We all began working in the youth ministry there together. After graduation, David continued on in pursuit of his Ph.D. degree and eventually began in teaching ministry in the Philippines along with some terms as a pastor back in the U.S. Now, as Trina had read, he had come back to the Philippines as education coordinator. Trina began to be impressed that I needed to reach out to David to see if there was ever a need for teachers to come from the U.S. to help out in the ministry in the Philippines. The timing seemed exactly right, and David’s response was very positive. We began corresponding and planning over a period of months, which culminated with me getting to be on the ground in the Philippines from July 5-15. Mark Strickland was also able
to come at this time, which provided something of a homecoming for him as he had spent a semester studying there during seminary. It seemed God’s wisdom to multiply our efforts while there, and so David coordinated for us to minister in different parts of the Philippines over the course of this week and a half. Mark went to some of most remote areas in the eastern part of the Philippines, near Leyte Gulf, teaching pastors in some of the most rural areas and also preaching in these churches. He was affectionately nicknamed “MacArthur,” because they said, “you must return and come again!” Mark also had enormous response his second week of ministry teaching and preaching a revival at the Visayan Nazarene Bible College on the island of Cebu.
While Mark was ministering on these islands, I was mostly in two locations. For two days I was at Philippine Nazarene College in the high country of Baguio City. There we received amazing response from the Bible college students and faculty and area pastors who came in for a day of special seminars on evangelism. My other days were invested with the pastors and churches of Metro Manila, the capital city and one of the most densely populated cities in the world. There are 80 Nazarene churches in this district of Metro Manila, and my time was spent in pastoral training and preaching in several of the Metro Manila churches. This was not only a time of incredible harvest and response to the truth of God’s Word, but also a time of significant sowing of seeds for the possibility of ongoing relationship.
The District Superintendent of the Metro Manila District, whose church I preached at on a Sunday morning, wants to make plans for me to come next year for a city-wide revival with all 80 Nazarene churches in Manila. He would like to use this same trip to conduct a PALCON (Pastors and Leadership Conference) for more training of pastors while I am there. I have to confess that my trip to the Philippines was the most physically demanding international trip I have ever made, and I am only weeks later beginning to recover. But I was so encouraged by what God did, and remain open for these further possibilities of running alongside of these people.
Running together in Christ,