OCTOBER UPDATE 2015
Thank you so much for praying for and partnering with me as I have been making the transition back into life in the Philippines since returning in mid-August. I apologize that it has been a while since the last update. I have been swamped since I arrived, but in a good way. Below is part of what has been happening with several pictures and a short update.
NEW CHURCH PLANT
In the last letter, I mentioned having the new location in mind for a new church plant. When we planted the church last year in Tagaytay City, God also gave us some people from another community called Alfonso, about 30 minutes away. So I remember feeling strongly from the start that God was already working to eventually birth the next church in Alfonso. Joseph and I talked about that, and he agreed.
Before returning here in August, it was in my mind that we might try to plant the next church in the Alfonso community next year sometime. But when I arrived, it was clear that the Alfonso people were ready. So, in the month and a half since I returned, we have planned, built a new church building and planted a new church in Alfonso. Here are some pictures of the new building and the first service that happened October 4 for the brand new church, City Disciples of Alfonso.
Joseph Maraon (left) , my partner in these endeavors is pastoring both the new Alfonso church and last year’s plant, the Tagaytay church. Joselyn, his wife is next to him. Then, Dion, is pastor of the Trece Martirez church that Joseph was pastoring when I first arrived last year before we decided to work together. Eiya is at the right, and she is a good friend in the Alfonso church.
SIDEWALK SUNDAY SCHOOL (K.I.C.K.)
I wanted to restart the Sidewalk Sunday School program we had done last year and wanted to expand it to multiple places. We ended up choosing Trece Martirez and Alfonso to do the program since we did it in Tagaytay last year. I wanted to appoint two young ladies who are students in the School of Ministry to be the Regional Coordinators of the whole outreach, and they happily accepted. Their names are Joy and Dang. They are great with kids, and their gifts and personalities work well together.
We do this outreach every Saturday, alternating between Alfonso and Trece. The mission reaches around 50 to 70 kids at either location each week. Joy and Dang are required to assemble a team to do this every week, and they are doing a terrific job, sharing the Gospel, singing songs, doing crafts, games, skits and a putting together a healthy, inexpensive meal for many kids who do not have much. Above is a picture of Dang and Joy (both in red) with some of their youth volunteers in the Sidewalk Sunday School program we call K.I.C.K.ers (Kids in Christ’s Kingdom).
TRECE MARTIREZ REMODELING
The Trece Martirez Church had terrible roof problems, and desperately needed a place to minister to the kids on Sunday mornings. So we built an extension onto the building for the kids and are getting ready to replace the roof. They are so excited for this new area designated for the kids. This picture is construction stage. The picture below is of youth from the Trece church. They helped build the kids’ room.
SCHOOL OF MINISTRY
The School of Ministry is back in full gear, equipping the pastors and leaders with Biblical, Theological and Ministry Training in a practical way. Everyone says they are learning a lot. We hope to graduate this first group in April or May.
The Tagaytay City Church that we planted last year was a concern. How would they respond to having half the congregation pulled away to plant in Alfonso? They have responded amazingly. They are excited to stand on their own, are taking ownership of it, inviting people to church, reaching out and even sharing the Gospel and making disciples. I was worried about how they would do, but this is Jesus’ church, and He has them ready to move forward on their own while Alfonso starts on their own as well.
I seem to find myself in the middle of all of it, one way or another. It is humbling and exciting, and I am learning a lot as I go. I spend much of my time mentoring and coaching the pastors and leaders in the School of Ministry, over lunches and along the way. That seems to be much of my role now and what God wants me doing. I do a lot of teaching, writing, visiting, organizing, budgeting, vision casting, planning and coaching. And I enjoy it and love these people I get to serve…though I miss you all. More in the next letter. Love you all and grateful for you. Please pray for these churches and outreaches, including their pastors and leaders. Pray for me for wisdom. Pray for my strength and health.
As you can see, we are doing a lot of ministry and building. If you would like to be part of this, we sure appreciate your prayers and your financial partnership. I hope you feel as much a part of this as you are! You can send tax-deductible donations to:
Encounter Generation, Inc.
P.O. Box 523
Marion, VA 24354
Or Give on This Website on the Give Tab Above
Thank you! – David Gilliam