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Victory in the Philippines - 66 Souls Baptized

Evangelism News

    


Philippine City Life & Culture San Francisco, Laguna Binan is the name of this community. There are very few Adventists who live in this densely populated community of people. Just like every other city in the Philippines, we saw the sites and heard the sounds of filipino life and culture. However, the community of San Francisco is more depress and needy than the average city in the Philippines. The narrow streets were crowded with Jeepneys and tricycles. Along the side of the road could be seen people walking to and from their destination. The children were playing with each other from one end of town to the other. Chickens and roosters roamed freely about looking for food. Famish looking dogs could be seen laying beside the road scatching their blistered skin, or licking an open wound. Everyone seem to be busy doing something. While some might be working around the house, others were seen shopping for food to provide for their family. Open sewer gullies of black murky water ran down the side of each road. Homes and businesses constructed with brick, motor, and rebar stood unfinished - yet occupied. In spite of the grim look of poverty and wretchedness in every direction, the people seemed very satisfied and content. While walking the busy streets we could hear the most courteous and friendly greetings. Every face wore a smile of contentment and satisfaction. The filipino culture is built around the family and religion. Individuals learn to be very industrious and purpose-driven at an early age. Fathers and mothers learn to plan wisely and develop habits of frugality and thriftiness. All share a determined quest for survival in spite of unfortunate circumstances. Take courage my friends, for God knows and understands!

        


Renovation of the Community Center A group of eleven of us traveled from America to the Philippines to participate in this work of evangelism. Almost all team members came out of the San Francisco International Airport in California and arrived in Metro Manila on Feburary 2, 2010. We met the pastor and other members of the Southern Luzon Union Office. We traveled to Adventist University of the Philippines were we would stay for the duration of our trip. Pastor Bon took us over to look at the site where the meetings would take place. We rented a large community gymnasium for the meetings. When we arrived we noticed that a lot of work needed to be done to make the site conducive to our meetings. Team members started patching drywall, painting blocks, repairing wood, fixing old electrical lines, and installing new light fixtures. Everyone in the community was pleasantly surprised by our benevolent work. Many people began helping us clean and patch the stage and basketball stands. One young man decided to stand over team members with an umbrella to shade the blazing sun. All were surprised and very grateful for the new look brought to this community center. The barangay captain was especially thankful along with school teachers and local small business owners. This work of benevolence paved the way for many to accept the lifechanging truths of the Bible.

    


VBS Children's Program The meetings began each night with a VBS type childrens program conducted by Kathy and Neil Spiva. Mrs. Kathy Spiva is a long time VBS coordinator in her church. The program would begin with lots of singing to the computer generated music videos. The children would participate in the song and thus learn how to read, write, spell, and even memorize bible verses. After the singing program, the children would participate in the various arts and crafts provided by Mrs Spiva. Each night we had well over 100 children. The children enjoyed the program so much that they would set up the tables and chairs before we arrived. All the children were very friendly and would greet us with a loud happy greeting each night. Some of the most enjoyable moments took place during the children's program. As a result of the children attending on a regular basis, the parents started attending as well.

     


Medical Ministry of Health & Healing On one designated day, we were all involved in food and clothing distribution, blood pressure, diabetes, and general medical treatments. We had over 40 staff members, many of whom, were medical professionals from Manila. We conducted over 120 dental examinations and extractions, over 130 surgeries (with more than 40 circumcisions), and over 100 pediatrics evaluations. We are told: "In the ministry of healing the physician is to be a co-worker with Christ. The Saviour ministered to both the soul and the body. The gospel which He taught was a message of spiritual life and of physical restoration. Deliverance from sin and the healing of disease were linked together. The same ministry is committed to the Christian physician. He is to unite with Christ in relieving both the physical and spiritual needs of his fellow men. He is to be to the sick a messenger of mercy, bringing to them a remedy for the diseased body and for the sin-sick soul." (MH p. 111) Many of the people in this town can't afford to go to the doctor. Our work of health and healing was freely given to all!


Evangelistic Meetings Each night during the main meeting, well over 225 attended consistenly. We had a team of 11 people working together to help make these meetings a success. A retired surgeon, Dr. Neal Spiva, who went to give medical assistance, but who is skilled in building and went to help repair/rebuild some damaged or destroyed dwellings. The surgeon's wife, Kathy, is a longtime specialist in childrens' evangelism and went to do VBS style programs for the kids. A building contractor, Hovik Torosssian, went ready to work in the rebuilding of dwellings. His wife, Edee, (a great granddaughter of Ellen White) is also a specialist in childrens' evangelism and went to aid Mrs Spiva in the VBS style programs for the kids. Bert Leverett who has an insatiable heart for missions, went to lead out each night in the evangelistic meetings. Tom Ward is the 19 yr. old son of the church secretary and a dedicated Christian went to work hard at whatever is needed. Paul Bergeron, also went to do whatever needed to be done. Pastor Dan Freedman, the pastor of the St. Helena church, attended the meetings to assist and help wherever needed. Charinette Guerrero is a very capable R.N. and loves evangelism and sharing her special gifts and talents in music. Charinette's Mom, Dee Guerrero, is a medical technician and went to work wherever needed. Warren Ashworth, a retired professor of more than 35 years in denominational work at PUC, Andrews University, and various colleges and universities overseas. More importantly, the Holy Spirit worked with us to inspire 66 souls to surrender to Jesus and be baptized. We praise God for his mercy and love.  


Baptism and Dedication      What a great blessing it was for me to see sixty-six (66) souls surrender to Jesus and be baptized. All heaven rejoiced to see these souls take their stand for Jesus. Pastor Bon had been working with many of the canidates prior to our arrival. There were a total of 11 of us working together to make these baptisms possible. We surely do have a lot to praise the Lord for? We thank all the dear folk who sacrificially donated to make the trip a success and allow us to leave the conference with $7,500 toward the new church, Dan and Tom's vital help in arranging the transportation, Melanie's getting used clothing and packing it all, Dee and Nona's contacts that would make the medical/dental outreach a genuine success, Neal and Kathy's planning that would make the children's evangelism touch so many lives, Edee's planning and preparing the music. What joy the singing would bring to all of us, Hovik's cheery, supportive spirit, Paul's joy at being involved and his big heart, Bert with his sonorous voice and wonderful smile, ready to preach the Christ-centered SDA messages every night. But most of all, we praise God for Jesus Christ his son. We thanks Him for the attending angels and the Holy Spirit. For without these heavenly agencies, no one could have ever accepted Christ's invitation for baptism. We thank God! 

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