Updates

 

 

 

 

Workers for the harvest ministries

 The primary mission of Workers for the Harvest is evangelism and church planting.  In order to make these things possible, other concurrent needs had to be addressed.  We now have a Children’s Home for destitute and displaced children and the Pastor’s Training School for preparing leaders for churches in remote areas; we have twenty church plants and thirteen indigenous churches that associate with our organization to promote the Great Commission. We conduct constant fellowships, seminars, and evangelism/discipleship efforts using a variety of methods.

Philippine children’s home

(Progress report)

In January of 2004 we had fourteen children at the Home, but we still had a variety of needs from screens on the windows, to sinks in the bathrooms; from kitchen tables to utensils for the children to sit down and eat their meals.

Today we have the screens on the windows to keep out the mosquitoes that carry the Dengue Fever and sinks for the children to wash.  We also have a simple plastic table so the children can eat together like a family.  In fact, now we have twenty-two beautiful children who are benefiting from the Bible teaching, tutoring, room and board, and a chance to live and attend school in safety.  Many of them had never been to school before, but with the help of our educational director four of those children received scholastic awards at school this year.

We have been praying for funds to build our own church, purchase a truck big enough to transport all the children at once in case of emergency, and also for fellowships and praise and worship meetings.  We also have needed our own keyboard and sound system these past two years.  Praise the Lord! All our prayers have been beautifully answered.  This week we began construction of our outdoor meeting area/ basketball court, where we will be able to hold worship services as well as seminars, such as the ones conducted by Professor Essex and his seminary graduates from the Master’s Seminary this past summer.  This very week we have received checks for the full amount necessary for both the truck (jeep) and the sound system. 

Our current prayer request is for funds to build a dormitory for boys.  We would not have to rebuild most of the facilities in the main house like the main meeting room and kitchen.  We just need a big dorm room with bathrooms at one end.  This will enable us to more than double the number of children we can help!

Pastor’s training school

One of the great difficulties of evangelism and church planting in very poor remote areas is the difficulty of raising up church leaders.  The biggest single problem is that many of those who follow Christ and seek discipleship are unable to read.  For this reason, developing a church with solid structure and capable leadership is a very slow process.

Our front line in attacking this problem is a Pastor’s Training School.  We take those young Christians who are literate and committed to serving God in leading a Great Commission Church-we take them into our school at no cost to them.  We teach and prepare them daily with in depth curriculum and practical application for two years and return them to their villages to serve the church there.  We currently have sixteen students in training.

Church planting

We now have twenty little churches in rural and remote areas in the Northern Philippines.  Our newest church plant is still meeting in a home, but they have fourteen new converts who were baptized back in May and ten more new converts who are waiting for the typhoon swollen rivers to go down so they can be baptized, too.

I am planning a trip into a remote, and somewhat hostile, area where we have lost contact with the church.  It is deep in NPA controlled Quezon Province.  My own dear Vice President of Workers for the Harvest planted a church there ten years ago.  Hostility to Christians, and especially pastors and missionaries, has inhibited contact these ten years.  In the summer of 2005, I plan to hike right in there and check to see if that church still exists, and what they need.  I hope you will all be praying for me and my team of two indigenous pastors.

 “Go and make disciples…”

In the Great Commission Christ commanded us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…”  As I have already mentioned, it can be very hard to teach people what Christ has commanded us when they cannot read the Bible.  After three years of prayer and study, these are the approaches we will use to raise disciples among the pre-literate (these are future projects):

1.  Radio Ministries-  I have prayed for years about a radio ministry, and we were about to create our own.  On my trip in July I discovered that the FEBC (Far East Broadcasting Corporation) had already built a station and secured a tower and transmitter in the area where we needed them.  They are currently developing gospel and discipleship broadcasts in the small tribal languages of the various mountain people.  Our part in this wonderful ministry will be to carry the radios to the remote villages and distribute preset radios.

2.  Tape Ministries-  While there are gospel messages on tape in many languages, it is almost impossible to find them in the small mountain languages.  We will take theologically sound tapes and translate them ourselves if we are unable to find an existing alternative.  Again, we will hike these tape players in ourselves when we are prepared.

3.  Scripture in Song-  It worked with your ABC’s.  Song is a powerful learning tool.  We will set the Scriptures to song and teach them to the children so they can begin learning the Bible immediately, whether we are able to give them the gift of literacy or not.

4.  Literacy Training-  A.  We are endeavoring to find indigenous Christians that are willing to live in difficult remote areas without comfort or electricity and teach natives how to read the Bible.  We hope to set up in a “hub” village so people can come from neighboring villages as well.  The only payment we ask is for those who learn to read to share their ability in their village.

 5.  Literacy Training- B.  We hope to recruit missions minded teachers from the USA willing to go and live in these difficult remote areas and teach Scripture, Theology, Literacy, and Evangelism.

 Relief Ministries

In addition to the ministries listed we are regularly involved in relief ministries that foster good will and open people to our message of hope.  We cannot come to their destitute village and tell them about the love of Jesus unless we are willing to show them an example.  Since 2001, I personally have been involved in food and clothing distribution in “squatter villages” among typhoon victims and to the very poor Christians in the mountain villages.  In our most recent efforts in this area, a women’s ministry at Calvary Community Church has donated 200 blankets!  Each child received one at our “Workers for the Harvest Children’s Home”, and each child received one at the “Good Shepherd Children’s Home.”  The remaining 166 blankets will be distributed by me and my team at Christmas time this year to the destitute farmers in the mountains.  Glory to God!