Friday, January 9, 2015

4th Quarter Update

We are grateful for all of God's gracious blessings this past 2014. It was a very busy last quarter of the year, and we praise God for His continued grace. Here are some of the highlights from the different events:

OCTOBER

In October we had a special evening of fellowship with the youth of our church. We had a bonfire, roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, sang, and heard testimonies. 


Also during October, Rina and I had the privilege of being part of the 30th anniversary celebration of AWANA Philippines. There were representatives from different AWANA clubs throughout the Philippines as well as the from the headquarters in the US (including the CEO Jack Eggar). We also were able to meet AWANA directors and missionaries representing Nepal, Pakistan, Fiji, and South Korea. We were both challenged and encouraged to continue ministering to kids through AWANA. We ask that you please continue to pray for us and that part of our ministry, we know that kids matter to God.


NOVEMBER

November was an exciting month. We had our annual visit from the Victory in Grace mission team (composed of people from Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church as well as Bemidji Baptist Church) from November 14 through November 25. They had a busy schedule while they were here and it was great to see some familiar faces from the U.S.

We are thankful that the Lord allowed us to have another Medical/Dental Mission at our church and we are grateful for Dr. Tanney and Nurse Meg, Nurse Loretta, and the Filipino dentists for providing their expertise and care. We are also thankful for the help and support that the other mission team members provided as well as for the many volunteers from our church who contributed in this outreach (especially the kitchen staff led by Dulce). There were around 150 people seen by the doctor and the dentists but we rejoice most of all that everyone who came to receive the free medical attention was also able to hear about the free gift of eternal life offered to them by the grace of God because of the finished work of Jesus.


While the clinic was open, a portion of the mission team visited several different schools throughout the day. They were able to meet and share the gospel with the students from both the local high school and elementary school. They passed out tracts and candy, and at the elementary school they held a puppet show. In addition, there was a private school about 15 minutes away from our church that graciously allowed us to come and hold a basketball exhibition. Once again the Lord provided a way for the gospel to be shared to the students and teachers.




During their trip the mission team also visited several churches in Manila, as well as Ptr. Resty's church, and Ptr. Edwin Samson's church where there was another full day of visiting schools, basketball outreach and a medical clinic. They also had the privilege of being part of a Bible conference attended by about 700 people. Both Pastor John Fontana and Pastor Paul Julian were able to speak at the conference. We are also grateful to the Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church as well as Duluth Bible Church. for the generous donation of books and materials for the pastors at the conference. This included the newly translated Talk Time discipleship booklet!


During the last Sunday the team was in the Philippines, we had a baptism after the morning service. The teenager who got baptized was the grandson of Bro. Manny, one of our church members who passed away last September. Then that evening, the team came to our church to bless us with special songs, testimonies and a challenging message given by Pastor Paul Julian. We ended the evening with fellowship and food, including the traditional lechon baboy (roasted pig).


We thank God for His blessings and protection on the mission team and we are excited about what opportunities the Lord will bring next year. 

DECEMBER

In the month of December we celebrated our church anniversary. God has been faithful to our church and we praise Him for His grace. We had special morning and evening services in celebration of God's goodness to our church. During the evening service our guest speaker was Pastor Gerardo Mateo. He has been a good friend for many years and it was a blessing for him to speak at the anniversary. We thank the Lord that there were many visitors and also people who made professions of faith. We pray that God will continue to use our church for the advancement of the gospel of grace throughout the years to come.


Also during the month, our church held our annual Christmas party. It was a fun evening filled with games, singing Christmas carols, fellowship, and of course food. Everyone enjoyed the evening and we are thankful that we have a a God and Savior who "...made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2:7-8


Since the students have a two week break from school during the Christmas holiday, we thought it would be fun to try and have some sort of outreach for them during their break. And so we held our first annual "Christmas Cup" 3 on 3 basketball tournament. There were 7 total teams who signed up for the tournament and they all played well, but in the end, it was the yellow team who came out victorious. All of the players enjoyed the competition and we look forward to doing it again next year.


Thank you for taking the time to read through this update and thank you for the constant prayers and support. May the Lord continue to bless you this new year.

-Matt, Rina, Liam, and Luke-

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