Being back in the Philippines have been nothing short of spectacular! In the short time back, we have seen many come to know Christ, two churches get planted and many people get healed!
The two (Summer of Service) SOS church plants were a success, and the grand opening services each had about 40+ people who attended to hear the pioneering pastor preach! I stayed nearly two weeks Naujan, Mindoro and then just over a week in Victoria, Mindoro. Both churches now have a core group of members who have been water baptized, and are already serving God! It was such a great time to partner with these local pastors, and help to evangelize their towns!
I got to witness to many professionals including the police station, fire station, and influential homes. Being small towns, we had all agreed to win over the people of influence. The first time I had meet the chief of police, I didn’t even think he liked my testimonies, or me but when I was out eating lunch the next day…he had paid for all of my teams meals then left before we realized what happened! Then later that day I introduced the pioneering pastor to the chief of police, only to watch as they both bowed their heads to pray to Jesus in the police station’s main hall!
The fire marshal was another man who appeared to only be mocking me as I asked him if I could pray for him. He brought up that drinking of alcohol had messed up his stomach with some sort of sickness, and that he still continues to drink. He chuckled after he told me that he still drinks. I told the marshal, “that despite your disobedience to God, that God would still heal you”. That it would be ‘the kindness of the Lord, that leads him to repentance’. The fire marshal was speechless after prayer and was nearly in tears. All who were there witnessed a radical change in his countenance! I believe God healed him, but personally didn’t get the chance to visit him again. The pioneering pastor was later given a chance to have a bible study right there in the fire station!
The next story really blew me away as I was caught off guard when a quack doctor came to pray for the woman we were praying for! This lady would see a demon every Tuesday morning, so I was sure to bring the team there at that time. We prayed the night before, and as far as I know she has not seen the demon anymore! While we were there, her quack doctor had arrived. I didn’t know how else to gently preach to him and his apprentice other than to use the Scripture. I first asked him if he believes the Word of God, and once he said yes, I knew it would pierce his heart. I read from the OT that talks about how those who practice such things were stoned to death, and immediately the young apprentice’s face became angry. They appeared to go through the motions of accepting Jesus as Lord of their life, but I wasn’t convinced, as it’s their culture to not offend others. Many times people say ‘yes’ but really don’t mean anything by it. The real change happened when we visited their home.
The young apprentice invited us over to pray for his father who had suffered from a stroke. On our arrival they were both there and witnessed the power of God heal his father from his serious pain. We all watched as the first time in years the father had stood up without pain! He still needed assistance and much prayer, but was making great progress. The ex-quack doctor later said he was quitting his practice, and becoming a fisherman! To me that sounded very prophetic, and now time will tell! The Word of God truly doesn’t return void! Even when we think the Word won’t be received, say it anyways.
(Update 2016: The ex-quack doctor did indeed become a fisherman to Visayas region a year later! All glory belongs to God!)
God kept doing radical miracles and it’s all because of your willingness to send forth missionaries where the Gospel had not yet been preached! Let us all continue to do our part to fulfill the great commission! I am so blessed by each of your lives and praying for you all! I’ve had many struggles since being back, but my focus is truly only on the good things. Do be praying for my housing situation and my safety as I travel my motorcycle to all the other pastors on the island. It’s a spiritual battle here, but we are on the winning team!