This year North Cebu Baptist Church hosted its first ever Vacation Bible School! Vacation Bible School is something that you don’t see very often in Cebu so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. However, praise the Lord, we averaged about 150 kids every day! Each day provided the kids an opportunity to hear the gospel and have some fun. In the evenings we also had a program for teens called Teen Connection. It made for a busy week but the fruit from VBS and Teen Connection were well worth the effort. Several children and teens were saved and now we even have some who are coming to church as a direct result of these programs! Please take a moment to check out our pictures from this years Under the Sea at NCBC!
In this world of technology and computers, it is easier than ever to connect with people on the other side of the world. Still I was shocked when it brought us a new couple looking for Pastor Kohl, our pastor back in Eden, NY. This young couple had been listening to Pastor Kohl’s sermons online and were really encouraged by them. Then by looking at Faith Bible Baptist’s website they saw that Elizabeth and I were missionaries here in Cebu, Philippines. That directed them to our blog and they contacted us, asking for directions to our church. Then one Sunday morning they came! Now they have been faithfully attending our church ever since. Please continue to pray for this couple, Jean and Ralph. They have already been saved and have been looking for a good church. Jean has even brought her mom now! It’s amazing to think that this young couple found us after listening to messages from our pastor back in the U.S. For a moment it made us feel a little closer to home.
The Lord has blessed us with some faithful mothers on our route in Nasipit. Two young women trusted in Christ several months ago and have been faithfully coming on Sunday. Now they have even expressed their desire to join us at church on Wednesday! It has been an encouragement to see these ladies and their children become a part of our church family! One of these dear mothers we just discovered will soon be moving to another island in the Philippines. It is very hard to say goodbye after all the time and love we have invested in them! The littlest member of the family just turned one and was publicly dedicated to the Lord. It was a special moment, and we were blessed to see this family’s desire to serve the Lord! We pray that even though we will be islands apart, this dear family will continue to grow in their walk with Christ. We are so thankful for the time we had with them and pray that everything they have learned will continue to impact them for the rest of their lives!
Our summer program is in full swing and has kept us busy with church activities, including camp! This summer our church hosted camp on a school property. It was a beautiful location but it lacked a lot of things that would normally come with a campsite. Things like a running kitchen and cafeteria were not provided and even beds for the kids and counselors to sleep. This did not stop our camp staff or campers though and we had an awesome week! Campers brought cardboard (yes, cardboard!)and foams to sleep on and our kitchen staff transformed a classroom into a working kitchen with a portable stove top. Our main speaker was a Filipino missionary to Vietnam. He and his family had amazing testimonies from their church back in Vietnam and really challenged our faith during the week. These dear people have to meet secretly for church and baptize new converts in the bathtub of their own home. During the week, this pastor said that he didn’t know what would happen to him and his family but he knew that being in God’s will was the best place for him, his dear wife, and children. That is a man of faith! It was an incredible week and several teens made great decisions! Camp has meant so much to Elizabeth and I in our life back in the States and we are so happy to take part in this ministry here in the Philippines.
This week we celebrated our first year of being in Cebu! Time went by so fast as we planted ourselves in the ministry and in our new home. During this time we started a new route that expanded with both children and adults. Several have been saved and some even baptized! For those of you who know we need a vehicle for the route please keep praying that the funds would come in to cover the cost. So far we have received almost thirty percent of our goal. The expense of a vehicle in Cebu shocked me but the Lord has continued to provide for our needs. Also in this year I have taught in the public schools with Pastor Walter. Through this ministry we have seen teenagers come to church and hear the gospel. Many have even trusted in Christ alone as their Savior! God is not done saving souls! Our family expanded this year too with the birth of our son, Micah Christopher! We had this little one in a third world country but had a good experience. The Philippines may be lacking in some areas but their medical field has a taking many steps forward. I can’t list everything we did this year but to sum it up-God has been good! We had such a great first year in Cebu and look forward to serving the Lord here for many many more years to come.