“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.”Exodus 20:12
Sunday is always an exciting day because we invite new people and spend time with them when they come to our worship service. We praise God for giving us good health despite the covid situation. Our Sunday gathering has been consistent each week since February till now. God is good and faithful!
Last month we celebrated Father’s Day in recognition and appreciation for all the fathers. We made sure this day was special. I prepared a message from God’s Word to encourage and value their hard work as heads of the family. We thank the Lord for those who came and celebrated with us. The church prepared lunch for everyone. We had a great time together, enjoyed the exceptional food, shared struggles, and encouraged one another. The fathers and families were grateful for the meaningful experience.
Last month I shared the story of Khea and Jeralph, including Jeralph’s big question of “does God have a plan for me?” Indeed, God has a wonderful plan for Khea and Keralph. They committed sins against God but repented and stood firm on what they believe. They have chosen to honor God and make it right in their relationship.
Khea and Jeralph committed their lives and gave honor to God through their marriage union. Praise God that their wedding was successful and went according to their plans.
Our discussions through marriage counseling led Jeralph to surrender his life to Jesus and proclaim his faith through water baptism. The church was witness to Jeralph’s momentous declaration of faith. Jeralph is happy, sincere, and only wants to serve the Lord. He wants to tell everyone that he has genuinely believed and accepted the Lord Jesus as His Savior.
He longs for the day when he can talk to his parents in person about the saving grace of our Lord that he has received. For now, he sent some verses and passages of scripture to his parents, brother, and sister about the love of God. I praise God. We rejoice with him and as a church family for the victory of God visible through the life of Jeralph.
- Pray for the newlywed couple to have a Christ-centered married life.
- Pray for them to adjust, especially since Jeralph has to work as a crew on a ship and will be gone from Khea for a couple of months.
- Pray for spiritual growth and passion for serving God.
- Pray for Jeralph’s family; he plans to visit them and share the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for Khea’s pregnancy journey and provision for the family.
Last month I also featured the story of Chris and Chrislyn responding to God’s direction as they considered marriage. Praise God that this couple continues to respond to God’s guidance in their lives. They are excited in their journey together as they put God in the center. They will face many challenges along the way, but they are confident that God will help sustain them in this new journey together. Barely two weeks ago, they had a successful Christ-centered marriage ceremony and celebration surrounded by loving friends and family. Chris and Chrislyn were overwhelmed by the support of the church family that handled most of the preparations. Now they are officially a married couple.
Chrislyn’s testimony during their wedding reception made us all emotional. She shared her journey with Jesus and how her life changed when she met Jesus. Chrislyn was crying, and every time she mentioned Jesus’ name, she got emotional. At the end of her testimony, Chrislyn gave back the glory and honor to God, who made all things possible in their lives.
- Pray for Chris and Chrislyn to proclaim their faith and commitment through water baptism.
- Pray for the adjustments they face as a married couple.
- Pray for harmony for Christy and Chrislyn’s relationship as mother and daughter.
- Pray for the family of Chris to continue to support him now that he has become a Christian.
- Pray for salvation for his whole family.
We rejoice to share the victories of God using the small groups in the community to minister to the people. We praise God that the small group has been in existence for three months now, and the members share feedback of their thankfulness to be part of the group. Small groups allow the members to share burdens and struggles, and it is an excellent opportunity for the leaders to listen and pray for them. This group of leaders is grateful for the chance to be used by God, and they are learning and growing in their relationships with God as they are teaching others.
I praise God for the committed small group leaders. This month, I witnessed two ladies, Rubelyn and Gloria, facilitate their small group. Their passion and excitement for others is the reason their members come regularly and minister to each other.
- Pray for safety for our trip to the community every Saturday.
- Pray for God’s provision; every week, the volunteers spend money for food and fare.
- Pray for strength and overflowing joy in serving God.
- Pray for wisdom in leading a small group.
- Pray that the teachers first apply what they teach to their own lives and for God’s Word to minister to their hearts.
- Pray for the teachers to trust God in everything, not relying on their own strength and ability.
- Pray for the group members to grow in their faith and love for God.
- Pray for their faith to shine to the community and families.
Nikki is a fourteen-year-old girl who finds joy in knowing God. She is the third child of three siblings. Her siblings live together with their grandmother, who has cared for them since they were young. They have different fathers, and Nikki’s mother is living with a new boyfriend right now. Nikki has not seen her mother since the start of the pandemic and misses her. Nikki’s uncle supports them financially at the current moment. Nikki is considered a PWD, a person with a disability, and is sometimes supported financially by the government. She was born with disproportionate lower extremities and has difficulty walking. She is a little bit self-conscious about her condition but has accepted it already.
Nikki loves to attend the young people discipleship group on Saturdays. She is eager to know more about God and has fun with the other youth. Nikki expressed that she loves to be with our group because she learns a lot from the Bible about obeying God. Her dream is to be a doctor someday because she wants to help other people who are sick. Her grandmother had a stroke a year ago and has trouble walking. Nikki wants to help her grandmother because she loves her so much.
- Pray for financial provision for Nikki and her family.
- Pray for strength for her uncle as he works to help them.
- Pray for salvation for the entire family.
- Pray for Nikki to be strong and gain knowledge through her school. We pray that Nikki will one day reach her dreams.
- Pray for her spiritual growth and that she is a blessing to her family.
- Pray for the parents of these children to attend the Bible studies and for salvation for their families.
Ministry is a unique vocation that requires a combination of skills, talents, and gifts. It is lovely to be used as a part of the ministry of God. We praise God for the available hands and feet that are joyfully serving God, sharing their gifts and abilities for the spreading of the gospel. Some of the young people serving in the music ministry are not professionals, but they are our best. Currently, they are training in musical skills, and the most important thing is that these youth have hearts willing to learn and are eager to serve the Lord. Praise God for the students and their teachers.
- Pray for strength and patience as we continue to train the young people in playing instruments.
- Pray that they will continue to be encouraged, persevere, and be willing to learn.
- Pray that the youth will not trust their abilities but be humble with their learning and always give God the glory and honor for everything.
Merlyn is the other of five children; she is hardworking and always looking for the best for her children. She is a food server in a restaurant and immediately returns home from work to serve her family. Her husband is a construction worker. His job is off and on because it depends on the project of his employer. Both parents work and help each other to support the needs of their family. When the pandemic started, Merlyn stopped working because the restaurant closed. She had no choice but to stay home and take care of her children. It was a hard time for the family as they relied upon one income. Merlyn started to worry, and sometimes her conversations with her husband ended up with them fighting.
During the pandemic, we visited the community where Merlyn lives and shared food packs with the family. Merlyn became interested in joining the Bible studies. She is shy, but I see her sitting in the corner every Saturday and listening attentively to the Word of God. One of the messages we shared during the study was about the importance of being saved and having a relationship with God. On that day, Merlyn accepted Jesus into her heart and offered her life to the Lord. She started to trust in the Lord, and no matter how hard the situation in her family, she has the assurance that God will take care of them.
Last February, Merlyn committed her life, and now she publicly displayed this decision through water baptism. She was worried about her husband not understanding her decision, but the day she was baptized, her husband took off work to care for their youngest child, who is two years old so that Merlyn could participate in the baptism. Merlyn was so excited to share with us the positive response from her husband. She is praying for her husband and the entire family to be saved. Merlyn is happy right now serving the Lord.
- Pray for spiritual growth for Merlyn.
- Pray for Merlyn to stand firm in her faith in God despite the hardship of life.
- Pray for her family’s salvation.
- Pray for provision for Merlyn’s family as they rely on her husband’s work.
- Pray for good health.
I have known Khea and her family since her high school years. Their family has been attending the church faithfully since the beginning of the church. Khea finished college and is now working full-time as an accountant. She is a successful career woman and can now help her family financially.
In December, she introduced Jeralph in the church as her boyfriend. It has been a long time since Khea had a relationship, and I saw her happiness which made me happy. However, Jeralph is not a Christian, and I talked with Khea about being careful getting too involved with a man who is not a Christian. I can see that Jeralph was true to his intentions to Khea and is faithfully attending church every Sunday for a couple of months now. But shocking news came to use from Khea’s mother that Khea is pregnant. Khea’s mother knew that Khea was ready to settle down because she is about the right age. Khea and Jeralph talked to my wife and me about the situation. They did not know how to say it and were very anxious about what I felt because Khea knew I had warned her and was very open with her. As a pastor, I was also honest with them about my feelings and heartily expressed my disappointment. They felt sorry and were much ashamed before me and especially God for what happened. I could see their genuine repentance and how they wanted to make it right in their relationship before God. I expressed that I did not want them to get married just because they will bear a child soon or because of the responsibility that will come their way. I made it clear that marriage should be because they love each other and will honor God in their relationship through marriage.
Jeralph has a lot of doubt about himself and even if God cares for him. He finished his studies already, and when the pandemic came, there was no opportunity to find work. Now Jeralph faces more challenges because of the marriage, and he will soon be a father. He was not prepared for any of this and is worried about what the future holds. He is asking if God has a plan for his life. But now, he is confident that God has forgiven them and has a plan for him despite the sins they have committed.
This month was a busy time for Khea and Jeralph as they prepared for their wedding. It was a busy time for me, as I sat down frequently with Jeralph to answer all his questions about having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. I took this opportunity to chat honestly with him, and I see his sincere decision to obey God in his life. Jeralph is determined to serve the Lord together with the family he is building.
- Pray for Khea and Jeralph’s wedding and adjustments for the new couple.
- Pray for Jeralph’s parents to accept and forgive him; they cannot join the wedding because they live on another island, the crossing is complicated due to the quarantine protocols. Jeralph is the eldest in the family, and they expect a lot from him to support the family.
- Pray for Khea’s pregnancy. Pray for good health and safe birth.
- Pray for Khea’s family to have harmony and peace.
Chris and Chrislyn have been living together without getting married for a couple of years so far. Chris is a non-believer, and Chrislyn has heard the word of God but has not fully surrendered her life to the Lord. She has a lot of questions about her broken family. Chrislyn is the youngest of two siblings and her mother, Christy, worked in Japan. Christy left when Chrislyn was young, and about that time, her father started a relationship with another woman. Chrislyn’s childhood was miserable because she longed for the care of her mother; she grew up with her father, but her mother is still supporting her.
Now Christy moved back to the Philippines and has decided to stay here for good. Chrislyn moved back in with her mother. They are adjusting in their relationship as a mother and daughter while living under the same rood. They have a lot of arguments, but Christy has been patient with her daughter. Christy became a Christian while working in Japan and is passionate about serving God. She tried to convince Chrislyn to have a Christian wedding. Chrislyn listened to her mother and convinced her partner Chris to have a Christian wedding. At first, he did not want to, especially since his family are devoted Roman Catholics but then he agreed. Chris and Chrislyn are going to church with their mom Christy, and they agreed to marriage counseling. They are both excited and were thrilled that I answered their many questions about God during this process. Chris and Chrislyn received the gift of salvation and have started to live a life with Christ.
Praise God for the wisdom He gave to the couple. We are now in the third session of our marriage counseling and are anticipating a baptism soon. The couple is busy preparing for the wedding and overwhelmed with appreciation for the help and support they have received from the church.
- Pray for wisdom and strength for Chris and Chrislyn as they prepare for their wedding.
- Pray for God’s provision.
- Pray for adjustment for the couple and harmony in the mother-daughter relationship.
- Pray for Chris and Chrislyn to grow in their relationship with God and proclaim their faith through baptism.
- Pray for Chris’s family to continue supporting him now that he is a Christian.
- Pray for salvation for the whole family.
“Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you, so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8. Praise God for another opportunity to share food with the children we minister to in Looc. It was hard to gather them together because of the covid restrictions, but we praise God that the doors opened for us to share blessings. We prepared rice and fried chicken; the kids were happy with the delicious food. Every time we come to the community, the children welcome us with smiles on their faces. They take our hands to put them on their forehead as a sign of respect.
Krisha is an eleven-year-old who is very independent and hardworking; her parents can trust her to care for her younger brother every time they leave for work. She loves coming to the gathering of kids because she has fun learning the story of Jesus and singing action songs. Krisha says that someday she would like to become a teacher so that she can share the love of God with other children. She wants to help her parents work, but she understands that staying home and caring for her younger sibling is helping her parents.
- Pray for good health, provision, and safety for the families.
- Pray for the parents of the children to be encouraged and attend the Bible studies.
- Pray for salvation for the families.
- Pray for more blessings to the people who share their resources with the kids.
My wife Charlotte looks forward to meeting with the group of young people every Saturday. Praise God for their eagerness and desire to join the discipleship prepared for them. Youth for the King, Y4K, is our group to teach the children while they are still young. They are interested in listening to the Word of God and learning about His words. We praise God for their parents supporting them in attending the discipleship group. They have many chores every Saturday, but they spend two hours in the morning listening to the Bible. I am praying for this group of youth that when they grow up, they will make serving our God a priority and use their different gifts to expand God’s ministry in their community.
Shena is twelve and approached my wife since she wanted to be a part of the group. I admire her personality and eagerness to learn the Word of God. She has to fetch water on Saturdays but asked her mom for permission to attend the study and promised to get the water afterward. Shena came with a smile on her face and participated in the games and lessons.
- Pray for the youth to continue to grow in their knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Pray for the salvation of their families.
- Pray for their studies, that they will be focused and do their best for their education.
I praise God for the committed small group leaders that lead small groups in the community. We had training for three consecutive Saturdays on how to conduct Bible studies. Now, these leaders are faithful in coming to the community to start their groups. We decided to format them as small groups so the leaders can easily share their learnings and be intentional in building relationships with the people in the community. It has been over a month now, and we praise God that everyone is adjusting to the groups. They are still learning from each other but are starting to be more open with each other. Before, they only used to hear me teaching from the Word of God, but now they also hear from their small group leader.
It has been quite challenging since they all have their own struggles, and sometimes the leaders and groups spent most of their time listening to cries because of problems. But the leaders are happy because the participants are not open with each other, and it is an excellent opportunity for them to pray. I look forward to the small groups growing, and one day, the participants will be leaders. We aim to nurture new leaders to teach.
- Pray for the believers to stand in their faith and trust God no matter what.
- Pray for the leaders to have wisdom as they lead the groups.
- Pray for safety and provision as they serve the community.
- Pray for the families to continue to experience God’s love and provision.
- Pray for the salvation of every individual in the families.
We had another opportunity as a church to share food packs in another community, Cambaro. We aimed to provide delicious meals to the family every week and allow them to bless their neighbors. Each family will receive five sets of food packs and an additional three sets to share with different neighbors every week. Before we distributed the food, we gathered the beneficiaries for the Word of God and prayer. We reminded them how important it is to be grateful and to bless others as well. They were thankful, and indeed the food is a great help to them.
- Pray for the beneficiaries in the community to appreciate and be grateful for the blessings they receive.
- Pray for God to bless the generous givers.
- Pray for the families to continue to experience God’s love and provision.
- Pray for salvation for the families.
“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live”John 11:25
The resurrection of Jesus is an exemplar of the resurrection of all who trust in Him for salvation. We also will experience the resurrection one day if we place our faith in Him. Because Christ lives, one day those of us who trust in Him will live again as well.
Our leader, our Savior, our Master, our King Jesus Christ is not dead. He lives today. Praise God for a risen Savior. The most wonderful time of year is when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection day. As a church, we choose to hold our Sunday worship service and fellowship at the beach. We rented a private resort space and woke up at dawn to prepare for the sunrise worship service. It was an emotional morning as we recollected the events of Jesus’ life while He was on earth.
Everyone shared their testimony of thankfulness to God. With joyful hearts, we sang praises and listened to God’s Word. After the service, we witnessed two individuals honoring God in their lives through water baptism. We were blessed to hear how they have committed their lives to God, repented of their sins, and placed their faith and trust in Jesus. We are overjoyed for their public profession and welcome them to the family of God.
- Pray for the spiritual growth of the church.
- Pray that everyone will be intentional in their walk with the Lord.
- Pray for the lives of these people to continue to shine for Jesus.
We met Julito during the moment of his life. He had failed for the second time in taking the teacher licensure exam, and his girlfriend was unexpectedly pregnant. They had gotten to know each other while working together in a convenience store. Gela invited Julito to attend church about the time they started living together. They were faithful in coming to church, and I could see that Julito was trying his best to be a responsible father. When I had the chance to talk to Julito, we discussed living a life where Jesus was at the center. I listened as he expressed what he felt deep inside.
Julito shared how this second failure caused him to get discouraged and have low self-esteem. He could not see his purpose and did not know where to go to figure it out. Becoming a father was not yet part of his plan. He was devasted and worried because he did not know what to do next, and his family looked up to him since he was the only one to finish college. Julito was in tears while sharing, and I felt his sadness and frustration. He had failed and felt that God had failed him. I shared the love of God with him and emphasized the importance of having a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. On that day, Julito committed his life to Jesus and accepted Him as his Lord and Savior. Praise God for not failing Julito. His experience of these problematic and discouraging situations is what God used to draw Julito to faith in Him. God knows what is best, and Julito can trust in God’s promise. Giving up was not the solution. Instead, Julito chose total surrender to Jesus as the ultimate source of hope and victory.
Julito publicly confessed his faith and commitment to Jesus Christ through water baptism. He allowed God to take control of his life, and he is no longer afraid of what life may bring because he knows that God is always there.
- Pray for Julito to be protected at his job at the fast-food chain.
- Pray for spiritual growth and intentionality in his Christian walk.
- Pray for God’s favor on Julito to pass the teacher licensure board exam.
- Pray for job opportunities as a teacher.
- Pray for good health for his son and provision for his family.
- Pray for Julito’s life to be a blessing to his unsaved family.
Lerio thought that believing that God existed was enough involvement for him. Going to church was never part of his plan and was unnecessary as long as he did good and was a responsible father and partner. Life was easy. He had a good job and was able to provide for his family’s needs. Lerio and his partner Robelyn had been living together with their son for eight years now. Robelyn was active in the church but had a hard time convincing Lerio to come with her. Sometimes their conversations about church became fights. Robelyn never gave up but trusted God that someday they would attend church as a family.
Then they decided to get married. Robelyn was happy that Lerio made that step in their relationship. While preparing for the wedding, Lerio was hospitalized for almost a month for diabetes. Admittance to the hospital was not a simple situation, mainly because of the covid issues in most hospitals. Lerio and Robelyn also need a considerable amount of money to pay for the hospital bills. This experience was when Lerio saw how the church supported them with prayers, emotional encouragement, and finances. Lerio’s situation worsened and then he started to cry on God for help. Robelyn saw all of this and heard Lerio realize he needed the Lord and that life without God is so hard. By the time Lerio went home, they were both amazed and full of gratitude for how God had helped them through this overwhelming situation.
Lerio started to be curious about how to have a relationship with Jesus, and meeting for the wedding preparations gave us time to talk more about these essential things. Lerio finally understood that he needed God and took that step of faith. He was baptized and publicly professed that Jesus is now the center of his life.
- Pray for Lerio’s health. He has a wound on his foot that makes it difficult to walk. His blood sugars are stable now, but his foot is still swollen.
- Pray for spiritual growth for Lerio.
- Pray that he will look to God as the source of strength and encouragement.
- Pray for salvation for his family.
- Pray for protection as he goes to work; despite his diagnosis of diabetes, his family needs the income.
Marriage is a significant and lifelong commitment. God is the author of marriage, and He has a great purpose for it, which is why we need to honor God in our life through marriage. Cohabitation or living together without being married is a sin before God. However, this situation is a common problem in the Philippines. Many young people prefer to cohabitate becomes it seems easier for them to leave if the relationship does not work out.
This year, I challenged three couples to see the importance of honoring God by getting married. They all felt sorry as they realized that God was not pleased with the situation they choose at that time. Each couple has kids who are growing up fast. They also recognized the importance of being a good example for their kids. Through prayers and constant follow-up, everyone was cooperating. It took a lot of preparations, but we praise God for the provision and support of the people that made this mass wedding possible. There were struggles along the way, but finally, the day came to start a new chapter in the lives of these couples. Everyone was so happy and praised God, who is at the center of their lives.
- Pray for these three couples, Lerio and Robelyn, Marilace and Alex, and Gela and Julito, for their new journey of marriage.
- Pray for more blessings to come as they continue to build their families.
- Pray for their lives to be a good example and for their story to become a blessing to many.
- Pray for God to be the center of their marriage and no matter what problems come along in their family, for them to remember that God is in control, will never leave them or forsake them.
K4K means the Kids for the King and is another opportunity for the children in Looc to be blessed. Praise God for the anonymous donor who shared snack packs for the children with spaghetti and bread. There were also twenty-five sacks of rice with five kilos each for the families. We praise God for his timely provision to each member of the Bible study group. They were surprised by the blessing and very thankful.
Before we distributed the food, we gathered the children and had a great time singing songs for Jesus. They enjoyed dancing while singing and listening to the Bible story. The kids were missing this particular time since it has been seldom that we could gather the kids because of the covid crisis.
- Pray for provision for each family in the community.
- Pray for spiritual growth and lives that bless others.
- Pray for good health and protection.
- Pray for more blessings to come and be shared with others.
- Pray for the believers to stand firm in their faith to God no matter what problems or trials come their way.
I praise God for His faithfulness in us and through us!
This month some of our members have faced many challenges in getting to the Sunday service; some cannot physically attend due to health issues, others face financial challenges and cannot pay the fare to travel. Even so, we continue to have fellowship every Sunday, mentoring and equipping people to lead and learn God’s Word.
One of the results of my intentional mentoring is the change in the life of Dexter. I have met with him in person and online every week to teach him how to lead the Bible study. I trained Dexter in how to share the Word of God. After months of preparation, I give God praise because Dexter is now ready to partner with me in giving sermons to the congregation.
Dexter works as a security guard in one of the public offices in Mandaue. He works straight through twenty-hour shifts at least twice a week so that we can have time to meet together and so he can attend church on Sundays. Dexter is a father to three children and a responsible husband. The Sunday when he was scheduled to preach, Dexter was self-conscious and anxious about delivering God’s Word accurately and with conviction. I understand this feeling and know it is not easy. I encouraged him, and we prayed together. I praise God for Dexter’s life and example; he is always excited to serve the Lord and lead his family in Christian values. Dexter is looking forward to his next scheduled time to preach. Glory to God!
- Pray for Dexter to be protected at work. Sometimes when he has extra time outside of his security job, he uses his motorcycle as public transportation to earn extra money.
- Pray for provision for his family; as his children grow, the needs of the family increase.
- Pray for Dexter’s plans to start a small business selling fruit using his motorcycle.
- Pray for good health and protection for Dexter’s family and his wife, Julie, as she cares for everyone.
The covid crisis has restricted the mobility of our church musicians due to health restrictions in the family. This negative issue has caused positive results as more youth realized that new instrumentalists and worship leaders are needed. We were able to train two worship teams to lead worship for the church. We are excited as we need more musicians for the upcoming church services at Bridge Community Fellowship during the summer in Looc, Mandaue.
We praise God for the new drum set we received from an anonymous donor. Slowly, we have been collecting instruments and now have a single set to be used in worship to our Great God. Praise God for His provision.
- Pray for the lives of the young people who are now serving God through the music ministry. Their names are Chienna, Ylla, Channele, Shem, Roxanne, Kendrick, and Christy.
- Pray for their discipleship group every Saturday.
- Pray for wisdom and strength as Roxanne leads their small group.
- Pray for the salvation of their families.
- Pray for their lives to reflect their faith, so they are a blessing to their families and the people surrounding them.
For three consecutive Saturdays, we spent our time training new and effective small group leaders. I praise God for the ten potential leaders who signed up to be small group leaders. The small group is one of the most critical environments in the church where people can grow in their faith through the support of their community.
Praise God for the desire of this group of volunteers who are willing to be trained and used for the expansion of God’s kingdom. These volunteers will apply what they have learned and become leaders in the discipleship small groups at Bridge Community Fellowship. Starting next month, they will be divided into four groups with seven members to each group. The goal of the groups is to help the Looc community members grow in their faith and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We also desire them to build lasting relationships founded on Christian values and develop into leaders for their community. Each volunteer leader will also mentor and nurture a discipleship group online.
- Pray for spiritual growth in the lives of these obedient people.
- Pray that they will enjoy their Christian walk and grow in service to God.
- Pray for their life changes to continue and be evident to their families and the people that surround them.
- Pray that their lives will be a blessing to the community.
- Pray for salvation for members of their families.
- Pray for wisdom as they prepare to lead the small groups.
Edgar is a widower with five children to care for; I mentioned his story in my previous reports. Life has been challenging for him recently, and there is little that he can do but trust God. Just this month, Edgar found a job. While he is at work, Janet, his second-oldest, who is sixteen, is caring for her younger brother and sisters. She had to stop school in order to help her father. One Saturday during our Bible study, Edgar shared that his children have not yet been dedicated to the Lord. For Roman Catholics, it is a big deal to do baby dedications by baptism or christening. Edgar wants his four children to be dedicated to the Lord. So the church quickly organized this event.
I was touched by the support of the women in the Bible study for Edgar and his family. They stood in the role of prayer partners for his children. They also contributed funds to buy milk and diapers for the baby. I trust that Edgar will be faithful to his promise to the Lord. He promised to care for his family and lead his children in Christian values.
- Pray for Edgar to courageously deny the desire for alcohol.
- Pray for him to be free from this addiction.
- Pray that strength to fight the temptation of getting drunk.
- Pray for safety, protection, and good health for his family.
- Pray for Edgar to grow spiritually and to value his relationship with God.
- Pray for him to be a responsible father and be an excellent example to his children.
- Pray for Edgar’s son to be released from prison soon and to come to faith.
The community livelihood program continues to unite the women in the community. Every week, they are learning how to make powdered laundry soap. We are organizing another group to start as well. We teach them principles of how to save money effectively. Since we just started the cooperative, I am taking advantage of their excitement to get the project up and going well. Each week I mentor the leaders of the livelihood program; most of them are not yet Christians. We pray for this group of women to experience the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I praise God for the men and women in the church who volunteer to serve God and others. They spend time each week helping us, and it is vital to show them our appreciation. One way we can show them that we value them is to treat them to a meal. This bonding time is encouraging to the volunteers and builds relationships. We connect by sharing victories in addition to the hardships in ministry and family. Glory to God!
- Pray for spiritual growth for the church workers and even more love for God’s work.
- Pray for good health and financial blessing.
- Pray for wisdom as I mentor the small groups and Bible studies.
- Pray for unity and teamwork.
We are gathering again for in-person worship. Praise God for his provision in providing enough space within the church to meet as a group for Sunday service. We missed everyone and have been praying and waiting for the option of an in-person gathering. We are united in our decision to meet in person again, and everyone has helped prepare the place. We work hand-in-hand and trust that God will bless our gatherings and the ministries He has entrusted to us, especially in our outreach church in the Looc community. Praise God for what He has done in us and through us.
“Power of Unity in Diversity” was my encouraging message for this month. John calls us to unite in ministry to serve Christ despite the significant challenges and differences. Everyone is blessed and happy to be a part of the ministry. Glory to God and praise Him for uniting us in Christ.
- Pray for guidance and protection now that we have started our physical gathering for worship.
- Pray for provision for the church, World Harvest Fellowship Mandaue, and that everyone will be faithful in their giving.
- Pray for God’s wisdom in leading the church.
- Pray for understanding and unity among the newly elected officers in the church.
- Pray for healing among the believers who are experiencing physical problems.
- Pray for financial provision and job opportunities for those in need.
- Pray for relationship restoration and understanding among the families.
- Pray for salvation for each family member.
- Pray for spiritual growth in online discipleship and Bible studies.
- Pray for more leaders and groups to begin this year. Pray for faithful volunteers at our church plant of Bridge Community Fellowship.
We plan to launch and officially introduce the church to the community soon.
This month was a big win for all of us and a big celebration to share with you. Ten individuals in Barangay Looc decided to take the next step of faith by publicly professing that Jesus Christ is alive in their hearts through water baptism. This event was planned for last year but put on hold during the covid crisis.
We praise God for His perfect timing for our baptism and for allowing it to happen. The time of waiting was a blessing and an incredible journey for those desiring baptism. I praise God for the delay because it allowed the believers to think through and genuinely understand their decision. Persecution is all around in the community and even within their families. Many have heard negative comments and questions about their decision to follow Jesus. I see their sincerity and have guided them along the way.
I did not announce the baptism as a planned event to the group but instead talked with each of them individually and challenged them to take this step of obedience in proclaiming their faith through water baptism. The people who responded to the call and genuinely understood the meaning of this decision were guided by the Holy Spirit into proclaiming their faith. After months of praying that God would lead their hearts and give them the courage to face the persecution, the big day of water baptism had come. It was a momentous day, a glorious day to give honor and glory to our Great God. We witnessed their cries and testimonies of how God had truly changed them now that they are the children of God.
- Pray for spiritual growth in the lives of these obedient people.
- Pray that they will enjoy their Christian walk and service to God.
- Pray that their heart transformation and sanctification will continue and be evident to the family and people surrounding them.
- Pray for their lives to be a blessing to the community.
- Pray for salvation for the family members.
- Pray that no matter what the hardships or trials that come along the way, these believers will remain faithful and hold on to the Lord as their source of strength and peace.
- Pray for provision and the perfect timing for the second group to be ready for water baptism.
Mother Conchita, sixty-nine, and daughter Rene Jane, forty-six, have a faith journey that has brought encouragement to the community. I am blessed to know them and be a part of their life transformation. Conchita is a hardworking mother who made her living by being a laundrywoman as she raised her five children alone as her husband died many years ago. She moved to Looc community with two children to look for more opportunities near the city; one of them was her daughter, Rene Jane. She left her other three children in the province as they were already married.
Conchita is happy to have two children still close to her. Rene Jane and Conchita are close to one another in terms of relationships as Rene Jane is raising her children alone after separating from her husband. Conchita is always there to help Rene Jane; they also work together as laundry women.
Since we started our Bible study, these two women have always been there attentively listening to the Word of God. They would leave their work as they truly valued the time of learning who God is. Conchita and Rene Jane are encouraged by every Word from God, and no matter how hard life is, they are content, and their burden is lighter because they understand that God loves them so much.
Rene Jane is also happy to serve her grandchildren and daughter, who has also separated from her live-in partner. Conchita and Rene believed and accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts and as their personal Lord and Savior. They took the next step of proclaiming their faith through water baptism. Their relatives made many negative comments, but this did not stop these two women from their courageous decision. The mother and daughter’s faith journey may have just started, but I am excited for the great things God has in store for them.
- Pray for courage for Conchita and Rene Jane as they continue to receive persecution from their family.
- Pray for their lives to shine and for them to be salt and light to the community.
- Pray for salvation for their family.
- Pray for financial provision and blessings on this family.
- Pray for good health, strength, and safety as they continue to work and serve their family.
- Pray for spiritual growth for Conchita and Rene Jane.
- Pray that they will continue to experience God’s goodness in their lives and, no matter what life may bring, that they will continue to stand on their faith in Jesus.
Edgar became a widower three months ago. He has faced significant challenges during this time and shouldered the responsibility of caring for his five children, including his youngest daughter, who is two months old. We shared the sad story of Maria Fe in our prayer reports. We assisted and guided the family through the burial process. Edgar saw our sincerity in helping him and his family and accepted everything. He has quite a reputation in the community as he has struggled with being a drunkard.
Since his wife’s death, Edgar offered his place to hold our Bible study gathering, which has been quite a great blessing for us. I have the opportunity to talk with him more often and encouraged him to join us and listen to our Bible teachings. Initially, Edgar was shy and sometimes heard funny comments about him because people had seen him when he was drunk. I reprimanded the ladies in the group and asked them to help me pray for Edgar to change and be true to his words to care for his children. Since then, I have seen the ladies working together to help Edgar by caring for his youngest and giving food and other essentials to his family.
When he lost his wife, Edgar also lost his job because of the covid crisis and his situation entirely changed. He was with his kids continually and away from the friends who wanted him to drink with them. Being home with the kids also helped Edgar think more about his life and consider making the right decisions for his family. Attending the Bible study every Saturday gave him the correct understanding of God and the hope found in the Lord. In one of the studies, Edgar believed and accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. This decision became a turning point in his life. Edgar thought forgiveness was impossible for him, but nothing is impossible for God. Edgar regretted it a lot and wished he could turn back time. Now the one thing he can do is stand firm and be a responsible father for his children.
I was surprised with his decision when Edgar came to me to ask to be baptized. He wanted to show other people and declare to God that because of God’s grace. God changed his life, and he wants to follow Him.
Now that Jesus lives in his heart, Edgar has found the true meaning of his life. He has just started his life journey as a Christian, and there will be trials along the way, but the assurance is that God is there and will never leave Edgar or his family.
- Pray for Edgar to have the courage to free himself from the addiction to alcohol.
- Pray that he will fight against the temptation of getting drunk.
- Pray for safety, protection, and good health for the family.
- Pray for a job so Edgar can support the needs of his family.
- Pray for spiritual growth and valuing his relationship with God.
- Pray that Edgar will be a responsible father to his children and set a good example.
The police recently caught Edgar’s son because he was with his friend, an illegal drug pusher. His son is in prison right now.
- Pray that Edgar will be strong through this time of trial.
- Pray that he will continue to have faith and trust in the Lord to use this event purposefully in the life of his son.
Edgar was aware of this problem and acknowledged that his being an irresponsible father contributed to this issue.
- Pray for his son to be released from prison soon.
- Pray for his son to have a change of heart, leading to the total surrender to the Lord.
We learned to study the Bible using the OIA method – observation, interpretation, and application through the last month. Every week was exciting for the group of women as they widened their ability to observe, interpret, and apply the Word of God in their lives. Our purpose in using this method is to train these women to lead their discipleship groups. They are almost ready, and I am excited about how God will use them to expand His ministry.
- Pray for these women to have wisdom and knowledge as they continue to dig deeper into studying the Word of God.
- Pray for God to bless us with more passion and boldness in teaching and being influential mentors and disciples.
- Pray for the women to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit leading their lives as they continue to serve God.
- Pray for their lives to be salt and light to the people surrounding them, especially their families.
- Pray also for the salvation of their families.
Most of the women in the Looc area stay at home and are responsible for taking care of their households. They want to help their husbands with finances by they do not know-how. I shared with them the opportunity of generating an extra income while staying at home. Everyone was excited, and we planned to conduct training for the livelihood program. I asked Elvie to help in this process, and I praise God that she was available for the entire month. She was also excited to share the knowledge of starting a livelihood program with the community and creating a cooperative group. Through investing a small amount of money, learning the process of making powdered laundry soup, and the proper knowledge of how a cooperative works, these women can now produce additional income for their families. After four weeks of training on Saturdays, we helped the group select potential officers to be the livelihood program leaders. Everyone understood that the soap product would be beneficial for them to use and sold to neighbors and the surrounding communities.
- Pray for the women to apply the knowledge they acquired from the livelihood training.
- Pray for unity among the cooperative members and for success with the program.
- Pray for the livelihood program to be a blessing to their families and community.
- Pray for provision for each family.
I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this next year. I thank Him for the opportunity to minister to His people online. My family and I are excited to again gather with our church family in person. This month, by God’s grace, we expect to meet within the protocols for social meetings in Cebu City. We are praying for no changes in the coming days. I remind our people to trust and commit our plans to the Lord because He is sovereign and controls everything, including this current crisis. I received feedback from our church family and others attending online; the primary desire is to fellowship again in person despite any dangers. I praise God for the interest and passion to fellowship with other believers.
Our prayer meeting has been held online. We thank God for the number of people who have joined us regularly in prayer. We have received quite a few prayer concerns, even from people we barely know who openly share their burdens. This connection allows us to establish relationships with our listeners. We praise God for the work He has done through the social media platform.
- Pray for protection as I continue to go out to the community to gather people.
- Pray for wisdom, strength, and courage to lead and minister to God’s people.
- Pray for salvation for the newcomers.
- Pray for my family to have good health, protection, and passion for serving God.
- Pray for the ministry, for people to be saved and be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
One of the families who received our Noche Buena package last year was George and Teresita. This couple recently joined our group. I shared about the situation of Teresita’s son and her worries. This month I got to know this couple more. Their house is beside our meeting place, and Teresita is excited to come every Saturday to hear God’s message. She informed us happily that her son, George Jr., told them of his current location. Teresita is trusting God that her son will return home one day and face the charges against him in the barangay. She is praying that her son will humbly ask for forgiveness for the troubles he caused. George Jr. is in the province and is currently farming. Teresita is hopeful to be reunited with her son soon.
She expressed to us that friends invited her to a church in the neighboring barangays, and it was never a dilemma for her and her husband to attend. Now their house is right next to the Bible meeting place. George frequently encourages Teresita to attend church. He expresses that he enjoys being with Christians and likes how believers do worship services. Currently, George is not able to participate in the Bible study because he works on Saturdays. I am happy for what God has been doing with their family. Her motivation to attend and learn more about God is encouraging.
- Pray for George Jr. to come home and face the charges.
- Pray for humbleness in accepting his fault and asking for forgiveness from the barangay officials.
- Pray for reconciliation.
- Pray for Teresita and her family to have provision and protection.
- Pray for genuine revival and salvation for the whole family.
- Pray for safety and strength for George as he works.
Mercy, thirty-nine, is a hardworking mother of six children and a supportive wife to her husband, Fidel. She is a supportive mother in the children’s ministry in the community. Her two younger kids are in the Saturday children’s classes. Mercy helps cook porridge for the children, except when she has worked as a laundrywoman. Sometimes she initiates gathering the women in the community. We are blessed that Mercy is supportive of the ministry.
Mercy shared with us that she attended a Christian church with her husband, Fidel, a few years ago. They loved going to church, not always regularly on Sundays, but they had started to build relationships with some of the church members. When her father died, the church went to her home to conduct the funeral services. However, Mercy received negative comments and criticism from her relatives for allowing the church to do the funeral. Mercy was embarrassed and sorry for her relative’s response to the visitors from her church. After this incident, Mercy stopped attending church and was depressed about how her relatives persecuted her. Some of the church members came to her saying sorry and explaining their intentions, but because of this great embarrassment, Mercy and Fidel did not go to church till they joined our group.
Mercy praises God for the desire to know Him more. She is blessed by our ministry and always excited to listen to God’s message. Mercy expressed that she does not want to listen to her relatives’ negative comments but instead is focused on knowing God.
- Pray for good health, strength, and recovery for Mercy and her two kids; they are experiencing a fever right now.
- Pray for Mercy to continue to believe and trust God despite the persecutions from her family.
- Pray for Mercy’s desire to be baptized this month and for the courage to proclaim her faith in Jesus.
- Pray for protection for her husband and two older children at work.
- Pray for provision for the whole family and that they will experience God’s goodness and commit their lives to God.
Doyeen never expected to be involved in complicated relationships. She just wanted to be happy and to spend the rest of her life with someone she loved who, in return, loved her too. Doyeen married at the age of seventeen and had two children. Life was easy for them as a family because her husband had a good job supporting the family’s needs and her parents-in-law support them.
After a few years into her marriage, Doyeen found out that her husband was a drug addict. This addiction became the main reason for their fights, and at times her husband would hurt her. Doyeen wanted to get out of the situation and leave her husband, but it was also not easy because she wanted to stay, but the problem worsened. She left her husband and left her two kids under the care of her in-laws. She desired to keep her kids, but there was no one to care for them since she needed to find a job. She agreed with her in-laws to let them care for the kids because she could not afford it.
From time to time, Doyeen would visit her kids and has a good relationship with them. They are in college, and now they are the ones who frequently initiate seeing Doyeen. They understand the situation of the family and that there is no rebuilding of their family. When Doyeen moved out of her first marriage, she found work and got involved in another relationship. This man was half her age, the manager of a company, and married. Eventually, after a few years of living together, Doyeen bore a daughter. Her live-in partner had been separated from his wife for many years and was working abroad. Doyeen knew this relationship was wrong but chose to remain because she felt love and had a daughter. A few years later, her live-in partner got sick, and she cared for him for about a year. Then she communicated with the kids from his former wife because Doyeen needed help financially. They agreed to help but wanted to have their father under their care. Doyeen decided to relinquish her partner for the good of everyone. A few months after battling the sickness, her live-in partner passed away, and she was unable to visit him. Months went by, and Doyeen moved on with her life. She sent her daughter to her mother so she could work again.
Doyeen had friends who were born-again Christians, and they invited her to Bible studies and worship.
She slowly became interested in their religion and faith. Along the way, she found another man who expressively gave her love and attention. Doyeen is hoping this time the relationship will last and correct previous relationships. She has been living with this man for four years, and he had separated many years ago from his wife and two kids. Doyeen is aware of the situation but chooses to love her partner. This time, she is not working because he wants her to stay home and be privileged to attend Bible studies. Despite her relationship situation, I appreciate Doyeen because of her faithfulness and motivation to be present at the Bible studies. She is a lovely person and gets along well with the ministry volunteers. Doyeen is a contact person in the community and helps us in ministry by gathering the women to assist in the kids’ feeding program. Sometimes she cooks lunch for us and offers our house to rest in the afternoon when we spend our entire day in her community.
In one of our Bible studies, Doyeen accepted Jesus into her heart and wants to be baptized next month. She understood that Jesus has died for her sins, acknowledging that she is a sinful woman and needed a Savior. I hope and pray that God will work miraculously as she continues to learn and submit herself to God. She shared that she is open to whatever may happen in the relationship with the man with her current live-in partner.
- Pray for Doyeen to have wisdom in her current relationship.
- Pray for her to choose to do what is right before God.
- Pray for salvation for her family and children.
- Pray for her to have a good relationship with her children despite the situations.
- Pray for God to protect and strengthen her.
- Pray for the salvation of her live-in partner.
- Pray for Doyeen to stand in her faith.
The online Bible study makes me excited every week. The group of women are always thrilled to attend and invite friends to join. Helona, fifty-six, became a widow last year. She was invited to join the online Bible study last month. Since then, she is excited to be a part of the group. Helona feels relieved and comforted every time she listens to the Word of God. Through online Bible study, these women can invite others and be part of the ministry. God uses them to reach out to more people for God and His glory. I am excited about this new journey with Helona. I am trusting that God will continue to comfort her and for her to receive the gift of salvation.
- Pray for more people to join us in the online Bible study.
- Pray for these women to become true disciples of Jesus.
- Pray that one day, they will be ready to lead the Bible study.
- Pray for spiritual growth and transformed lives.
- Pray for Helona’s salvation and her family.
- Pray for provision because some of the women are struggling financially.
The world needs Jesus, for He is the answer and our hope. The last year was not easy for any of us, but through this great challenge, we saw God’s hand working so that our faith may grow in Him. People realized their need to know about God. I preached from Matthew for one of our online messages to share the reason that Christians celebrate Christmas. We understand that Jesus is the answer to our hopelessness. I thank God for the opportunity to minister to His people online.
I am blessed to have a wonderful family when I can find joy, happiness, love, care, encouragement, and comfort. My wife and two children are the most important thing to me. They are my source of strength and support in the ministry. No matter how busy everything becomes, my family should still be first because they are my most significant ministry. Of course, we are not a picture-perfect family. We have our weaknesses and dysfunctions. During the holiday season, I praise God for the extra time to spend with my family. We had our retreat and recharge time now to regain more strength for God’s mission in the future. I always look forward to this time of year to bond together. I praise God for the support from our White Fields family and your generosity to my family. God bless you all.
- Pray for my wife as she continues writing her thesis as part of her master’s in library information science.
- Pray for wisdom and strength as my wife teaches the youth and children in the community every Saturday.
- Pray for my children, Channele and Shem, to have faithfulness, wisdom, and knowledge in their modular study at home.
- Pray for protection as I visit house to house to minister in the community.
We blessed twenty-five families with a Noche Buena package this Christmas. Each family received bags of rice, ham, and spaghetti dinner. The beneficiaries are faithful attendees to our weekly Bible studies and were quite surprised. We praise God for His provision and for prompting generosity from the givers.
One of the families is George and Teresita. They are a new couple who joined our group. Teresita knew that I hold a Bible study in the community but was hesitant to join us for a while since she felt shy and sometimes is busy caring for her grandchildren. On Saturday, her neighbor invited Teresita, and she came and heard the Word of God. The fellowship time blessed Teresita, and she felt comforted by the Bible message. Teresita is worried because her son has not returned home for a few days. He threatened one of the barangay officials and is afraid to come home and face the charges filed against him. I comforted Teresita and prayed with her for the resolution and her son to return home. The most important thing is that Teresita thanks the Lord despite this worry. She understood her lostness and now, by God’s grace, has found Jesus and accepted Him as her Lord and Savior.
- Pray for spiritual growth for the families.
- Pray for salvation for every family member.
- Pray for the new believers to take the next step by declaring their faith through baptism.
- Pray for the believers to hold fast to God and not be shaken by any discrimination or persecution that comes.
The Looc Mandaue fire left one-hundred and twenty families homeless last December. Residents had put up Christmas lights using the electric post, and the electric connection ended up causing an overload that started the fire. The community is close to my ministry location. Some of the families are temporarily living inside the gym right now. The local government is still trying to figure out how to help these families start over again.
Last week, we had the opportunity to be a channel of blessing by bringing seventy food packs and some toys for the children. They were so happy to receive the small gifts. I know the things they had acquired were lost, but I saw their eyes still had dreams, and their smiles were not totally gone. The families were hoping to return to normal life despite the pandemic and the tragedy of the fire. The best part of the visit was bringing comfort through prayer and connection.
Even the small amount we shared meant a lot to the fire victims, especially the children.
The Philippine Navy Reserve Force is an essential part of the nation’s defense, comprised of Filipinos who volunteer for their country. The intention is to serve the community, and I am blessed to be a part of this group. Some of the projects included feed programs, clean-up drives, building public schools, and responding to community needs. We worked with the Navy team to bring food packs to the fire victims. It was an excellent opportunity to establish new relationships in the community.
- Pray for myself and the rest of the pastors who are part of the navy organization to witness to others.
- Pray for the leadership team as they plan projects to help the communities.
- Pray for financial provision so the navy organization can continue to bring blessings to the families.
The pandemic this year has created an opportunity to build relationships with the head of the community. It is vital to gain the trust of the chairman of the barangay to minister in the area. Every Saturday, the captain knows we are coming to their place to teach God’s Word and feed the community’s children. I am glad they welcome us each week and provide a parking space for my team.
I look forward to a wonderful year as we continue to connect and minister to the community’s people and the local government. A few weeks after the fire, we donated a sack of rice for each fire victim for their daily provision. The barangay captain Allan was happy to receive the food.
- Pray for a healthy friendship with Allan and the other officials.
- Pray for receptive hearts and for the local leaders to be saved. I am planning to hold a Bible study with the officials, pray for this to be possible.
- Pray that we can start our Sunday service in this area very soon.
Last year’s ministry was quite challenging because of the pandemic. It was not an easy year, but the task was lighter because I have church leaders who work alongside me, supporting and praying with me. I praise God for their lives. We were thrilled that White Fields blessed each of the leaders with ten kilos of rice, a ham, and spaghetti makings. Through this gift, the leaders knew that their ministry work is valued and supported. They are grateful. Thank you.
- Pray for the leader’s protection and good health for the family. Pray for God’s provision.
- Pray for their spiritual growth and maturity.
- Pray for wisdom and courage to continue the ministry.
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” 1 Chronicles 16:34.
After so many months of doing God’s ministry in person and virtually, I thank the Lord for His visible reminders this month of how He is working in the community. God is showing His greatness to the broken people. He is preparing hearts to receive His Word with joy. He is providing for their needs during these challenging times. No circumstances in life are too big for God to handle. Our God can turn even the worst situations into blessings.
I praise God that multiple fellowship groups have been established, including Hearts of Women’s Care Group, Youth for the King, and Kids for the King. We also praise God that we have been able to form relationships and work with the barangay officials; slowly, we have built trust with them. Through these ministries, God is creating life-changing stories in the lives of the people and the community. I am glad to see their commitment to serving the Lord our God despite the significant challenges.
I am grateful to God for being a part of this great ministry. We thank the Lord for His provision and sustenance. Our God continually increases our influence in Looc, and I am happy to share the stories of God’s working power.
This month, the barangay captain of the Looc bridge allowed us to hold our Bible study once again. I was excited to see the people and learn how they are doing. Most of them could not join the online Bible studies because they do not have an internet connection. They kept asking me when I would be back, and I encouraged them to pray and wait for the right time. Their enthusiasm to meet again is a blessing, and their hunger for God’s Word is encouraging. I am also happy to see new faces in the group. These new participants are eager to join us each week.
- Pray for the people who have faithfully joined the Bible study.
- Pray for spiritual growth for the believers and salvation for their entire family.
Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you so that in every situation, you will always have all you need for any good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Sharing gifts blesses the giver and the receiver. When we are generous and kind to others, we experience a unique closeness with God. I see the community’s needs for essential items, and their expressed gratitude for the food packs we provided is a blessing. Despite some of them wearing masks, their joyful expressions shine from genuinely thankful hearts. We shared fifty food packs with people in the community. Each bag contained two kilos of rice, a half kilo of chicken, six eggs, and a batch of biscuits. I am blessed to be the channel of blessing to the people and grateful to the generous donors.
- Pray for God’s provision so we can continue to help the community both spiritually and with necessities.
- Pray for the believers to stay clear-minded during the surrounding panic.
- Pray for strength and protection as we deliver food packs to the people in the community.
- Pray that the generous giving of our partners will be evidence of the tangible love of God.
- Pray for this outreach to continue establishing good relationships with the community.
- Pray for the families to be safe and healthy. People are experiencing flu, mild colds, and coughs with the weather changes.
- Pray for God to provide for their financials, especially when workers are ill and unable to do their job.
- Pray for more donors so we can continue to share food in the community.
Does God really answer prayers? If He is truly God, why did He not answer my prayer? These are the questions a teary-eyed Argie asked me during our Bible study. I felt her desperate loneliness when she narrated her younger brother’s fight for his life in the hospital. She did not expect him to die at the early age of twenty-eight. Argie did not remember her brother being sick when he was younger. But this year, he was diagnosed with lupus. The medication did not take long to administer, but his body did not recover, and after two months in the hospital, he passed away.
Argie’s family were devoted Roman Catholics and went to many different Roman Catholic churches, begging the saints to pray for her brother’s recovery. But the answer was not what they expected, and Argie started to question God. I talked with her about who God is and His sovereignty. I explained the true meaning of death. I shared the love God has shown through His Son.
Argie is attending one of our Bible studies, and I know that many things are confusing her, especially the traditions and practices required by the Roman Catholic church that we say are not necessary for salvation through Jesus Christ. I know it is harder for her to process and understand everything as she is still mourning. I appreciate her willingness and desire to learn about God and to know Him. I pray for God to comfort her and give her wisdom during these trying times.
- Pray for Argie and her whole family as they mourn her brother.
- Pray for wisdom as I share with her the gospel and God’s love.
- Pray for Argie and her family to understand the gospel and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
- Pray for Argie to be faithful in attending the Bible study.
- Pray for protection for her and her husband as they work.
Maria Fe is thirty-five. Since the start of the Bible study in the community, she was always present. She loved attending the group because she felt at ease every time she heard the Word of God, and her burdens were lighter. She shared that God was watching over her and would remove all her problems. At one of our meetings, Maria Fe received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior.
Maria Fe gave birth two months ago to her sixth child. She was so skinny but always had a smile on her face. She would only speak a few words but sit quietly in the corner and listen to God’s Word. Most people in the community knew of her story. Edgar, her live-in partner, is a drunkard. He would frequently return home from work in a drunken state, which was a significant burden for Maria Fe. One of the great trials they faced as a family was the death of their second daughter, fourteen years old at the time, who was shot in the head from involvement with a gang. Despite her life’s sufferings, I saw hope and peace in Maria Fe when she listened to God’s Word.
My wife had more opportunities to talk with Maria Fe as her two younger children are active in the Kids for the King. We visited her to bring a gift for the baby. She was happy to see us. We did not know she was struggling with her physical health since she kept this to herself. We were saddened to hear of her death and immediately rallied to help the family with the burial process. They needed much help with finances and support. The Bible study group gathered around the family with monetary contributions and gifts, taking turns to spend time with the family.
Typically in Roman Catholic tradition, if someone dies, there is a vigil each night, and the body is brought to the church before burial. In Maria Fe’s case, this process was not allowed since she was not a baptized Roman Catholic. Other believers and I took the opportunity to come each night to minister to the family and the community. Her brothers, sisters, husband, and kids heard God’s Word, and we pray they will be comforted in their sorrows and come to faith. I saw the community experiencing God’s love through this situation, and I feel God will use it for His glory.
- Pray for the family of Maria Fe to be comforted during this time of loss.
- Pray for salvation for the entire family; we have a weekly Bible study scheduled with them.
- Pray for Edgar, Maria Fe’s husband, to become a responsible father and take care of his children.
- Pray for Edgar to stop drinking and that God will transform his life. Edgar offered a portion of his house for Sunday gathering, Bible study, and the children feeding program.
- Pray for wisdom as we discuss this with him next month.
- Pray for provision for the family as Edgar is only allowed to work three times a week because of the pandemic.
James Andrew is the responsible and loving son of Dwin and Argie. He just turned thirteen and is the eldest. James was active in our Saturday classes with Kids for the King. His mother shared with us that he always looked forward to the meetings. Now James is older and in the Youth for the King. He is a faithful participant and eagerly desires to know more about God. One of his favorite stories is the one where Jesus stopped the storm. He shared that nothing is impossible with God because He is powerful.
- Pray for the graduates as they start their first year of high school.
- Pray for adjusting to the new method of schooling.
- Pray for this first group of youth who were part of the under the bridge ministry.
- Pray for our youth ministry, Youth for the King, and our desire for one-on-one mentorship.
- Pray for spiritual growth as these young people are examples to the children in the community
Lamentations 3:22-24 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore, I will hope in him.”
When life seems complicated and rough, what do you think about God? How do you view God during painful suffering? Throughout this month, I preached that the God whom we serve is unchangeable. When you experience something difficult, use the experience to think about how powerful and awesome our God is. In our low moments, God never forgets us. He cares for us and never changes. Jeremiah comforted the people by reminding them that God’s mercy is new every morning. We have our ups and downs, and even youths grow tired and weary, but still, God is faithful. His compassion is poured out on us, and His faithfulness secures His people to the end.
The truth about God’s faithfulness and unchangeableness was powerfully evident in the life of Roxanne and Ralph. They work primarily at night at a call center agency. Ralph had an intermittent cough and ignored it until he started having a hard time breathing. They went in for a check-up, and the covid-19 test was negative. Ralph was sent home with an oxygen tank and medications to help his breathing. A week went by, and his condition became worse. They returned to the hospital and had another covid-19 test, which was negative. This time, however, Ralph was admitted to the hospital for more testing. He had severe pneumonia that caused his body’s oxygen levels to drop. He required a ventilator. Throughout the journey of fighting this illness, Ralph and Roxane never felt that God had abandoned them. His promises never change.
- Pray for Ralph to fully recover, the ventilator was removed, but he is still on regular oxygen.
- Pray for Ralph to breathe on his own and be able to leave the hospital.
- Pray for Roxane to have the strength to work her night shift and send the day at the hospital caring for Ralph.
- Pray for financial provision to pay for the medical bills.
I praise God for the group of women who are always available for the discipleship class. They are simple women who work hard and sacrifice much for their families. Most of all, I admire their desire to know God even more and love Him with everything. They want to be examples to their children on living for the Lord and having a relationship with God.
- Pray for Christy to have strength as she cares for her mother.
- Pray for good health and protection.
- Pray for Villa to be safe; she works in the government that renders services to the community.
- Pray for her online business to prosper and provide additional income to the family.
- Pray for Gloria as she cares for her family; pray for the salvation of every member.
2 Corinthians 9:8 Besides, God is able to make every blessing of yours overflow for you so that in every situation, you will always have all you need for any good work.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of specific individuals. They provided for us to share milk and vitamins for fifty children in the community. We were praying for the ability to boost the kids’ immune system to keep them healthy and safe from diseases. God answered our prayers. The smiles on their faces showed how blessed and grateful they were.
- Pray for the children to have good health and for protection for them and their families.
- Pray for more donors so we can continue to share food with the community.
- Pray for strength and safety as we deliver food packs.
- Pray for the people to be clear-minded despite the surrounding panic.
“God is faithful in providing our needs in this time of pandemic” is what the women at our Bible study said a few weeks ago. I was happy to see them again after months of not holding meetings in their community. Many of them had no internet connection and so cannot join online worship or discipleship. I saw their smiles of joy and felt how hungry they were for God’s Word. Despite the pandemic and lockdown challenges, they still shared the wonderful deeds God has done in their lives and for their families. God never abandoned them and provided for their needs using people’s generosity. They were happy and grateful to spend more time with their husbands and families.
- Pray for protection and good health for the families in the community.
- Pray for spiritual growth for the women and that they will nurture their relationship with God and not be dependent on me for spiritual growth.
- Pray for each family to have adequate food.
- Pray for the situation to return to normal, so I can again hold Bible studies in the community every week.
Meridel is twelve and the fifth of six children in her family. Her mother is a laundrywoman, and her father works as a vendor. Meridel is passionate about learning more about God. She actively attends the Saturday classes and helps gather the children to participate by going to their homes. She praises God for his faithfulness in putting food on their table and for good health. Meridel was in the Kids for the King and is now a Youth for the King. She is always telling the story of creation and is amazed at how God made the universe, including her. She memorized the scripture of how God created the world in seven days. Meridel wants to be a chief cook someday and is learning how to cook with her mom.
- Pray for the graduates to adjust to the first year of high school and adapt to the new learning method.
- Pray for the first group of youth who graduated from the ministry under the bridge. We are going to start one-on-one mentorship with teenagers.
- Pray for the spiritual growth in the youth’s lives as they grow up and become examples to the younger ones.
- Pray for Meridel’s dreams to come true and for salvation for her whole family.
Since we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. – Colossians 1:4-5
Paul described the substantial faith of the Christian believers; he had heard the report about them and gave thanks to the Lord for their faith. Paul knew the essence of their beliefs and values was evident in their lives. They rejected the false teaching and remaining faithful. Their testimony resounded not only to the local congregation but also to the different churches and us today.
This passage reminds me of two things. Genuine faith stands on what is true and resonates with those who believe and even those who do not. Also, sharing our life’s testimony on God’s great love resounds with the broken, neglected, and unloved people. Genuine faith protects the gospel from false teachers and those who try to mislead believers.
This month, I am teaching on the importance of our faith to be renowned. I praise God for the feedback I have received. People are hungry for God’s Word today, and the online worship reminds them to keep faith flowing in our lives for the glory of God.
- Pray for the online listeners to come to salvation and for the believers to grow spiritually.
- Pray for my family’s provision, good health, and protection.
- Pray for my children, Channele and Jezreel, to adapt to the new online method of school.
The pandemic lockdown has controlled our actions and stopped us from being able to do many things in the ministry. We praise God that we are living in a privileged generation where technology is available to everyone. We are overflowing with information from books, online sermons, lectures, commentaries, and all of these resources that help us build on another in our faith. The most significant impact I have had as a pastor is not about preaching but about investing my life in people through mentoring and discipling. I believe that the best learning is not merely hearing a person speak but seeing the truth lived out in their life.
- Pray for Roxanne, Dexter, Khea, and Emerio to have wisdom, strength, and joy in serving through the discipleship ministry online.
- Pray for God to use them mightily.
- Pray for strength for Roxanne and complete healing for her husband, Ralph. He is in the hospital due to severe pneumonia.
- Pray for the doctor’s wisdom and for the medications to be effective.
- Pray for provision to pay for the treatment.
After being quarantined in Cebu city for six months, we praise God to go home to my wife Charlotte’s family’s province. It was an answered prayer for us since it was the sixtieth birthday of my father-in-law, and he wanted everyone to celebrate. Coming home was a reunion to seeing family again. We gathered everyone for worship that Sunday and were thrilled to be together. Family is a gift from God, and we value family. We had a weekend full of fun memories.
- Pray for salvation for some members of the family.
- Pray for our father Raquito, who is now sixty and getting ready for retirement.
- Pray for good health and many years to be with us.
- Pray for the children’s health; they have a common cold.
- Pray for spiritual growth for the loved ones who are believers.
Each Friday, I lead the Bible study for the men. I am blessed to know and mentor them. Despite having busy schedules and working hard to care for their families, these men find time to study the Word of God. True men of God desire God to be the center of their family. They trust God for everything. Hearing their life stories makes my heart praise the Lord. They have encountered low moments in their lives, and I trust they will continue to hold fast to their faith no matter what.
- Pray for Dexter and his work as a security guard.
- Pray for safety and good health.
- Pray for his family’s provisions and good health.
- Pray for Jennifer, his father died a few months ago, and his brother also died from health complications in his lungs.
- Pray for comfort for his whole family.
- Pray for Julito to have strength and safety in his work as a service crew in a fast-food chain in Cebu. Praise God. He has returned to work.
- Pray for safety and health.
- Pray for these men as they lead their households.
- Pray for strength and wisdom to be fathers and husbands who honor God.
One of our desires for the children in the Kids for King program is to create future leaders in the church. We visited the children to let them know their hard work in school is appreciated. They were surprised and grateful for the small gifts that made the day extra special.
Krysshamae is twelve and just graduated from elementary school, and is entering high school. She is the fifth of six children in her family and is grateful that her family is healthy. Krysshamae enjoys the Kids of King ministry and learning about God through music and beautiful stories. She has trusted and believed in Jesus as her Savior and is developing a friendly attitude to treat others kindly. Someday, her dream is to be a doctor.
This batch is the first group of youth to graduate from the children’s ministry under the bridge. Pray for the graduates to adjust to their new schooling model and be diligent in their work. We started one-on-one discipleship.
- Pray for the spiritual growth in their lives as they become examples to the younger children in the community.
- Pray for Krysshamae’s dreams to be a doctor to come true and for her whole family to come to salvation.
We met George and his niece five years ago in Palawan, another island in the Philippines. George was a volunteer in that area and desired to study theology and become a Pastor. We invited him to come to Cebu and recommended him to the Bible school where my wife works. George came to pursue his education and received sponsorship. Time passed quickly, and after four years, George graduated last spring. His niece, Jenevy, had followed him here last year to study for a degree in education. George was close to our family and helped in the ministry each weekend. When the lockdown came, they were stranded here in Cebu, and their only place to stay was in the school where we stay. I know it was frustrating for them to be stuck, and their flights kept getting canceled.
At last, the long wait was over, and they had a flight scheduled. After many frustrating transactions with government and private offices to get papers needed for travel, it was heartwarming to hear they made it through the airports and home. George and Jenevy were grateful to the Lord for all the people who have helped them. God is Sovereign and continually grants us favors amid the difficult hurdles to jump through. Praise the Lord.
“In everything be thankful, because this is God’s will for you in the Messiah Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. This verse was a powerful reminder for us as a family that our joy, prayers, and thankfulness should not fluctuate with our circumstances and feelings. For a few weeks during the summer, my whole family experienced health issues. Myself, my wife Charlotte, and my son Jezreel Shem were sick. We had a fluctuating fever for two days, a moderate cough and cold, and we lost our sense of smell for almost two weeks. Right away, we consulted an online doctor who recommended chest x-rays, the complete blood count test, and the COVID-19 rapid test. Upon hearing these suggestions, I started to be afraid and worried about my whole family. My wife was quite concerned and wanted to do the tests immediately. There were many questions in our minds, especially from the television news and social media portrayals of the coronavirus that caused us to be paranoid. We do not deny that we might have been affected by the virus because anyone could acquire it.
We asked God for wisdom on how to proceed. My wife and I talked and prayed if we needed to do the tests right away. We discussed everything and decided to quarantine ourselves and do our best to boost our immune system to fight whatever we had. It was quite a struggle for us to fight this infection for two weeks.
Praise God for His healing power; we are all well now. We still do not know if we acquired the coronavirus. However, the most crucial part is that we are now healed, and God answered our prayers. We thank Him for everything that happened because, through this experience, we became stronger in our faith with total dependence on Him. When health issues strike, we can still be thankful for God’s presence and the good that He will accomplish during our distress.
Isaiah 25:1 “O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you; I will praise your name, for you have done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure.”
- Pray for wisdom and strength as I minister to the people in the community through the internet.
- Pray for God to work in the believers’ hearts, that their spiritual growth might be visible in their Christian walk.
- Pray for the believers to have total dependence on God and to rely on His power and sovereignty.
- Pray for the children as they start the school year using the online method in government schools.
- Pray for my family to be used for God’s Kingdom and that people will call upon the Lord and trust Him.
We asked our online viewers and listening community to tell us what impact the online worship service has had on them and what important things they have learned.
Kerlyn shared that the online worship service has been a help to her. “Despite not being able to gather in person and Satan testing our faith, we have responded appropriately by using the available resources, such as the internet and social media. We are still honoring the Sabbath day, even if we are not in the church’s physical building. I learned that prayer is a powerful weapon, especially in these days of trouble, and that God allows things to happen according to his plan. I realized that worshipping at home is different from worshiping with your siblings in faith at the church. But since we are currently facing this challenge, we must not let anything hinder us from putting oil on the flames of our faith.”
- Pray for Kerlyn to have protection at work; she is no longer working from home but is going into the office each day.
- Pray for Kerlyn to nurture her relationship with God and be intentional in her walk with Him.
- Pray for her father. He has been stranded for over four months on another island due to his work and the lockdown restrictions on travel.
- Pray for him to come home to his family safe and healthy.
Alecia is fifty-eight and has been a widow for four years now. She is working hard and raising her five children alone. Alecia offers home services to her neighbors, such as laundry, cleaning, and babysitting. Despite the challenges in her life, Alecia’s smiling face and positive outlook in life cause a blessing to those around her. She is faithful in attending the Bible studies each week. During our Bible study time, she received Jesus Christ as her personal Lord and Savior. Beforehand, her life had no direction, and she questioned God about why her husband had to die so early and leaver her alone with all these responsibilities. Right now, having Jesus in her life makes a huge difference. No matter what happens to her, Alecia finds joy in the presence of the Lord, knowing Him more and more. She is learning to trust God and being dependent on Him. Alecia was grateful for the food we provided to her family. She is thankful for everyone that God brought into her life.
- Pray for Alecia to have strength as she continues to provide services to her neighbors and earn income to support her family.
- Pray for protection and health for her family and the entire neighborhood. Due to the weather change, people are experiencing flu, a mild cold, and coughs.
- Pray for Alecia’s whole family to be saved.
- Pray for her faith to grow as she nurtures her relationship with God.
- Pray for generous givers so the church can continue to share food with the community and reach more people with the gospel.
Cabillo how online worship services have helped him during this time of quarantine. “As a company bus driver, I seldom have Sundays off and so being able to listen to the worship service at any time has been beneficial. I am learning to keep on trusting God no matter what happens. God is in control of everything, and He knows what is best for my life.”
- Pray for Cabillo to be protected at work; he is a company bus driver for one of the largest malls in Cebu City that offers free rides to all its customers. He interacts with a lot of people each day.
- Pray for his family to have comfort as they are grieving the sudden death of their father.
- Pray for Joy, Cabillo’s wife, to be safe at work. She was quarantined for fourteen days as one of her co-workers tested positive.
- Pray for Jack and Janelle, the children, to be protected and adjust to the start of school.
Death and life have always been a major concern of man. When we lose someone, we learn to appreciate, value, and treasure life so much more. We may question God on the why or the time, but God is sovereign over death. The worse result of illness is death. Everyone is afraid of losing the people they love. But the reality is that everyone will die someday. Juanito was admitted to the hospital because of difficulty breathing; after battling against the illness for a few days, he passed away. As I write this report, he was not yet diagnosed with the coronavirus, but the hospital suspected this virus as the cause of death. The protocols are that if a patient died who was suspected of having the coronavirus, the body must be immediately buried without the family viewing or seeing him again. This ban was a sad reality for the family to face as the head of the family is gone without the option of seeing him or giving him burial rites.
Juanito was seventy-four and was the father of Cabillo, one of my contacts through online Bible study who shared earlier in the report. Cabillo is a believer, but the rest of the family are not. Immediately upon hearing the news, we decided to conduct an online funeral service. I took this opportunity to pray for comfort for the entire family, especially for Cabillo, as he cared for his father while he was in the hospital. I shared the gospel of Christ, our Lord, and reminded them that God is sovereign over death.
- Pray for comfort for the family and provision. They are under home quarantine monitored by the barangay health workers.
- Pray for their health and that they will test negative for the virus.
- Pray for salvation for the family and that this even will prompt them to desire to know more about God.
We praise God for the children in the ministry that meets under the bridge in Looc. They just graduated from grade six and are getting ready to start high school. We are excited about this milestone in their lives and are so proud of them. This year appears to be full of challenges in our education system, but we trust God that these students will adjust to the new mode of flexible learning. The youth will be our first group of this age in our ministry under the bridge, which we named Youth for the King. We will be doing one-on-one discipleship with the students.
- Pray for the graduates as they start their first year of high school.
- Pray for adjustments to the new method of learning.
- Pray for spiritual growth for these youth as they are examples for the younger ones in the community.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. As the days and months of being quarantined continue, we feel the pressure of COVID-19. This trouble is temporary, but real. Paul reminds us that we are in trouble on every side. Yet despite all the pressing and pushing, we are not distressed because God is our defense. Responding to life and its circumstances are where the fight of faith comes in.
God is teaching me to encourage His people even more during this time of trials and troubles. This month, I have been teaching about the attributes of God. Truly God is powerful, sovereign, and He controls all things, including this pandemic.
- Pray for strength as I serve the people in the community through the online ministry.
- Pray for wisdom as I continue to preach the Word of God.
- Pray for total dependence on God and reliance on His power as He is in control of everything.
- Pray for wisdom for leading my family and the church.
We asked our online listener community two questions. “What impact did the online worship service have on you?” “What are the important things you have learned during the online worship service?” This was one of the answers to the question. The online worship service is a big help during this time of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) because it causes us never to stop worshipping and serving God with our lives. Indeed God remains our Father. Even if we do not ask anything from Him, He knows what we need and provides it.
Dexter and his Family
This is what Dexter has to say about the question. The online worship service is helpful during this crisis because we continue to hear the inspirational words of God. We need each other to lift us to the Lord. Even if everything is online, we can still serve God. I know God sees how we are being united in His presence, and there is no reason that we cannot worship, praise, and give glory to God in this unique way.
- Pray for Dexter and his family.
- Pray for protection in his work and good health for the whole family. He assists me in sharing the Word of God to the community through the online Bible study.
In this pandemic time, I have learned many things, such as being independent and having faith in God. During good or even bad experiences, God knows everything deep inside your heart. No matter how hard the situation we face right now for finances and supplies, God is still amazing and sustaining. He works in mysterious ways. Those moments occur when we have a lot of excuses, complaints, worries, or questions for God, but when we choose to trust instead of complaining, we become more confident and can say with conviction that, I trust and believe in You, God. No matter what the situation is, we need to continue to have faith and believe in God Chiena – College Student.
- Pray for Chiena and her family. She is the only Christian in her family, and God has been using her to share the gospel with others, especially with her family.
Listening to preaching online helps me learn and discover the Word of God in the context of what is happening in the world. We need to share the Word of God, especially to those who do not yet know God. -Rubelyn with her husband and Son.
- Pray for Rubelyn and her family. She is supportive of the children’s ministry as a volunteer teacher.
- Pray for provision and good health.
We can hear the Word of God, and it brings peace, faith, and forgiveness to each other. God’s plan is always the best, but sometimes the process is painful and hard. We should not forget God even when He seems silent; He is doing something for you. -Gloria housewife.
- Pray for Gloria and her family. She is one of the prayer warriors of our work in Lo-oc Mandaue.
- Pray for protection, provision, and safety.
Ma. Villa is a woman of faith. I have watched her grow in her relationship with Jesus Christ since I introduced God to her. She is a loving mother, a dear grandmother, and a responsible wife. Not only that, but many also look up to her as a leader in the community. At the moment Ma. Villa helps me reach people by organizing Bible studies. She has had up and down moments in life, but these have not changed her relationship with God. She has struggled financially, emotionally, and has been in relationships with many challenges, but she never questions God. Ma. Villa works in the government as a full-time staff in the office that handles the communities’ welfare in the city. Her work in serving the community continued even during the COVID-19 crisis. She interacted with people but always took necessary precautions to avoid the virus. One night, I received a call from the municipality that she needed to be home-quarantined for fourteen days because she received exposure to a COVID-19 patient during a morning meeting. She was quite surprised and had not expected this to happen. The real struggle started that night. Immediately, I called her over the phone to pray for her. She was calm and hopeful that everything would be alright and that her test would come back negative. One thing that was her primary concern was the safety of her family, especially her grandkids, who cuddle every evening when she gets home.
Throughout the fourteen days of the home quarantine, and while she waited for the test results, Ma. Villa spent more time praying and reading God’s Word. Villa was comforted and grew during this personal time with God. I was blessed to hear her testimony of how she continues to grow in her faith in Jesus. Instead of entertaining fears, worries, and doubts, Ma. Villa learned anew to trust that in Jesus, everything will be okay. Faith always gets Jesus’ attention. Ma. Villa finished the fourteen-day quarantine with negative test results. She is now back to work and excited to serve God. Praise God for his faithfulness in the life of Ma. Villa!
- Pray for Ma. Villa to have protection at work.
- Pray for the salvation of her son, his wife, and their two children. Ma. Villa is praying for everyone in her family to be saved.
- Pray for wisdom for Ma. Villa as she continues to reach the community for God and lead the Bible study.
- Pray for her to inspire others at her place of work to become children of God.
A Poem by Charlotte Gabon
I N S T A N T
Covid-19 brought us in this instant situation of being at home for more than two months now.
An instant surprise for all of us, instant quarantine, lockdown, illness, and instant rising deaths.
Then you received instant food packs (instant noodles, instant coffee, instant canned goods, and more) from the barangay if your name is on the list.
Well, with the instant virus we all faced, we have instant dependence on God. instant trust that God will take good care of us.
Wow, what an instant relief is knowing that we have a Big God who knows what is best for us.
In line with this present crisis of prohibiting churches from gathering in corporate worship, the live worship streaming was an instant success.
The internet provides instant access for online worship during this time of crisis as well as an instant response from our viewers.
We became instant Facebook personalities on the first online streaming. Lol.
For an instant, I forgot who I was. I am a mother of two and a wife of a Pastor but, for now, an instant photographer, director, camerawoman, song leader, worship leader, host, stage decorator, motivator, coach, and assistant leader.
Praise God for the instant courage He gave the whole family and me.
We are on instant lockdown, but the ministry is not.
We will continue to adapt the instant new normal way of ministering people in the community.
Ephesians 5:15-16 “Therefore be careful how you live, not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
We have all been affected by this terrible pandemic. Thousands have suffered physically, emotionally, and economically, and many families are mourning for their lost loved ones. I believe God has a purpose for why we are experiencing this event. We serve and worship a sovereign God, and He allows us to suffer to bring glory to His name.
We are taking advantage of the time now available due to our changes in routine. We are obeying the enforced quarantine issued by the government, but the work of God is not quarantined. People need to hear the message of hope that is only found through Jesus Christ. Together with my family, we continue the work of ministering to the people in the community through virtual Bible study, prayer time, and Sunday worship. I never thought of doing this type of online ministry, but God gave me the courage to begin and has allowed my family and me to adapt to this new norm.
- Pray for wisdom and strength as I minister to the people online.
- Pray for more people to be ministered to online. As they listen to the Word of God, pray for it to bring healing, changing hearts, and salvation.
- Pray for trust in God for everything.
Pray for my wife and I as we parent our two teenagers. Chanelle Joy is fourteen, and Jezreel Shem is twelve. Pray that we will have wisdom and more patience with them, especially as this is a new stage for us as parents. Pray Chanelle and Shem to continue to seek God first, honor Him with their lives, and use their gifts for God’s glory.
The Enhanced Community Quarantine was extended till mid-May and possibly longer if more positive patients are added to the list. Pray for God’s healing for those affected and also for our families to be safe and healthy. My wife, Charlotte, works as a librarian in a private school. It was announced to the staff that the school could no longer provide them with a salary for this month and the coming months if the present crisis continues.
- Pray for God’s provision and intervention as thirty employees and their families will be affected by this decision.
- Pray for those whose jobs have been affected by the shutdown.
My wife Charlotte and I are using our time wisely with our kids. We are reading and studying the Word of God a book at a time, teaching them how to lead worship, and spending more time training them to play musical instruments. Praise God that my girls are helping me in ministry, they are helping me continue ministering to people virtually. I am overwhelmed by the positive responses of the people who have been reached via the internet. We are connecting with new people as well. One of the families who watched our service was introduced to us by one of my friends online. The family is Jojo and May, they are a young couple and are Roman Catholic. Their son Ethan was celebrating his third birthday, and they invited me to speak and pray for them. I knew it was risky to travel to their place, but I took advantage of their invitation so that I could meet them personally. We had a great time celebrating their son’s birthday and followed the social distancing protocols. Jojo and May are interested in joining a Bible study, and I look forward to ministering further to them through Bible studies when we are back to our normal situation.
- Pray for God to open the hearts and minds of Jojo and May to the gospel.
- Pray for salvation for their family.
It is a blessing to give and to share the love of Christ in a tangible way to others. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “Besides, God can make every blessing of yours overflow for you so that in every situation you will always have all you need for any good work.” Last month, we spoke of raising money to buy food supplies for fifty families in the community. Praise God that some individuals were touched by God to give a small amount so we could share with the families in need. It was not enough to provide for every family, but it was a massive help for them to obtain daily needs. We provided food packs for forty families and are hoping to raise more for the remaining families.
One of the families who received a food pack was Robina’s family. She is the mother of three, and her husband is a fisherman. Robina is a regular attendee of our Bible study, and her children are part of the kids for the King. Robina’s husband is not allowed to fish during this time of enhanced quarantine. The family received only five kilos (about eleven pounds or twenty-seven and a half cups) of rice from the barangay and have not yet received anything from the government. Robina kept telling us she was so thankful, and that it was such an essential time since they had run out of food. Robina is just one of the mothers that we helped, and we are praying that we can bless other women in the community.
- Pray that we can continue to share the love of Christ tangibly.
- Pray for Robina’s family to open their hearts and minds to receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
- Pray they will have peace and unity as a family despite this crisis.
- Pray for the believers to be able to obtain daily food and other necessities.
- Pray for protection and good health for the families in the community.
- Pray for this pandemic to end, for things to return to normal, so people in the community can go back to work.
I received a message from one of the teenagers that I had ministered to previously. He was fifteen and in my school group at that time. We had become close, and during that time, his father was in prison for illegal drug use. Jade is the only Christian in his family, and this was a hard time for his family. I sometimes gave him some extra cash so he could continue his schooling. Jade is twenty years old and has just finished twelfth grade. He was an apprenticed in a hotel and was supposed to get hired about this time. Jade instead was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was surprised to receive his message asking if we had food to share with his family.
The following day, I met with Jade and shared some groceries for his family. I had the chance to talk with him and pray for him. My wife and I are happy to see Jade again but are also sad that he is not active in the church anymore. I eagerly anticipate seeing him again and plan to continue to minister to him.
- Pray for the provision to help the people spiritually and material.
- Pray for more people to be generous in blessing the community.
- Pray for Jade and his struggles. His brothers are involved in some illegal activities, and this is hard for him. Jade was hoping to have work, be independent, and be able to help his parents.
- Pray for Jade to renew his commitment to the Lord and again become a spiritual example to his family.
Under the bridge that connects Mandaue City and Lapu-Lapu City is where the Bridge Community Fellowship meets. The ministry started with a Bible study group of women and grew to include the children’s feeding ministry and Bible storytelling.
Looc Mandaue, Philippines, has sixteen small villages. The poverty of the material and spiritual things is a big problem in the community. Most of the people in this area came from different islands of Cebu. Sooner or later, they will be transferred to another place, because they do not own the land on which they are squatting. When I talk with them, many are emotional and look with longing to the possibility of living a peaceful life in a permanent and comfortable place. In the last year and a half of ministry to these people, the reason I return is my heart’s desire to introduce them to the peace and trust in our Lord Jesus. I believe that Jesus is the only bridge between the sinner and God. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6. To help the children and parents grow in their relationship with God, we need to equip and disciple them through the Word of God.
- Pray for salvation for the people in the Looc Mandaue community.
- Pray that God will use the ministry team to reach others with the gospel.
- Pray for the believers to grow in their faith and mature in their understanding of who God is.
Pray for smooth communication with the Barangay officials as we start a Children Community Center and Livelihood Program for the Women with the desire for this building to be a church in the future. Pray for a suitable place for gathering the children and hosting Bible studies. Currently, one of the women offered a vacant spot behind her home, which has enough space for us to build a center for meetings. Pray for financial provisions for this project and God’s perfect timing.
- Pray for more volunteers to work alongside me in reaching the community.
- Pray for God’s wisdom and strength for myself and my team.
The children were excited about the Saturday classes last month. They made friends, enjoyed the delicious snacks, and learned from God’s Word through storytelling, fun activities, and action songs. My wife, Charlotte, leads the children’s ministry assisted by other volunteers. The volunteers are Charlotte, Rubelyn, Julie, and Melody for wisdom and strength as they teach each week. They have a monthly curriculum meeting to help them give their best to teaching the children. The team might not be experts with kids, but they have teachable and big hearts to reach the kids for the King.
- Pray for the salvation of the children.
- Pray for the children who are saved to be a witness to their families.
- Pray for the children to grow in their knowledge of God and understanding of God’s Word.
Friday and Saturdays, the women look forward to their Bible study. I lead the group with my wife so the women can grow in the knowledge of the Bible and their relationship with God. The women are receptive to hearing the Word of God. Sis. Mercy is one of the members who also offered her home for our weekly meeting.
Life is not easy for these women in the community. Most of them have had to take out loans with cooperatives or individuals. The money from their husbands’ earnings usually is only enough to cover the costs of the food and needs of their children. Another challenge is that many of the husbands spend money on gambling or alcoholism. We understand and listen to the stressful situation for the women and join them in prayer. The Bible study group gives the women a safe place to open up about their life situations and ease their burden. I received a donation from friends of used clothing and was excited to share these items with the women’s group. They were thrilled by these gifts, and it was another opportunity to create and establish close relationships.
I thank the Lord for the privilege of ministering to the policemen and women in Mandaue City. The city police have been implementing internal cleansing within its ranks and have invited me to be a part of the process. Currently, they are busy ensuring the safety of everyone regarding the COVID-19 situation.
- Pray for the policemen and women to have safety, strength, and protection.
- Pray specifically for the salvation of their souls and openness to the gospel.
- Pray for good health and freedom from the virus.
- Pray for the believers to pray at this time, and to trust God more and remember the real-life lessons we have talked about from the Bible.
- Pray for me as I minister through live-streaming to my members.
- Pray for courage and strength for the people.
We have postponed our training this month due to the quarantine situation, pray for positive feedback from the women, and open minds when we can continue again. Pray for the finances to start the livelihood program. Our nation is battling the pandemic and people in the cities and provinces are confused and worried. Believers and non-believers are yearnings for the message of hope in the Lord. The slogan on television and social media is “we will win as one in this COVID-19”. Through this pandemic, I am learning greater trust in God and creativity in ministering to our people through social media. I encourage them to stay calm and hope in the Lord. Psalm 37:39, “The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; he is their stronghold in the times of trouble.” God alone is our stronghold and refuge in times like this. When we face times of uncertainty, it is essential to remind our people and children that they can call on God at any time for help. He is omniscient and omnipotent. No matter what life brings, we will never stop praising Him.
In this time of crisis, we desire to help our people by providing rice, at least five to seven kilos, about three-hundred and fifty pesos or seven US dollars. Our goal is to benefit one-hundred families in the local Looc community. We do not know when the COVID-19 situation will end, but many of the families worry about not what they will eat tomorrow, but what they will eat today. This gift is a way we can tangibly show the love of God.
- Pray for the pandemic to end soon and for our lives to return to a sense of normalcy.
- Pray for God to provide for our people and that we can help them spiritually and materially.