We are currently in the Philippines and return to Toowoomba on 20th October. We are carrying on the GLO work previously done by Bruce and Angela Jenyns in Catbalogan on the island of Samar. Our plan is to continue coming here for two months and return for two months, three times a year. Whilst the travel gets a little tiring, it is good for the development of the Christians here as it allows them to grow without the constant presence of Westerners.
We now remember the Lord in nine different locations and have significant outreaches in three more places. There is a steady growth in our churches, but we suffer badly as the Catholic Church is very opposed and often has been able to stop normal privileges like immunisation to people who join us. The new President is favourable to evangelical churches and this is good. Developing teachers and elders here is a constant matter for prayer as we know the value of local teachers. Last May, Eugene and Meann De Luna, a couple who came down from Manila in the original church plant in 2009, returned here on a full-time basis, and this has been a big help and an answer to prayer. They had a new baby in September. As medical facilities are poor here, we have done many trips to Tacloban (two hours away). The Lord was over all and, despite a Caesarean section, all went well.
The people here are poor and have nothing to fall back on in times of bad health, and employment is very hard to find. Despite this we are constantly challenged by the faith that many of the Christians have — many are giving their own time freely to travel to other places to teach the Bible. We continue to help in teaching and shepherding the believers, as well as facilitating the movements between churches of teachers, often on boats. Libby is working with the women in sewing and crochet, so their craft can be income-producing.
It is tiring and often stressful working in another culture, but we are thankful for the experience and we are learning from it.