We are conducting a daily Vacation Bible Schools in three places: Mambaling Church, Kalapate, which is my new place of ministry, and Barangay Pasil, Cebu. Jen, my wife and our church leaders prepared our church’s young people by making the daily materials needed and training them to be teachers, while slo assisting the teachers in every department. Jen taught the young people how to get the attention and engage the kids while doing a teaching presentation. Jarafe led the singing with action and interpreted in Cebuano for Korean visitors while sharing the gospel with the kids. It was great to see the kids boldly raising their hands to answer every question and responding to every word that they heard during the Bible activities.
We have one-hundred and fifty children attending in Kalapate’s, our new place of ministry, and most of them have given their hearts to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. After the activities, some of the kids had tears in their eyes as they asked the teachers and visitors when they would come to teach them again. I decided that we would hold a weekly Saturday children’s ministry in Kalapete. I am going to have our new six youth in Kalapete to be our teachers for the children during the Saturday program. This opportunity with be a great part of their spiritual growth.
- Pray for these six young people to boldly share the love of Jesus with these children in our new place of work.
- Pray for every Saturday children’s ministry, for God to continue to provide the food and materials needed.
During our preparations for the DVBS, I brought a hundred and fifty mono-block chairs to use during our activities. These two little kids in Kalapete were helping me carry them one-by-one and then I noticed both of them were able to lift five at a time with their own strength! They were so happy to help me carry the chairs and even helped to clean them. I have seen that kids love to help, even at a young age. After we finished cleaning and arranging the chairs. I gave them bread as a reward. I pray that the Lord will bless these two children and for them to come to know the Savior.
At the Mambaling DVBS, this junior high student was answering all the papers while my wife Jen observed from the back of the room. Jen also watched the teachers and how they demonstrated the materials to the younger students. Sometimes they plan activities to relate to the topic being taught. They have time to get to know each other and open up about hurts, problems, and needs. They pray together, encourage one another, and most of all, accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and grow in their faith. After the activities, we prepared snacks for them, and everyone enjoyed the food. Pray for these students to grow in their spiritual need for the Lord and become potential members and leaders of our church.
Our labor is not in vain, because, during the DVBS summer class, many of the primary (elementary) students gave their hearts to Jesus. God used the teachers to help these kids come to know the Savior. Also, these teachers help to comfort the kids and are a safe and mature adult figure in their lives. Some of the kids have been abandoned by their parents or their parents are in prison because of drugs. There is so much hurt in the lives of these children that only God can heal. When we prayed, some of the children knelt down, asking God’s favor for their father or mother to be released so they could be united again someday. We pray that God will bless their hearts and their sincere prayers to the Lord. I believe victory comes from the Lord and nothing is impossible with God.
Handling the beginners is fun and exciting. Often times they just run around or other times they behave. During the classroom activities, all of them participated, playing together, praying together, and enjoying eating together. I am happy to see these little ones and pray they will come to know the Savior and remember that someone taught them about Christ.
Pray for the Lord to bless these little ones and their families.
This month I started a new leader’s teaching ministry in our new place of work at Kalapati. We have thirty active participants in our weekly Sunday morning teaching. This number is a great starting group to be our future members of a local church. If it is God’s will to form a local church in this area, I have to start by preparing new church leaders to help me with visitation, Bible study, and other church activities someday. With this purpose in mind, I started to train potential church leaders among those I had selected in the group. It is not always easy for me to teach them due to the fact that most of their educational backgrounds ended in elementary or high school. I have to reach their level of education so they can understand the spiritual things that I want them to learn. And they can use the knowledge to teach others as well.
- Pray for these new potential leaders to grow in their faith in the Lord.
Twice a month, I bring new families from our new ministry location to visit and eat at the most famous restaurant for children, Jollibee. Many families long to bring their family to this fast-food chain, however, due to extreme poverty, Jollibee remains a dream for many of these families. I was able to bring Estella and her four children to this first bonding event.
Stella’s husband died of a heart attack, and she became the primary breadwinner. Her income is not enough to support the needs and studies of her four children, because she received 300 pesos a day (about $6). Estella works in a junk shop in Kalapete as her source of income from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is difficult for her to take care of the kids, prepare the food, and get them ready for school. Because of this, her eldest daughter, Isay, is obliged to take care of the younger siblings, help her mom with cooking, cleaning the house, and washing the clothes of her younger sisters and brother. While we ate, I shared the gospel with the mother and Isay’s siblings. I wanted to bring this family out to eat so that I could get to know them better and to show my love as a pastor. I conveyed our care for them through this occasion to show them that we are helping in their prayers and to encourage them to have strong faith in Jesus and to trust him alone. Stella and the kids are actively joining our weekly Sunday service.
- Pray for God to provide for their needs, grow them spiritually, and for them to serve the Lord.
We went for a five-day vacation in my hometown in Mindana. Surigao del Norte is a second-class municipality whose major income is fishing. While we were swimming, we noticed there were plenty of children in the area, so we decided to have a film showing. Jen did the singing and presented indoor games. After all the fun physical activities, I presented them with a rope illustration about salvation history. After the presentation, I asked the kids if they understood. Then I asked if they wanted to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray that these kids will grow in their faith.
Aside from every Sunday morning activity, I gather thirty families once a month for our group Bible study. I am continuing to teach about salvation. I want to be sure that all of them understand God’s salvation and have a true and strong foundation in their relationship with God. Through my chalk teaching, I use the visual illustration to be a window into what the passage is speaking about. This method I believe is one of the easiest ways to explain to the attendees. They all come from a Catholic background. After I teach, I ask one of them to answer the questions to make sure that they understand everything that I have taught about the topic. Some are bold enough to answer the questions. I thank God that little by little, they are growing in the Word of God.
Pastor Cris’ Testimony
Pastor Cris grew up on the island of Cebu in the Philippines. He was born to a devoted Catholic family that persecuted anyone who dared to become an evangelical believer in Jesus. As Cris grew, he saw his older brother become a follower of Jesus who was beaten and forced to flee for his life by his family. After some time, Cris was invited to a Christmas program at his brother’s church, and there decided to become a born-again believer in Jesus. He, too, had to flee for his life after telling his family of his faith and sought refuge in Manilla. While there, he met a Christian missionary who took Cris under his wing and helped him enroll in Luzon Baptist Bible School. It was there that he received definite confirmation from the Lord that he was to become a Pastor and, in 1996, planted his first church.
Through Cris’s faithfulness and experience planting churches and developing leaders, he became the Field Director for White Fields Ministry in 2017. As Field Director, Pastor Cris provides oversight and direction to church planters throughout the Philippines. He regularly visits pastors at their home churches, encouraging them and helping them build sustainable practices in their homes and ministry. He teaches at the local School of Theology, which prepares students for various areas of ministry and also serves as a way of developing young men who desire to become church planters in the Philippines.