on any subject. Felipe understood that we would talk about God every time we meet as God is the center of everything; we do nothing without Him. I shared the gospel with him. Felipe wants me to be his friend and has invited me to his house to eat and talk about the Bible.
- Pray for Felipe, and Lisa’s hearts will be open to the message of salvation.
Ronellio is my second cousin. He has an eatery business in Naga. Because of the pandemic and lockdown situation, for several months, his place was closed. When his restaurant was able to open again this summer, I visited him and saw that no one was allowed to dine in but only to purchase takeout due to the local government’s policy. I revisited him to talk about life. I encouraged Ronellio to keep trusting God despite the current situation. I prayed with him for his workers to be protected and for God to bless his business. The staff was happy that I visited with words of God and prayers.
We transferred our meeting location for worship to the house of Romulo. His home did not have a comfort room (bathroom), so we decided to build one as our church project. We set aside a small amount of money for the materials that were needed. Because of the lockdown, no one could work because the workers could not cross the community borders. We waited for four months until the government declared the general community quarantine. Then the workers were able to travel to work. We thank God that our comfort room (bathroom) is completed, and when the government allows social gatherings, we will have access to these facilities.
As we continue to fight the coronavirus, the people suffer from a lack of essential items, especially food for their families. They cannot go to work because there is no transportation and some companies are closed because of the pandemic. The city government of Naga, Cebu, initiated help for its citizens by providing food and other necessities. The city used its funds to buy rice to distribute to every household in the middle class, low-income, and most impoverished of the poor in the society. Each house received twenty-five kilos of rice. I thank God that my family was a recipient of the support from the government.
- Pray for the needs of the family who have lost jobs and income from the pandemic.
- Pray for their daily needs to be met.
During my visits to my ministry area, I met a man named Binal. He is fifty-four, has eleven children, and is a mason carpenter who lives near the river. Due to the pandemic and lockdown situation, he cannot go to his workplace and earn income to support his family. Because Binal has plenty of kids, he started to gather the sand and gravel to sell to a nearby construction company. He did not think about the risks involved because he needed to support his family. When I met him a second time, he shared his story. One day, he experienced a flood rushing from the mountain where there was heavy rain. The river level increased rapidly, and Binal was carried away by the current. He felt God’s hand saving him from this situation. I told him of the gospel, and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Binal desires to have a Bible study in his home after the pandemic is over and when the government allows gatherings.
- Pray for Binal to be able to provide for his family’s needs during the lockdown and for his faith to grow.
- Pray for Binal’s desire for a Bible study in his home to be possible.
Ricardo is a new transfer resident near my house. He is single, twenty-two years old, and works in the food processing factory. There is a tradition that on the first day of transferring houses, the inhabitants need to invite friends to a banquet so that many fortunes will come. When the food was already prepared, the group wanted somebody to pray, so my sister-in-law told them there was a pastor nearby and suggested they invite me to pray for them and the food. So, they sent someone to my house and asked me to pray for Ricardo and the food. My wife and I went to the banquet and prayed for them. After we ate, I talked with Ricardo and found out that he was gay. I started to share God’s word with him and asked, what will happen if you continue to live that type of life? I told Ricardo that Jesus has the power to change your life when you surrender and repent of your sin, believe, and accept Him as your Savior. I saw the tears falling from Ricardo’s eyes, and this was a sign of repentance. I know there is power in prayer.
- Pray for Ricardo to stand firm in faith and resist the habits of his previous life.
- Pray for this move to a new house to prompt a new life and for Ricardo to connect with believers.
Since the government does not allow religious gatherings due to the pandemic, I have been doing worship services with my family in our home. We do a conference call to the church leaders and members to join our worship service from their own homes. My niece and nephew in Cebu are leading the singing, and then I preach God’s Word. Then we collect prayer requests from everyone in different areas. We pray and encourage each other to continue our duty to serve the living God.
- Pray for our continued visitations and follow-up to the pioneering area.
- Pray for social media communication to help spread the gospel.
- Pray for my wife Mercy, who is struggling with allergies.
- Pray for protection and good health for my family.
The people in the mountains longed for the rain because they lacked water and could not go anywhere because of the lockdown. They prayed that God would send rain so they could plant their corn and some root crops. God answered our prayers, and this month, the rain came. The farmers are busy planting since the land was prepared while they waited for the rain. They are using the carabao (water buffalo) for plowing, and the family members sow the seed. The people are happy to have their prayers answered. If there had been no rain, they could not plant and would not have food to feed their families.
- Pray for the crops to grow well and produce an abundant harvest.
- Pray for God to send much rain and to meet the family’s basic needs.
Drinking water delivery is another ministry that I do in Maga, Cebu. Junjun and his family are among those who receive free water to drink. This ministry gives me another opportunity to share God’s Word. Junjun remembered when I first met him, I shared with him about Jesus, and he believed in God. I encouraged him to continue to believe in God and grow in his faith by reading the Bible and listening to my preaching on the conference call. He connected his phone to a Bluetooth speaker so the entire family can hear my instruction. They open their Bibles and listen intently to the message. Now, his family is excited to be a part of the worship service when the lockdown restrictions are done.
- Pray for Junjun and his family to grow in their faith and to continue serving the Lord.
- Pray for the water delivery ministry to open more doors for the gospel and for the people to have adequate daily food and water.
Praise the Lord that the pastor can provide for the physical and spiritual needs of his people.
While driving up the mountain, I saw people making a road on the side of the slope. I stopped in the shadow of a tree. My wife and I prayed with the people and asked if they had time to hear the gospel. We gave them bread and extended friendship to them. They were happy to talk even though we were not known to them, as they could sense our concern for their wellbeing; they welcomed us and were open to our words.
- Pray for the government to allow religious gatherings.
- Pray for our protection traveling to the church planting area.
- Pray for God to open opportunities for the gospel even during this pandemic situation
As the pandemic situation of COVID-19 continues, many people are being affected. The enhanced community quarantine is still mandating by the government; no one is allowed to go anywhere that is not essential. Along with these restrictions, all gatherings, including religious activities, are not allowed. I am doing our worship service in the house with my family. During the worship service, I use a conference call to add my church leaders so they can join us. Some of them initiated the idea of connecting their phones to an amplifier so that more people near them can hear my preaching. We are far from each other in the distance, but the use of social media and the internet is uniting our spirits as one for the glory of God.
Pastor Tame does worship with his Family and shares with his leaders
Every barangay (the smallest administrative division in the Philippines, similar to a village or suburb) has checkpoints with barangay public and safety officers, and policemen, to monitor the people going in and out of each place. They only allow vehicles to pass if they are carrying food, water, or other necessities. As it is summer here in the Philippines, many wells have dried up. The people are suffering from lack of water, and many need to travel to another barangay to get water. It is hard for those who do not have a vehicle to carry their water home due to the distance. I am helping by bringing water to the families who are in need.
When I reach the checkpoint, the officials allow me to pass as I am bringing water for the people in that barangay. As believers, we can use this opportunity to show the people that we care for not only their spiritual needs but also their material needs. As Jesus Christ said, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
It has been over a month since the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was put in place. The people have no work, and government support was delayed due to procedures. The people needed alternative food access for survival. Many started making food from their root crops, like cassava, to feed their families as they waited for support from the government. The people were praying and wondering how God would provide food during this challenging situation. Those living on the mountain barangay had a long delay in the amount of time it took for the government support to come. Eventually, they received it, five kilos of rice each and six canned goods. The people were happy and grateful for the food. It is not enough, but they are praying and trusting that God will continue to provide food during this time. As their pastor, I am encouraging everyone to pray and trust God and to believe the promises in His Word. I also remind the believers to share what they have with their neighbors in need.
- Pray for the pastor to have safe travels as he brings water, food, and encouragement to the people.
- Pray for the daily food needs of the believers and for their faith in God to be strengthened.
Last month, the whole province of Cebu was under community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has mandated social distancing and to avoid all gatherings in public and private places, including religious activities.
So as a pastor, we have found alternate methods of communicating with people using social media, video calls, messenger, and text messages to send the Word of God and support each other. I encourage every family to have worship service and family devotions on Sunday. Everyone is preparing themselves to stay indoors and only gather their daily necessities.
- Pray that God will stop the pandemic.
- Pray that people will open their hearts to the gospel.
My leaders have suffered persecutions from their family members and neighbors. I am sad to say that some decided to quit serving the Lord due to this pressure. At the beginning of last month, I was invited to a birthday celebration and went with the church leaders. I prayed to God for the birthday person and the food. There were many visitors, and I grabbed the opportunity to share the Word of God. I talked with a Christian, Titang, and she shared her testimony.
Titang has encountered persecution from her first moments as a Christian. Her father threatened her by putting a reaper blade to her neck and stating “if you continue in serving the Lord, I will kill you” but Titang persevered, “I will not quit in serving the Lord because I know my destiny and I give my life to the Lord.” As we spoke, she cried and encouraged our leaders to serve the Lord despite persecution, because even death cannot separate us from the love of Christ.
- Pray for Titang and her family.
- Pray that her testimony will be a blessing to others.
- Pray that my leaders will be strengthened in their resolve to serve the Lord.
The family of Jaime and Josephine lives on the rural and rugged mountain. Yet the distance does not hinder us in going to their place as they have eight people in their family, and they need the Lord. Jaime is a heavy equipment operator. When we arrived for a visit, his wife asked us to wait for her husband because she wanted the whole family to hear the message of God. While we waited, she offered us jackfruit and invited us to stay for dinner. After we ate, I preached the gospel to their family, and everyone accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.
Each time we held a Bible study in their home, the entire family was present. However, at this time, due to the quarantine, we need to postpone our visits with them.
- Pray for Jaime and Josephine, with their entire family, to serve the Lord despite the stressful situation.
- Pray for the church members, the pastors, and their families.
- Pray for those on the front lines fighting this pandemic.
- Pray for the economy and the recovery of the COVID-19 victims.
This month we decided to change our meeting place because when the gospel spread to another community of people, they were hesitant to join us at our current location as it seemed exclusive for the existing group. We prayed together as leaders about where we could hold our worship services. The Lord touched the heart of Romulo, and he offered his house for us to use as our new meeting place. The house is old and not close to the highway, but I view it as a very strategic location as it is on the boundary of the next barangay (neighborhood), where we also have a bible study meeting close by. So, we started our worship services in Romulo’s home, and many people visited and joined us. After the meeting, some of the members offered food for lunch, and we ate together.
- Pray for the new meeting place and for the ability to do necessary renovations and repairs.
- Pray for new believers and future baptisms.
- Pray for our new project comfort room.
Romulo celebrated his sixty-sixth birthday. We gave him a surprise serenade. I talked with my leaders and Romulo’s children, and we did songs during the dawn time, as early as four am to show Romulo how important he is to us. As a pastor, one of my duties is to care for my members and express our gratitude to them. Romulo was happy and amazed as this was the first time he had experienced this blessing. He expressed his appreciation and thanksgiving to God and cried, saying, “I am happy that God saved me and that I have experienced the Christian way of living.” He promised God that he would continue to give God his life in service to Him. We prayed for Romulo and encouraged him.
Since we changed meeting locations, many teenagers have felt freer to come and carry out their activities. We are training them to sing Christian songs. I encouraged my daughter, Hazel, to teach them the words and melodies so they will be familiar with the songs during our worship service. Hazel is willing to share her talent with the guitar as a ministry to the youth. On Saturdays, we gather the teenagers to sing to God, to read the Bible, and to eat food.
- Pray for young people’s activities.
- Pray for God to draw them to faith in Him.
Two years ago, when I started to work in the barangay Cantao-an. I passed by the next village, and there are many people in this village. I pray that I will have the opportunity to open a Bible study there. I shared this desire with my leaders, Romulo and Jhane, and they informed me that their relatives are living in this place. So, I asked if I could visit their relatives. One day, his nephew and their family joined us in our worship service; he asked me to visit their house and have a Bible study. In the last week of the month, one couple, Edward and Linda, opened their home for a Bible study. They invited their neighbors to join us. We now have Bible study in the small village of barangay Guindarohan. We thank God for answering our prayers.
- Pray for our leaders, Romulo and Jhane, that they will stand firm in the Lord and continue to support the ministry.
- Pray that Edward and Linda will continue to open their home for Bible study and invite their neighbors to join.
Last month, Cebu and the whole province celebrated the Sinulog festival. The people were dancing in the streets, carrying their idol, Santo Nino, the baby Jesus. This pagan custom was introduced by the Spanish five-hundred years ago. The belief is that this idol carries the whole world and can perform miracles. Many Filipinos give their petitions to this idol. During the celebration, people travel from all over the Philippines and around the world. Celebrities and politicians bow to this idol. It is challenging for Christians to disagree with these ideas publicly and preach the gospel. Only the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit can open their eyes to the truth about the real God. Thankfully, there are many ways we can preach the gospel as the Philippines is a democratic country. We are allowed to preach the gospel in the streets, give out gospel tracks, evangelize, and share God’s Word via the radios and television.
My father was sick and needed the support of his children and grandchildren, so my family and I traveled to my hometown, Negros Island. I talked with my brothers and sisters, reminding them to be one in the faith of Jesus Christ so He can give strength and extend the life of my father. As my father was confined to the hospital, we did not miss this opportunity to minister to the people in the same room and general area. I shared the Word of God and prayed with them. My father was released from the hospital, and we celebrated the New Year together with a banquet and my father’s birthday. My father told his children and grandchildren that we need to start this new beginning as one family serving the Lord and have a reunion every year to meet and fellowship together, worshipping God, in prayer and celebration.
Praise the Lord for healing the father of Pastor Tame.
- Pray for his family to draw near to the Lor and each other through this entire experience.
Mariano is fifty-five and lives on top of the mountain of Barangay Cantao-an. He is in poverty and needy; he had a stroke and was paralyzed. When I first came to his place to have a Bible study, his sister would observe me from a distance. At my second visit, she drew near and listened to what I was sharing. She and Mariano accepted the Lord Jesus. Mariano said, “I believe in God that you preach” and asked Jesus into his heart as the leaders prayed for him. The prayer made Mariano cry as he was thankful for the prayers; this was the first time anyone had prayed for him. He is full of joy, and every time I have Bible study in his place, he is always eager to know about the Word of God.
- Pray for Mariano’s health to have a fast recovery and for Mariano and his sister’s spiritual growth.
Pastor Steve visited us in Cebu, and we were surprised by his visit to our pioneering work in Cantao-an Naga city. When our members and leaders heard there was an American visit, they were happy and wanted to share their root crops, bananas, and coconuts. When they saw an American for the first time, they were excited that he could drink the coconut water without using a drinking straw. Pastor Steve’s visit was the first time that a white man had visited them in the mountain area. Thank you, Pastor Steve, for your visit.
- Pray for the pioneering work in Cantao-an to grow as the believers gain more knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
- Pray for the believers to be free to share their faith with their friends, neighbors, and family. Pray for more people to come to know the Lord.
Our members were excited to celebrate thankfulness, expressing our gratitude for what God has done in our lives. I encourage everyone to share in the preparations and to be generous even with what little they have, including the poor who live on the mountain with only root crops and bananas. The believers brought food, and everyone worked together to prepare it, even the children. I invited members of the Station of Life Glory Church in Talisay City, to give words of encouragement. They shared testimonies of what God has done in their lives before and after they knew the hope of salvation. The people in the mountain area were encouraged to move forward, serving the Lord with joy and learning how God will provide for their needs and help them in times of difficulties.
Many of the pastors around Cebu gathered at the Family for Christ church planting ministry in Mandaue City Cebu last month. Many testimonies were shared, some expressed their hardships and challenges while serving the Lord. The pastors encouraged each other to go forward in serving despite the difficulties and to trust in the Lord’s promises that He will provide for our needs and be our help in times of trial. People are waiting to hear the message of salvation, and we need to preach the gospel because it is God’s mandate. After the testimonies, we listened to words of encouragement from the speaker. The pastors were revived and committed their lives again to be useful and effective in the ministry this year. We had fellowship together and encouraged one another as coworkers in serving Christ.
Romulo is sixty-four and for many years, his relationship with his daughters was broken as he had neglected them. But when he learned from the Bible studies about Jesus, he started to reach out to his daughters. I encouraged him to reconcile with them, asking for their forgiveness. One day, he went to the house of one daughter, and they talked heart-to-heart. Finally, by God’s grace, they forgave each other. It is a Christmas present to Jesus that whatever happened in the past needs to be forgotten and forgiven, just as God had done for us when He forgave us. Now Romulo is serving the Lord joyfully.
Praise the Lord for the reconciliation of Romulo and his daughter.
- Pray for the continuous commitment of the church workers, including Romulo and Jhane.
- Pray for the spiritual growth of the Cantao-an Naga.
- Pray for safety in walking in the mountain area.
- Pray for the new house Bible study.
- Pray for new members to desire to show their obedience to God through water baptism.
Romulo is a widower in his sixties and the father of Gina, who died of cancer this past spring. He first heard the gospel during the funeral service for his daughter. I have visited him at his house since then as it is along the way to his other daughter’s house. A few months after the funeral, Romulo surrendered his life to God and committed to helping me with visits and Bible studies. Despite his age, he is willing to travel with me to the mountain region. He is familiar with the place and has known many of the residents, so he is an immense help for me. I am mentoring him each week by studying God’s Word.
When God called me to minister in the mountain area, I prayed and prepared myself for the challenge of bringing the message of God to the top of the mountain. I travel by the grassy way so I can reach them to preach the Word of God. I thank God for how He moves mightly in the hearts of the people, for when I arrived this time, they welcomed me warmly. Before this, they had rejected me as I was a stranger, and they were hesitant to allow me to enter their homes. This may be because those who came with me are familiar to them, Romulo and Jhane.
- Pray for the outreach to the mountain region.
- Pray for safety while traveling the mountain roads and for a positive reception.
- Pray for Romulo and Jhane to continue to be used by God for the ministry.
- Pray for the new Bible study opening in Magdooc, Naga.
Last month, my niece Anafe was married to Dave. They invited me to be one of the godfathers (a traditional Philippines sponsor role for weddings). It was my opportunity to share the Word of God to my family and friends on Negros Island. Many of them are living together outside of the bonds of legal marriage, so I encouraged them to plan for their own marriage ceremonies.
- Pray for Dave and Anage to have patience and understanding of each other.
Thank you for your prayers. God answered them. Chamy and Manuel are already completed healed from their illnesses. I visited them last week, and they were happy. Chamy is back in school, and Manuel can attend the worship service each week because he can walk upright, and his arthritis is healing.
- Pray for strength and health for the pastor and his family.
- Pray for Mary Ann and Boy to grow in their faith.
Chamy is Carmen’s granddaughter. She is eighteen and studying in high school. She has a boyfriend. One day, Chamy was vomiting, and her parents were concerned that she was pregnant. They took her to the doctor, and her pregnancy test was negative. They did a physical check-up and ran another test, which also was negative. Her parents visited the witchdoctor, who stated that a spirit was troubling her, but still, Camy was ill. Her grandmother called to say Chamy needed prayers. So I went to their house and prayed for her. After I prayed, Chamy said she felt the heat go out of her body, and she did not vomit again. We believe that God is more powerful than the witchdoctor.
She asked God for forgiveness and promised to serve Him for the rest of her life. Since these events, the family has allowed me to visit every week for a Bible study. Carmen, the grandmother, calls the family members to attend the Bible study. It is easy for her to gather them as the relatives all live close by. Each time we have Bible study and pray, Carmen has been in tears. She has joined our worship service. I continue to visit and pray with this family.
- Pray for Chamy to grow in her faith and to understand what it means to serve God.
- Pray for her health to continue to improve and for no future impacts from this illness.
Samuel is the father of Jane, our worship leader. He is a farmer and lives in the highest part of the mountains in barangay Cantao-an. I met Samuel after Jane brought me to his place for a visit as she desired her father to hear the good news about Jesus. I saw Samuel walking down the road, so we started talking, and I shared the good news of the gospel. He was happy and excited. He expressed his amazement that I would be so concerned with his wellbeing that I would travel that far to share the gospel. While we were talking, the rain started pouring hard. As his house was close by, we sprinted in its direction for shelter, despite our soon being soaked. Samuel requested I hold a Bible study each week in his home as he wants his family and friends to know about Jesus.
- Pray for Samuel and his family to come to faith.
- Pray for strength and safety as I travel to the mountain for visiting and Bible study.
- Pray for more opportunities to share the gospel and for more people to open their homes for Bible studies.
Manuel has tuberculosis and arthritis; I first visited him last month, and after we prayed with him, he received some relief of his symptoms. I recently revisited him, sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with his family. Manuel believed in the power of God to heal. This miracle was an excellent opportunity to share what God has done in his life with others and to share the gospel. Each week, we do a Bible study in his house, and those who come are eager to know more about the Word of God. When Manuel discovered the hope of Jesus, he desired everyone in his family to know Jesus too.
Conching is married to Manuel, she is seventy-four and fearlessly travels everywhere to sell her merchandise to support her husband. Conching told her that she has many religious groups that come to her house and share their religion with her. She debates these leaders as she is a devoted Roman Catholic. I discovered that these groups were cults. When I came to her house and shared the Word of God, she did not debate me. So, I asked her, “why did you not argue with me?” She answered, “I believe that God in the Bible that you shared about today is true, and I believe in Jesus Christ.” The other cult leaders have not returned, but she is eager for us to return to her home and teach the Word of God.
- Pray for Manuel and Conching to grow in their faith.
- Pray for their testimony in the neighborhood and for the Bible study in their home.
- Pray for health and safety for the entire family.
- Pray for their son, Gomer, to grow spiritually.
Sharing God’s Word is more important than the location. I approached the small community leader in the barangay (neighborhood), and he allowed me to share the gospel and moral values. The community meeting place is cramped and cannot hold many people. But in front of the building is a mango tree. We gathered the people in the shadow of the mango tree since there were too many to fit inside. Many of them expressed that this is the first time they had heard the Word of God. Their ancestors had told them not to read the Bible, but only the priest could read the Bible. We are thankful to God that He opened the minds and hearts of the people to know the truth. I visit this group weekly for follow-up.
- Pray for the group under the mango tree to continue to grow in their knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
- Pray for the people in this community to become believers.
Dongie is a jeepney driver and willing to go with me on home visits. He is learning to evangelize and is full of passion. He cannot read well, especially when the letters are small, due to an eye problem. So he asked a young boy to read the words on the gospel tracks to people when he shared, and then Dongie explained the message that was read. Thank God for this opportunity for many of these people to hear God’s Word for the first time.
- Pray for Brother Dongie to be used by God to reach people with the good news.
Praise the Lord for the boy who willingly reads with Dongie.
- Pray for the pastor’s family to be safe and healthy.
- Pray for the believers who are active in our weekly worship service, for their faith to grow and for their daily needs to be met.
Just this month, another outreach location was opened to hearing the gospel. I approached the community leader, Alice, about teaching the people. She was willing to help gather a group once a week, and we had more than thirty people, including some community officials and youth. I presented topics such as moral values, spiritual values, and the concepts of the livelihood program. After I spoke, the people were happy, and some commented that this was the first time they heard that there is someone who cares about them. I told them that I would visit their homes so that I can pray with them and build relationships with the people in the community.
- Pray for our new outreach to grow and people to hear the gospel and come to faith in God.
- Pray for new believers.
- Pray for Alice to continue to gather the people every week.
I encouraged our church members to visit their neighbors in the mountain area, especially those who are sick or weak. We desire to show the love of God for them. I do not usually go alone while visiting because most of the homes have lots of dogs. Sometimes it is challenging to find people to accompany me, but the reception is excellent, at every house we visit, the inhabitants welcome us happily.
- Pray for our leaders to continue house visits, pray for our protection as we travel in the mountain area.
Manuel is seventy-five years old and has tuberculosis and arthritis. He is the father of Gomer, who actively attends our worship services. Gomer told me that his father was ill and asked if I could visit his house to pray for him. I visited him with several other members and shared the gospel. Manuel believed in God’s ability to heal him. We prayed together, and after our prayer, Manuel was able to breathe more naturally, and his knees were able to move normally. He was happy for God’s answer to his prayers.
Praise the Lord for answering Manuel’s prayers for healing and pray for his complete recovery. Praise the Lord for his salvation.
Junjun is the husband of Jane, our song leader. Junjun is a machine operator in a Japanese company. Jane invites him frequently to our worship service, but he refused to come. He is ashamed of his inability to communicate with other people. One day, Jane invited me to have lunch at their house. I accepted the invitation with the desire to share the gospel with her husband. After we ate, we talked, and I shared the gospel message. After I spoke, I saw in his eyes how happy he was to hear the gospel. Junjun accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
- Pray for Junjun to continue in his faith and for his family.
The International Commission team came to Cebu intending to help the local churches evangelize in the community. One of the members, Miss Sheng from Baguio City, visited our church plant in Naga. She shared the Word of God with the mothers in the school. I provided the gospel tracks, and she spoke with them, many of the women accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. We recorded their names to do the follow-up with them individually.
- Pray for the mothers who accept Jesus Christ to grow in their faith and knowledge of God’s love for them.
- Pray for connections and friendships to be formed with the women in the local church.
- Pray for new contacts and leaders.
- Pray for a teacher for the children.
Ruffa is the wife of my cousin; she recently had a mild stroke. The last time I visited her, she was sitting in her chair outside her small house, she was thrilled to see me as it had been a long time since I had come last. During our conversation, she shared her life experiences, and I shared the Word of God with her. We prayed for her and by the grace of God, after our prayers, she experienced healing, and her right arm again is functioning normally. Ruffa praises the Lord for the healing and is open to having a Bible study with her family.
- Pray for Ruffa to experience complete healing from the stroke.
- Pray for her spiritual healing and growth in her relationship with God.
- Pray for the Bible study with her family to produce fruit.
The volunteer missionaries shared the gospel with the young people in the Baywalk. We distributed gospel tracks and prayed for the people there. A group of senior high school students was sitting together, so we approached them to talk. They were attentive to our words and eager to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. I received the phone number of one of them to follow-up and minister to them in the future.
We not only shared the gospel but also prayed for the people. Many of those we visited were very busy running their shops, so we prayed for their business. We met Christine and her husband, who have an ice cream business in Naga City. We purchased ice cream from them for our refreshment and offered a prayer for their business. They were thankful and happy to have men of God pray for their shop.
Pray for the high school seniors to be serious about their new faith and to become a part of a local church. Pray for the youth to be reached for the Lord through a Bible study. Pray follow-up with the students. Pray for Christine and her husband’s ice cream business to flourish. Pray for the Alipio family to grow in their faith.
“Why are we poor?” This question was the opening for me to encourage Mary Anne and her brother to study the Word of God. Mary Anne is the sister of Gina, who passed away a few months ago. (See previous reports for her story). Mary Ann is thirty-nine, married with three children, and her husband is a heavy equipment operator of a big company. Her mother is very religious and charismatic. Mary Ann and her siblings heard the Bible many times but have never read it. The day I came to their house, and we talked, she asked me this question, so I took the opportunity to explain poverty through the lens of the Bible. This led them to be challenged to open and read the Bible for themselves. Since then, Mary Ann and her brother have been attending the Bible study. Praise the Lord!
- Pray for Mary Ann and her family, including her brother, to come to understand God’s love and grace for them.
- Pray for persistence in attending the Bible study and for wisdom for the teachers answering their questions.
- Pray for them to continue to open their home for Bible study and for salvation.
Jane is active in our worship service, is twenty-nine and has two children; her husband works in a Japanese company. She lives in a place near our church planting area. When I first met her, Jane told me her life story, she is estranged from her family, started living with a man at thirteen, and had one son through this relationship. This man was irresponsible, and due to her own youth, she could not handle problems in life yet, so they separated. Upon hearing God’s Word, she has regained a purpose in her life and hope in the future. One day, I encouraged her to lead a worship song. We started slowly, and I gave her time to practice, now she is our song leader. We are doing a Bible study as well, but I do not go to her house since her husband works during the day and she is alone, at night we cannot study since they did not have electricity in their home. We found the best solution is to do follow-up over the phone. When she has time, I call and teach more about the Word of God. She is sharing the gospel with her neighbors, and I am excited to see her spiritual growth and anticipate her being a church leader one day.
- Pray for Jane to grow as she studies God’s Word. Pray for her family.
Jurilon and Ethel are a couple living in Talisay. God blessed them with the gift of a baby. Pastor Rene asked me to be the one to dedicate the baby to the Lord in our church in Talisay City. It is my joy to commit this child to the Lord according to the Word of God. This family is active in our Sunday worship in the church in Talisay as they live close by.
Praise God for the family of Jurilon and Ethel as they dedicate their child to the Lord.
- Pray for the strength to train up this child for God’s glory.
- Pray for the church as they support this couple.
- Pray for the family to grow spiritually and continue to support their home church.
Pray for the new believers to grow in their faith and continue to serve the Lord. Pray for God to open the doors of their houses to hold Bible studies in this area. Pray for a church building in Naga, Cebu. Pray for my wife, Mercy, and for God to heal her from anemia.
It is summer break here in the Philippines. The Family for Christ Church Planting Ministry Inc. held a summer vacation youth camp in Mandaue City, Cebu with the theme “Undivided.” There were more than one-hundred campers from various locations in Cebu and Bohol Island. I was invited to speak the first night. I preached about salvation, and many surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior. After I finished, several young people expressed their appreciation, “thank you, pastor, for the message of hope, now we know that Jesus loves us and when we get home we will still know that we have everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Savior.”
I was conducting a Bible study in the small village in my mission’s outreach, we met in the evening as the sun was setting. When we turned on the lights, there was an electric disruption, so I instead used the flashlight on my cellphone. I thank the Lord for the small light that enabled me to bring great comfort and hope to the listeners.
- Pray for the new believers who were saved at the summer youth camp.
- Pray for their faith to continue and grow when they return to the regular routines of life.
- Pray for their connection with each other and to their local church.
While I was walking along the mountainside doing home visits, I felt thirsty in the hot weather. I met a man named Tinoy, who was seventy years old. He lived in the mountain area with his wife. The man’s children are grown and married with their own families. Tinoy offered me a coconut to drink, but there was no one to climb the tree. During our conversation, as I shared the Word of God, a young man passed by, and I asked him to climb the tree. I spoke of Jesus’ love and salvation, at first Tinoy refused, but then later, he prayed to accept Jesus. After I drank the coconut water, we parted ways. Tinoy told me to come back again. God uses us to share His word in many locations and situations, the most essential part is to grab every opportunity to preach the gospel.
- Pray for God to continue to work in Tinoy’s life.
- Pray for our church building and for many people to join our worship service.
- Pray for every opportunity to preach the gospel.
Gomer is thirty-five, single due to his shyness, and lives nearby the church. He is a farmer, and as his parents are elderly, he lives with them and cares for them. When I first met him, his manner was polite but reserved. When I started to share the Word of God, he was full of doubts because he was Catholic and felt there was a time that God allowed terrible things to happen to him. He was sick and vomiting; when he went to the doctor, they were unable to figure out what was wrong. A neighbor told him to go to the Lord in prayer for this illness. His neighbor called me, and we scheduled a time to visit and pray with Gomer.
To God, be the glory!
God healed him, and Gomer accepted Jesus. He actively joins our worship service each Sunday.
Praise God for the salvation of Gomer.
- Pray for his witness to his family and the community.
Isabelo is a widow who lives adjacent to the church. His children are married, and he works by caring for a flower garden near his house. He does not know how to read or write. One day as he passed by on the small road to his daughter’s house, I met him and shared the Word of God. He accepted Jesus, and I encouraged him to attend the Bible Study the next week. He came simply to listen and now has begun to share the gospel with his family and is active in the church.
- Pray for Isabelo’s witness to his family. Praise God for his salvation.
I have shared the story of Gina’s family. She was suffering from kidney cancer, and the church was praying for her. Gina passed away, and her family called me to do the service. On the last night, they allowed me to preach the Word of God because there was a large crowd. Of their neighbors, friends, and relatives, many came to Jesus that night. Three weeks later, Gina’s husband Danny, stopped on his way home from work and purchased a roasted chicken at the corner. When he got back, he tried to wake up his two children so they could eat some chicken with him, but as it was quite late at night, they did not wake up. Danny decided to consume the roasted chicken by himself, after a few minutes, he started to feel queasy and vomited. He was brought to the hospital, and they found out the chicken was poisoned. Two days later, Danny passed away. The dog who had some died as well. The family started to question God, “why all this was happening to their family?” I visited them to encourage them that God controls everything and to keep their faith. They understood and were comforted by my words.
- Pray for the Tomarong family to be comforted by God.
- Pray for their two children as they adjust to the tragic loss of both their parents.
- Pray for the church to be able to bless and care for this family.
Hazel, my oldest daughter, just finished seventh grade and received a recognition award as an honor student. God has blessed me with a daughter like her. I am encouraging and training her to be useful in ministry, and she plays the guitar and plays for the young people during their gathering’s and during the worship service. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Praise God for the blessing and encouragement of faithful children who are living testimonies of God’s grace.
- Pray for Hazel’s ministry and testimony to the youth in the church.
- Pray for maturity for the new believers with more doors to be opened during our house-to-house visits.
- Pray for a church building.
- Pray for the church activities and fellowships to continue faithfully.
Christina was a member of the church. She was thirty-nine years old with four kids and an active part of our community worship service. Christina always made the time to join us in visitations, especially to see Gina, who has cancer. On one of our visits to see Gina, Christina and I were talking as we walked, and she told me that she had realized that many people give such priority to themselves, in finding food and fulfilling their physical needs, that they forgot God, who is in the owner of everything. The following week, I was sad to hear that Christina had passed away, I was not aware of her heart problem and was surprised by her death. I am grateful that she already knew the Lord and served Him faithfully, completing her mission in this life. Christina’s mother expressed the change she had observed in her daughter after she joined our worship service. Christina, despite the struggles in her life, would always declare “Praise God!”. Her mother remembers those words and will not forget her daughter saying “Praise God! Christina praised God during her lifetime, and we also thank and praise God for her life.
- Pray for the family of Christina, for her mother and for her four children.
- Pray for comfort that comes only from God.
- Pray for the church as they are dealing with the unexpected loss of a faithful sister in the Lord.
Gina, who I mentioned above, has kidney cancer. Every Sunday after worship, we go together to her house to fulfill her request to hear the Word of God with her family. After a length of time, her husband joined the group. When Danny first listened to the message of salvation from God, he told me that he could not explain the joy that filled his heart when he accepted Jesus. God has reached him through this most distressing situation in his family. Since his salvation, Danny finds time to be with us at each home gathering.
- Pray for Gina to be wholly healed from kidney cancer.
- Pray for those who faithfully visit Gina to be comforted through the words they share from the scriptures.
Praise God for working through this illness to bring Danny to salvation.
Sarah is a new believer who just accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior this past month. She has eagerly shared her new faith with her neighbor Michelle. The following Sunday, Sarah brought Michelle to our Sunday Worship service, and they are reading and studying the Bible to learn more about Jesus. Sarah reads the scripture during our worship service. She is so excited that someone cared enough to tell her the good news and her desire to share with others about Jesus.
- Pray for Sarah to grow in her faith and for her enthusiasm for the salvation of Jesus to be expressed to those around her and draw them to trust in God.
- Pray for Michelle to grow in her knowledge and understanding of God’s Word.
- Pray for rain, as it is the dry season, many fruits and vegetable plants are dying.
- Pray for God to provide our land and church building.
- Pray for the graduates of this year.
- Pray for more souls to be saved in Naga, Cebu.
Gina is an active participant in the weekly services. She is the vice chairman of her small community and is married with five children. Her husband is a construction worker. A few months ago, she had some health issues and due to finances was using alternative treatments. In December, her health was so concerning that she went to the doctor for a check-up and they discovered that she has stage four kidney cancer. When I learned of her diagnosis, I gathered a few believers to visit her to show our care for her as a fellow believer. When we arrived at her house, she was surprised to see us. She was so blessed by our visit and the love we showed for her during this tough time in her life. Her family was with her, and I shared comfort from the Word of God, and we prayed together. After our prayer, I saw the tears falling from her eyes as she thanked us for the visit and our prayers. We were able to give her a small gift from our offerings to help with the medical costs. The believers who accompanied me were also blessed by the visit as this was their first time visiting a person who is experiencing a heartbreaking situation. They wished to visit again. We will continue to pray for Gina.
- Pray for Gina to find comfort in God’s Word and for healing if this is God’s desire.
- Pray for her family to grow closer together and for the believers to be able to bless her.
I met Tony, who lives close to the purok (small neighborhood) where the church is located. He is married to Stella and has three children. They have a small farm with livestock and Tony is a security guard at the bank. Every time I saw Tony, I invited him to join our weekly gathering, but he always refused. One day, an unexpected situation occurred in his life. He had offended a tenant in the building, and a few days later, this person sought to harm Tony out of revenge. As Tony was starting to go home, this man suddenly came up and struck him with a knife in his arm and leg. The other security guard was able to intervene to rescue Tony and apprehend the attacker who is now behind bars. This entire incident caused Tony to be curious about our weekly meeting. He joined the worship and gave a short testimony of what had happened to him. Tony accepted Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of his life and has expressed to me his longing for a church. He is so thrilled to hear and understand God’s salvation and that the local church is so near his home. Currently, his whole family is participating in our worship services every Sunday.
- Pray for healing for Tony’s injuries and give thanks for his salvation.
- Pray for Tony and Stella to continue to serve the Lord.
Our members are continuing to meet each Sunday for worship faithfully. I taught about generous giving for the past two months, and we started to have an offering time during the service. Afterward, we shared a meal. Some brought root crops to prepare, and others shared bread. In the afternoon, I conducted the discipleship training. Thanks to God, little by little, the church members are bringing more people to the worship so they can hear the Word of God.
- Pray for God’s blessing upon the offering and for it to be a blessing to the community of believers.
- Pray for those who are new to the church and are hearing the Word of God for the first time to come to an understanding of God’s love and to accept His salvation.
- Pray for more to come.
- Pray for spiritual growth for those who are attending the discipleship training.
My van is an essential tool of my ministry as it carries me to the mountains to preach the gospel, especially on rainy days in areas where motorcycles are the typical method of transportation. One day, I drove from Talisay to Canotao-an Naga and as I approached the mountain highway, the engine suddenly stopped due to overheating. At that moment, I was very grateful that I had not brought my family. After a few hours, the engine cooled enough to start again, and I continued to travel to the location of the Bible study. I was quite late, but the people were still waiting for me as they desired to hear the gospel message of God.
- Pray for safe travels in the mountain regions.
- Pray for those who hear the gospel to respond to God’s Word and come to faith in God.
- Pray for the message preached to believers to strengthen their faith and help them grow in their knowledge and understanding of the Bible.
I do believe that God has a reason for everything and that all things work together for good. As I needed to have my vehicle checked, my friend introduced me to a mechanic named Efren. He is married, in his early fifties, and has two children attending college. His older son sometimes
helps fix engines at night since he studies during the day. While Efren was repairing the vehicle, we talked together, and he shared with me about his life. He was worried about the future of his kids and the possibility of their house being demolished. I took this opportunity to share the gospel with him. I shared the need for a Savior and Lord, explaining how we surrender our lives to God and God will take care of everything. While I was telling him about God’s love and grace, he suddenly stopped me, and I saw tears in his eyes. He was so grateful and repeatedly thanked me for telling him the good news about God and especially how God is willing and eager to save any person. Praise the Lord for this opportunity to share the gospel.
- Pray for Efren and his family to thoroughly understand the gospel of salvation and to confess salvation.
- Pray for Efren to be able to surrender and trust God with his worries and concerns for the future.
The community officials decided to have a Christmas party, so they gathered all the people in their area with food and games. I proposed we celebrate with Christ’s message of Christmas. The people were excited, and many brought their whole family. It was their first time to experience a unique celebration of Christmas with the reminder of the true essence of Christmas. Most of the attendees explained that they customarily celebrated by partying and drinking wine and alcohol until they dropped. This year was different, and they listened attentively to the Word of God. It was great to have fun during this season, and the children and adults were refreshed by the fun party. Their poverty did not limit their expression of happiness and joy.
- Pray for the witness of the church to the community officials, and for the church to continue being positive in furthering God’s Kingdom.
In the open field, we gather the children for Sunday school. We are grateful to God for the excellent teachers who volunteered to run the program while the parents attended the worship service. For many of the children, it was their first exposure to Sunday school. They were taught Bible verses and fun games. Their faces showed how intently they were listening to the message and they participated in the activities with much joy.
- Pray for the committed youth who instruct the children by telling them that their character will display Christ and that the Holy Spirit will bless their words.
- Pray for the children who hear the message to come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Jojo, Dodong, and Ronald are in elementary school. They typically leave early in the morning for school without breakfast or money as their classes start at six am. Their father has no stable job, and their mother stays at home to care for their younger siblings. At the Christmas party, the three kids were excited about the food to eat and rejoiced to receive their first gift ever. Their parents are attending the weekly meetings.
- Pray for Jojo, Dodong, and Ronald and their entire family to grow in the knowledge of God.
Sarah is a young woman who lives at the top of the mountain. When I first met her, she was shy to face me because she lives in a small house with her husband and three kids. The family earns their daily living by making charcoal, and the father does not have a stable job. Sarah felt ashamed due to their status in life as they live far from water to drink and visit the stores only once a week to buy their food and daily needs. The way to their place is quite a challenge since the path is slippery and steep. During a visit with them, I helped to gather the wood to burn for charcoal. This is how I can share the message of Jesus Christ. As I talked about the hope in Jesus, I saw tears falling from Sarah’s eyes as she expressed, “I thank God for bringing you here, so I can hear there is hope in this life through Jesus Christ.” I prayed with her and her family. She was encouraged as she joined the Sunday worship in the purok (neighborhood) where the people were gathered. During one of our meetings, Sarah read the scripture before I preached. Afterward, she expressed the inexplicable joy in her heart when she accepted Jesus.
- Pray for her spiritual growth and for her family’s daily needs to be met.
- Pray for salvation for the entire community.
Meet Gomer; he is a thirty-five-year-old single man living with his mother in the mountain region of the city of Naga. I always saw him with a cigarette in his mouth, and he would continuously avoid encountering me. One day, I attempted to talk with him, and during our conversation, I shared the gospel. His response was indifferent, and he stated, we will talk some other time. God gave me another opportunity to speak with him, and this time he listened more intently to what I shared. I invited him to join the Bible study, and he has not missed one since. He assists at the Saturday youth gathering and has stopped smoking. Praise the Lord.
- Pray for Gomer to come to an understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ and make the decision to surrender his life to the Lord.
I approached the leader of the purok (neighborhood) and suggested we gather the youth and children each Saturday. After talking with the parents and guardians, we started meeting in the morning for evangelism, games, and discipleship training. We teach songs, fun games, and Bible stories. We encourage them to care for each other. At the first gathering, we had ten youth, and I encouraged them to invite a friend to the next meeting. The following Saturday, we had twenty youth in attendance.
- Pray for the new youth group to continue growing and for each to grow in their relationship with God.
- Pray for the barangay (village) officials.
Andrew was a disciple who brought his brother to meet Jesus, and he was willing to give up fishing to follow Jesus. Equivalently, Bro. Osting has been a tremendous help in my location of ministry. He knocks on the doors in the neighborhood to invite people to join our gatherings. One of these families was Osting’s son Tony and his wife. The family was willing to attend the worship and Bible studies but found it hard to travel so far each week, as they live a distance from the church. I offered to travel to their place to start a group for fellowship and worship. They were eager to have a fellowship in their home. Praise the Lord for bringing the gospel to the edge of the mountain.
Praise the Lord for the faithfulness of Brother Osting and pray for his continued outreach to the community.
- Pray for Tony and his wife who are hosting the new Bible study.
- Pray for spiritual growth for the new believers.
- Pray for safe travels and for strength to climb into the mountain area for evangelism and follow-up.
I visited a group of people in Sitio Pangilatan that live in a small village despite the mountainous terrain. They are very poor and long to eat rice; they can only afford corn due to their small weekly incomes. In this village, they make charcoal to earn a living. They go into the forest to gather the wood and carry it on their shoulders; they can only bring two small bundles in the morning and afternoon.
As I talked with one of them, Jerome, he said they often skip their lunch because they are so far from home and instead eat the wild fruit in the forest and drink water from the streams. They are only able to produce five sacks of charcoal weekly with the help of their wives. The finished charcoal has to quickly be put into the sack despite its warm temperature and the ashes. One day while helping them, I almost burnt my shoes as I was unaware of the fire beside me. I shared the gospel with them, telling of the hope and love of Jesus for them. I encouraged them to join our weekly gathering in the Purok center every Sunday. I continue to visit their home once a week to build a relationship with them.
The only source of water is a well located along the mountainside. The people are patient as they wait for the water as it slowly fills the well. Despite the long line of people that are present for the whole day, the well does not run dry. Despite the high altitude and the presence of an abundant water source, the place is blessed by this resource of water. I again shared the message of salvation and encouraged them to join us. By the grace of God, the wives are coming to the fellowship.
- Pray for the people of the village to continue welcoming Tame and the message of salvation.
- Pray for individuals to understand the gospel and accept the gift of salvation.
- Pray for the house visits and evangelism ministry to continue to draw more people to salvation and trust in Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the Purok leaders to attend the fellowship.
As I was driving to Naga, an evangelism site I work heavy rain was falling. Suddenly a big transport bus bumped the back of my vehicle. The driver of the bus accepted responsibility as the accident was his fault due to the slippery roads. I am grateful to God for the limited damage as only the back glass was cracked. I recognized the protection from God and how my life is safe in His hands. I do believe we experience true security and protection when we put our trust in Jesus Christ. Praise the Lord!
Give thanks for the protection of Tame in the recent accident and no repercussions in the future.
- Pray for the mentorship of new disciples.
- Pray for provision of a church building.
- Pastor Tame Buctolan’s Testimony
You may have read in the news about the recent landslides in the Philippines at the end of September. Approximately sixty people died due to a landslide that hit Barangay Tinaan, City of Naga. The location is about four barangays (villages or districts) away from our church. The mountain had cracked due to the quarry and mining work; and there was some concern of possible landslides, especially with the typhoon and heavy rains. The landslide hit during the early morning when many people were still asleep. Four barangays were affected. The local government helped in the search and rescue operations, and the entire Naga City was declared in a state of calamity.
- Pray for the families who lost loved ones and for the evacuees affected by the landslides.
- Pray for comfort and provision to the survivors of the landslide.
- Pray for the officials involved in the rescue, stability, and assessment work of other potentially hazardous sites to have wisdom in their decisions.
There are seven barangays in the watch list as danger zones, and one of these is Cantoa-an where our church is located. Because of the recent disasters, the people in Cantao-an felt great fear. I shared a message of hope in Jesus Christ and how when we put our trust in him; we don’t need to worry. I also shared this message during an emergency meeting in the community that the chairman invited me to speak at. To God be the glory, some of those at the emergency meeting professed and accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.
- Pray for the recent believers who were led to Christ at this time of disaster.
- Pray for the people who are searching for answers due to these landslides, and for them to be led to Christ.
- Pray for more people to be open to the gospel and to be saved.
The road was slippery and muddy on the way to the river and the houses I visited. It is challenging to walk in the area during rainy days. I use boots to travel safely to these places. I will not let the weather hinder me from visiting the people. The barangay has their community meetings on Sunday, and I noticed many people were not able to attend, so I visited them at their homes.
I met a woman sitting on a hammock, her name is Lina, and her husband is Estong. They do not have a permanent job and are dependent on their small farm. They were hesitant to accept me since they have had many previous visitors who presented programs to alleviate their poverty, and these programs did not help at all.
- Pray for Lina and Estong to be open to listening to the gospel message.
- Pray for safe travels and protection for Pastor Tame as he witnesses to people and visits believers.
I continued walking, and on arriving at the top, I saw the big crack in the land which caused this area to be added to the watch list as a danger zone. Many people are living on the top of the mountain. They earn their daily living through charcoal-making, and some are farmers who sell their vegetables at the corner near the highway.
I met a man named Vincente who willingly opened his home for the sharing of God’s Word. He invited his daughters-in-law, and they joined him to listen to the gospel. After we talked, they wanted me to come back to meet their husbands. The week after, I revisited them on a sunny day where we discussed in the shade of a tree. In the middle of my preaching, the rains started to pour, and so we scattered running. To God be the glory that they were willing to listen to the gospel.
- Pray for Vicente and his family to come to an understanding of the gospel and to become saved.
- Pray for Vicente to be open to hosting a Bible study in his home.
- Pray for the families in the danger zone to stay safe and be willing to evacuate as needed.
Joel was the first person I met in purok four. (Purok is a subdivision of a barangay). He attends every meeting and believes in Jesus. I am training him to be a future leader. I disciple him every week and encourage him to go with me on visits. After our visits, we have lunch together. I challenged him to invite someone to our weekly gatherings because he is a respected person in the area.
- Pray for Pastor Tame as he disciples Joel as a future leader in the church and for Joel to continue to be discipled.
The local community has a group meeting that occurs on Sundays. They are obligated to clean up the purok and the surrounding area. Participation is required to receive clearance for employment and other purposes. I teach them songs praising the Lord and share the gospel with them. Most of them do not attend a church because it’s too far and very risky, so I told them that is the reason why I travel to them to teach the Word of God.
- Pray for the people in the community to be open and willing to hear the gospel. Pray for Pastor Tame to have safe travels as he brings the gospel to the people in this community.
I encourage people to learn more about the Bible. Every Sunday, we have a group Bible study. For many of the participants, Sunday is the only time available for them to meet. Some of the people travel to work in the city and are only home at night. The women care for their children during the day, and the children are at school during the day. In the afternoon, they care for their livestock. I am trying to find a time I can visit the families when they are all home together to have a Bible Study. But currently, the only time they hear the Word of God is on Sunday. Despite this challenge of time and business with the families, we are gaining ground in the community. To God be the Glory, the purok leader (a type of government official) is allowing me to do the Bible study and moral values, class. We also have a worship time with preaching. We encourage each other to continue to study the Bible, especially to have a personal relationship with God.
- Pray for the families to continue participating in the Bible study on Sundays and to find time during their week to study the Bible individually.
God has given me the opportunity to share the gospel message with people in the community. I started making friends with a group eating at the small sari-sari (corner convenience) store as I ate with them and shared about salvation. The owner of the store, Edang, allowed me to return and share again which makes me very happy. I shared the gospel with people along the street, I even used the short period of time to evangelize while people are waiting for the bus to take them into the city for work. It is my prayer that God has touched their hearts through my words and they will continue to listen and come to salvation in Jesus Christ.
- Pray for continued acceptance of the messenger and the gospel message by the people in the community, pray for their salvation.
- Pray for Edang, the owner of the sari-sari store to continue to allow the gospel to be shared and for Edang to come to an understanding of salvation too.
Our natural farming program provides a way to start a conversation with people. One day, I was on our demo farm. While I’m standing there, I met a man named Isebelo, he is the father of the purok leader. He is a widower who was having a hard time living alone so he was visiting his daughter and grandchildren. He is from another site in the same barangay (approximately the equivalent of another neighborhood in the same community). I greeted Isebelo and he asked me what I was doing so I started to demonstrate natural farming. He is also a farmer and was amazed that there was another way of farming without using synthetic fertilizer. He asked me, why does the land not give much fruit? I told him, it is because of sin, and I shared the message of the gospel. He was happy that there is hope in trusting in God. I encouraged him to come to our Bible study. The first time he attended, he was shy and sat in the back. We welcomed him, and he has come again to join us for Bible study and worship.
- Pray for Isebelo to continue attending the Bible study.
- Pray for more conversations to be sparked by our natural farming program.
- Pray for more people to hear the message about Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the opportunity to do house-to-house evangelism.
People who live in Cantoa-an, Naga, started to fix up their community and prepare for unforeseen disasters. They gathered every Sunday. Since I knew this, I used this opportunity to introduce Bible teaching to the community. Osting is one of the attendees in the gathering and he loves to play instruments. He suggested that we should sing songs for the Lord. He plays the guitar every Sunday and looks forward to the next gathering. I provided the group with Bibles in their language and song lyric sheets.
I encourage Talisay church members to take part in the pioneering work in Naga. One couple, Rene and Joan, are church leaders who volunteered to help. Rene is currently working as a security guard. Before he and his wife were saved, he was a drunkard and she played cards and gambled all day. When Rene called his friends for a drinking spree, they would return home with quarreling and chaos. Their eldest son, Jovanie, attended our youth gathering. At one of his birthday parties, I was invited to their home. I met Rene and Joan and shared the gospel with them. They showed interest, so I taught them about God’s Word and encouraged them to study the Bible. Rene was completely changed by the message of salvation. Now he preaches the Word of God in our church and is taking part in the Naga ministry.
- Pray for Osting, that he will come to faith in Jesus and have spiritual growth.
- Pray for Rene and Joan, that they will continue to grow in the Lord.
- Pray for the salvation of Gina, a community leader.
- Pray for a new meeting place for worship.
The Lord has called us to a new location that is 8 kilometers from the highway near the city of Naga. When you travel to this area you are in for an adventure, a bicycle ride is required, then a short hike, you have to cross the river and then hike through a mountain area to reach our destination. Communication is insufficient in this area; there is only one telecommunication access, but it is limited. There is a long river surrounding the Barangay area, and it is prone to landslides and flash floods. People in this area need the Lord, please pray for open hearts and let us together claim salvation for the town of Pangdan, Naga.
God’s Word To The City Of Naga
When I was a jeep driver in the city, Quinciano was my co-driver. I have known him and his wife for a long time. I recently met them again, Girlie and Quinciano were amazed to hear what God has done in my life. I shared the word of God with his family and told them the purpose of my visit. I shared the vision of planting a church in their area; they were happy to hear the news. They agreed to accommodate me when I travel to the area. I am delighted that God touched their hearts and they are excited to see how God will work in Pangdan, Naga.
The Barangay Council
We are working in an area that has a population of 6,000 people and is four kilometers from the highway. Most of the people who live here are farmers and raise livestock. When I arrived in this area, I coordinated meetings with several non-government organizations who specialize in holistic community development and initiatives. I submitted a letter to the Mayor’s office of Naga City and the Barangay Council and recommended a few community development programs. I attended the Barangay Council meeting and proposed livelihood programs such as making soap powder, dishwashing liquid, fabric conditioner, and I also introduced organic farming so that they can improve their yield strategies. I believe that these programs will help people financially, and once their daily needs are meet they will be open to their spiritual needs as well. I thanked the council for allowing me to join the Barangay session as a Moral and Spiritual Values Educator; they seemed pleased with my presentation.
During my daily visitations, I stopped a public motorcycle driver, his name is Wendell and asked if he could bring me to Barangay Cantao-an and he agreed to take me. While on the road I shared with him the purpose of life and hope in God. On top of the mountain, he stopped, and asked, “Can you share more?”
I shared about Jesus Christ, and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. As we arrived in Barangay Cantao-an, he said, “Sir would you mind visiting my house and meeting my family?” I went with him and met his brother and uncle, Wendell was thrilled to hear words of hope. My prayer is that he will continue to grow in Christ and that his entire household would accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
A few months ago, I met with the Barangay Community Leaders, and we spoke about helping the community holistically. In March, the Barangay Leader’s invited me again to talk to the 34 Purok (smaller community group) leaders about livelihood programs. The area is considered one of the most impoverished communities due to a lack of job opportunities. The land is of poor quality and does not support the growing of crops. Join us in praying as we initiate livelihood programs and for the salvation of the Naga Cebu people.
The community development program started the first week of March through our livelihood training. Our first training focused on soap-making. The people are developing new skills as we invest our time with them. Many of the people are farmers and do not have access to a church in their area. As I interviewed the residents, they admitted that the only time they attend church is when they go to the city. Pray the people in these areas will open their hearts to God’s word and His Salvation.
When I visit the surrounding areas, there is a steel bridge I cross so that I can reach the four Purok members. Bananas, fruits, and coconut trees surround the area. I met Fernando and his family, we spoke about God and His salvation. They were gracious and listened to the message, and I will return and talk with them again. As I left their home, they blessed me with some of their harvested bananas.
There are five small towns in the surrounding area; I make it a goal to visit one each month. I engage the people of the city through practical and spiritual activities. We face one major challenge in the area; sometimes we must travel on dangerous roads, but we continue to move forward despite the circumstance.
My contact with people has been successful, I meet with key people and come back and visit them in each area I visit. In April I met with 34 families in the area of Balisong. This area has a banana plantation however they are faced with a pest problem. Many of the people are downhearted because their bananas were not ready for harvest after ten months of waiting and not one yielded any fruit.
When I was among the people, we discussed different livelihood programs which included natural farming education. I also taught on spiritual values. During each visit before we start a meeting, we have prayer and a short message, many people from the neighboring town travel so that they can be blessed and prayed over.
Fernando was a caretaker on a chicken fighting farm. I met him during one of my meetings with a friend. He never attended church, and it was his first time to hear Gods word preached. He professed faith in Jesus as his savior, after that he asked me if I could schedule a Bible study together with his family.
I went out to share the Gospel by visiting homes in my neighborhood. During this time I met a newlywed couple named Welvic and Cathy. Welvic is a tricycle driver, and Cathy is a housewife. I shared my testimony with them and my experience from when I was first married. This opened the door for them to share their story with me. Both live far from their families and come from different areas. I shared with them the gospel and explained how life is better when God is at the center of their life. I told them about salvation and the blessed hope of Jesus Christ. By the grace of God, they accepted the message and received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I am planning to have a regularly scheduled bible study with the couple in their home. Please pray for them, and their child. Welvic drives a tricycle taxi for a living, pray for his safety and their daily needs.
During my evangelism, I met a young woman named Sarah who is in high school. Her parents work in the city, and she is in charge of taking care of the home since she is on summer vacation. Sarah gave me the opportunity to share the gospel, she understood the message of salvation and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. I encouraged her to continue in school despite life’s difficulties. She has five siblings who are also studying, and I told her to keep trusting God and allow Him to work in her life and her needs. When I left, I thanked God because I felt she was encouraged by our conversation.
Jomar and Joy celebrated their daughters first birthday. They invited me to the celebration and asked if I could pray for their baby and the meal. I took the opportunity after the banquet to share the Gospel with the visitors. They invited their neighbors, family, and friends, some were hesitant about the Gospel, and some gladly listened to what I had to say. I understand that others felt awkward hearing verses from the Bible, yet, I believe that the word of God is powerful, and it will convict them, in God’s time.
Last Sunday the Purok 5 Balisong area was celebrating their community anniversary. The community leader required that all the members join and participate in their anniversary, I was also invited to the celebration. They were preparing a sweet potato meal but before we ate they allowed me to share a short devotional. Seeing the root crop, I told them that we could sow the root crop, but only God can make it grow. I told them to trust God and pray that they would have a good harvest. They were encouraged, and I suggested they do organic farming. I continue to visit every member of this area by sharing the Gospel.