Every time we step out of the Philippines, we face that season with the same heart as we do in ministry. That is, trusting God and living each day by faith! At every turn we are faced with a situation to rejoice and enjoy blessing through His goodness, or press on in trial all the while knowing God is there to sustain and grow us. We are thankful for the challenges we face that stretch us and turn our eyes to Christ. Our kids are also learning this.
During this furlough break Makana (11) and Brison (9) have been blessed to have teachers in school and church who are pouring into them. They have risen to each challenge with positive attitudes. At the same time they are being faced with situations that test their faith and love for others in the face of hurtful words and actions. Grade school can be tough!!! Although challenging, we knew this would be part of exposure valuable for the development of our kids in a world outside our tiny island.
Please continue to pray for them to have God’s perspective and for the many opportunities to grow during this time away. They have had the blessing of experiencing new cultures, relationships, sports, food and opportunities to share their faith.
Last week I was asked to share at the final night of AWANA at the church we attend. AWANA is an evangelical non-profit organization that helps churches and parents worldwide raise children and youth to know, love and serve Christ.
It was a great opportunity to share God’s heart for the nations and how He wants to use us. As a father, I was blessed that Brison wanted to sit by my side on stage and share his passion for seeing people come to Jesus.
He shared testimony of answers to prayer, Filipino culture, foods and how one day he prays God brings him to China as a missionary. It was hard to hold back the tears seeing him come into his own like that. Makana in her own way served behind the scenes by helping fill a need to give out prizes.
Jenn and I have slowly adjusted to life outside the jungle. Being stimulated in relationships and in Bible studies was a big part of our goal here. We are blessed to have friends, supporters and mentors who have embraced us during our furlough. It means a lot to us as a family to have individuals surround us that not only care about what we do as missionaries, but also as brothers and sisters in Christ. We are thankful for how the body of Christ has risen up to refresh and strengthen us, so that we can go back to the front line healthy and full. Beyond the times of fellowship and equipping God has orchestrated, He has also opened doors for us to give testimony here of God’s goodness, provision and protection this past year.
Friends have organized some great fundraisers that will go towards rebuilding the Hope for the Island mission house. This was one of the structures badly affected from recent earthquakes and a super typhoon. Recently Grammy nominated musician Darryl Mansfield and the Haiku Hillbillies played aboard a Trilogy Sunset Blues Cruise. The proceeds of this sold out event went towards our building project! I love witnessing how God brings together people from all walks of life to further His Kingdom.
We keep regular contact with those back at Hope in the Philippines. We are blessed to receive reports from our Hope team that testify of God’s guiding hand for the ministry in our absence. It has always been our goal to mentor local leaders who carry with anointing God’s vision for the island. In our next report we will share some of these stories. Until then, all glory and honor continue to be brought to Jesus alone!