February 2015 Update

Logo Left ColumnFEBRUARY UPDATE 2015

Below is the February update for the ministry, including an update on my health, news from the Philippines church plant and how God can turn even cancer upside down to show us His grace. I hope you have had a good 2015 so far. Thank you so much for praying for and partnering with me.

Kids Shot

Going Away Party
The last letter I sent came from the Philippines, sharing about our Sidewalk Sunday School Christmas Party and how the kids and families were so blessed by it. I also shared about the baptisms and church Christmas party.

After I learned I had cancer and before I left for the states in mid-January, I told Joseph (the man I asked to pastor the church) that I would like to do a going-away party at church the last Sunday I would be there and use it as an evangelism outreach. I told him that I felt this cancer was a spiritual attack from the enemy and that it would be good to turn it back on him (or counter-attack) by using it for the Kingdom.

Joseph liked the idea, so we informed the church. It was an emotion-filled week, dealing with the many things that had to be done before leaving for a while and seeing so many people before departing.

We had been seeing the high 30s in church attendance in the short two months since the church had launched, and Joseph spread the word to those who had been attending about the “David-going-away-evangelism-outreach.”

Well, I arrived on Sunday morning and our little church space was packed with 73 people there for worship. A young lady named Faith who had been attending since the church launched led worship that day. It was her first time doing it there, and she did such a beautiful job. There was such a presence of God in the room as she and a full worship band led us all in praise and worship.

I preached that morning with Joseph interpreting, just to make sure everyone got the message clearly in their language. I preached the Gospel with everything in me, exhorting everyone to remember the Gospel, to guard the Gospel, to be committed to the Gospel even in hard times and to carry the Gospel to those who do not know Him.

“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel…” – 2 Timothy 2:8

At least 7 of the attendees received Jesus Christ that day, and the going-away party felt like a celebration…not a sad occasion. I prayed for Joseph and for the church. And if that was not enough, it turns out Faith, the new worship leader, is also an accountant. So God had sent Joseph someone to help him with keeping the church financial books organized and accountable.

Joseph and the church prayed for me as well, and though my relationship with the church will continue on, it felt like I completely gave up the steering wheel that day. (As if I ever had it. I think God drove this car from the beginning!) The keys were completely in the hands of a great pastor and capable leaders surrounding Him.

God gave me such a gift that day, as I got to see how HE had put so many pieces into place in such a short amount of time. I felt like I had been a spectator to a miracle.

I was overwhelmed as I reflected that day on what has happened. From the ashes of a dream that seemed burned to the ground in August when my team fell apart, God had raised a brand new church. The new church launched in November with 30-plus people, and in two months, God had already put leaders and helpers in place and had filled the room up with more than 70 attendees and with several new people receiving Him as Savior and Lord.

I honestly had the concern about whether or not that 70-plus attendees and fruit from that day would continue. I thought, “Perhaps it was just because of the evangelism outreach and a special occasion.” But Joseph said they still had over 70 people in church just a Sunday or two ago—more than 3 weeks after my departure! They have continued the work with a fruitful Valentine’s Day outreach and Joseph has instituted fresh and big vision for the church.

Amazing grace.

I’m so grateful for you. You stood by me and the vision God had given us, both in your prayers and in your partnership, when I first left to go to Asia and even when things fell apart and I was all alone in that city. And we got to watch Jesus build His Church. I hope you have felt as much a part of it in these updates as you are. And I’m so grateful for the miracles we got to see God do together.

As soon as I returned home I had surgery to remove my thyroid, and just this week, I finished radiation treatment as the cancer had spread some and they felt they could get it all with a radioactive iodine treatment. I went for a scan today, and if it reveals a successful treatment, I hope to be cancer free. I’m pretty sick right now with no thyroid, but hopefully by next week, I will start the replacement medicine for that and begin to regain my strength in the coming few weeks. Thank you again for your ongoing prayers and support. Lord willing, I’ll update you again in March as I regain strength and health and look to the rest of this year.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:20-21

– David Gilliam


Worship Team

Church Folks


  1. David, we are so very proud of you, and we praise God that you followed the call to the field. The enemy is strong, but you faced his attack with grace and courage. God sees and will reward you for that. Indeed, God has already permitted you to see fruit from your labor. There are souls in the Kingdom today who would have perished had you been less than obedient.

    We pray daily for your swift recovery, and for the congregation to which you gave rise. May God return you to the field with renewed health and vigor! Blessings!

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    • Dear David, What wonderful news. One sows, one waters and God gives the increase. Your faithfulness is the soil in which He can work. We know, from personal experience, the joy there is when the fruit is there to see. God is working too in your body and He will give you the joy there too. He is a wonderful Lord and comforter. Great job to you, David, and we love you very much

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      • Thank you Pastor John and Mrs. Jean for reading and for the encouraging words. Appreciate you all and will see you soon.

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    • Thank you for reading RuthAnne and for the encouraging words. Praying you recover and heal quickly and hopefully get some rest before you head back out again.

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    • David.
      Am so encouraged with your love of serving others even in difficult times. This really shows that you follow and love your call. May the good Lord continue blessing you and the entire ministry.
      stay Blessed,
      James Mhango.

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      • Thank you James, Grateful for your encouraging words.

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  2. Wonderful news and awesome testimony of how He turns our ashes into beauty! Continue to pray for you with expectancy to see His mighty resurrection power raising you up and on to greater works! I have to ditto John and Jean’s comment and God’s word to you, “One sows, one waters and God gives the increase.” This is what I have prayed and declared several times over the good seed that you have planted. You have already witnessed this! We love and appreciate you!

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    • Dave and Carol, Thank you for you for your prayers and for reading and for the confirming and encouraging words. See you soon!

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      • Amazing! Wishing you well and praying for you David.

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  3. David,
    Your openness to allow God to work through you and in you is touching and inspiring to us all. God knew what he was doing when he placed you at the beginning of this church dream. We pray now that your body will continue to heal and strength be returned. We praise Him for the journey the church in Asia is on. Take care of yourself.

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    • Thanks for your note Meredith. Grateful for your prayers and the Fiscus family is doing well!

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  4. David, your stories are such and encouragement to all who read them. They are all witness to the great God we serve; how He works through so many different circumstances to build His church, and how people continue to glorify Him and enjoy His presence in the midst of those same circumstances. God bless you David. Let me know about lunch.

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    • Dr. Les, Appreciate your note and the kind words. Grateful for what He has done and look forward to seeing you soon.

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  5. Thank you, David, for your faithfulness to the people of the Phillipines. We pray for your health and know that God will continue to use you for His work. We hope to see you when you are feeling up to a visit.

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  6. Always continuing to pray for you, David. We may have cancer, but thanks be to God, it doesn’t have us.

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  7. David, Andy Smith is our Pastor and our whole church has prayed for your healing and your ministry. What a great thing the Lord is doing with your healing! We hope you can visit our church some day soon. Thank you for the ministry in the Philippines.

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