Refreshing Holy Spirit Moves Mountains

The conflict that resides within our hearts supersedes the conflict that we face externally. Though man is known to be man’s greatest competition; it will not have near an impact in the spiritual realm when we learn to first conquer our own hearts.

The battle I face is ever before me in one fashion or another. I suppose some should be expected when I’m consistently making devils angry. The past couple months I’ve seen on average 100+ healed a week at a rate above 90% getting healed. All glory belongs to God! There has been an amazing increase in my faith! This has been an amazing time of growth for me both mentally and spiritually. With God’s wisdom I have been able to teach many pastors how to pray for the sick while setting the captives free. There are so many amazing testimonies to share, but there is no way to fit them all in this letter.

My new mentor Dwight Palmquist continues to have his outdoor crusades, and always a privilege to be invited to pray for the sick there. Dwight has shown me what it means to be completely sold out for the Lord, as he forsook his wedding engagement some 30yrs ago to minister to dangerous Muslims in the south. God has led me to step out with these healing revival services inside the churches, which last for multiple consecutive nights. Dwight and I are still close, though we don’t see each other every week. We’re both exercising our strengths, and I’m really learning to stretch my wings once again in praying for the sick in a manner that benefits the body of Christ. Now greater discipleship can continue when the healings take place inside the church. The new believers will continue to attend and be followed up in a manner that I couldn’t manage before!

On January 29 I was able to preach at two different churches. The evening service happened to be with the church I helped plant last year in Bicol region. The pastor took me to see his handicapped landlord before service. Upon arrival, I realized she could hardly shuffle her feet despite having a cane. I was inspired by God to tell her, “You are going to be healed today.” I prayed for her after she told me she had tremendous pain in her hip. She mentioned how the pain was leaving her body in the first couple of minutes. As I began to pray again, the Holy Spirit swept into the room! Everybody was wailing with tears as the presence came in. You could sense freedom was here. Like something you could touch and grab. The woman then stood up to walk without her cane, which she had used for years! God is so willing to move mountains that stand in our way!

Five nights starting on Feb 1st I began one of these healing revivals in a small church that had just been damaged by a typhoon. The rebuilding finished that week leaving the walls being expanded which double the size of the church. I was one of the first to preach in these newly expanded walls. The Kingdom of God was preached each night with power, healing and exhortation. The church on its fifth night was so packed that people had to sit outside the church! God had just doubled the size of the church in 5 days! This is multiplication like I have never seen. Praise God for such amazing growth and willingness of the people to invite the unbelievers in that place! It’s hard not to believe in God when He heals us without payment, and without consequence like the quack doctors. Many of those voodoo doctors leave people worse off here in the Philippines. Jesus is the only King who took our place so we didn’t have to! He always removed both sin and sickness. I am perpetually in awe by the goodness of God!

On Feb 11th I was nearing the end of the week of revival. It was at a central church in Naga where God healed a woman as she took notes on the sermon. As I preached unforgiveness, she released forgiveness and was healed sitting in the pew! Nobody laid hands on her or even prayed for her! God healed her stomach and back issues instantly. None of us should hold onto unforgiveness, as it’s a poison that damages our relationship with God. It’s even written that unless we forgive others, God won’t forgive us. I pray that you too would experience this amazing miracle from God by releasing forgiveness and be healed in Jesus name!

Can you imagine Jesus praying for sick with a cellphone, text, or tv? I wonder all the time as I’ve encountered miracles through text and cellphone myself. Earlier this week I prayed for a young lady who was about to have operation on her kidney. She was instantly healed. Then in the middle of writing this, I called my pastora friend in Mindoro. She was suffering from deadly parasite eating her liver. She too was instantly healed and not a trace of pain! Come on Jesus!  Before her liver was always burning as the parasites were eating it away. What an amazing God we serve! It’s a privilege to be sent out by my supporters! Thank you for praying and writing me back to encouraging me.

I do ask for personal prayer as I have recently stood up against corruption in a minister. Drawling attention of the proper authority. In fear, the corrupt have decided to relate against me. God spoke to me regarding this issue that He, ”Prepares a table before me in the presence of me enemies.” Meaning to say I will feast on what God provides for me, and there isn’t a thing anyone can do about it. Trusting in God must happen in all areas of our life. He is either the King of all or the King of none. He has comforted me during this external battle, because I overcame the internal battle. I put my cares on Jesus. Though I don’t defend myself as a sheep unto the slaughter; I walk in peace knowing I have a great Shepard leading me!

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9

IMG_3439Pastor Celso and his landlord. I’m holding her useless cane.

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All those in the photo got healed at one of the revival nights.

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13 got baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.

Confessions of a missionary

This is hard to say… I may not be the best missionary or preacher in the world. I maybe mocked, yelled at, ridiculed by other people including some ministers(what a shame). I may have people think that I’m crazy for leaving my country without having a spouse. It doesn’t concern me that you would lie, slander, yell or maybe one day end my life. Jesus was mocked, yelled, spit on and beaten then finally put on the cross by religious leaders. But, you know I didn’t get on that airplane to leave my country alone! I have God walking with me and leading me by His Holy Spirit! I KNOW HIM! I am not out of my mind maybe just out of yours!

I’d rather preach truth than butter you up with sweet words. I’m a missionary of action and despise it when I see other false preachers who are only about pictures to collect money from supporters. That is why I have been neglecting photos unless others desire to take them on my behalf. “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” 2 Cor 2:17 I have been exposed to this corruption far more this term. Thank God my supporters have seen me minister with the power of God and know that He truly does GUIDE me, because I KNOW GOD!

After God called me; I sold all my possessions in 3 months and left for the Philippines with enough money to live for 2 months. After my money ran out God gave me a dream of exactly how much money would come in, then it came to pass. He is my provider and He is the one who supplies my supporters and guides their hearts to give. My trust is in Immanuel because I KNOW GOD!

All in all it is God who has done everything in this ministry. It’s really not my ministry. I feel like I’m just along for the ride. It is Him who gave me this strong convictions against sin. Jesus is my example in how to destroy the works of the enemy. I pray always to see things as He does. Last night, God gave me the words to preach at Pastor Emer Victorious‘s church. I didn’t even get the chance to look at my sermon notes. I saw victory for everyone in that church as the Gospel was preached with power and wisdom. Everyone who had serious health issues got healed by a living God last night. Hearts, backs, organs, joints, and legs were completely healed. Not even one walked away not healed by Jesus, and even if they did; I’d rather them blame my prayers and not God. As I know it’s my Father’s will to heal. It is this that I boast about. I boast that I KNOW GOD! HE is WALKING with ME! He is LEADING and TEACHING me. Don’t you want to KNOW HIM like THIS? It’s YOUR DECISION and no one ELSE’S.

Casting Out Demons on Christmas Eve

Happy New Year! May this be the year that God blesses you abundantly in every area of your life, as we consecrate ourselves completely to Him. I have some amazing events and miracles to share! I had the privilege of being a groomsmen in a wedding with the church I helped to plant. It was a wonderful wedding in Iloilo Island and expecting great things from that couple! Then a few days after I traveled to Cebu Island to have Christmas with my old friends. I miss my family and friends in America very much. But it made this lonely missionary happy to be with old friends from my first missionary term.
 
Christmas eve seemed pretty normal hanging out with some old friends at YWAM. Then it all changed as I went to pray for somebody with back and knee pain. He begins to manifest signs of a spiritual attack. Pain would completely leave then come right back a few minutes later.  This isn’t the first time I’ve seen pain come and go, or even move from the knee to the stomach. I used to not understand this even after seeing thousands healed. God revealed to me in Scriptures, as did those great ministers who operated in many miracles before my time.  The understanding given to me a couple years ago was that they haven’t consecrated themselves wholly to God. To be consecrated is to be set apart for God.
 
This gentleman did get delivered from this as far as I know. He was vomiting only while we were praying for him. God does not leave us as orphans, but has given us His Holy Spirit! “Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.” John 5:14 Attacks from the demons will not prevail if we trust and believe God. This isn’t something that we should fear, or even ignore like it doesn’t exist. It is real and we are on the winning side! God is stronger and our part is easy. Trust Him with your body, family, thoughts, future and finances just as you do with your soul! It’s easy to trust God with our soul as we can’t see or touch it. But what about those other things that we spend so much time making plans for?
 
I preached two services Christmas morning in Cebu. All glory belongs to God as I witnessed Him heal about 30 people! Not one person walked away without being touched and healed by God! While I was at that big church, I met an old friend who I prayed for. This woman had colon cancer and wasn’t given much hope. But God healed her years ago, and now 5 years later she is still healed! New Years Eve was not much different from this. I preached another sermon given by God and witnessed another 15 people healed.  Recently three different people who had cancer got healed, but waiting to hear the doctor’s report. All I know is the one, who couldn’t walk for months, is now able to walk! The others ones with cancer no longer have pain in their bodies.! What an amazing year that God has in store for them this 2017!

This is our Heavenly Father, who desires to heal us more than we desire to be healed. He wants to bless you more than you want to be blessed. I know everybody is making plans for their New Years resolutions, but let’s not forget God’s plans for our lives. His ways are higher than our ways. He is a good good Father, who is holy and perfect in every way. He is not waiting for you to make a mistake, to punish you. He is waiting for you to consecrate every area of your life, so He has permission to come and restore every area! I believe this is your year of blessing! ‘May you prosper as your soul prospers.’ ‘You will be the head and not the tail, the lender and not the borrower.’ Those are Scriptures and promises of the Holy Bible that I pray over you. For it is a book of both blessings and cursings. Gods words don’t fail, and neither does His love and forgiveness towards us. To our New Year filled with His amazing wonder and glory! God bless you!

Because they haven’t heard,
Justin Gilpin

Faith Touches the Heart of God!

The Christmas season is here, and it brings joy to think of all that Jesus has done for us. Finally having the opportunity to work with the legendary Dwight Palmquist has been such a blessing! We have preached the Gospel nearly every night. Partnering with the pastors all over, and plundering hell and populating heaven! 

There are many great things to say about Dwight, but he wouldn’t be the man he is today without Jesus! I too would be hopeless, joyless, and in deprived without God in my life. He continues to display His love for us. For the Lord does so many amazing wonders, and I have encountered a miracle I’ve never encountered before. It’s not I’m extra special or different from you in any way. I’m human and make mistakes too! Maybe it’s just I position my mind to believe that what God says in the Bible, is way more important than my beliefs or experiences. I also am so incredibly stubborn, in a good way! When a situation doesn’t change, then I pray harder or change the way I pray. I believe this “no backing down” attitude/stubbornness is what the enemy fears. When you learn to love to fight the bullies in your life, they don’t want to fight you anymore!

A couple weeks ago we were having rain every night. Dwight and I had to find ways to keep the equipment dry during evangelism. Most of the time our crowd of 50-150 would also have ways to remain dry, but not this particular night. There was absolutely no shelter in sight. Most of the crowd left during the rain, but when it stopped half of them returned. Then it started to rain hard again! I was near the van and got inside to pray for these people to know God like I know Him. I really didn’t have the words, so I prayed in tongues for roughly 3 minutes. Then I said, “In the name of Jesus rain stop”. In less than 5 seconds there was no more rain! I was awestruck by God! Immediately stepped out of the van at the moment Dwight, who was safely under his umbrella, was calling me to testify and pray for the sick. 

I gave one of my testimonies about how God is a personal God. I spoke on how God is not only the King over our souls, but also the King over our bodies. The crowd being diminished because of the rain did not hinder my belief in that God wanted to do something very special for somebody. God had just stopped the rain when I prayed in the van, and I believed there was more to come. I asked again who needs prayer for their body, and a man walks up using a walking stick. I look at him with compassion as it wasn’t long ago I too was in that place of agonizing pain because of a shattered femur. I asked him where the pain was, and he revealed his hip. I prayed for him and God healed him! 

I didn’t ask how the man got this illness, I just simply commanded it gone as Jesus is my example. Some try to complicate things by finding out if the sick person has grandparents who are in the occult. I never read about Jesus having to figure out why this or why that. He just healed the person, and then says to go and sin no more. After our outreach, I was informed that he was the town drunk. Everybody knew who he was, but despite his failures, God’s grace healed him! The town drunk was convicted right in his tracks, and he was the one who said he thinks his drinking is what caused his illness. This is not a first for me to see, as I’ve killed people’s high so to speak. Prayed for a woman back in the states who was high on weed, but still had chronic back pain. Prayer fixed her back and took away the high at the same time! She too was left in tears by an Almighty God! Don’t think that you’re too grown up to cry. Contrary, the closer you get to the Lord, the more you will see your sin, and cry out for Him! 

God is the same God yesterday, today and forever! He is the same God here in the Philippines as He is in the States. What Jesus will do for me here, He can do for you there! Make the decision now before your New Year’s resolution, that you will strive for that “no backing down” attitude! You can and you will see God’s glory manifest in your life! I’ve seen roughly 100 people healed just in the past month, and was blessed to teach and watch ministers at Evangel Bible College do the same. This is the season to remember that Jesus took our sicknesses and our sin so we didn’t have to! This is the season to share hope and joy with those who are lacking. Money doesn’t fix problems, but prayer to a living God does! Share your hope and joy by praying for others! Have a blessed Christmas!

 

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God touched her and she fell over. Wasn’t expecting it but glad i caught her. a563b4f1-5179-45d8-be94-89c7b546dfb9Above picture is with all the people who got healed at a church minus 3 ministers

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Making Changes for the Best!

The saga of Joseph from the bible continues. I wrote about him in my last article; how a series of events made me see the story in a whole new light accompanied by dreams. Well, yet again this missionary has had another dream that came to pass.

About a month ago I had a dream I was working with Dwight Palmquist. Dwight is a missionary who is well known all over the Philippines and among AG missionaries. I never did get the chance to work with him, but have wanted to before I ever started my second term. He evangelizes with a powerful anointing, leading many to Christ. He travels from church to church methodically in his van. Basically has no permanent home or family, yet he is full of Christ. Sometimes he does travel to dangerous areas, but God has continued to protect him. Dwight is one whom I would be proud to learn from. Evangelism and church planting are becoming a part of me. But I still say the pentacle of my success is leading somebody to Christ.

I never brought up the dream to Dwight, nor did I try and contact him. But through a series of events, he has offered to teach me through the remainder of my term. Nothing is final if I will extend another year into 2018, but that is still my goal. We are both excited to work together, but I’m sure it will be a real culture shock for me. I like how Thomas Edison put it, “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”. I prepare to live with only what I can carry. Sadly had to say goodbye to my 6-month-old puppy, but found her good home. She will be protecting one of the local pastors, and hopefully be as obedient with them as she was with me.

The hardest thing every missionary has to face, is saying goodbye. Whether to family and friends back home, or to new ones we’ve acquired on our mission. I’ve got very close to many of the local pastors and missionaries here, and know that friendship is always cherished. They will all be missed and my prayers will continue to reach them. I’ll try my best to keep you up to date with my move on Facebook as it’s happening all so fast. Do pray for me as I close the page to this chapter while beginning a new one. Thanks to all my supporters in partnering with me, to make Christ known in a land where a relationship with Christ seems foreign. Many lives have been changed and are continuing to be changed. God bless you as you’re in my prayers! And God bless America during these elections!

Prophetic Dreams still Exists!

It’s not a cliché when I say we serve a good good Father, but it is the truth! Planting the church and traveling around, evangelizing, and creating bible studies was amazing during the summer. Starting a new church and assisting another changes eternity for so many, and possibly for generations! As Reinhard Bonnke would say, “Plunder hell and populate heaven. But all of the work and travels had drained me. I was ready for a refreshing. I think it’s something we all need to make time for.

What I’m about to share is very personal, but I want to share it so that others may have hope in God. I know I’m not the only person who has experienced pain within the church body, especially from church leaders that we look up too. It is not okay if somebody leaves his or her church because of offense. It only means our faith was in man, not God. Church is a body of peoples who know they are messed up, seeking the one who is Perfect and died in our place. He died for our sin, condemnation, and guilt. It’s time we put offense on the cross and let it too die with our sin, as Jesus never held onto offense.

The way I got a personal refreshing from God actually happened while I was at my first Asia Pacific meeting. It was in Thailand with all the missionaries in the surrounding countries. The second time This was the second time I have seen over 200 missionaries gathered in one place. It was amazing to be there and meet so many missionaries! On the third day of the event, I received a message from somebody I never expected to receive. A minister had reached out to me on facebook. I had looked up to him and sought for his advice during my time as a youth leader in Georgia. But our story didn’t end well, but his letter was very apologetic for cussing at me and getting me fired from my previous job. He wasn’t happy that I was getting paid as an intern. What he didn’t realize is that I had both of my bosses fighting to hire me for $5,000 monthly! I was in a very sweet spot, but then quickly got thrown into the pits.

God was doing changing things in me, and lead me to call my family prior to losing my job. I told my family that I’m going to become a missionary. Then two weeks after my commitment to God and family, I had lost both of my jobs! Me getting fired from that job had to take place. As I’m sure I’d be quite content to slowly pursue my missionary career. Who wouldn’t mind their paycheck increasing by over 200%? I think it’d be easy to get comfortable with the extra income! It was painful being yelled at from somebody I highly respected. Jealousy destroys everything around it, but God CAN use it for good. Though it may not feel good at the time. Jesus wasn’t exempt either, as it was this exact emotion that had the Pharisees put Jesus on the cross!

Each morning we had a powerful sermon brought to us by well-known AG leaders. But this particular morning in Thailand is the sermon that comforted me like a baby wrapped in his mother’s arms! I had just read this minister’s apology letter. Then came this sermon that was about Joseph the dreamer who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. I’m sure you all know the story. After many years of slavery Joseph had become fruitful in the land of his suffering where he had been put into second in command. Joseph had remembered his dreams as a young boy when his brothers stood before him asking to buy grain. In the end, Joseph was not bitter at them, but said, “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” The sermon’s emphasis was on how bad things that have happened to us can be used by God to preserve lives!

Of course I have seen many miracles, but that particular day God was showing me something so powerful! I thought to myself, whom am I out of all of these veteran missionaries in this room? Yet God is so clearly speaking this sermon straight to me through Rob Rhoden. Not only was this hour so powerful to me, but also one-month prior I had a dream that I would have reconciliation with a minister whom I used to respect. I remember sharing this dream with one of my friends, as I was hopeful.

I truly will never look at the story of Joseph the same again! Joseph later said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” The whole story is fascinating to me as to how God called me out to be a missionary. Had I not lost my jobs, I probably would not have committed to be a missionary, especially in the timeframe that it took me after losing my jobs. I was serving in another country in only 3 months time! I wrote the other side of this story back in November 2011 as God was showing how He is the chess master of our lives! Read those missionary stories how God called me to the Philippines.

Many, if not all of those who are in the church or in ministry have been wounded by people we’ve cared about. Then we ask ourselves, “How can a Christian who knows the Bible and follows Jesus do such a thing? I am no exception to the rule. Even now as I write this, I am reminded of a very recent event of somebody I look up to, causing me lots of grief. It’s not about me being right, but about me loving them. Oh it’d be so easy to get bitter! But as Rob said, “Lets not get bitter, lets get better”. God is able to use the bad things done against you, to save lives of those around you! Never let the sin against us, produce sin within us! Be the salt of the earth, and preserve the world from the decay of sin by exposing the truth! Hold your head up high, and keep your eyes and ears fixed on Almighty God!

Church Planting in the Philippines

I’m grateful for all the wonderful things that are going on in the lives of the Filipino pastors and those around us. I have a lot of great news to share as well, that I don’t really know where to begin! In May I was fortunate enough to be involved with another church plant through SOS (Summer of Service). It’s the hottest time of the Philippines to be walking out in the sun, but is worth it! There were about 17 volunteers. After 3 weeks we had created a church to leave to the new pastor. We didn’t have any new SOS church plants here in Mindoro so I traveled out with a couple of our local pastors, who also volunteered their time in Bicol. In our first baptism service in Magarao, Bicol, 21 people dedicated their lives to Christ! The favor of God was on us. The firemen of the town asked us to pray over their new fire truck and the police asked me to lead a devotional during their weekly flag raising ceremony. All glory belongs to God!

After our very eventful trip in Bicol, I volunteered to help one of our pastors here in Mindoro create more Bible studies. After already getting used to sleeping on the concrete floor and fetching my own water to bathe with, what’s two more weeks? It’s all for God anyhow! There weren’t nearly as many of us at the time, but the 6 of us including some church members from a city in Iloilo helped. Though we were exhausted from SOS we did manage to help create some pretty solid Bible studies for the pastor. I also began to learn from those in Iloilo how their church had grown at an incredible rate through a discipleship method. I was also able to teach these 4 from Iloilo about praying for the sick. It was incredible as moments after teaching one of the ladies prayed for the other who had a chronic breathing/allergy problem in her nose. God instantly healed her! Both the ladies were ecstatic to say the least! Many others got healed during SOS, but I enjoy sharing the successful prayers of others more. It’s really not about me. Christ empowers us all! It’s about what ‘we’ can do together to impact the world through Christ and for Christ! With Him all things are possible!

After having a week of some much needed recovery and catch up on daily tasks; I planned my trip to Iloilo. It’s just as far from Mindoro as Bicol is – almost 24hrs – but it was worth my time. I was able to really study from the pastor who had taken his church to over 4,000 members by utilizing discipleship. It’s been something on my heart that I felt we were lacking here in Mindoro. I’m so grateful for everybody who helped me in Iloilo, from waiting for me at the bus station, to giving me a place to stay while I remained there in their island. After returning, my missionary mentor Ray Miller asked me to teach on the topic in the Wednesday pastors meeting. The teaching and discipleship of these pastors have always been our priority, but now we’re trying to take it deeper and assist them in this area of discipleship making. The meeting went great and is an ongoing process, but even after a week there has been a great change in their way of thinking and the steps they are taking to move in that direction.

Livelihood has been one of the other things that has really been effecting me over the course of my second term here. Mindoro is nothing like Cebu even though it’s still part of the same country. Not only do they speak a different language, but they think different in a lot of ways. Our pastors here feel that the community and their churches would frown upon them if they get work while they are pastoring a new church. I know it totally goes against the way Americans would think. Many American pastors, whom I know, have worked a job while getting their churches established. Filipino pastors working businesses are socially acceptable on the other hand! The middle of last year I was able to slowly inspire Pastor Jimer to start farming for a secondary income. Well, the farming has continued and Pastor Jimer has been an influence on our other Assemblies of God pastors. This has left the doors wide open for us missionaries to be able to inspire each one of them to ‘create wealth’ as the Bible says. I believe this change of thinking can even impact their congregations as the pastors live by example. They will be able to inspire others to create businesses and jobs, thus effecting the community in a positive way. Thank you for taking the time to read my mountain of text! I know you can’t help but pray for those whom you support on a monthly basis. So for that, I am grateful for everything you do for me as my wonderful supporter! I thank God for putting each supporter and prayer warrior in my life. Together we can and we are making a difference!

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Boy gets Healed in front of Doctor

I never get tired of saying God likes to show off. It’s like the shampoo bottle that says wash and repeat, but I hear it as, “Watch and repeat”.  We’ve been blessed to partner with a medical team to offer their professional services to the needy of the Philippines. For a solid week, they went from each of the Assemblies of God churches on the east side of Mindoro giving free dental, glasses, checkups, and medicines.  It was amazing to be able to join them for a couple days as I had a mandatory meeting to attend to in Manila. Anybody can use whatever God given gifts they’ve been given to glorify our savior Jesus Christ!

As they are giving their professional services to the people, the veteran missionaries and I are translating while I’m attempting too! Learning and speaking another language is no joke, but I know many are blessed by my efforts. While all these things are going on, I’m also on the lookout for those with incurable sicknesses during the medical missions. The first woman I found had a high-risk chance of having TB in her lungs. After spending time praying with her, she no longer had any restrictions on her lungs. As the doctor recommended her though, to visit the local hospital, so did I. I don’t believe that the only thing we should do is pray, but rather do everything you can to get well. Something as serious as that needs to be dealt with right away!

I witnessed headache, heartache and eye problems all get healed in that course of time. But the one that really stood out to me was this young boy at the end of the second day. He explains about his back pain he’s been having for one year. The only thing that the nurse could for him was offer some pain killers to temporarily numb the pain. I asked him how much pain he was in from 10 to 1, most pain in your life, to just a little bit. He told me he was at an 8 pain level nearly being the most pain he’s ever experienced in his life. After praying with him briefly he said it went down to 5 or so. Then I prayed one last time with this young fellow, and asked him to stand up. As he’s standing up I proceed to ask him to try and ‘find the pain’. He could not, and was healed by the living God! Jesus is not on the cross anymore, He’s not in the grave, but Jesus is alive!

I have a few quick updates to share, as God has been so good to me! After the New Year I’ve got some emails from two different couples that I had prayed for. They told me how God had listened to our prayers and each couple had their healthy baby despite the doctors giving them a slim to none chance! The favor of God continued to shine as I’ve been given the honors to speak to a Christian elementary school on a weekly basis as well as being guest to give a graduation speech. My ultimate goal here is to help the pastors plug into this school and help outreach to the parents whom many are not Christians. There is also an orphanage nearby who has opened up their doors for me to lead devotions at their staff meetings. The kids there are so precious, despite their lack, they never stop giving their smiles and hugs!

The next three weeks I’ll be in the trenches helping to plant a church in Bicol, Philippines. I’m guessing the trip there is going to take most of the day. Last year’s SOS (Summer of Service) church plants were a great success here in Mindoro. Those two churches are still operating well and many passionate people for the Lord are being discipled.  My favorite story from last year’s SOS was about when God helped us lead a quack doctor and his apprentice to the Lord. He told us a few days after his conversion that he’d quit his practice as a quack doctor and become a fisherman. To this day, he is fulfilling his dream as a fisherman in the Visayas region.

 

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People help each other after the Hurricane

This missionary survived a hurricane, and saw the hand of God in the midst of tragedy. Life can throw us unexpected storms, and that’s exactly what happened just before Christmas when a typhoon (aka hurricane) hit our town in Mindoro Philippines. This is the second time I’ve witnessed what the power of the winds can do here, but this time our city of Calapan was in the middle of it. The pastors and their families here are safe in Calapan, but one of the church roofs got torn off. To the south in Pinamalayan one of the pastor’s house/church was really torn apart but the family escaped with their lives. The AG here in the Philippines gave them all the support needed to fix up the church and house. Big trees were down everywhere including besides my place. Thank God the tree went the right direction and not into my bedroom as it was a huge tree. We spent a lot of time without power and to this day some still don’t have electricity in Naujan Mindoro. Despite all the destruction, we have all been protected by God’s hand. The things of ours that we have lost have been replaced with better than before. God is good!

In the city of Baco outside of Calapan; we had a landslide of rocks and boulders. The cause of the landslide was a mix of both illegal mining and the storm. Nobody was killed, because we all knew the storm was coming. To my amazement nothing was mentioned on the news about Baco. My friends all tell me it’s because of the illegal mining that was going on. That is also the location of some Mangyan tribe. The tribe is exactly that, a native looking people who are very poor and live off the land. My dirt bike friends were inspired to help them out. So we all pitched in together to provide them with food. There was a leader in that area we got connected with to help organize the distribution.

Most of the crops were destroyed by the storm, so we wanted to help with their greatest need. Our skills were put to good use riding off road going places where no other vehicle could go to deliver goods. This may seem like a little thing, but it has really inspired me in seeing the ‘average Juan’ helping out complete strangers. How much more should God’s people being willing to help in a time of crisis? We don’t have to be ministers to reflect the image of God. Maybe you too have experienced a storm in your life or know somebody who is going through one. That is the moment to take action to pray and be the conduit of God. It’s even said that people are more likely to change religion in those critical moments of life: having a baby, getting married, depression, drugs, or other emotional times of need.

Into the New Year I’ve got the chance to go preach with a friend of mine in Ibajay Aklan. It did take a couple boat rides to get there. The Lord really moved as we duel preached the service with complimenting messages on ‘Intimacy with God’. After the service we ministered to the people with prayer. There was one lady who was so eager for prayer. She quickly came up to me for prayer. It was briefly translated to me what was going on with her. But she mentioned her head, hands, feet, and stomach. Glory to God as the power of His Kingdom blew through her! She would have hit the floor had I not been holding her hand. As she stood up, everything was healed and she testified to the church in her language what God had done!

Since then I have not been content with only doing part time ministry and full time studies. Studying the language as well as seminary classes is a real headache, but I don’t feel alive unless God is using me to change lives. I’m asking Him for wisdom on how to use my time. It’s hectic trying to speak to a people who can barely understand, but I’m praying for more open doors with English speaking people in this area. Glory to God because He has done just that! There is an open door for me to speak in a Christian school regularly to upper class students who have nothing to do with church. I’ve been told that their parents tell them to forget the religious side of the teachings. Then was asked to come and minister to them at a personal level, as our God is a personal God who wants a relationship with each of us. I plan to help counsel and pray for them as God leads. Continue also to be praying for the school and I to really win them for Christ and His glory!

Doctor says No but Jesus says Yes!

Things look pretty crazy when our focus is on the TV’s news or browsing Facebook feeds. But there is a place of security that can be found within from God. For me personally, I’ve faced the craziness of all the bad things going on in the world, and it usually makes me upset thinking about politics and global terrorism. We can’t let that be our sole focus or we’re letting the enemy win by putting us into a state of fear and anger.

As you’re beloved missionary, I’m not here to say don’t talk about politics, but lets make real change by being the change. Posting about politics because we’re angry won’t fix anything. But teaching our congregations, families, and friends to vote for those who lead righteous lives with good morals well. But this email isn’t about politics at all, it’s about refocusing our thoughts on Jesus and being thankful for everything the Lord has given. Thankfulness is the most underrated quality I’ve ever come across. It has the power to break people from depression, and the ability to spark revival within the human soul.

Living so far from all my family and friends has taught me to have this thankfulness that I’m speaking of. Honestly, it didn’t come easy. Though, I am grateful for the memories I’ve shared with you all and the messages that I received on my birthday last week. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be your spokesmen to preach the Gospel where it’s not been preached! I’m thankful having the opportunity to see a baby worship God! I’m thankful to God for sending us another missionary family to help us do the work God has called us to do here in Mindoro!

God continues to grow the churches and each of us missionaries and pastors. My language studies are going well. I’m at that stage where I understand a handful of words but not the whole context. It’s confusing to say the least! I also want to say congratulations to Bryan and Jennifer who just had their baby boy! The doctors gave them little hope, but they believed in getting a second opinion from another Doctor from above. They had me and others pray for them just over 9 months ago. God is above any bad report you get from your doctor!

Have a blessed Thanks Giving and know that many are expecting great things out of you all! I for one am praying you will be the best you possible!

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