From Pastor Chito B. Mendizabal, Field Director – EBI-PAMI Philippines
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him.” 2 Cor. 2:14
Praise God for His abundant mercy and grace that we may become an aroma, spreading the fragrance of Christ to all people. Thanks be to God, just recently, we’ve been a conduit of His grace, extending hands to a pastor [William Thompson] and family in their great ordeals – from hospital needs to arranging things at home (wife died from Heart Attack after 3 days aggressive interventions in the ICU). Some EBI students stayed with the family to help in the cooking, arranging of Bible study every night for 7 days, ushered guests; We too help in processing papers of insurance; preached at their Sunday service and officiated the necrological service. While we were at the hospital, we’re able to minister too to other patients (4 other rooms) mostly Christians (Divine appointment?) praying and helping. And you had great part in those ministries of serving, because of your financial help and your constant intercessions for us.
Many people are coming to the knowledge of Christ through the Gospel film showing at different barangays. Thank God for our partnership with Faith Comes By Hearing and its program: The End to End Program of Acclaimer – Proclaimer – Bible approach to evangelism and discipleship.
An eventual result of that program is our Emmaus Christian Church “VIRTUES SMALL GROUPS.” That every people in our church, whether members, workers, sympathizers and new contacts will be a part of a small group. Establishing a house church based on geographical groupings of people, we’re able to set up 14 house churches with attending members ranging from 8-15, each with leader facilitator and an assistant leader. Large numbers of attendees are from Compassion parents. Neighbors became interested too and joined in the small groups. We are using the Audio Bible in our Bible studies. Every small group is named after biblical virtues such as: Love Small Group, Humility SG, Meekness SG, Gentleness Small Group… Now, each small group is busy preparing for our Christmas/Thanksgiving program this coming December 19th; practicing song numbers, drama, skit and preparing too for a menu or two as food contributions.
We’ve been blessed too, to work with local sponsors in their feeding program to about a hundred children in a slum area of the city. They provided the venue and food, we help in caring for the children by teaching and showing them the love of God. And the joy of opening too for their parents for Bible study.
God opens an opportunity for us too to work with the Body Ministry. I was invited for a provincial pastoral gathering and was elected as members of the Provincial Pastoral Council and secretary of the City Council of Pastors. Wider service opportunities are provided like: Provincial Youth Camp, The Celebration of Hope, Will Graham (we’re selected as lecturers in the preparation of the event on April 2011), Christian Growth Ministries seminar held at EBI and books giving, Working with the YWAM, partnering with VOICE public school teaching of values and the recent ministry to the men in uniforms (policemen and traffic enforcer) as lecturers.
Still there are lots of on-going ministries with tremendous impact to bigger number of people like the radio ministries. Good Morning Allen (hosted by Pastor Randy Rivera in Allen, Northern Samar) which covers not only in Samar but also many towns of Sorsogon facing Samar like Matnog Bulusan, Irosin, Sta Magdalena and even Casiguran. In fact, listeners from Casiguran are now Bible studies of Pastor Rafael when Pastor Randy endorsed them to Pastor Rafael. Pastor Gumer has radio program too, but temporarily stopped because of higher charge rate, from P1200 monthly 30 minutes per week to P2000 for the same airtime. Radio ministry is very effective for finding new contacts for Bible studies.
On a weekly basis, about 1000 children are being ministered by all PAMI churches and outreaches. Ministries which meant teaching God’s Words, feeding with milk and other nutrient foods; receiving boxes of FMSC in past months were great help to augment our feeding here. Children liked the taste of the rice/chicken meal, and its high nutrient contents which is hard to afford by many poor families in our place.
We deeply appreciate too, other expressions of love like giving of goodies and clothes. If you could just see the happy faces of both parents and children who received those gifts; might not be so valuable in your place but receive as treasure in some poor village here in our place.
Many other good things that God is doing here include the Bulan church continued growth both in church spiritual growth and in improvement of facilities. A sister who owns the church lot in MonteCal PAMI church donated the lot to the mission.
The same thing happened in Castilla church; the owner transferred the title to PAMI mission. And now, construction of church building (worth $9300) is going on financed by a Korean mission as a grant.
Much more to mention considering that we have more churches to go such as Casiguran, Donsol, Bulusan, and the newer San Isidro and Calbayog…through constant communication with them, they’re all well as far as reaching out people, fulfilling the great commission of Christ. I will report more of them in details before the year ends.
In the course of our spiritual mission/journey, however, the road isn’t altogether smooth. Like in our place of rough roads and rugged terrain; we experienced too some low points like illness, bit friction, loneliness, death of loved ones and other discouraging circumstances; Nevertheless, realization always comes that indeed “in all things God works for our good,” primarily His way of building our character; stretching our faith and molding us in the likeness of His Son.
I would like to further note the positive response of Irosin PAMI church to the CHURCH WEANING PROGRAM. They are hopeful and expectant to becoming a self-propagating/self-supporting church. This is a very good precedence in presenting the program to other churches, hopefully, by God’s grace. Knowing that supporting their pastor or other church expenses means helping the mission in the furtherance of the gospel to other areas.
Finally, our deepest appreciation to all of you beloved and so faithful partners in God’s mission for so long a time; our inspirations… our encouragers… we’re so blessed to have friends who love at all times and brothers even in times of adversity.
GOD IS NOT UNJUST; HE WILL NOT FORGET YOUR WORK AND THE LOVE YOU HAVE SHOWN HIM AS YOU HAVE HELPED HIS PEOPLE AND CONTINUE TO HELP THEM. (Heb 6:10)
GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU AND FAMILY SO JOYFUL CHRISTMAS AND MORE BOUNTIFUL YEARS IN CHRIST JESUS!
We love you in Christ,
In behalf of PAMI Philippines: pastors, workers, families, friends, members
Pastor Chito B. Mendizabal
November 30, 2010