With the lighter restrictions by the government and the continual decrease in the number of cases in the city, we are not again allowed to visit the communities in our outreach ministries. We visited the community in the central barangay of Mandaue City and gathered all the kids into a spacious living room for Simbalay (house worship). The kids were filled with joy to see us again because they knew we would be teaching new songs about God and telling the Bible stories.
We wrote the lyrics of the songs on large paper and taught the kids actions so they could easily remember the new songs. About fifteen children joined to worship the Lord together. We feel such great joy to see the kids learning more about Jesus and their excitement to worship Him.
I am personally delighted to have trained Bible teachers for our kids. Cherry, one of our active leaders, loves to lead singing and teaching from the Bible. She grew up in this community and is passionate to reach her neighbors, especially the kids, for Christ.
In another household, Felrose, one of our leaders led the kids in worship. We used visual aids to channel their attention to the story we were telling. Another fifteen kids joined this Simbalay (house church) with active participation in the story.
As the Word of God says, we are to let the little children come to Jesus. Even though many of these kids are not able to go out of their compound due to the restrictions, they are still able to worship the Lord in their houses. The storytime is a great opportunity to anchor the kids in the Bible. And it is always so joyful when the kids exhibit enthusiasm and excitement for every story about Jesus.
Junjun is a ten-year-old boy who loves the Lord. He is a silent and shy boy who does not like to talk much. However, Junjun is very creative and loves to work with crafts and arts. When you talk with him, he seems uninterested. But when you engage him with drawings and crafts, his seriousness and focus are very evident. He understands more from drawings and crafts than from storytelling. For Junjun, the gospel is alive when he sees pictures and colors. At one time, he blurted out with laughter and with a big grin on his face as he was arranging pieces of paper picturing the events of the life of Christ. “I now understand why Jesus had to die on the cross!” Junjun exclaimed, “Everyone runs away from God, and He is waiting for the prodigals. I am the prodigal son. I need to come back to God.” It is amazing how God works through kids using different creative means to retell the gospel for His glory.
Simbalay is not just for the kids, it is also for the parents. We enjoyed worship together in the house of Minda, one of the members, and gathered the others for a time of Bible study and singing. While the kids were taught Bible stories and new songs, the parents gathered to talk about the gospel as well. The Word of God is indeed living and active, a two-edged sword, it continues to penetrate the hearts of His people. It feels us with joy to see how God transforms the lives of people who continue to study and submit to His Word. This is true for these parents who long for the fellowship and delight in gathering for a Bible study.
All of the outreach ministries are made possible by the grace of God given to the leaders He has raised for the ministry in Mandaue City. We are in the stage of training them and making them ready so that they can do the ministry on their own. The vision that God has imparted to them through His Word is taking root in their hearts as we see them love the people and the community that God has given us. We now have a team that regularly helps us to reach out to the households and families in the communities in Mandaue City. God has raised men and women who we trained to handle the Bible studies and lead the kids in the study of the Word of God.
- Pray for the Lord to bless our kids as they regularly learn more about Jesus. May they commit their lives to the Lord.
- Pray for the parents and adults who are joining us in these house worship services in the city. May this generate more conversions for the Lord.
- Pray for wisdom and strength for our leaders who commit themselves to spreading the gospel in the city.
Since we started the online ministry of the Word due to the government restrictions, we have seen that is beneficial to continue this ministry of outreach, equipping, and prayer online. Some people in the city can be reached online, and others are not allowed to out at night but prefer to be involved in the nighttime prayer ministry. We continued the online prayer meeting on Wednesdays, especially praying for those who are sick and cannot go out.
Online technology is the new normal for some ministries and activities. The Lord is still working through the faithful proclamation for HIs Word and through the ministry of the church. Nothing can replace the value and ministry of the physical gathering of the body, but the ministry of the local church has also extended towards others through the internet venues.
As we have seen further relaxation of restrictions, some of the online ministries may be stopped soon as physical in-person groups resume. However, some of these online ministries such as the evangelistic Bible studies may go on for another few months.
- Pray for the Lord to reach more lost souls in Mandaue City with the gospel of Jesus Christ through our online ministry.
- Pray for those who are sick and unable to join the physical gathering.
- Pray for healing.
Generally, kids are the most sincere and honest people in the world today. When they talk, they usually speak from their hearts with no pretense or hesitations. When they pray, they say beautiful, simple, and sincere prayers without high theological words. They come to God as they simply are – children who trust God as their Father.
It is our great delight to lead the children to pray. As we teach the kids about God, we do not just leave them in awe of the stories of the Bible, or Jesus and His miracles, or the teachings of the Word of God. We lead them right into the presence of God through prayers.
Many of these kids came from a Roman Catholic background, so they learned in school to babble memorized words of prayer to petition God. But for the first time, they learned to pray from their hearts, directing their prayers to God who is near to them. They thought a person had to be inside a church building to pray, but now they have learned that prayer is a joyful conversation with God anywhere and anytime.
We also bring the kids into a joyful time of worship through singing Biblical songs that help them understand the truths of God’s Word. It is impressive to behold the kids on their feet as they use their whole bodies to praise and worship our Lord.
The house church fellowship for kids in the community brings kids from the neighborhood for Bible teaching and worship. Some parents bring their kids and other kids too. The singing is full of excitement and is one of the primary reasons the kids invite their relatives and neighbors. We are glad that the kids are so happy to spend their time listening to God’s Word and singing Him praise.
On one Saturday, the kids were asked to write a thank you letter to a family member or friend to show their gratitude. Jun-jun wrote a letter to Jesus in our dialect (Cebuano). He thanked the Lord Jesus for the salvation He gives for the forgiveness of our sins and to save us from hell. When I read his letter, I could not stop my eyes from welling with tears. An eight-year-old expressed his thankfulness to the Lord from his heart because Jesus saves. I wish more kids and adults would demonstrate such gratitude for the gift of salvation that leads to forgiveness from sins and eternal life. Praise the Lord!
- Pray for these kids to continue to love praying and talking to God by faith. We pray that they will bring this lifestyle of prayer into their homes.
- Pray for the kids to continue attending the children’s fellowships to learn more about God and Jesus.
- Pray that they will trust the Lord for their salvation.
- Pray for God to continue to work in the life of Jun-jun and preserve him to continue to know the Lord and walk in His ways.
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2. We agree with Apostle Paul and give the same message whenever to preach the gospel to the communities. Christ died for our sins, He rose from the dead, He ascended to heaven, and one day He will come back to judge the living and the dead. We preach the gospel to many people in the compounds and communities in Mandaue City.
We gathered some families around a chapel and proclaimed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Most of this group were nominal Roman Catholics. They were born into a Roman Catholic family but were not entirely aware of what they believed in and had not been taught about God and His Word.
Many of these individuals returned a second time, and this fact shows us that they are genuinely interested and desire to know about what we have been preaching to them. So far, we have received positive feedback from most of the individuals. We are hoping to continue to come and join the Bible studies to learn more about the truth. We pray that eventually, they will be touched by God’s sovereign grace and show repentance and faith.
One week, we distributed Bibles and packs of rice for each family who attended our Bible studies here. They live in a nearby community where poverty is undeniable. The slight relief from a rice pack may not help them long-term, but it does show our genuine concern and care for them. We bring the good news of the gospel and distributed Bibles too. We care about their life and health. We hope to continue teaching the Bible in this community and someday make a difference in their livelihood and future.
Brando is one of the believers who received a Bible and rick pack. He has invited many of his neighbors to come to our Bible studies. I am grateful to Brando; even though he is a new believer, he actively evangelizes to his neighbors and brings them to our studies.
- Pray for the Bible study participants to return and faithfully attend the weekly Bible studies in the area.
- Pray that they will understand the gospel and believe in Christ.
- Pray for God to bless Brando and his passion for the lost. May Brando continue to reach out to more of his unbelieving neighbors.
In our community of Mandaue City, we started a weekly Bible study in the house of Min-min. Bro. Paul and Sunny lead the group. Min-min’s family, including her parents, and her neighbors, attend this Thursday group. All attendees are eager to learn about God’s Word since they all come from a Roman Catholic background. We are happy they are welcoming us. We have explained the necessity of personally believing in Christ and the importance of being a part of a local church. The feedback has been positive so far, and we are consistently in their home every week to nurture their souls through the regular study of the Bible and prayers.
- Pray for the adults to continue to attend the weekly Bible study.
- Pray that after they profess faith in Christ, they will be willing to be baptized.
- Pray for our team to persevere and for an abundance of wisdom and joy from the Lord so they can continue to serve with gladness and faithfulness.
Dexieh and Louie are young people from our church who became believers and recently professed their faith in Christ through water baptism. Dexieh recently graduated from junior high school. She is currently the only believer in her family and is being mocked by them for converting to “another religion.” Dexieh has gone through hell already in her life. In the past, she was raped and involved in other dark sins; her past life was bondage to sin, abuse, and shame. By God’s grace, He found her and rescued her from her sins, and gave her a new life through the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Today, Dexieh is committed to serving the Lord in our outreach and evangelistic ministries, including the music ministry.
Louie recently graduated from college and is now looking for work. He came from a nearby province and recently transferred to Mandaue City. He was a new believer when he found us preaching the gospel in the community. After some conversations, Louie decided to be a part of the church and when through water baptism.
- Pray that Dexieh and Louie will persevere in serving the Lord, especially since their families are still unbelievers.
- Pray for the Lord to help them grow in knowledge and grace as they serve the Lord in ministries at the church.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20
The Great Commission has always been our mission as we continue to evangelize and plant churches in Mandaue City. More and more people have heard the gospel and followed Christ. Entire families and individuals from different ages and backgrounds have abandoned their previous faiths and embrace the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
This month, our new brother decided to follow Christ and publicly profess his faith through water baptism. Alfons is a young man in his late twenties. Before he was saved, Alfons had little interest in anything religious like God, Jesus, or the Bible. He was a nominal Catholic who went to church only on Christmas and Easter.
But things changed when one of our members began to share the gospel with Alfons. He heard it for the first time and became curious as to why he had not heard such good news before. He thought that going to heaven was just doing good most of the time, enough to outweigh the bad works. But when he learned that Christ died for sinners, and this demands repentance and faith in Christ for salvation, he was convicted that he had been thinking all his life wrongly. He needed to change his mind and repent of his sins to come to Christ in faith.
During a Sunday service, Alfons could not resist anymore and decided to surrender his life to follow Christ. Now this young man, a nominal Catholic who had ignored God for a long time, publicly professed his faith through baptism. Only God can truly save sinners and call them into repentance and faith.
- Pray for Alfons to continue to grow in his faith.
- Pray for God to preserve his faith to endure the coming trials as a Christian.
- Pray for Alfons to be used by God to reach his unbelieving family with the message of salvation.
- Pray for more people to come to Christ through our ministries in Mandaue City.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. “1 Corinthians 15:58
This verse has been our motivation and encouragement from the Word of God to continue evangelizing and ministering to many individuals and families in Mandaue City. Our leaders have been joyfully and eagerly toiling in proclaiming the gospel to many individuals. Even though there are times when resistance and rejection are experienced, these are inevitable; we also see the fruit of our labor as more individuals are coming to hear the gospel with open hearts.
In the new ministry expansion in one barangay in Mandaue City, we see more individuals coming to our Bible study through the invitation of our regular attendees. One of our leaders, Kris, explained the gospel to these new attendees and how Jesus came to save the unrighteous. With a Roman Catholic background-where, righteousness is thought to be attained by doing a lot of religious works-it is sometimes difficult for these individuals to understand the simplicity of the gospel and the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning sacrifice. We thank the Lord that the Holy Spirit is calling and drawing these hearts to Him as we see many individuals positively respond in faith. Many people are gladly accepting the gospel and coming weekly to our Bible studies. Because of this, all of us are standing firm for the glory of our Lord.
- Pray for the ministry volunteers to continue to have joy and provision in this ministry of evangelism in the barangays.
- Pray for constant openness and minimal resistance from other residents in the community.
- Pray for the individuals who attend our evangelistic Bible studies to come to an understanding and acceptance of the Biblical gospel and be saved.
During one Saturday evangelistic Bible study in the community, four young men who were passing by became curious about what we were doing. They thought that it was a relief goods distribution or perhaps a vaccination program. When we saw them drawing near, we invited them to join the study, and they positively welcomed our invitation.
One of the leaders, brother Paul, sat down and opened the Bible with them and explained the way of salvation. At first, we thought they were not interested since they sat listening silently without facial expressions. But it turned out they had already heard the gospel message. At that time, though, they were not serious, nor did they want to know more. But times have changed as they got older. They never thought one could be serious about the Bible and God until we explained the importance of Christ’s death for their eternal destiny.
Then they threw out so many questions about God and the Bible. Questions that a hesitant millennial would ask. They wanted to know why there were so many religions. Why is there evil? How can we know the Bible is true? We thank the Lord for the answers in the Bible to all of these questions. These four young men were surprised to hear that the Word of God is perfect and complete. They were encouraged and promised to return to our weekly Bible study to learn more about God.
It was interesting to see their hunger and excitement for God when we asked them if they were willing to believe in Christ and follow Him. Their response and willingness to believe in Christ were very encouraging to us. We prayed for these young men to join us in studying the Bible. We pray they will be like the four young men in Babylon and display genuine dedication to God.
- Pray for these young men as they attend our weekly Bible studies.
- Pray for their newfound faith to be sure and cemented as they learn more about God through the Word.
- Pray for more young men and women in the community to hear and receive the gospel. Many youths in the community are not interested in God or the Bible.
- Pray for this ignoring attitude to change and for a massive harvest of souls in the coming months.
We are sincere in obeying Christ when he says
“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belong the kingdom of heaven.”Matthew 19:14.
As an outreach strategy, we seek the kids in the community first, as sometimes children more easily and willingly understand the gospel than adults. Through the children, we can reach the parents with the good news. It is our goal that children are taught the gospel and molded through the Word of God. As children learn in different ways, our ministry volunteers and teachers find ways to creatively bring the good news to their ears so they can understand.
Despite the limited resources, our volunteers use what we have to continue to train the children with fun and playful methods. Kids love to sing, and they can sing for Jesus. We wrote the lyrics on large paper and taught them the glorious songs of Jesus-what a sight to behold these children learning the songs and actions quickly and watch as they shout the choruses at the top of their voices. I think God is smiling when He sees these children simply and sincerely singing praises to Him.
But kids’ ministry is incomplete without the verbal teaching and proclamation of the gospel to kids. Our teachers, Carmela and Caren, use drawings and other visual aids to teach the kids what it means to be God’s child. Kids love to watch something, and the gospel is made more alive through pictures and other visual aids.
It is incredible to see children put their faith in Christ alone. There are, of course, some challenges as these children are also exposed to Roman Catholic teaching. Nevertheless, we usually see a simple faith exhibited by a child the moment he or she excitedly believes in Jesus. No doubt Jesus welcomes them with open arms! It is our joy to see the kids listen and accept the gospel of our Lord.
The excitement continues for these kids as our volunteers creatively prepare crafts and games relevant to the teaching. After the stories are told, the kids expect fun games and crafts. One time, the kids highly enjoyed answering puzzles that describe the wise men’s journey to Bethlehem to see the baby, Jesus.
- Pray for the kids to continue attending the gathering and to be firmly rooted in the Word of God.
- Pray for more kids from the community to join along with their parents.
- Pray for provision from God for wisdom, strength, joy, and resources we need to continue creatively and effectively minister to the kids.
One of the mothers who joined her child in the gathering for the first time is Julita. She is the mother of Coleen, who is five years old. Coleen regularly attends the kid’s fellowship, but her mother came for the first time last month. Julita is a silent mother but very caring and always looking out for Coleen. When Julita arrived, she brought her water jar. I asked Julita why she had brought water as we offer free water during the gathering. Julita explained, she did not want her daughter to get thirsty in the middle of the singing. Since it’s summertime, the weather is warm, and throats get quickly parched. I then used our conversation to lead Julita to the living water.
I told her that there would be a way that she will never be thirsty again. She thought I was referring to physical thirst, so I explained man’s spiritual thirst that only God can satisfy. I showed her John 4:13-14 and explained how Jesus can quench the thirst of our souls. This moment became an hour of presenting the gospel, the word of Christ on the cross, His resurrection, salvation by grace through faith in Christ alone, and her need to repent of her sins and put her faith in Christ who saves. At that moment, I rejoiced to hear her confession as she repented of her sins and expressed her need for Christ for salvation. I prayed with Julita that day. I prayed with my heart crying out to the Lord for His grace to bring the gospel to others hungering for Him. Another soul was satisfied by the living water.
- Pray for Julita.
- Praise the Lord for her confession of faith.
- Pray for Coleen.
Pastor Ryan’s Testimony
Pastor Ryan and his wife Maricon along with his children Zech and Zariah.
We found ten kids in a nearby compound who spend their weekends playing and running around. We saw this as an opportunity to gather them and introduce Jesus Christ. Jeremiah, one of our leaders, saw this opportunity and was touched by the Lord to minister to the neighborhood kids. It was an incredible moment when the Lord led us to these kids. They heard the gospel through stories, crafts, and games. We gave them gospel tracts for their parents. Despite the warm weather and mandatory masks, our leaders are still going to the communities to reach the kids and parents with the Word of God. It was a precious time for all of us, especially the kids who promised to join us every week.
I thank the Lord for creating a heart of care in our brother Jeremiah. Without expecting anything in return, he wholeheartedly and passionately led the kids in storytelling and singing. It was amazing to see how the Lord touched the children. I felt their hunger for the Word of God as they listened attentively to every Word of the story about the Lord Jesus Christ. Praise be to God!
We are continuing to minister to the children in the community using the house of Min-min. Forty to fifty children regularly pack into the small space to join in singing about Jesus and hearing the Word of God. We are grateful for Fel, who voluntarily teaches the kids every week. The songs about Jesus and the Bible excite the kids and compel them to come. It is great to see the new faces as the children bring their friends. But what is fantastic is seeing them listen attentively to stories about the life of Jesus.
- Pray for our volunteers, such as Jeremiah and Fel, to have strength and wisdom as they teach the kids weekly. May they have joy and passion as they continue to love these kids.
- Pray for the kids to continue coming to the gathering to learn about God.
- Pray for God to use the kids as the bridges to connect with more parents.
- Pray for provision as we regularly provide food for the kids and parents each week.
Min-min’s house is not just a place for the kid’s fellowship but also hosts an adult Bible study. Min-min’s neighbors and relatives attend every Thursday afternoon. The neighbor may be experiencing poverty, but this does not stop them from studying the Word of God. However, sometimes poverty prevents them from having time to stay for long despite their hunger and openness to listen to God’s Word. We are helping them find jobs in the city so they can earn a living. Sometimes we find projects for them that make some, but these are not permanent. No matter what, we continue to look to God for provision and guidance. The Lord is faithful in providing for the needs of his people and sustaining these individuals in their faith.
Our brother Paul is helping me conduct Bible studies and visit the homes in the community, inviting the inhabitants to the Bible studies. Almost every day, we go to the homes and pray for people. One time, because of the hot weather, we conducted the Bible study in the shade of the chicken cage. No problem. We continued our study and fellowship with a great view outside and a cool ambiance. Nothing stops His children from gathering to study His Word.
We continue to evangelize and share the gospel with anyone willing to sit down and talk to us about God’s Word. Kris and his friends were sitting by the community chapel and just chatting when we passed the area. So, we approached them and invited them to attend a Bible study. We took the time to explain the gospel and introduced them to the Lord Jesus. We shared how Christ had died on the cross and was raised to life for the salvation of anyone who believes in him. It was a great time to spend with new friends who were open and receptive to the gospel message. Now Kris and his friends know the good news!
- Pray for my partner Paul as we reach more individuals in the community for Christ.
- Pray for those attending the Bible studies to take the step of faith and proclaim Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray for them to join the church.
- Pray for provision as we regularly provide meals or medicines to the individuals who attend the Bible studies. Many do not have regular jobs and are poor financially.
- Pray for God to lead them to steady employment.
- Pray for Kris and his friends to genuinely understand and believe in the gospel.
Jeriel, Carlit, and Jhayra decided to proclaim their faith and desire to follow Christ through water baptism this month. Jeriel is a young man who was recently saved; he heard the gospel at church for the first time. He was newly married, and his wife was influential in encouraging him to attend church. He was curious and did not hesitate when she invited him one Sunday. After Jeriel heard the gospel, he was convicted of his sins and professed faith in Christ.
Carlit used to attend church but had not for quite a while. We found her and encouraged her to go back to God. Carlit was dealing with discouragement last year due to a series of unfortunate events in her life. She encountered problems in her family and almost lost her job. She thought God had abandoned her, so she had lots of questions for us. When she heard our online preaching, this encouraged her to go to church one Sunday. She heard about the love of God and the hope of the gospel. Carlit decided to proclaim her faith in Christ through water baptism.
Jhayra is a call center agent who was recently saved and committed her life to Christ. She is only twenty-one and was raised Roman Catholic. She thought she was good enough to go to heaven and was confident she was a good person and would be accepted by God because of her good works. When a church member shared the gospel with her, she got confused when she heard that her good works would not save her. Jhayra went to church with this person and was then thoroughly convinced that only Christ could save her. She trusted Christ for her salvation and proclaimed this trust through water baptism.
These believers are new to the faith and desire to serve the Lord through their lives. With such great joy, we see their pure faces as they rose from the water. We welcome these individuals who have come to the Lord and publicly professed to follow Christ.
- Pray for Jerieul, Carlit, and Jhayra to remain faithful in their newfound faith and relationship with God.
- Pray for their families to hear the gospel through them and also to be saved.
The children were again excited to gather for songs, fun, crafts, games, and most of all, the Bible. Around sixty children consistently join our weekly fellowship and gathering, along with some of their parents who look forward to hearing the preaching. We crowd into a small space in one of the homes in the community, but no one minds the hot weather or the closeness to others. Everyone is having a great time, and the children are active participants in all of the activities.
We are thankful for God touching Cherry’s heart to teach the little kids. Cherry and her family live in the neighborhood, so she has already known these children for a long time. Her heart and love for them are a genuine reflection of her love for God and the gospel. She desires to see these children know the Lord in the same way that she knows God. Cherry’s passion and love for God shines brighter each time she leads the children in songs and Bible stories.
We thank the Lord for His provision for the supplies, Bible storybooks, and craft materials. We praise God for providing these items through generous donors. I delight in seeing the kids read for themselves the Bible storybooks.
Two more new believers were baptized this month. Sister Micki, who is sixty, and sister Gemma, publicly announced their commitment and pledge to follow Christ through water baptism. Both came from a Roman Catholic background and were introduced to the gospel through one of our church members last year during the pandemic. Since then, they have attended the online women’s Bible study where their hunger for God’s Word is satisfied and their questions answered. Eventually, Micki and Gemma gave their lives to God and are now serving in the church.
Some of the parents were invited to a job fair at a nearby furniture manufacturing plant owned by a fellow believer. We were blessed to minister to the parents and other individuals from the community starting new jobs. One of our elders, brother Leonard, is doing the evangelistic preaching to these parents; many are nominal Catholics. The parents also received gospel tracts, and for many, it was the first time they had heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, some of the parents invited us to continue a weekly Bible study with them.
We thank the Lord that parents in our community now have a job and can feed their families. We thank the Lord for using us as the instruments to feed their souls with spiritual food.
- Pray for Leonard to have strength and sustenance from God to persevere and grow this new ministry.
- Pray for the parents who started their new jobs to be strong and work with excellence, joy, and integrity.
- Pray for more individuals to receive the gospel through this ministry.
The rise in covid-19 cases in the country and the ongoing restrictions imposed by the government on mass gatherings, in addition to members with vulnerabilities opting to stay home, have caused us to continue our online ministry. We are preaching the Word of God and conducting online Bible studies. The results of being forced to use this platform have been positive. Because of the reach of technology, our weekly Bible studies include many people and students in the cities. As we continue to meet online, we also are reaching new people. This month we welcomed twenty more individuals who have joined the online Bible studies. Praise the Lord for His mysterious and effective ways of bringing the gospel into many homes and hearts. The Word of God indeed is not bound by any plague or pandemic.
- Pray for Mic-mic, Jeremiah, and his wife Joy, Micki, Rise, Joe, and Joy, as well as the other new faces we have welcomed. May the gospel settle into their hearts so they may believe in Christ and grow in their faith.
- Pray that more people will join the church.
- Pray for our online ministry to reach more people with the good news.
We thank the Lord for His faithfulness in granting wisdom, success, and provision to our ministry these past tew years. When we started the ministry work in Mandaue City, we only had ten individuals composed of three families in our Bible studies. The Lord has prospered His work in our area and expanded our reach to more families, individuals, and communities.
We celebrated the church’s second anniversary and praised the Lord for His faithfulness and provision in establishing His church in the city, empowering His people to proclaim the gospel faithfully, and transform communities and families through the power of His Word.
- Pray for God’s continued strength and provision for the endurance of every believer in the church as we continue to fulfill God’s call for our church and our lives.
- Pray for more families and communities to be reached with the gospel through the church’s ministries, as we acknowledge there will be challenges in doing ministry in an urban setting.
Sixty children from the community gathered on Sunday morning, eager to listen to the story about Jesus and excited to make colorful art to express their love for the Lord. After listening to the prodigal son’s story and memorizing verses of God’s love, the children cut papers in the shape of hearts and colored them to show to their parents.
The kids were all smiles, filled with great excitement to display their work before the camera. We are delighted to see how much they have improved in their understanding of God’s love. We are thrilled with how these little ones can articulate the basics of the gospel – that God loves them, Christ died for their sins, and they must believe in Jesus for eternal life.
Our team of ministry volunteers taught the children songs, told them a story, led the craft-making, gave hugs to the little ones, and spent time listening to them. Some parents simply watch from the sidelines, but we also feel their excitement as they watch their children learn songs and listen to the gospel. Every week, more and more children come to the gathering, and some parents are coming with them. Having parents present is an exciting opportunity for us to proclaim the gospel to all families’ members.
- Pray for the Lord to continue gathering the children every week so they can learn about Him through His Word.
- Pray for the kids to be used by God to reach their parents with the gospel. Pray for the parents to join the adult Bible studies.
- Pray for the resources we need, such as ministry volunteers and food.
Of all the children in the gathering, Judiel always stands out due to his jubilant dancing, soft but joyful singing, and his love for Jesus. Judiel is also noticeable because he has hydrocephalus, as seen in his picture from his head’s unusual size. He is three years old and comes to the gathering regularly with his mother, Jane. Like every child in the group, he actively participates in the craft-making, singing, and listening attentively to the story.
We learned that Judiel is usually weak and needs a regular intake of vitamins as he is prone to get ill from the cough and flu. This tendency does not stop Judiel and his mother from regularly coming to worship with us. Judiel is such an inspiration and encouragement to the ministry team, causing much joy and eager anticipation as we prepare for the event. Each week, our numbers increase of both children and adults, coming with gladness in their hearts to worship our Lord.
- Pray for the Lord to give Judiel’s family wisdom as they consider undergoing the medical operation to treat Judiel’s hydrocephalus.
- Pray for Judiel’s immune system and enough vitamins to strengthen it and protect him from common sicknesses.
- Pray for the salvation of Judiel’s father, that they may genuinely know the Lord and be united in serving Him.
Lola is ninety years old and still goes to church. She often sits at the doorway since she is slow in walking. Every Sunday, Lola musters her strength and walks to the church to listen to the preaching of the Word. Lola always holds her Bible, even though she cannot clearly see the words anymore. She loves to hold her Bible and remember the verses by memory. Old age is never a hindrance to love and serve the Lord.
I always enjoy talking with Lola. Her love for the Lord is very infectious. Her only prayer is that everyone in her family will proclaim salvation before she goes to glory. Her heart goes out to her grandchildren, who still need to hear the gospel. Nevertheless, her strong commitment to always be in the gathering is a great encouragement to all of us.
- Pray for the Lord to make Lola’s life a great testimony in the community as we reach out to more elderly with the gospel.
- Pray that the Lord will allow us to share the gospel with all family members of Lola.
- Pray for the Lord to give Lola strength and to sustain her love and joy to come to the gathering every time.
Again, the government is implementing stricter controls due to another repeated increase in the city’s number of cases. However, we thank the Lord that gathering has not been prohibited. No matter what, we continue our online Bible studies via zoom, and more people from the city have joined us. We welcome new faces in our online Bible studies of people invited by our members.
Our women’s ministry has seen growth in the number and the maturity of the women attendees. They are now starting to be more transparent and open when sharing life reflections and experiences. We have raised some women leaders who are now handling the Bible studies themselves.
We are glad to continue our only Bible studies with families and welcome new faces in the fellowship. Our weekly online Bible studies minister to people who are living in our city of ministry. The online venue allows for connection and continual study of the Word of God during this time when weekly physical gatherings are still limited.
- Pray for the families attending our online Bible studies will continue to grow in their faith and that some of the family members can join our physical gathering every Sunday.
- Pray for the online Bible studies to thrive, for new families to join and come to know the Lord as their Savior.
Mae was your usual Catholic girl. She grew up attending Catholic church, participated in the sacraments, participated in the religious processions, and prayed the rosary. However, her life was not that smooth. Mae lived in a rough neighborhood in Barangay Lorega, Cebu City, one of the harshest places in Cebu City. She was exposed to drugs, violence, and pollution in the community. Her family was a typical Catholic family living in an urban setting. Mae thought she could escape all the problems of living in poverty and violence once she left home to enter marriage with no thoughts of God or Jesus. In her mind, life and a future family were all she needed. Her hopes were high when she met Nemar. They were married, and Mae was excited to start a family. She grounded all her hopes and joys in her new family. She was a good person and felt blessed; children were the next step to fulfillment. In 2016, their baby boy was born. At this point, Mae thought that her life was perfect. Her family was the center of her love and universe. But two years later, their child died due to sickness. Mae thought God was unfair and cruel for taking the life of her child. A few months later, she got pregnant again and had a baby girl. At a year old, this baby again died due to sickness.
Mae’s world was destroyed. She did not understand what was going on. She questioned God and herself. She thought she was cursed and that God was angry with her. Then Mae got pregnant again just two years later, but her happiness was mixed with fear. She thought God was playing with her. Her worries and loneliness created anxiety and depression.
Then one day, sometime in February of 2019, Nemar came home and told Mae that he was now a Christian and had heard about Jesus Christ and salvation at a Bible study with some friends. Nemar invited Mae to join the Women’s Bible study. At first, she was hesitant but then promised she would attend when she was not busy.
About this time, the covid crisis hit, and authorities restricted all gatherings. Mae’s depression hit a low. With constant reminders and encouragement from Nemar, Mae finally decided to attend one of our online Bible studies. She heard the gospel for the first time. Mae learned that God was calling her to repent of her sins and trust in Christ; only in Christ can genuine peace, joy, and satisfaction be found. She realized that she needed Christ and forgiveness. At one of these studies, Mae understood the gospel for the first time and put her faith in Christ, surrendering everything to him. Just a few months ago, Mae was baptized. At times, she still feels afraid, lonely, and depressed. But joy, hope, and peace in Mae’s heart are firmly grounded on faith in Christ. Mae continues to attend the only studies and is growing in her faith. She serves in our women’s ministry.
- Pray for good health for Mae, her husband, and her child.
- Pray for Mae to have complete trust in the Lord no matter the circumstances and to grow spiritually.
The new believers Nemar and May finally decided to profess their faith in Christ through baptism publicly. This couple were recent converts from Catholicism and now found the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have gone through tough times in marriages as they lost two of their children due to illnesses in the last five years. Today, they have only their two-year-old child, Ivanna, and they are happy to have finally found the truth of God. Nemar and May put their faith in Christ last year after hearing the gospel through our online preaching and the encouragement of some believing friends from our church. Bro. Nemar always finds himself in tears when he recalls their losses. But finding Christ and being found by Him is their most significant gain. Nemar and May pray that their new-found faith will remain with them and fuel them to reach out to unbelieving family members. And no matter what happens in the future, whether in victory or loss, Christ is their gain, and therefore, there is no turning back.
- Pray for Nemar and May as they start to follow Christ. May they be strengthened with the Word of God even if more trials come into their lives.
- Pray for Nemar and May be to be used by God to share the gospel with their unbelieving family as well.
We are glad to be back with the children in the community. Around sixty kids were gathered in a small open basement of one house; they were extremely excited for our coming. After almost a year of not seeing them together, we finally have a kids’ Bible class once again.
With a fresh meal for each child, everyone ate delicious food until they were satisfied enough to sustain them for another morning of games and fun. Of course, the day was not complete without hearing Bible stories. The kids were hungry, not just for food, but for the Word of God as well; their hunger was satisfied. The event was not only fun for these little ones but also spiritually satisfying. Once again, they heard the Word of God in person.
- Pray for the Lord to continue to gather the children every week so they can learn about God through His Word.
- Pray for God to use the kids to reach their parents with the gospel.
- Pray for the parents to join the adult Bible studies.
- Pray for the Lord to continue to provide the resources we need, such as ministry volunteers and food.
We were glad to be fully back in our Bible studies in the community. We even had a great surprise as a new group of mothers recently joined our new Bible study. Min-min welcomed us to her home with the other mothers in the community. We gave them rice packs and new Bibles for free.
Their faces were full of joy as they received their new Cebuano Bibles. They could hardly wait to open them and read the Word of God in their language. We immediately opened them to the gospel of John and read the scriptures. I shared the gospel with them, and everyone was attentive. We were delighted to have positive responses from all of them. We hope to continue to preach salvation to these moms through our weekly Bible studies.
- Pray for Min-min and her family to be saved. May the Lord bless their household as a venue for this new Bible study.
- Pray for the mothers and their husbands as they attend our Bible studies. May the Lord open the eyes of their hearts so they will believe.
In this second year of ministry work in Mandaue City, I am humbled to have raised leaders to serve alongside me in reaching the community for the Lord. We are training this team to reach our community with the gospel. It is a great and humbling experience to have these volunteers go out each week to teach the kids and conduct Bible studies with the parents.
Even though the leaders are new in the ministry and it was their first time teaching the kids, they were filled with excitement and joy as they saw the smiles on the children’s faces. These little ones are so happy to hear stories, songs and be encouraged by God’s Word.
- Pray for God to give wisdom to our new ministry team leaders and volunteers in the work of reaching the community.
- Pray for the Lord to supply their needs, so they do not encounter worry while serving the Lord.
- Pray for more leaders and volunteers to reach more families and expand to other areas in the community.
Christmas time is when we celebrate God’s greatest gift, His Son, Jesus Christ. Through His incarnation, God is now with us, and we can have eternal life. This message is the greatest gift and the best news we can tell the world. The gospel message is what our church is continually sharing with the community. Still, during the Christmas season, we have the extra privilege of expressing this message of peace and joy through our Bundles of Joy.
Our Bundles of Joy are large Christmas baskets for the church members and families. For many of these individuals and families, the Bundle of Joy will be the only gift they receive this year. Consequently, we felt much anticipation and delight to distribute these gifts to many people in the community.
These gifts were so memorable because of the tangible message to the families of how our ministry is about helping people and reaching them with the news of Jesus Christ. One of the families who received the gift is Toper and Alejandra’s family. This couple has only one child, their daughter Krista. Although raised in Catholic families, they did not regularly attend church. It was a complete shock to them when they received this Bundle of Joy because they felt that they barely knew us. We also gave them a Bible and shared the gospel. We hope to be allowed into their home again to share more about God’s Word.
- Please pray for this family to continue seeking the Lord.
Because of the pandemic, the senior citizens, sixty years and above, cannot go out or attend our gatherings. These senior citizens are really missed during this time. One of the older men who used to participate in our fellowship was Edito, sixty-six. He does not have internet access in his home, so he cannot listen to any of the online sermons. Edito was delighted to hear our voices outside his home. He welcomed us with great joy and was even more excited to receive a Bundle of Joy. We ministered to Edito during this time of discouragement by praying for him and encouraging him to persevere.
We pray for the Christmas message to continue past the holidays and remind us of the importance of celebrating together the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for our families to continue to be well-supplied during this crisis time
- Pray for the new families who received Bundles of Joy to open their hearts to the gospel.
- Pray for them to respond to our invitations to join the gatherings and Bible studies.
- Pray for the senior citizens, including Edito, who are still not allowed to participate in any religious meetings.
- Pray for them to be comforted by the Lord and to continue to seek and worship Him.
I previously shared how we have chosen to continue our online ministry as a hybrid way of doing discipleship. We have resumed our Sunday face-to-face gathering and are doing zoom sessions for weekly Bible studies for men and women. The men and women studies have seen growth in the number of groups meeting and the members’ maturity. More people are willing and eager to lead Bible study groups. This enthusiasm has prompted us to plan for leadership programs to train these believers to conduct Bible studies.
Almost daily, we meet with our members and teach the Word of God. For many of the participants, these online groups are God’s providence that those who cannot go outside or are far away can still join the Bible studies. The online ministry has also been a venue for inviting new people, especially family members or friends who are still unbelievers.
- Pray for the Lord to continue to use the online ministry to build up in the church in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the new people who joined recently to receive the gospel message and salvation.
- Pray for wisdom as we plan a leadership training curriculum for our new leaders.
It is a sad time when a family member departs during a season like Christmas. Nemar’s family lost their uncle from a terminal illness. One of the duties of the church is to weep with those who weep. So as a church, we took this opportunity to minister to the grieving family by being present during the nights of wake (the Filipino mourning tradition) and sharing the gospel of hope. Bro. Paul is one of our church leaders who ministered to Nemar’s family. Through Paul and the rest of the team, we brought God’s message of comfort through the gospel and the Word of God being preached with love. As a church planter, it brings me great joy to see leaders doing the ministry of God in the many places where God leads them.
- Pray for Nemar’s family during this time of loss and grieving. May the message of hope preached to the family be a seed that grows into faith and confidence in the Lord.
Because of the current time’s difficulties, many of us were weary, worried, and discouraged. Therefore, it was the best time to pause for a moment to rest and reflect. It was the church’s time of peace and retreat.
With the leaders and faithful members, the church took time away from the busy and noisy area of the city to a silent place to reflect on the goodness of God this past year. Also, to anchor ourselves on His pure Word and to run into the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was a time of worship and meditation on the love of God. We reminded ourselves that our God is always in control. We had great fun and fellowship through our team-building activities and games. Most of all, it was a time of evaluation and planning on how to do the Lord’s work for the next year.
- Pray for the Lord to continue to refresh us with His grace and power so we can continue to minister to one another and our city.
- Pray for the Lord to empower the church in unity and love, to grow in sanctification and service.
- Pray for the Lord to strengthen our leaders and members for another year of service.
- Pray for our leaders and members to tangibly share the love of the Lord for His people.
Although the covid-19 cases have significantly decreased in the country, Cebu province, and Mandaue City, it was unfortunate that one of our church members recently got the virus. Cathlene is one of the active volunteers in our church ministry. Her mother died from a stroke and was tested as covid-19 positive by the hospital. As a result, the entire family was tested, and their results were positive, despite having no symptoms. The recent loss and now a battle with the virus have been challenging for the family. The local government locked down their whole compound, and Cathlene and her family have no way to get their daily food.
So the church came to the rescue. Even though we were not allowed to make physical contact with Cathlene or her family, we could drop off a week worth of provisions and relief goods. As they have babies and senior citizens in their family, we gave them milk and food. Cathlene and her family are grateful for these desperately needed items. As a church, it was a privilege to serve and help Cathlene.
- Pray for no one in Cathlene’s family to develop symptoms.
- Pray for them to be comforted by the Lord during this time of difficulty.
- Pray for the Lord to use this situation for us to minister to the family.
- Pray especially for those who have not yet come to faith.
Because one of our church members tested positive, the local government did not allow us to gather for three weeks physically. To ensure that no one is exposed and experiences unnecessary health risks, we canceled the physical gatherings for a few extra weeks and conducted online worship services. We are monitoring the church members for symptoms, specifically those who had contact with the positive case.
Due to a lack of internet connection, we have had limited contact with some members. The majority have been able to join our online Bible studies and prayer meeting. Nothing will stop our church from gathering, at least virtually. We hope for clearance to meet again in person to learn from God’s Word and minister to each other.
- Pray that we can meet for worship in person soon.
- Pray for the Lord to keep the congregation faithful and persevere despite these challenges.
- Pray that fear of the virus or any illness will not stop our congregation from gathering.
The Lord added another blessing to our family last month. Our third child was born. Named Selah Zophie, our daughter is a reminder of the grace and wisdom which God has given us. These last few months were challenging to meet with a doctor for consultation due to the pandemic. The birth itself was even more complicated as the closest maternity ward was crowded. But the Lord provided for our needs, gave us wisdom in our decisions, and supplied us with the strength to face the challenges. Now, as my family numbers five, I am even more excited to lead them in faith to our Lord and service to God in the church He has given us.
- Pray for our Lord to continue providing for our needs as we raise children during these times of economic recession here in the Philippines.
- Pray for the Lord to supply me with strength as we resume our church gathering while balancing my own family’s needs with a pastor’s responsibility.
School is once again in session. Because of the pandemic, the school officials canceled all face-to-face classes in the Philippines. However, online and distance learning classes have been substituted and started last month. The new set up for learning has caused many challenges and much anxiety for students. Some are online, and others are doing a distance learning method. On top of the new modality, many students are anxious about starting their classes without the essential school supplies. With recent job losses and the Philippines’ economic recession, an average family finds it hard to feed their own family adequately, much less purchase the school supplies the children need.
We gave school supplies packs to twenty-five elementary-grade children to use on the first day of class. The team distributed the kits from house to house since we were not allowed to gather the children into one area. It was an excellent opportunity to get to know the kids and talk to their parents. In addition to the supplies, we also distribute Cebuano (the common language of the Philippines) gospel tracts to the parents. The parents and children expressed such joy and gratitude. The school packs fulfill three months of supplies needed by the children. Kylie, one of the recipients, expressed her delight as she immediately embraced her new school supplies.
Our hearts melted when she said, “Salamat kyua. Salamat sa Ginoo”; this means thank you, big brother, thank you, Lord.
- Pray for the children to be supplied with strength and endurance to continue their studies despite poverty; pray for them to overcome the challenges that come with the new modality of learning.
- Pray that during this time, we can reach out to more families in the community.
- Pray they will hear and receive the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for more resources and sponsors for the kids as we expand our ministry in the community.
We have continued distributing rice packs to twenty families in the community. When the strictest restrictions were eased a few months ago, we were able to reach out to the families we had contacted. Many have lost their jobs, businesses, or other sources of income because of the pandemic. It is difficult for them to make a living, so most of them can only wait for government relief goods. We took the opportunity to minister to them with rice and shared the gospel. Since we are not allowed to gather the families in any open space, we distributed the food from house to house and talked with the families. Caren and Kling-kling were some of the recipients. Together with their younger siblings, they expressed joy upon receiving their gifts. The last few months have been impossible for them to find a job. Even the small amount of rice they received alleviates the worry of finding food for the next few days.
- Pray for more donors so we can continue to give rick packs to these families.
- Pray for them to understand and receive the gospel and join our Bible studies.
- Pray for the Lord to expand our ministry in the community as we reach more families for Christ.
As a result of the milder quarantining protocols, the government has allowed mass gatherings to resume as long as physical distancing and other health protocols are followed. We have been able to reopen face-to-face Sunday worship this last month. However, many were still unable to join us due to restrictions on transportation, distance, or other individual health protocols. As we transitioned back to church in-person, we continued some of our studies online, especially for the children who were not able to go out. We just held our last online-only service.
The last seven months have been hard for all of us, but we also experienced many opportunities to share the gospel beyond our community’s borders. Our online sermons reached hundreds of people in the city, they had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are thankful to the Lord for sustaining us through His strength and wisdom.
- Pray for strength and wisdom as we transition back to more face-to-face fellowships and Bible studies.
- Pray for the members to grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for more leaders to be raised by the Lord for ministry in the church and community.
- Pray for our conversations as we follow up with people reached through the online ministry.
Patrick and his wife Jennifer used to attend another church many years ago but became distracted by worldly things. A few weeks ago, they happened to listen to our online preaching. Patrick recently lost his job when his workplace shuts its doors due to the pandemic. He reached out to us through social media, and we met with Patrick and Jennifer through video chatting. They asked us many questions, and we answered with God’s Word. They were glad to study the doctrines of salvation and the church. I taught them our statement of faith and the fundamentals of Biblical teaching. The Holy Spirit renewed their hearts to believe in the gospel, and they joined our local church this month. The church was happy to accept them into fellowship. Patrick and Jennifer were delighted to listen to Biblical preaching and enjoy the brethren’s friendship and love again.
- Pray for the Lord to sustain Patrick and Jennifer in their renewed walk with the Lord. May they be used by God also to bring their children into the faith.
- Pray that the Lord will lead Patrick in finding a new job to provide for his family.
With some of the restrictions easing in Mandaue City, we were able to visit the brethren’s homes. Some quarantine protocols are still in place, but we were now allowed to travel to more places in our ministry area. We took advantage of this opportunity to bring encouragement, prayer, food, and daily essentials.
In previous reports, I shared Caren’s situation. We were able to bring her food, clothes, and school supplies she needs for online studies. Caren is an active member of our ministry and part of the women’s weekly Bible study. She is the breadwinner in her family and cares for her two siblings.
- Pray for Caren and her siblings.
- Pray for the women’s ministry as they reach out to the women in our area and minister to them through the gospel.
We also visited Cathleen and her family. They live on a lot that they do not own, in a makeshift house built out of a tent. We ministered to her and her family and shared the gospel with them. They were happy to receive food and goods from the church. They are looking for another place to live since the lot’s owner wants them to leave by the end of the month. Cathleen is also a part of the women’s Bible study and a member of our ministry in Mandaue city. Her faith has given her the strength to cope with poverty and not give up in life. She is looking for a job since she lost her a few months ago due to the pandemic.
- Pray for Cathleen and her family as they look for a new place to live.
- Pray for Cathleen to find a new job soon so she can provide for her family.
The main gathering has not yet resumed due to the stricter restrictions for religious meetings in confined spaces. However, we meet with the brethren in open spaces in the city. With social distancing, masks, and sanitizer in hand, we met face-to-face to study God’s Word and pray for one another. We told our own quarantine stories, the struggles and adjustments we face, and the ministry opportunities that came because of the quarantine.
The pandemic has magnified our brethren’s hunger and thirst for the Word of God and warm fellowship with one another. Many still choose to stay home and wait for some restrictions to ease, but a few have taken the opportunity to connect in person. We were grateful to begin our informal fellowships face to face.
- Pray for restrictions in the city to be further eased and the quarantine status to be lifted soon so that no more extra measures need to be implemented.
- Pray for wisdom as we lead our ministry in this time of transition.
We are thankful to the Lord that we can conduct Bible studies face to face and do real home visitation. But we still choose to continue other ministry activities online for those who are not allowed to go out or who prefer to stay home during this period. We have our weekly prayer meetings online every Wednesday night, praising the Lord together, confessing sins, praying, and encouraging one another. We do weekly Bible studies online to talk about God, the Bible, our faith, and relevant life experiences. Our focus is on the attributes of God and their application to our lives today.
The women’s Bible study led by my wife is studying Mark’s gospel and talking about following Jesus Christ. Their interactions are very wonderful and lively! Our Sunday fellowship online allows the brethren and their families to connect and sing the hymns for the Lord.
- Pray for our online ministries; we expect them to continue to the end of the year. We pray it will motivate and encourage the brethren to keep in touch, connect to the church, and help them transition to face-to-face fellowship.
- Pray for the families to whom we minister, that all the family members to know the Lord and be saved.
- Pray they will unite in serving the Lord through their local church.
We continue preaching the Word every Sunday online. The believers have been actively listening and sharing the recorded videos. We started a series on the Philippines titled “Rejoice in the Lord” to encourage us to find our joy in the Lord even though we live in times of suffering. It is our joy and privilege to encourage the church with the pure Word of God through online sermons. While feeding our flock, we are also reaching out to people outside the church. Hundreds have viewed the messages, and we pray that the gospel is heard and received by many people.
- Pray for the people who have heard the sermons to have a genuine relationship with God.
- Pray for the Lord to equip and empower our new leaders in taking the roles of elders and preachers for our church in Mandaue City.
Pastor Ryan faithfully preaches each week. Remember him during your prayers.
Mandaue City is now under General Community Quarantine; some activities are now permitted but still with precautionary measures and restrictions. We are witnesses rising positive cases in the city, but it appears the curve will be flattening and so we anticipate the church will be open to gather in a few weeks. In the meantime, we opted to continue our current online gathering strategy due to the many vulnerable people in the church ministry. We continue to minister to the believers through phone calls, online videos, and social media. Despite these not-so-ideal and limited means, we are still feeding the flock of God with His Word. Using technology, we reached more people outside the church with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
God is raising leaders in our church. During this year, we are training three more men to become elders and preachers in our church. One of these men is Leonard. God has given him a burning passion for the Word of God and the church.
- Pray for our online sermons to continue to reach hundreds of people.
- Pray for God to bring people to faith and spiritual growth as we sow the seeds of His Word.
- Pray for God to equip and empower our new leaders as they take on roles as elders and preachers.
- Pray for faster recovery for our city so that gathering will be allowed soon without restriction.
Due to the pandemic lockdown, we learned many of our church members were staying home, some had lost jobs, and many were anxious about the future. To continue to encourage them, we launched our second devotional series, studying second and third John. We shared two videos each week to encourage the believers to continue serving the Lord and walking in the truth despite the many difficulties and uncertainties of life.
- Pray that the Lord will give me wisdom in ministering to the people using technology.
- Pray for the Lord to encourage and uplift believers affected by the pandemic lockdown and economic crisis.
One of the members who was hit the hardest by these events is Caren and her family. But she continues to be encouraged in her faith by listening to our online messages and joining in our Bible study groups. Ten families in her compound again received rice and face masks we distributed. In our city, wearing facemasks is required whenever anyone is outside of their house, including while riding public transportation. As a result, face masks are sold out in many stores. We were able to purchase face masks in bulk and distribute them to the people in the community of Subangdaku, Mandaue City. Caren and her family received their quarantine relief pack from us and expressed their gratitude for the church’s continued support. But most importantly, the Word of God is preached in their neighborhood.
- Pray for the Lord to continue to bless the members’ generous hearts and use them to extend help to others.
- Pray for our ability to provide relief to be sustainable.
- Pray for the evangelism of the gospel through the ministry of the quarantine packs.
Despite the absence of corporate gathering, we were privileged to visit the homes of people, virtually. One home at a time, we minister to the families in prayer, counseling, and fellowship. We get to see the faces of the family members who are not yet believers and talk to them. We learn of their struggles and prayer requests through online meetings.
Carmella continues to pray for the salvation of her husband and their long-time desire to have a child. Lester and Kathie pray for wisdom as they conduct the online school with their kids. Nelson shared his anxiety regarding tensions at work. I have learned many things from the congregation, as they also have learned about my own life and struggles. It was humbling to visit their homes, and I long for the time when I can see them again in person.
- Pray for salvation for the family members of the believers.
- Pray for believers to proclaim the gospel with boldness, power, and humility.
- Pray for the opportunity to revisit homes and for the restrictions to be lifted soon.
Although our church in Mandaue city is small and new, we sense our ministry’s life and vibrancy by the Holy Spirit’s enabling and power. Almost every day, we meet with a different small group and frequently see new faces.
In these small groups, we study the Bible, theology, and prayer. We welcomed Ozzie, a new believer who heard the gospel during our online sermons, invited by a church member. Ozzie learned of God’s grace and love, started attending a small group and the weekly women’s Bible studies. She is facing significant challenges and trials in her life, but she is encouraged to learn more and submit to His will since hearing God’s Word.
- Pray for Ozzie to continue in her new faith.
- Pray for growth and sustenance through God’s Word.
- Pray for God to sustain our leaders and small groups.
- Pray for everyone to grow in grace and knowledge of the Bible.
Months have passed, and the quarantine situation in our city has not improved by much. There has been a steady increase in positive cases in Mandaue city, passing the fifteen-thousand mark during the summer. Cebu City has more than eight-thousand cases, and so the strict general community quarantine measures are still not allowed.
We will continue to minister to God’s people through online means and created a Facebook invitation for our Sunday sermons. We asked our members to share the invite with their family members and friends. Using this method, we are preaching God’s Word to edify our members and reach hundreds of people in the city and beyond. We thank the Lord that despite the internet connecting being sometimes problematic in our area, our sermons’ live streaming has been fast and without technical glitches.
- Pray that the church will be edified with God’s Word through the online preaching despite limited connection. May we plant a seed in the hearts of people hearing the gospel for the first time through the online preaching.
- Pray for our city and nation to recover so that gathering will be allowed.
We have been distributing rice packs since spring to families who have been greatly affected. Our offering is small, but through the generous and sacrificial giving of our members, we have continued rice distribution to those in great need. This month, Cara was surprised to receive a rice pack from our church. We had only met her once when we shared the gospel in her community in Subangdaku, Mandaue City. Cara joyfully received the gift; the food is a blessing to them since they have no income source at this time. Because of limitations, we could not stay in their area long; but through one of the members near Cara, we talked to her via the phone and shared the gospel. It is our great joy to continue to help our members with food and other people through the rice distribution. It has opened some doors for us to share the gospel and connect people to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray that Cara and her husband will receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.
- Pray that God will continue to bless and sustain the church so that we can continue to bless not only our members but others who are in great need during this time.
Two months ago, we started our equipping session with the men, preparing them to preach and lead the church as future elders and pastors. We are continuing this ministry and have invited pastors from other cities to discuss shepherding the church in Cebu, Philippines.
I am thankful to God for raising men in our church with a willing heart to be trained for leadership. Our elders in training are Leonard, Henry, and Paul. We also have men receiving guidance to be deacons. This quarantine time has been fruitful for them as they go through the leadership process of training and studying. We believe that God’s will is for the church to entrust our faith and ministry to faithful men who will also be teachers.
- Pray that these men will guard their calling and continue to serve the Lord.
- Pray that God will work in their hearts and teach them to lead humbly and faithfully in the church’s ministries. As they go through their equipping sessions, pray for the men to rise to the ministry’s challenges.
Besides the men’s group, we have also launched groups on hermeneutics (the interpretation of scripture) and leading Bible studies. This group will meet twice a month to study the Bible, learn how to interpret it, and lead small groups or Bible studies. We have seen the need for training more leaders as our online zoom Bible studies are growing, and smaller groups will be more useful for better teaching and accountability. Many of our members have started leading or assisting small groups during the week. They expressed concerns about interpreting the Bible correctly and being effective in leading small groups; so, we launched this class, and I was surprised by how many members joined the first one.
- Pray for our small groups to be influential and small spaces for people to grow in faith and maturity.
- Pray for our small group and Bible study leaders to be sustained by the Lord and lead faithfully and joyfully.
- Pray for wisdom and strength for the students as they complete the training. May God raise these leaders to be godly and faithful in sharing the gospel.
I reported about our Saturday Theology Nights in the previous month. Members and guests can join online for a night of fun, questions, and theology. We talked about family worship and spiritual disciplines to nourish our souls and our family, especially during this time of quarantine, when we cannot go out to meet together for corporate worship.
I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Arts in Theology Major in Pastor Studies at the Baptist Theological College – Cebu Graduate School of Theology. Although I completed the classes and requirements last, I could not attend the graduation ceremony due to unforeseen circumstances. I thank the Lord that I was able to join the virtual graduation ceremony this year. I consider my seminary instruction vital in training and preparing me for the ministry challenges here in Mandaue City. I am grateful for my family, who has supported me always. Also, I am thankful for my church family; though we just started working here last year, we have accomplished many things for and through the Lord. I thank my White Fields family for welcoming me into a partnership that the Lord can use to bring the gospel to many people. I dedicate this milestone to my Lord, who saved me and chose me to be His servant. All glory to God alone. I am now completing my Master of Divinity at the same school. May the Lord be pleased with my life and use me according to His will.
- Pray for provision, wisdom, and strength that I will persevere in my studies while serving God in the ministry.
- Pray that the Lord will make me more able, effective, and qualified while making me humble and dependent only on Him as I study and serve the Lord.
It has been more than three months since the beginning of the community quarantine in Mandaue City. The country’s overall situation is getting better, but the crisis is not yet over, and we expect to be under quarantine for a few more weeks. Some local housing areas are on complete lockdown. The national and local government units have already taken drastic measures, and the focus of the federal government has been on Cebu City and Mandaue City for this month
- Pray for our city to recover from the pandemic so that the church may be allowed to gather again.
As a result of the restrictions, we are gathering online. Our Sunday preaching is via Facebook Live! Preaching to a screen is like teaching to no one, although I know I am addressing someone. After three months of preaching online, I feel tired since I miss speaking to the physical gathering of believers. I miss seeing the faces of my congregation, the nods of their heads, the tears in their eyes, the warmth of their smiles, and the encouragement of their presence. However, I am also thankful that our online preaching touches hundreds of people through video sharing. It is only by God’s sustaining grace and mercy that the gospel message is reaching friends, family members, and neighbors. I pray that more people will hear the gospel of grace and come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Pastor Ryan that he will be encouraged through God’s word as we prepares to teach each week.
- Pray that God will use the online platform to reach people with the gospel message.
- Pray for good health as I have been experiencing a sore throat and cough for a few days while doing these weekly teaching activities.
In the last few months since the start of quarantine, we have been distributing rice and food items to our financially-struggling church members. One of the families we are helping this month is Caren’s family in Subangdaku, Mandaue City. Caren is a student with no parents, so she is responsible for caring for her two younger siblings. Because of the quarantine, Caren has no job or source of income. Without assistance, living through these months would have been impossible for Caren and her family. By God’s grace, through the love and generosity of the brethren, Caren receives financial and material provision from the church members. This month we were able to provide eight kilos of rice to Caren and siblings.
- Pray for Caren to find a job to support herself and her family.
- Pray for financial provision for the church members, especially the breadwinners who currently have no jobs.
- Pray that God will continue to bless and sustain our church so we can bless those who have the greatest need.
Although this month has been quite challenging for me to do ministry in our city, it has also been the most productive. This month, God raised men in our church who were willing to undergo mentoring and leadership development. I am thrilled to share that in the few months of tilling the ground, now we are seeing men rise to the challenge of undergoing the eldership training and discipleship. We started a series for fellowship and instruction on preaching and hermeneutics. Eight men joined us, six of them are still new to the church but already want to learn how to serve God and the church through their gifts. It is with great joy and humility that we praise God for gifting our church with available and teachable men to be future leaders, elders, and preachers.
- Pray for these men to be sustained by God as we hone each other preaching and leadership gifts.
- Pray for these godly men to be sanctified through God’s Word as they lead their families in the faith and serve in the ministry.
- Pray for all to be willing and ready to be used by God in future preaching and teaching ministries in the church.
- Pray for wisdom as I progress through the leadership program and guide these men into maturity.
The church celebrated Father’s Day by honoring the fathers. We were unable to give them physical gifts or tokens of appreciation, but we talked with them and heard the children’s gratitude.
- Pray for the fathers in the church to learn how to be patient, godly, wise, and mature in leading our families in serving the Lord.
- Pray for the fathers during this time of crisis.
- Pray that God will continue providing for their needs and their families.
Our Saturday Theology Night is a fun time indeed. The brothers and sisters meet to study what and why we believe. We invite guests and friends who want to know who we are, what the Bible teaches, ask questions about faith or anything else in life, or enjoy fellowship. We recently completed a three-month series on the major doctrines of Christianity. Since then, our topics have discussed the centrality and content of the gospel message in our lives. We are pleased to have some visitors and friends who have heard the gospel for the first time.
- Pray for the brethren’s fire and passion for studying God’s Word and that the fellowship will continue.
- Pray for the courage to share the gospel with others in the community.
- Pray for strength and wisdom as I lead the church in another series in our Theology nights.
One of the fruits of our invitations to the Saturday Theology Nights is Nemar. He was a Roman Catholic until he heard and understood the gospel explained in our fellowship. A friend shared the link to our online sermons, and Nemar was not too shy to join our Zoom Bible studies. He finally put his faith in the Lord when he understood the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation has visibly impacted Nemar’s personal life. He grew up Roman Catholic but never gave much thought to religion or the Bible. When he got married, difficult challenges came to his life and marriage. Their first two children died at a young age due to illness. Nemar thought that the Lord was against Him or that he was unlucky since he lost his children. But a glimmer of hope started when he began to search for the truth last year after he and his wife had another baby. Nemar’s pursuit after the truth led him to our sermons and Bible studies. His salvation caused him to be transformed from the inside out and passionate about following Jesus. Nemar is excited to be baptized as soon as the community quarantine is over. He is praying for his wife to be saved also.
- Pray for God to nurture the new faith of Nemar so he will learn how to be a godly husband and father to their baby.
- Pray for Nemar’s wife to come to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
- Pray for the church to invite more people to watch the sermons and join our online Bible studies.
Several months have passed since Mandaue City was placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine. As I write, there is still a rising number of cases of COVID-19 in our city, and we are expecting the quarantine to be extended for a few more weeks. Sunday gatherings are happening via Zoom, and our sermons are being preached through Facebook live, reaching hundreds of people in Cebu and the Philippines. Since we have been doing this method for a while, the initial awkwardness has minimized, and I am more comfortable preaching to the camera. I prefer to teach to live people and miss our Sunday fellowship.
Nevertheless, technology enables us to reach hundreds of people, many of whom had no understanding of the Biblical gospel. Every time we go live for a sermon, we see hundreds of people and friends are watching and listening. We feel joy and hope, knowing the seed of the Word has been planted in many souls during this quarantine. Technology has been one of God’s gifts to the church, and He is using it to reach more people for His glory. The preaching of the Bible is not confined within the four walls of the building. The church continues without borders.
- Pray for the strength of the body and the spirit, that I may be able to proclaim the gospel with boldness.
- Pray that God will work in the hearts of people who hear the gospel through our preaching.
- Pray that our city will recover soon and that the restrictions will be lifted so that gatherings are allowed.
The success of every Sunday online fellowship and sermon is due to my ministry team, my family, and their excellence at their roles. My wife and kids became my technical assistants in setting up the cellphone camera, tripod, table, and lights. I see their delight and excitement every time we set up, and it brings me joy as the head of the family. Although my family misses our church fellowship, for now, they have risen to the occasion and become my partners during this time of quarantine. Setting up the equipment has become a fun time together while serving the Lord as a family. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15).
- Pray for joy and patience of my family as we serve the Lord together in ministry.
- Pray that our equipment will last for as long as needed during this quarantine period.
The Apostle Paul said to the church in Rome, “For I long to see you…” in the first chapter of Romans, I feel a similar longing in my heart as I think about the flock that God has given me. But unlike Paul in his time, God has given us a wonderful gift of technology to see and minister to our brothers and sisters even when we cannot meet in person. Each Sunday, we gather online for prayer, singing, and encouragement. The live singing and prayers allow us to have continued active interaction similar to actual physical gatherings. Everyone who has access to the internet has joined us each Sunday. For the others who have been unable to join us due to their lack of internet, I have still called to pray and speak with them. Indeed the church remains open and will continue to stay open as long as there are believers who gather together, either in-person or online.
- Pray that everyone will still be encouraged through prayer and singing, although it is online.
- Pray that more members will be able to join the zoom fellowship with a stable internet connection.
- Pray that we will be able to continue communicating with and encouraging those who have no internet connection.
It has been a difficult time since the Enhanced Community Quarantine has required everyone to stay home. In my last report, I shared about how the church is active in helping members who have lost their jobs because of the quarantine. We are continuing to support these brothers and sisters. Cathlene is the breadwinner and only believer in her family. She is still single but is carrying the financial weight of her entire family during this time. Unfortunately, she is still without work or income. Although our church is small, we have generous brethren who continue to look after our brothers and sisters in need. The church is giving weekly support to Cathlene and her family. As a result of providing for their physical needs, we have also been able to provide them with Bibles and share the gospel. During times of difficulty, the church is still able to demonstrate the love of God and love for one another.
- Pray for the salvation of the family members of Cathlene.
- Pray for the Lord to continue to provide for their needs.
- Pray that God will bless the other church members and sustain us in this time of quarantine.
I am amazed that the quarantine has released the gospel message even more than before. Indeed, the Word is not bound, just as Paul expresses in 2 Timothy 2:9. The church continues to study the Bible together Thursday and Saturday; prayer meetings are every Wednesday evening. In this time of separation, it is also a time of gathering. Our church is growing in number and knowledge. Since most of our church members are new believers, it is our joy to see them grow and hunger for the Word of God. Now there is more time to study the Bible, more time to attend the online gatherings, and more time to interact with each other.
- Pray that the church will be encouraged to pray and will continue to pray.
- Pray for the church members to grow in maturity, especially the new believers in our fellowship.
- Pray for wisdom as I lead various small groups throughout the week in the study of the Bible.
Because of our weekly gatherings for Bible studies, we have observed that more women are joining us, and many are new to the fellowship. So, we gathered these women to start a women’s ministry. Our study is on the Identity and Calling of a Godly Woman. We thank the Lord for the many women who desire to serve in ministry and discipleship with other women. It is a joy to see their hearts touched by the Word of God.
Last month, several people were saved and became a part of our fellowship by hearing our sermons online. This month, another miracle of salvation happened! During this quarantine, our online teachings and posts have attracted some people, and they have come to know God and His saving faith. Wilvir grew up attending a church in another province. When he heard the preaching online, Wilver’s eyes were opened, and he understood his need for a Savior. Despite being raised in a church, he had not learned the message of the gospel. Wilver now works in Cebu and had been looking for God in many places. He had been looking for something or Someone who could fill his emptiness. He is far from family and felt lonely, also searching for a place to belong. A friend introduced Wilvir to our sermons, and he awoke to the truth of the gospel. He began joining our online Bible studies and finally understood the Bible for the first time. He put his faith in Christ, and we give all glory to God alone. Praise the Lord.
- Pray for Wilver to grow in this knowledge and understanding of God and the Bible.
- Pray for God to use Wilver to His glory.
Pray for the church to continue to grow amid the quarantine and for the gospel to reach more lost souls to lead to salvation.
When the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Cebu in the middle of March, the whole province went into Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). All the borders were closed, and almost every establishment ceased its operations. Consequently, all church gatherings were stopped, and everyone was confined to their own homes. The unprecedented situation caused by the pandemic has radically changed the way we do our ministries in Mandaue City. For the entirety of last month, all physical gatherings were converted into virtual fellowships. By the Lord’s grace, we have not neglected meeting together. (Hebrews 10:25). The virus has not stopped the church. The church found its way to thrive through technology. The church goes online! Every Sunday, we gather online via Zoom for prayer, singing, and encouragement. The live singing and prayers have allowed us active interaction and connections even closer than actual physical meetings.
- Pray for everyone to be encouraged through prayer and singing online.
- Pray for more members to join the online fellowship and for stable internet connections.
- Pray for wisdom in leading this online meeting format to minister to fellow believers effectively.
It is a difficult time. ECQ requires us to stay at home. For some, this means living without work and, as a result, they have no source of income and so no money for food. Some people are entirely dependent upon the limited relief goods provided by the government and three of our church members are facing this situation now. Caren is a working student. Cathleen and Marivic are breadwinners. The loss of their jobs and resulting unemployment is challenging for them. During this crisis, our church members are sharing their burdens and demonstrating love by providing rice, canned goods, and other food items to our sisters who have lost their jobs. This experience was especially meaningful to the unbelieving families of Cathleen and Marivic. By our small and simple gesture of love, we have substantially and tangibly helped these families, and at the same time, have shared the gospel of hope.
- Pray for the salvation of the family members of Caren, Cathleen, and Marivic.
- Pray that the Lord will continue to provide for their needs in this time of quarantine.
- Pray for there to be continual love in the church as we share the burden of helping each other.
The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season…” (2 Timothy 4:2). The Enhanced Community Quarantine seems to put preaching in the out of season category. However, God granted us opportunities to continue teaching, this time using the internet. The pulpit and street evangelism ministry became online ministries that have reached hundreds and possibly thousands of people from different areas in Cebu. Our sermons from the Sunday service and evangelism outreach have been heard by people through Facebook live. As the messages are live-streamed, church members and others shared the posts, eventually reaching hundreds of people. It was a bit awkward at first since this was our first-time doing preaching via Facebook live. But God has enabled us to proceed with humility and patience as we learn how to use this technology. Through this route, we have had quite a few people message us asking about the gospel and our ministry in Mandaue City.
- Pray that more people will be able to hear the gospel through Facebook live.
- Pray for the continued strong internet signal in our area and no power interruptions to occur.
- Pray that our church members will be fed by God’s Word sufficiently for growth and edification, despite this new method of delivering sermons.
- Pray for patience and wisdom, especially for my wife, as she has become my technology specialist and assistant in setting up the cameras.
Paul reminds us to “Pray without ceasing” in First Thessalonians 5:17. Even though we cannot physically see each other and hold hands while praying, we continue to share each other’s burdens and pray for one other on bended knee. A Facebook group was created so members can write and share their prayer requests at any time of day. Whenever there is a need, everyone logs into their account and posts their concerns. In the middle of the week, we meet using Zoom and pray for one another. This group has been a great encouragement for the believers, especially during trying times when we are prone to become discouraged and anxious about health risks and uncertainties of the future.
- Pray for God to use this channel to encourage everyone.
- Pray for the members to be reminded to pray, be sustained by prayer, and to pray without ceasing.
- Pray for some of our members who are distant from families in other provinces; there is the temptation to be anxious and depressed by this separation.
Due to the forced home quarantine, many of the church members found they had more time available. We took advantage of this time and started posting recorded videos of our daily devotion from First John. They have reached thousands of people, and other churches in the Philippines also reposted the devotionals. Through the videos, we have reached the unbelieving family of our church members. This daily devotion has enabled us to minister to the believers and supplement their regular time in God’s Word.
- Pray for wisdom and strength as I prepare for another series of daily devotions since we have completed first John.
- Pray for more people to be blessed by God’s Word.
- Pray for the salvation of the unbelieving family members of our church. May this be the time that God will touch their hearts to understand the gospel message.
We have continued our fellowship and Bible studies using the internet. We kept our Theology Nights and have seen people grow more mature in their faith through these studies. The ladies, led by my wife, are meeting regularly for weekly gatherings and study of God’s Word.
- Pray for my wife and me, for wisdom, strength, patience, and perseverance in doing Bible studies during this difficult time.
- Pray for our members and others who are joining us to grow in their faith through the regular feeding of God’s Word.
- Pray for provisions for everyone to have consistent internet connections.
The miracle of salvation has happened. During this quarantine, our online sermons and posts have attracted people to become interested in God, and ultimately to know God and proclaim their faith. For this month, we have welcomed two couples into our fellowship. Brother Sunny and his wife Jennifer, as well as Lester, and his wife, Kathie, have decided to join our church after hearing our sermons live and joining our online Bible studies. They are new believers to the faith who understood the gospel after hearing a number of our sermons online this last month.
- Pray for these new couples, Sunny and Jennifer, and Lester and Kathie, that God will use them for His glory.
- Pray for the church to continue to grow and for the gospel to reach more lost souls for salvation.
The Lord Christ Himself commissioned His disciples when He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19. Our ministry work in Mandaue City, Philippines, is in humble obedience to our Lord’s command. With a population of almost four hundred thousand people, Mandaue City is an urban and religious center ripe for a great harvest. We sent out a team to Subangdaku, Mandaue City, to distribute evangelistic tracts and share the gospel. This past month, we passed out five hundred tracts and spoke individually with about fifty people.
- Pray for the people who listened and positively responded to the gospel.
- Pray that they will open their homes for Bible study.
- Pray for provision to print more tracts and for the courage and wisdom of the team.
We met the family of Edito and Tita through one of our friends. They are Catholics and are interested in knowing God more. We visited their home and shared the gospel with them. They were eager and glad to know what the Bible teaches. Edito and Tita are interested in joining our Sunday gathering, but due to Tita’s arthritis, she is unable to walk for long distances. Due to finances, Tita has not gone to the health center for a check-up nor has purchased medicine. Despite the couple being over sixty, they are both working to support themselves. We are glad to meet their family and share the good news of salvation with them.
- Pray that Edito and Tita have a genuine acceptance of the gospel and that they will grow in their faith.
- Pray for provision for Tita’s medication and recovery so they can join us in our Sunday gathering.
We desire to see more residents of our city come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and to join discipleship groups that will nurture their faith. The ladies have a weekly Bible study; they meet in homes or public facilities and talk about the Word of God while sharing their struggles and experiences of the week. These young ladies are new believers in Christ and zealous in ministering to one another.
One of these ladies is Caren. She is twenty years old and comes from a broken family that is below the poverty level. Her parents are abusive, and they are against Caren’s new faith in God. Even though Caren has experienced the abuse, she continues to work hard to support herself and complete her studies. She is an active and joyful member of our church, from her smile and actions; you would not imagine the stress and burdens she has experienced in the past or present. Caren is a first-year college student at a university in Cebu. She is working to support herself and her two younger siblings. Unfortunately, the company where she was employed just closed and Caren needs to find another job soon. We are praying that God would use Caren and us to reach her family and community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for these ladies, especially Caren, to continue their walk of faith despite persecution and poverty.
- Pray for Caren to find a job to support her studies and her two younger siblings.
Through our network of Bible studies, we have gathered young men and women for a discipleship session every week; the majority are residents or employees in this city. These individuals are the potential leaders of the future who will one day lead the Bible studies and ministries to the church as we grow. We usually meet in homes, offices, or public places to study the Word of God and pray. as we do not yet have a permanent place of our own. We hope these discipleship sessions will help the participants in their journey of faith and equip them to serve others.
- Pray for the believers to grow in their love and commitment to the Lord and the church.
- Pray for the young men and women to shine their Christian light to their families and communities for the glory of God.