Dear Praying Friends, Pastors and Churches,
Back in the Philippines! I praise the Lord that my family arrived safely back in the country this past May 21st. We had traveled to the United States last March 13th because of the death of Rhonda's father, who had passed away of a sudden heart attack. Please continue to pray for Rhonda and her family, especially her mother. I returned to Davao City in April because of our church and the ministries here, while Rhonda and our children stayed to help her mother. I am glad they are back home. I missed them very much!
Vacation Bible School News! On April 22nd to 25th, we conducted our first vacation Bible school. I was extremely proud of our church workers and members for their work and effort to make our first V.B.S. such a success. The theme for this year's V.B.S. was "God's Hall of Fame." On Tuesday, the 22nd, we had an opening day attendance of 84. Then on Wednesday morning around 5:00 am, it began to rain very hard. I thought our second day would be wiped out by the torrential rain but God blessed us with 72 in attendance. I was waiting by the front door watching the rain and the children kept coming into the church and it was as if God said, "See, I am the one who brings them in - not you!" The attendance on Thursday was a high of 91. There were 85 on Friday. There were many salvation decisions. Our church members worked very hard and their Pastor appreciates their efforts.
Family conference Invitation! Pastor Jovito Brasileno, Pastor of the Bible Baptist Church of Butuan City (it is five hours north of Davao City by car), invited me to speak for their Family Conference on May 6th to the 9th. While in language school, my family and I attended Pastor Brasileno's church. I spoke each night of the conference and was thrilled because of the good attendance and the many decisions made by the men and ladies of his church.
Youth Camp ‘97! I was invited to speak at Missionary Bruce rice's youth camp in Dagauay de Oro City from May 14th to th 16th. Twenty-six of our church young people and myself left Davao on Tuesday evening and rode in tow jeepneys for ten hours to attend this youth camp. The theme for the camp was "Keep Thyself Pure." We returned to Davao City on Saturday the 17th. On Sunday, I asked our young people to give a testimony about their experiences at youth camp. I was glad to hear the decisions they had made because of the theme and the corresponding messages. All of those who attended camp from our church were already saved, baptized members of M.A.B.C., so there were no decisions for salvation.
Our 2nd Anniversary! On may 25th, Mt. Apo Baptist Church celebrated it's second anniversary. I thank the Lord for our attendance of 255, which is the highest ever for our church. We had 142 adults and 113 children. We divided the children into two classes - one for those 3 years ole to 6 years old and the other for those 7 years to 10 years. In our adult service, I preached on "The Lake of Fire" from Revelation 20:10-15. Many came during the invitation to make various, personal decisions and six adults accepted Christ as their Savior.
Thanksgiving! I want to thank all those who have prayed for my wife and her family in the death of her father. I want to also thank each individual, Pastor and church that helped with the traveling expenses. While I was in the States, I was able to speak at seven of our supporting churches. Each of these including our home church, Windsor Hills Baptist Church, helped with our expenses. I am grateful to these churches and their Pastors. Many other churches have sent an extra month of support to help offset the costs. It reminds me of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:16b, "...ye sent once and again unto my necessity." My wife and I truly appreciate your help, concern and prayers.
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