INVESTING IN PEOPLE
I wanted to share with you the difference you are making in peoples’ lives. Every email or note you send to encourage us, every prayer you pray and every financial partnership you have sown into our work here is an investment in real peoples’ lives.
God’s grace has enabled three churches and a school of ministry to be planted in a network together in the Philippines. But certainly buildings and outreaches and programs and equipping methods are not the point. People are the point. Here are some ways you are impacting people in Asia.
INVESTING IN FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT
Though poverty is a big issue in the Philippines, one of our churches seems to have an even more urgent situation when it comes to financial and material need. Most of the members of this church live in small wooden shacks, and many of them struggle with the skills to manage their lives well and in finding the resources to take care of the needs of their families.
One of Encounter Generation’s core values is empowerment. We want to empower people to fulfill their life’s potential before God. Thanks to you, we have been able to provide around 7 or 8 families with a small loan (around $100) to start a small business. Most of them are starting businesses that sell street food, a common business here using something like a food cart. They will pay it back in small increments as they are able, and that money will hopefully help someone else start one as well. So, they pay it forward.
Before investigating any potential partnership with an organization who specializes in this type of thing or doing anything on a large scale, we wanted to do it ourselves. So we have invested in members from this one church to try a test run for how this might work. We are doing our best to separate it from the church, so that it is not directly associated with or run by the church. It functions on its own with a business woman overseeing it, though she is accountable to us. Please pray for its success. It has potential to empower the people to better provide for their families. This is a way you are impacting peoples’ lives.
INVESTING IN CHILDREN
As we have reported in other letters, every week we are in one of our church’s communities holding Sidewalk Sunday School programs for children. Another of Encounter Generation’s core values is being Gospel-Centered. In other words, in everything we do, we want to point people to Jesus, Who He is, what He has done and how the Gospel transforms all of life.
Certainly, one of the Gospel’s impacts is on our character and how we live life. So our Kids in Christ’s Kingdom (K.I.C.K.ers) team constantly teaches the children the Gospel, who Jesus is and what He has done, while also teaching them that following Him leads to a transformed life. We teach them Biblical values, principles and character that will help them in all of life. We do this while having a lot of fun and feeding the kids a great meal, many of whom are from very impoverished households. This is how you are impacting peoples’ lives.
INVESTING IN LEADERS
John Maxwell, one of the world’s leading experts on leadership says this: “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” One of Encounter Generation’s core values is creating a culture of Multiplication through equipping and empowering leaders. In fact, our mission statement is “to reach those far from God with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to make disciples who make disciples, to equip leaders who equip leaders and to plant churches that plant churches for the glory of God among all nations.”
So we take equipping and empowering leaders very seriously. Through intentional discipleship, meetings with core leaders, individual mentoring, providing resources to them and through the School of Ministry, we constantly invest in leaders. Encouraging and supporting them. Training them. Mentoring them. Empowering them in their calling, gifts and passion.
We have a monthly meeting where all the core leaders from the three churches gather together for worship, teaching and fellowship. The first meeting in November was a beautiful time of unity and fellowship, prayer, worship, and time in God’s Word. Probably around 20 leaders gathered, including 6 current or future pastors sitting together on one row. It was an eye-opening thing to see what God has done to put this group in position to continue to multiply, grow and reach out to people around them.
Investing in leaders is another way you are impacting peoples’ lives. Not just the leaders, but the people they will lead as well.
INDIA AND ANNIVERSARIES
The church in Trece Martirez celebrated their 3rd anniversary this month, and the church we planted last year, Tagaytay City, celebrates its 1st anniversary on November 22. Hard to believe it has been a year. All three churches come together for these anniversaries. And I am preaching at each one. It’s a great time to secure our foundation in Jesus Christ and our one hope in the Gospel we profess.
Also, I will be heading to India in early December for two weeks to teach groups of leaders there. God willing, I will teach on making disciples who make disciples, creating a culture of multiplication within a church and on several leadership principles. Please pray for that upcoming trip.
You are making an impact on peoples’ lives for the glory of God. I know you are doing it where you live back home. I also know you are doing it in Asia as you have partnered with us here. On behalf of Encounter Generation and the churches in the Philippines, we honor you for that. Thank you so much.
– David Gilliam
Encounter Generation, Inc.
P.O. Box 523
Marion, VA 24354
This is a picture of the Capitol City Disciples Church building in Trece Martirez, after the anniversary service. A lot has been done to remodel this place, and it now looks, feels and functions exponentially better. The people are really thankful and excited for a good place to gather for worship, study, fellowship and ministry. We also hold the School of Ministry here.