Wednesday, April 15, 2015

AWANA Year In Review

God has been so gracious in all that He has done through the AWANA program at our church. We rejoice that 416 kids registered this year!

We thank the Lord for those who volunteered to serve in this ministry. All of the leaders have done such a great job and we praise God for them. We are thankful that God has allowed us to have the space to have two game circles, one for the younger kids and one for the older kids. We praise Him for the safety and protection that He has given. We are thankful for the good weather He provided on Saturday mornings. We praise the Lord for supplying our needs. From the game supplies to the puppet show, to the snacks and lessons, we thank the Lord for the materials that He has provided for us. Most of all, we rejoice in the fact that we were able to share the gospel to each of these precious children. Many of them come from broken homes or live in an environment where they may not feel loved.  But we are so thankful that the Lord has allowed us to use the AWANA program as a way to reach out to them to show and share the love of Christ.

This year we decided to have a special "AWANA Sunday". We wanted to celebrate God's goodness and look back at the AWANA year God has blessed us with. We had a great night of singing, awards, testimonies, pictures, and food. There were even a few new parents who came with their kids. It really was an exciting night!

Thank you for praying for our AWANA program. Lord willing our next club year will start in June. Please continue to pray that the Lord would work in the hearts of these kids so that they would come to know, love, and serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

-Matt, Rina, Liam, and Luke-
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Friday, April 10, 2015

1st Quarter Update

We are continually grateful to God for His grace in our lives and we thank all of you for your continued support and prayers. 

At the end of January I had the opportunity to travel to the province of Isabela in the northeastern part of Luzon to speak at a Bible Conference. The conference was hosted by Tumauini Baptist Church and it was a privilege to be asked to be the guest speaker. I was there from Thursday to Sunday and it was a blessing to share the Word of God, and see the how the Lord is working in a different area of the Philippines. I am thankful for the kindness and hospitality that was shown to me by Pastor Dennis Paguirigan and church family. I thank the Lord for giving me that opportunity and for keeping me safe throughout the trip.

In February we had our "Sweet Sunday". We asked people to invite a friend to church and also bring some chocolates or candies to share. After the service everyone received some sweets to enjoy. This is just a fun event that we have close to Valentines Day and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Also in February our church hosted our annual "Love Banquet". This year we were blessed to have Pastor Edwin Samson as our guest speaker for the evening. The event was open to all couples or singles over the age of 23 and we are grateful that around 60 people attended the banquet. The youth of our church served as the waiters, waitresses, cleaners and food servers. We thank the Lord for the good evening that He blessed us with. 

It has been a privilege to teach again at Asia Baptist Bible College. This has been my fourth year as a member of the faculty and this past March the school year concluded. Every Tuesday and Wednesday during the second semester I taught Christian Worldview and Christian Apologetics. I thank the Lord for protecting me during the travel back and forth from Manila as well as for providing the strength and wisdom to teach the students.

During the final week of school the college has its' "fellowship week". This is a time for alumni, students, faculty, staff, pastors and wives to get together for fellowship and encouragement. This year Dr. Lyons wanted to also add a practical touch and have some lectures that focused on some ministry related things. I was privileged to be asked to speak about children's ministry. I was able to share with those in attendance about the importance of children's ministry and I encouraged them to consider the Awana program.

The culmination of fellowship week was the 41st commencement ceremony of the college. It was an extra special event since there were three young ladies from our church graduating with a Bachelors degree in Christian Education. We are so proud of them and we ask that you please continue to pray for God's guidance in their life and that they will continue to follow the Lord no matter where He leads them. 

Also this past March our church had our annual graduate/award recognition night. During our Sunday night service a special message was given and we recognized all of the graduates as well as those students and even teachers who received special awards or honors during the school year.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. In conclusion we ask that you please pray for a couple of things:

Please pray for God's blessing as we start our study through the book of Jonah this Sunday morning. We ask that God would use this time to bring our hearts closer to Him.

Please pray for the success of our upcoming VBS this April 20-24. We ask that God would work in a powerful way as we share the message of the gospel and show the love of Christ to all the kids.

Please pray for wisdom as we are in the middle of facilitating several different translation projects.

Please pray for the safe travel of mom next month as she heads back to the U.S. for a little bit to spend some time with her other apo's (grandkids).

Please join us in thanking the Lord that our interview at the U.S. embassy concerning Luke's birth certificate and passport went well.

God Bless,

-Matt, Rina, Liam and Luke-
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