Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ministry Update

It is time for a long overdue ministry update. We hope that as you read, you will be encouraged by what the Lord has been doing. And we also hope that you will continue to keep us in your prayers.

We celebrated Mother’s Day in May and we had over 20 mothers who attended our special service. As a small way to honor the mothers, we gave them earrings and a daily devotional to read. We also had a special guest speaker come to speak to our congregation during Sunday school as well as the morning service. Together with his wife, they are Filipino missionaries to Cambodia. Following the service we ended our Mother's Day celebration with food that was prepared and served by the men of the church.

We also celebrated Father's Day at our church and we had 12 fathers in attendance. There was a food fellowship following the morning service as well, and this time, all of the ladies were the ones who prepared and served the food.

We started using the Awana program at our church in 2013. We love the fact that the Awana program emphasizes the clear gospel of grace in reaching out to boys and girls to help them know, love, and serve Jesus. Because of this, our church hosted an Awana seed planter's seminar. There were 6 other churches along with some of the Awana volunteers from our church who attended the two full days of Awana training. 

The Awana missionary for the island of Luzon came to lead the training. He spoke about the importance of children’s ministry, gave the history of Awana, and taught extensively how the game time, team time, and council time work. Towards the end of the training, there was an Awana "demo" where around 40 kids from the area came to join in helping the trainees put into practice what they had been learning. 

It was another great experience and opportunity for our church to host something like this. It was encouraging to see our people serve and work during those two days for the sake of the gospel. Please pray for those churches who attended the training. We are excited to see and hear about how the Lord will be using the Awana ministry in their church.

Speaking of Awana, here is a picture from the first day of our Awana Club at church. As of now we are having about 60-70 kids each week. Please continue to pray for God's blessing as we reach out to these kids with the gospel.

School started up again here in the Philippines and that means that it is time once again for our annual "Back to School Sunday." We were able to pass out hundreds of notebooks, pens, and pencils to students from 1st grade - high school. There were over 105 kids who came to church and received school supplies. We are thankful that the Lord allowed our church to be a blessing and provide some materials for these students as they start a new school year. We also want to say a special thank you to Mrs.Teresa Laskus who graciously donated the pencils. 

Our youth group had a couple of special events. We took them bowling and we also had a lock-in at church. The youth really enjoyed these outings!

This past July and August we travelled back to the U.S. for about 8 weeks. It was good to see our family and friends once again and we are thankful for all of the time that we were able to spend with them. While we were there, we also celebrated Luke's 1st birthday and we were able to be a part of two of our families' weddings. We were blessed to attend the two day Grace Conference at the Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church. We also had opportunities to speak at the Quentin Road Bible Baptist Church, Dayspring Baptist Church, and Belmont Bible Church. 

During the last 3 weeks of our stay, Matt got sick. Actually, it was something that he had been dealing with for the past several months, but some of the symptoms flared up and he really felt quite weak. He ended up having a CAT scan and biopsy done to find out what was going on. While the CAT scan revealed a rare inflammatory problem, we thank the Lord that the biopsy ruled out some of the more serious things. We would appreciate your continued prayers that he would be able to get back to all that God has called him to do with full, complete, physical strength.

Other than that, we enjoyed our time back in the U.S. with our loved ones. We thank the Lord for protecting us and keeping us safe during our trip and bringing us back safely once again to the Philippines. Please continue to pray for us, specifically for Matt’s health, our family, our church's growth and maturity, and for the upcoming church events we will be having.  We appreciate your love and support for us more than you know. 

God Bless,

-Matt, Rina, Liam, and Luke-                          


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