“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that youmay abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
A little over two weeks ago, Rosemary and I returned from the Philippines. We spent two weeks in Samar with Doorway to Hope and worked on the new beginning of Cornerstone School of Ministry. Your prayers were greatly appreciated. All went smoothly with God’s hand directing our journey. Here are three moments that stood out the most to us.
1. Celebrating in Baptism: The Doorway to Hope compound welcomed Rosemary back with great joy. A few days later I was able to join the reunion and on our first Sunday the church met out on a beach for an all church celebration. A feast was prepared, Rosemary preached, and six people were baptized in the ocean on that beautiful day. Smiles all around, and a beautiful place to relax with the family of God. The sacrifice of these people to bring the message of the Gospel to their community is evident in all they do. They find strength in each other as part of the body of Christ, dream big, and follow where God leads. We never tire of seeing the joy in children’s ministry, home bible studies, youth playing the guitar to lead worship with all of their might, and testimonies of broken people giving glory to God for how He has restored them. These are but a few of the meaningful memories we bring back with us. God is at work.
2. Expanding our Territory: Many of you know we went hunting for a piece of land on this trip. We have been on our compound for over four years and are outgrowing the limited space we rent. Our long term vision has been to purchase land and build a large multi-purpose building that will house the church and outreach ministries. I felt like we were on an episode of House Hunters. We saw three potential properties, weighed the pros and cons of each, and eventually came to the conclusion that none of them were suitable for our needs. Limited road access, owners not having proper land deeds, and other glitches ended our search for now. The hunt is still on and we are praying for the right piece of property to become available. We are amazed at all the people who are looking for us, even people who are not part of our church. God is at work.
3. Humility in Leadership: Cornerstone School of Ministry, a Bible college for Christian leaders, has been a dream for many years. On Samar there are many Pastors who have never had the opportunity to attend a Bible college. This school will offer modular style classes with students receiving a class syllabus and reading materials each month. They will work independently from home and meet every other week in class to turn in assignments and discuss application of the materials they are studying. Cornerstone is partnering with the International School of Bible Theology who currently have schools in 100 countries and are based here in the U.S. We are currently the only school in the Philippines and already see the potential for extension sites in the future. Our first class starts in October with 14-17 leaders committed to join the program.
A special praise for our school administrator, Pastor Mark Selgas, pictured here with Pastor Michael Aboganda. He is a graduate of ICBT and completed his Bachelor’s degree before the school he was attending had to close. One day Pastor Mark shared with me that he wants to contribute some of his own money to help some of the poorer pastors with the cost of their tuition. I assured him that we had donations available to help with tuition, but he looked at me and said he wanted to also have a part in contributing to the needs of the students. These words come from a Pastor who lives on very little and I found myself deeply moved by his passion for these Pastors. God is at work.
Thank you for the generous support you give to Crosswalk’s Faith Promise Missions program. Because of your gifts, you are extending the Gospel, and equipping Christian leaders on an island in the Philippines.
Rosemary and I plan to return in February. Let us know if you would like to be on our email list. We carry you with us every time we go!