Frank Klassen - Philippines Mission Trip 2012

Dear Immanuel family,

Blessings to you all in the Name of Jesus Christ, our Lord! Even in coming here, miracles have happened as answers to prayer. Our flight left 1/2 hour late, arrived 1/2 hour late, but the luggage took 2 hours to get, instead of the normal 30 minutes which meant being late for our flight to Legazpi City. Nathan Costes, the team lead from the Philippines texted all his pastor friends and prayer warriors that we needed a miracle to be able to get on the connecting flight in time. That's when things began to click. We were able to check in as a group - get a taxi van to the other terminal, check in 10 minutes after boarding time, get on the flight and arrive with all our luggage! The other miracle was the local weather in Legazpi City. Planes are not allowed to land if there is a cloud cover or rain and need to fly back to Manila. It was raining in the city, except for an opening in the clouds over and around the airport, allowing the pilot to land! The Christians that knew we were flying in were all praying that the Lord would allow the weather to permit the flight! All glory be to God - He's the one who makes the weather - nothing is impossible for Him!

After arriving in Legazpi City and getting to the Motel "Neuhaus Inn," we had lunch, our first meeting and then a meeting with 8 pastors from local churches. They decided to leave the 'teaming up' to the Lord and so all the names of our Canadian team were put on slips of paper and we prayed the prayer of Acts 1 that the Lord would match up the right individuals.

The pastor I am working with this week is Pastor Tony Nidea. He's also the provincial head of "The Bible League", the local equivalent of "The Canadian Bible Society." Currently he told me that he only works with a small House Group. Please pray for Pastor Tony and his wife so that the Lord will put them on fire for sharing the Gospel and discipling new believers. Our daily prayer is that the Lord will go before us to prepare the hearts of those that He wants us to meet and witness to, and that we would be sensitive to His leading so that the 'divine appointments' will take place according to His Will and we would be obedient to the Holy Spirit in all things, allowing Him to open hearts to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

At the service in a different church where I went with Nathan this morning, the Pastor spoke on 1 John 4:7ff Those of you who read 'Our Daily Bread' will have read 1 Samuel 3:1ff, and when I was asked to share, that's what the Spirit inspired me to share, using a guitar as part of the object lesson. When we are 'in tune' with God, we hear His voice! Only He can tune us, we can never tune ourselves. But it's not enough to be 'in tune,' we must also allow Him to play the instrument. Our purpose as Christians is not for ourselves, but to reach out to all those who have not yet received Jesus as their personal Savior! When we witness for Him, that's when we allow Him to play the instrument that we are in His hands!

I think often of you and pray for each one of you at Immanuel. I know that 'signs and wonders' (Acts 4) will happen if we ask for them in prayer and are obedient to everything the Lord is asking us to do!

May the Lord bless you and keep you, may He make His Face shine upon you and be gracious to you, may He lift up His Countenance upon you and give you His peace. AMEN

Please pray for Patrick Hsu, that the Lord will annoint him for his preaching, serving and studying. For Riad, that He would give her joy as she serves the Lord and His church. For Angel and Patrick Liu as they prepare for their missions trip to Uganda. For all involved in Alpha that all volunteers may be kept healthy and faithfully pray for the guests and especially also that the guests would be faithful in coming and that the Holy Spirit would open their hearts to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. For all of our Small Group Bible Studies, the leaders and those who come, that the message of the Gospel can be proclaimed clearly and that everyone will grow in their faith and commitment to Christ. For all in our church family who are ill or otherwise struggling, so that the Lord can show His Power through their weakness and receive all the glory. For the Board members, Elders and Deacons as they begin mentoring with one another. For revival in our church and community!

"Please also pray for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel!" Eph 6:19

Yours in Christ,



Feb 20, 2012

Dear co-labourers in God's vineyard!

It is unbelievably hot. Yesterday afternoon we had torrential rains. Today is just hot.

We can see the volcano from where we are. The food is a mix of western and Philippino. Yesterday I had blue merlin and for dinner chicken with an assortment of local delicacies I don't really recall except tiny limes that are really sour!

Today, Monday, I connected with Pastor Tony for prayers in the morning and witnessing in the afternoon. Thank you so much for your prayer support! We were privileged to lead 4 people to Christ this afternoon! Discipling begins tonight with 2 and on Wednesday with the other 2. This is in a very poor district outside the city where Pastor Tony is church planting. The poverty is extreme, but people are open to the Gospel and very friendly! The difference that accepting Jesus into their life makes is immediately apparent - the transformation is not just inside, but also radiates outside!

Finding an internet cafe is almost impossible here. This one is on our way back into town, so I won't make it long.

Please pray that the decisions become followers and disciples! Please pray that I can faithfully keep contact with you inspite of the challenges involved.

Please pray that more people will be led to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and especially that more volunteers from the churches will join us to keep the harvest going when we're gone! You are all in my prayers!

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!




Feb 21, 2012

To the Saints at Vancouver worshiping at Immanuel,

Our Daily Bread had quite a challenge for me this morning: "Am I a Slacker?" There's some pretty hard stuff in there, but if we take Luke 9:23 serious in daily taking up our cross, perhaps it helps us understand what Jesus meant?

Today I met Pastor Roy, with whom I will be working Thu, Fri, Sat and Sun. This afternoon was spent in another very poor district. Not even the motorcycle which brought me there was able to continue on the ever narrower muddy path winding through shabby huts with chickens, dogs, cats and other animals running around freely. My guide even took a wrong turn just before reaching the house where 5 adults and 7 children were waiting to hear the Gospel. 2 or 3 of the children had brought tattered Bibles, and when I asked if others also had a Bible, everyone went to get theirs! However, when I asked if they were sure to go to heaven if they were to die today, all of them said "No." Walking them through the 5 simple truths of Salvation is wonderful. All of them were eager to invite Jesus into their hearts and when I asked them if they knew they were going to heaven now, there was exuberance from all! Follow up and discipleship is the key, so an appointment was made, and I briefly explained what it means to live this new life in Christ (2 Co 5:17).

Yesterday when we did the first follow-up session in the evening (after I sent the update), more people were there than in the morning, and 2 of those accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour! Those words of Jesus about the harvest being ripe are so true, and I also believe it to be true for Vancouver.

The focus is on household evangelization and discipleship. Discovering this principle of the early church makes so much sense. Seeing it in action is inspiring! I hope that some of you might come on a future trip!

By the way, the traffic is somewhat chaotic, but I haven't seen any road rage yet! What's even more astounding, is that there is not a single traffic light in all the city or outlying districts!!! Hard for us to imagine, but it works - I haven't heard of a single accident recently, either!

Time to get some shut-eye. I'm so glad to have been able to share again with you!

Thank you so much for your prayers! Please pray for the new believers: Elmer Loferte, his daughter Ivy; Joanna, another daughter; Gene Carlo, his grandson; Alejandro Lita, Hermel Marano, his nephew; Thomas Marano; Juanito Malaca; Marilyn Aguarino; Gemma Mendoza; Marissa Ranola

Tomorrow will be more follow-up!

Blessings to you all,



Feb 22, 2012

Dear Believers in Christ,

"what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!"

The family of believers is growing by leaps and bounds here every day! This afternoon Pastor Tony and I had scheduled a follow up session from Monday. Alejandro was there, but Hermel got a job and wasn't working. Jobs are rare, sometimes only for a day or so. Pastor Tony will connect with him. However, 3 others were there, participated in the Bible Study, were presented with the Gospel and accepted Jesus into their hearts!!! They have all promised to come back next week for the next follow-up discipleship session. Let's pray that they be protected from the evil one and grow in their faith! Their names are: Orlando C. Espejon, Marites M. Marano, Lani M. Nocete. Praise the Lord for preparing the way and allowing them to be receptive to the Gospel!

Then we walked down the street to some relatives of Pastor Tony and led them to the Lord as well! Jessie Jacob (widow and mother), Jaycel (her daughter) and Allan (her son). Jaycel is in 1st year College studying computer sciences, but needs a job now, so we prayed for her that the Lord would give her a good job. Her brother, Allan, is a security agent.

Others on our team help the pastors and volunteers they work with go wherever they lead. Yesterday, Gertrude was at the garbage dump, where a number of scavengers look for anything they can salvage and possibly fix and/or sell. Together with Pastor Noel, she led a group of them to Christ. Part of the required training for police officers is working through "The Purpose Driven Life," but that doesn't make them Christians. Ben and Pastor June were able to speak to 2 groups of policemen, share the Gospel and lead many to faith in Jesus. They will be followed up in weekly Bible Studies!

Everyone needs Jesus. What I'm learning is that preparation in prayer is essential. Experience has shown that going door-to-door without the necessary prayerful preparation yields no results and only frustration. When we ask the Lord to prepare the hearts and lead us to the people He wants us to witness to, that's when conversions happen. As I just alluded to, the Lord leads us to people in unexpected places!

Follow-up is absolutely essential. Making Disciples is more than just inviting decisions for Christ. We are using a 10-lesson discipleship material/Bible study to help the new believers grow in faith. They are also immediately incorporated into small group Bible Studies and the church of the local pastor.

Your prayers are so important in allowing the Holy Spirit to lead in powerful ways. This is what all of our volunteers from BC attest. Thank you all for your prayers! We need prayers for health and wisdom. I also pray for you daily and know that the Lord is at work in your lives!

The main mode of transportation is a motorized Tricycle. There are also bicycles converted to tricycles, but some of the places are in hilly places, so the motorized ones are quicker and more efficient. There are also busses and 'jeepnies!' Not that many cars.

Fruit stands, food stands and minikiosks are all over the place. Restaurants are few and Cafes almost non-existant! This also seems to be one of the very few Internet cafe's and it's quite a ways from our motel, on the way (back) from our outreach with Pastor Tony.

Not even hotels or motels have computers to email with! There's WiFi, but with very weak signal.

The greatest thing, however, is seeing people come to Jesus and experiencing the difference it makes in their lives! All involved in the DMI ministry here are totally excited, including our 3 seniors on our team!

I can't wait to share more in person and pray that we can become a church that shares the Gospel, leading many to faith in Jesus, and above all, is willing to disciple each and every new believer! Read John 15 - it all makes sense!

Blessings on each one of you as you grow closer to the Lord in prayer, Scripture study and FELLOWSHIP!




Feb 23, 2012

Dear friends in Christ,

Feb 23 our group of 6 plus pastor Nathan went on an outing in the morning before going back to assignments in the afternoon and evening. First we went to see he sunken bell tower of the Church of Cagsawa, built sometime after 1724 and buried by a volcano on Feb 1, 1814 - the Christians inside were not dug out, because it was felt that they could not be buried in a better place. You can see photos of this on Ben's blog, together with his updates on the amazing things he is experiencing at

Then we went to the top of Lignon Hill which is dedicated as a nature park and allows a 360 degree view over Legazpi City and all surroundings! After that we went to Legazpi harbour, again a huge clash between very few nice buildings and endless poverty. The afternoon was spent with Pastor Roy, his wife Edna and the church tricycle driver, Rex - witnessing to members of Edna's extended family - 8 of which came to faith in Christ! The evening I went along with Ben and pastor Jun to the InterVarsity Fellowship - about 70 students - to train them for evangelism. This is so exciting!

John 3:17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him."

This is what is happening here, and I believe needs to happen more in Vancouver as well. Ben trained a few teenagers at the church he's working with along with Pastor Jun on Tuesday afternoon. Thursday, Mike, Christian and pastor Jun had the opportunity to share the Gospel with students at a school. Less than 48hours after being trained, Mike led 80 to faith in Christ, Christian led 85 to accept Jesus and pastor Jun led 90 to open their hearts to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. All have agreed to follow up next week.

Now we desperately need more Bibles in Tagalog - please pray that 600 New Testaments can be delivered to Legazpi by Monday or Tuesday next week so that we will have enough for the follow ups!

Thank you so much for your prayers! They protect, give wisdom and boldness to preach the Gospel clearly!

You are in my prayers as well!!!




Feb 24, 2012

Just yesterday, Pastor Nathan shared a wonderful article with me - the 'bottom line' was 1) our Relationship to Jesus must be our constant priority and 2) we must take Rest very serious! God rested on the 7th day after His work of creation on 6 days. He wants us to sleep every night, rest on an entire day 1x/week, and when we are weary, come to Jesus for more rest and refreshment (Mt 11:28). In Mark 6 we have an amazing story about the disciples coming back from their commission to preach repentance, heal and cast out demons. "Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them: 'Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.' So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place." (Mk 6:30-32) The disciples were so busy, they didn't even have time to eat - does that sound familiar? Quickly grabbing a bite here, thinking of the fastest way to get some grub and keep going... The disciples may have wanted to say: "but Jesus, there are others waiting to be healed, we have to follow up with the teaching of some new disciples, someone has requested us to go to their place to free a demon-possessed person..." And in the middle of this "coming and going" Jesus says: "Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest!" Yes, the Father knows of all the needs around us. He knows every deadline for each paper and when exams will be written. But He also knows that sometimes our need for rest is greater! Batteries run dry and need recharging. We are no different! It's not about going on a retreat, or taking another course on how to better manage stress or time. It's being with Jesus "by ourselves at a quiet place" and allowing Him to give us His peace, learn from Jesus and find rest for our souls!

Dear loved ones in Christ!

Art Loewen led us through devotions this morning (Friday) on John 15:16 - specifically about being "...appointed to bear fruit that will last..." The total count of those accepting Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour during the past 5 days in which Jesus used our team of 6 from BC to witness for Him is 262! BUT that does not include the 355 that came to Christ through 4 Philippino believers that were trained to go out and witness for Jesus! That's a total of 517 new believers!!! Some of us are still going out today again, and others are scheduled for outreach events after church on Sunday afternoon and we've still got all of next week!

Can you imagine 6 volunteers at IBC being willing to let the Lord use them for His Glory in witnessing to unbelievers and our church grow by 250 new believers? I had some time to share with Pastor Phil Harris alone in the morning and have lunch with him, discussing about how best to do the Evangelization training with him in May-June. The work begins now! We must all pray that the Lord will prepare us to go out and witness for Jesus. First He must annoint us and give us His authority (Luke 9:1-2)! Then we must pray that our Father in Heaven will prepare the hearts of all those that He wants us to witness to (John 6:44,65)! We can do nothing without Jesus (John 15:4-5).

I believe that He is preparing you for this, asking you to be unconditionally committed to Jesus Christ every day anew (Luke 9:23). Part of this happens in our Small Groups - re-read Acts 2:46-47. The believers met in the Temple courts AND in their homes daily! Then what happened...?

In the afternoon I went out again with Rex, a member of the church who donates his time and tricycle to pick up Pastor Roy and myself, taking us to the divine appointments we have prayed for. What a blessing to have a church taxi! The pastor's wife, Edna, comes directly from work to meet us there. We met in the home of another church member who invited 3 friends of hers to come over and hear the Gospel. This time I asked Edna to translate only my testimony and points 1, 3, and 5 and that she would do points 2, 4 and the sinner's prayer. All 3 accepted Christ in their hearts, will be coming to church on Sunday and come to the follow-up on Monday afternoon. Ronna Panerita (25), Nina Sotto (26), and Maribel Barba (29)!

The follow-up is essential. This is where making 'decisions' turns to making 'disciples!' Remember Matthew 28:19-20? Make disciples and... teach them. DMI used to come only to lead people to the Lord. There were far more decisions in the same amount of time - literally thousands! When Pastor Phil came back to see what had happened in the churches a few years later, he found that only about 1% were still faithful to Jesus and active in the church. That was a wake up call! DMI immediately changed their strategy to include discipleship, asking that fewer individuals be targeted and that each new believer be followed up for the first time within the week, and then at least once a week for 10 follow-up sessions. This is now producing fruit that will last! It's better to bring 3 people to Jesus and disciple them, teach them and mentor them, than 30 people and expect God to do the rest.

The 517 new believers in Legazpi City cannot be discipled by the 7 pastors we have partnered with! Each church needs to mobilize believers that will follow up with specific small groups of individuals!

We need to remember that Jesus appeared to more than 500 believers at once after He rose from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:6)! When 3,000 people came to faith in Christ on Pentecost, it wasn't the 12 disciples who discipled and taught 3,000 people. These 500 each had 6 people to disciple and teach! Perhaps there were some couples who discipled 12 people. Applying that to IBC it means that if we believe that the Lord wants to add 240 new believers to the church, we must first have 40 believers that are willing to invest time, energy and resources to disciple and mentor about 6 people each! Does that put things in a different perspective?

Now that we understand the principle, let us pray that the Lord of the Harvest will raise up willing servants to go out and gather in the ripe fruit!

My passion is carrying me away again... But I can't help it! In the evening we saw a glowing red spot on the mountain - it turned out to be lava! Far away, but rising and falling then rising again only to pour over and flow down the mountain at a 45 degree angle. Is that the passion we have for Jesus? May He instill a fire in all of us to burn for serving Him and Him alone!!!

More amazing things continue to happen! Please email me what's happening in your life!!!

Pray that I may continue to have opportunities to share my experiences with you - it is sometimes nearly impossible to find an internet cafe or get some computer time with a weak WiFi signal. Pray also that the members of the churches will rise up to the challenge of committing to disciple and follow-up with each of the new believers. We want to take Jesus serious when He stresses "fruit that will last!"

Pray also for the existing Small Groups, the Naguschewski Home Group, the German Bible Study Group, the Faith 101 Group, the ALPHA Group, the Refresh Group, the Experiencing God Group, the Korean Bible Study Groups, Men's Breakfast tomorrow morning and the Seekers Group. Pray for their leaders and that the Lord would allow those coming to be faithful in coming and to invite others to come as well. Without prayer, we will labour in vain.

Thank you all for your continued prayers "that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the Gospel!" (Ephesians 6:19)




Feb 25, 2012

Dear Immanuel Family,

I can't tell you how happy I am! There's a party here, and a party in heaven!!! Not only that, the couple that just accepted Christ into their hearts has a small internet cafe, and I'm sharing the news with you only moments after the joyous occasion on one of their computers! You can't believe the joy!

Ruby, Bong and Trym - mother, father and son all accepted Jesus! This is Acts 16:31 - "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household!" Our first priority with DMI here is to reach entire households for Christ! That is the 'oikos' principle. 'Oikos' is the Greek word for household. What a blessing when the entire family comes to faith! When only one member of the family is a believer, we arrange to meet with the entire family to share the Gospel after bathing them all in prayer.

I wish you could all be here to experience it!

This morning I had the incredible opportunity of talking to Riad on the phone- only possible with skype from the reception. A woman and her daughter came in and sat down in another chair, obviously waiting for someone. After I was done, she asked if I had been speaking German and we got talking. I told her that it was not by chance that we met and shared the Gospel. She wholeheartedly accepted Jesus into her heart and joy filled her entire being. There were also tears for her husband, and so that will be followed up. Please pray for Vicky's husband Ireneo Ayala who has an alcohol problem and is abusive, so that he may be open to the Gospel and receive Jesus into his heart as well.

I'll make it short this time. Thank you so much for your prayers for me and the new believers! The harvest is ripe, and reaping is such a privilege. I can't wait to begin the follow up!

May the Lord fill you all with joy as you hear about the wonderful things happening here. If you have a computer, check out the link in the bulletin for my daily updates and send me an email to share what's happening in your life!

Blessings of Peace and Joy to my wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ at Immanuel,



Feb 26, 2012

Dear friends at Immanuel,

Every day we begin together as a team. We get together at 7 or 7:30am, depending on various schedules, one of us is assigned to lead a devotion that morning, we pray, then share what happened the previous day [since we all get back at different times in the evening] and pray for prayer requests and the events of this day. I believe there is a special blessing in this approach!

One of the DMI slogans is: "M&M" = "Mature and Multiply!" It seems to have been around for a while, since both Pastor Phil and Art Loewen brought along tons of M&M's to snack on!

I was picked up by Rex to go to the Worship Service of the Mt. Zion church where Ray Roland Mata is the pastor. I was asked to preach and felt led to Luke 16:19-31. As a matter of fact, Pastor Roy, his wife and a few church members went to a church plant in Buhatan, Santo Domingo in the afternoon, where I was asked to preach it again! The Mt. Zion church has planted 6 new churches in less than 20 years, and Pastor Roy oversees them by attending a different church plant service every Sunday afternoon! As a matter of fact, while his wife Edna, Alona and the kids stayed with me in Buhatan, Pastor Roy and Edwin, the Jeepney driver, took a boat to another village further up the coast to serve at an even newer church plant and do more outreach there!

It was amazing to see how many brought Bibles and a journal along to take notes on the sermon and follow along in Scripture. It seemed like everyone was just soaking up every word!

I asked about what usually happens during the week in these young churches that keep growing. Besides Kids Club, Young Peoples meetings and Bible Studies in the evenings and on Saturday, each church is divided into small groups of 2-5 for daily prayer together! Some groups pray in the morning before going to work, others in the afternoon, but each group meets daily to pray - and on Sunday, all groups [ie the entire church] gets together at 4am to pray!

Pastor Roy also told me that they have a strict policy of not soliciting for help. Everything is prayed about, and they trust God to answer how and when He chooses. The jeepney is an example of that. The church had been praying for a means of transportation. Roy and Edna were invited to a conference in Australia. After they got back, someone emailed them and asked how much a jeepney would cost. They responded with a price, and the money was donated from an individual in Australia, who said that part of the money earned should be set aside to purchase another one whenever there was enough! Edwin is a church member and jeepney driver! The jeepney is commercial from Monday to Friday from 7am to 9pm. On Saturday and Sunday it is used exclusively for the church to pick up and drop off people for church services and events. Today we were taken quite a ways out of Legazpi City down serpentine roads, sometimes far too narrow for even a motorcycle to pass.

Mt. Zion church and its 6 daughter churches also support a missionary from their church who went to India about 4 years ago. The support is called the 'tithe of the tithes', ie. 10% of the income goes to support the missionary. Almost 50% of the income is used to support those helping in the churches. It's definitely a model that works well, given the results I've seen!

Today, Chris Gursche will have spoken on Fellowship and Eating Together...

Here in the Philippines I've had to get used to eating with a fork and spoon! That's all the cutlery you get at a table here - no knives! The fork is held with the left hand, the spoon in the right, and the spoon is used for eating. As a matter of fact, often only the spoon is used.

Being on the ocean, there is lots of fresh fish here! Coming right into the fishing village of Buhatan this afternoon inspired me to say that Riad would have loved to be here for many reasons, but especially for the fresh fish and seafood! Guess what, the ladies had already prepared fried and vinegared fish and rice for us to eat after the service - something I was unaware of at the time - and that tasted ever so good!

Time to hand over the laptop to Ben again...

Thank you so much for your continued prayers! Tomorrow I will be working with Pastor Villanor Dimas of the Wesleyan Church which is in a different town outside of Legazpi City. I'll be picked up at 8am, brought back at 4pm and at 6pm will be picked up by Pastor Roy for more meetings.

Blessings to all of you from a very hot Legazpi City!

Praying for you,



Feb 26, 2012

Dear Prayer-Warriors!

1 Chronicles 28:20 "Be strong and courageous, and do the work! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God is with you! He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work... is finished!"

This was the encouragement we received at our team devotions this morning. I hope this can also be an encouragement for all of us at Immanuel! There's work to be done, and it's the Lord's work, but it's up to us to do it!

Pastor Villamor Dimas picked me up at 8am, we visited 2 families and 8 people accepted Christ as their Lord and Saviour! In the afternoon we visited 2 more families and 12 more people accepted Jesus into their heart! The Pastor came with 3 volunteers from his church, so that all could receive this "on the job training" in evangelism!

In the evening I was picked up by Rex and taken to an extended family where Pastor Roy and his wife Edna were waiting for us. This time I gave my testimony and asked Edna to share the 5 points of the Good News, ending with an invitation to receive Jesus into their hearts. She led 6 people to Christ!

That's when things really get exciting. It's wonderful enough to see 26 people coming to faith in Jesus on a single day [though others in our team have had more], but when the church members themselves learn to lead individuals and families to Christ and are committed to the follow-up discipling - that's when our mission here is accomplished!

The 3 goals of DMI are:

1. Bringing people to accept Christ as their Saviour.

2. Begining the follow-up in the local churches.

3. Training church leaders and volunteers to evangelize and disciple!

I have a special prayer request for the 6 year old Angela de Jesus. She is crippled, unable to walk, and I was asked to pray for her healing. We laid hands on her and prayed - then she was able to walk with just a little help of holding my hands! Please pray that Jesus would heal her completely, so that her mother, relatives and friends would experience the power of God and give the glory to Jesus Christ!

Something made me smile after I came back from an exhausting day:

In rewriting all the names of those who prayed to receive Christ, I noticed that I had led Jesus to Christ!!! No joke - his name is Jesus Aringa!!!

I'm sure God enjoyed the joke, so if you're still laughing, you're in good company!!!

Thank you ever so much for your continued prayer support. The others in our team also notice that things are getting tougher. No wonder, satan cannot be happy with what's going on here! Of course he is just as active in Vancouver and at IBC - please be sure to put on the full armor of God!!!

Praying for you,



Feb 28, 2012

Frank, a servant of Jesus Christ,

to the Saints at Immanuel in Vancouver,

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!

It feels like living through new stories of the book of Acts! I can't wait to see little Angela tomorrow to see how her healing is progressing - thank you all for your prayers!

Today we again went to a number of households, and at each one I asked a different volunteer to present the Gospel and lead the relatives and friends to accept Christ as their Savior! Seeing the 68 year old Vic invite relatives, friends and neighbors to hear the Gospel is so exciting! Seeing him share the Gospel in his simple manner is heart-warming. Noy shared this morning, that he was up early because of the strong rain which wouldn't stop. He knew about the impossibly muddy conditions and prayed for the rain to stop... and it did! He was ecstatic! Noy was copiously making notes on the Scripture verses for the Gospel presentation and when it was his turn to share, he did an awesome job! I don't understand Tagalog, but every now and then a word sounds familiar, the illustrations and the Scripture verses, so I can basically tell if we're on track, praying that the Spirit would lead him and annoint his lips, convicting those who are hearing of their sin and allowing the Spirit to prompt them to open their hearts to Christ. Of course Pastor Dimas also got a chance to present the Gospel message. The first time he led the sinner's prayer, some of the phrases were too long to repeat, and it didn't seem to work so well, although those who received Jesus all shared of the change they felt in their hearts. Seeing the others from his church do shorter phrases encouraged him to do it as well, and by the end of the day, they had all gained in confidence, each building on the experience of the other!

The challenging part comes when prayers for healing are requested. I was asked to pray for a blind child who also couldn't talk. Nothing is impossible for God, so we claim the authority of Christ, rebuke satan in the Name of Jesus and allow Him to do the healing. The little girl was a lot calmer, she began to look around after I lifted my hands from her eyes, and it seemed as if they were focussing somewhat. The biggest difference was the sense of peace she radiated after having cried and been fidgety for most of the time before.

Then I was asked to pray for a child that seemed a little older, who had Down’s Syndrome. I tried to make sure that there were no wrong expectations. Jesus heals, not my prayers or anything I say or do. God can also choose not to heal immediately or do so by increments. But I could not refuse their request, and so I prayed, not knowing how God would answer or heal. I asked how he felt, but there was no translation. I then specifically requested that he be asked in Tagalog if he felt any better, and was told that the Down's Syndrome child doesn't talk. I sensed that it was important to ask him the question in the language he might be able to understand, and insisted that he be asked if he felt any better. Upon hearing the question in Tagalog, the child answered 'yes' 3 times with a glowing face! Even his 'yes' was a miracle!!!

The grandmother then requested that I pray for her eyes. She was losing her eyesight, and could barely see, and what she saw was blurred. Again, I made sure to tell her that Jesus tells those He healed that their faith healed them, and that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can throw mountains into the sea. Healing sometimes moves the mountain of illness bit by bit, depending on how Jesus chooses to heal. After praying over her eyes, we asked her what she saw. She told us that things had become much brighter. When asked if we should pray again, she eagerly said yes. This time she looked around the room an told us that her sight had improved significantly, thanking us for the prayers. I told her again, that only Jesus heals, and that we need to give Him all the glory, which we then did after making an appointment for the follow up.

In this village there is no running water. The houses are equipped with faucets and toilets and sinks, but the company running the main water pipe from the mountains does not connect the village, because they are afraid they won't be making enough money! Is that scandalous? James 4:17 says, "So then, if you know the good you ought to do and don't do it, you sin." There are a number of wells, but most of that water is not drinkable. Rainwater is also kept in cisterns and used for 'flushing' the toilet, ie. for filling the tank behind the toilet seat, so the next person can flush!

One thing that is absolutely amazing is their focus on cleanliness. Even walkways that are not cement sidewalks are swept clean! The dirt and mud are swept from debris. No matter how primitive the floor is [anything from dirt to cement to tiles], the shoes are taken off outside the house and barefoot or socks are what everyone walks on inside. As a matter of fact, flip-flops are taken off 'in stride' without loosing a beat - that's a technique I haven't been able to figure out yet!

It seems to be the season of green tomatoes now - that's the standard raw vegetable. For dessert there are fresh mangos. Most often there is fish, sometimes chicken and rarely beef or pork in small quantities mixed with cooked vegetables. Each meal comes with rice. There are rice fields and coconut palms all over, but when I saw some white coconut shavings being dried and asked about them, I was told that it was used to feed the pigs! There are tiny fruit stands lining the streets that also sell coconuts, something that Siegfried Gursche would love to see!

Today I witnessed 15 pray to receive Christ, and the others keep bringing in the harvest as well. It seems that most of our team members are also challenged to pray for a number of healings every day this week as well. [Although it's only Tuesday, so much happens each day, that it seems a long time has passed!] There also seem to be a few demoniac encounters. Everyone is quite exhausted, including myself.

Rex just arrived to take me to a follow-up with Pastor Roy and Edna. Ruby and Bong will be there, and likely others as well.

The devotions passage for today is: Luke 17:7-10 - absolutely appropriate!!!

Blessings on you all and thank you for your prayers!!!

Yours in Christ,



Feb 29, 2012

Dear family members at Immanuel,

it almost seems as if Legazpi and the surrounding area is greener than Vancouver - hard to believe, n'est-ce pas?

Of course the vegetation is tropical, but the traffic conditions are also quite different from other places I've been. Last week I was taken from place to place mostly in a Tricycle. Yesterday I saw one which had 8 people loaded on it! This week my mission field is Camalig. I get picked up by tricycle, taken to the road that leads out of town, and then get on the jeepney that Pastor Villamor flags down. There are no bus stops. You can stand anywhere on the side of the road and flag down a tricycle, jeepney, bus or taxi. It's important to read the small sign in the windshield to know if the jeepney will take you to where you want to go!

The drivers are quite amazing. Honking can mean a number of things. Mostly it means 'look out, I'll be passing you on the left.' It's also a courtesy to pedestrians to let them know I'm headed straight for them, because vehicles have the right of way! It may also be used to catch the attention of potential passengers on the side of the road to ask by honking, 'would you like me to stop and pick you up?'

Most vehicles seem to be on the verge of falling apart. Yesterday I noticed that the gas gauge and spedometer on the jeepney were not working. Today I noticed that there was not even a spedometer on the dashboard of the jeepney we were in! The stench of diesel and unleaded fuel is intense. Windows are open because of the heat, but that also ensures that plenty of fumes get in as well!

Payment for rides is done on an honour system. Passengers get into a jeepney or tricycle and at some point during the ride, sometimes even shortly before getting off, they hand money over to the driver, who puts it on the dashboard, groping for coins there if he needs to give change. To signal that you want to get off, you click the ceiling of the jeepney with your finger. I'm sure most bus drivers from Vancouver would refuse to drive a jeepney!

Today was a follow-up day with Pastor Villamor Dimas, Vic and Noy. Appointments had been made, but not always do all new believers show up. Sometimes there are new people that come! That's the best, because we get them to take part in the follow-up and then present the Gospel, asking if they would like to invite Jesus into their hearts!

It's also especially exciting, when the others take over and do it themselves. In the afternoon just before going back to Legazpi City, we also had time to review everything. The Gospel message, the Sinner's prayer and the follow-up. Equipping the locals to bring in the harvest themselves is the ultimate goal of our DMI trip to the Philippines!

Please pray that the Lord would continue to give me wisdom and strength to lead by example, giving all glory to Jesus!

I'm so glad I can share with you in this way and thank you so much for your prayers!

Must hand over the laptop to the next in line...

Praying for you,



Mar 01, 2012

Dear fellow-disciples of Christ,

Today was an up and down day! Hard to get up in the morning. Unusually lengthy heavy showers scattered throughout the day, making travel difficult at times.

An extended trip into the mountains to share the Gospel with the unbelieving family of a church member. Very mixed reception from eager to avoidance. Two prayed to receive Christ, and two others were very open to follow up. As a farewell gift, I was given about 10 green coconuts! The almost pure water inside is delicious and the thin layer of flesh very tender.

We stopped for sharing at Noy's house, where his wife, not yet a believer, had invited a whole bunch of family and friends! 5 accepted Christ, including Noy's wife - what a celebration!!! We then were treated to a wonderful meal and had to head back.

On the way back down, we added a stop in the home of a Sunday School teacher. He was in Manila where he works as a taylor, but his wife, parents and sister-in-law were there. The parents remained hesitant, but the sister-in-law was open and embraced the Gospel. She was in severe pain, though, and had just come back from 3 days in the hospital, where nothing could be done. Apparently she had a bladder infection, abdominal pain, back and knee pain and was vomiting and passing blood! Not a nice scenario! I was asked to pray for her healing. After the first prayer, she said that her back pain was gone. She asked for more prayer, and then the abdominal pain was gone, and she felt totally better! I explained that this was only Jesus who is able to heal, not me or the prayer in itself, and encouraged her to share with others that Jesus had healed her!

Then we came back to the village of Camalig and because we were late for one of the follow-ups, and on time for another, we split up into two groups. Pastor Villamor and brother Vic met with the larger group, brother Noy and I met with two young mothers. It was refreshing to see their eagerness to learn about Christian essentials and grow in their faith. The two young mothers requested prayers for their husbands, both who are in Manila now. One as taxi driver, the other as construction worker.

When we came to the other group, there were some questions from the young believers that I was asked to answer. One had to do with understanding the difference between believing and receiving, the other had to do with the importance of meeting as part of the church.

In the evening, Pastor Roy and Rex took me to the NAB Bible School here in Legazpi City where I had a chance to meet with the president and see the school. What is happening here is absolutely amazing, and I heard a number of answers to prayer including a cheque which arrived from a church in Texas with the precise amount they needed for the initial rent of a satelite school in another city! In order to keep the tuition as low as possible, the students - mostly pastors - are asked to pay 300 Pesos per module [27 hours of instruction, generally 3 hours/evening over 2 weeks]. That works out to less than $10 per student and includes all materials, coffee and snacks! The school has been around for 11 years now, and relies heavily on pastors that come from North America to teach, paying their own way. I'm so glad that NAB is still supporting the school at least to a small degree!

Tonight will be Alpha again at Immanuel. Please pray for all those attending, and also that we would be willing to invite more people to come. The table leaders and helpers need our prayers in a special way so that they would be annointed with the Spirit and with Wisdom to keep the discussions open, ask the right questions and have the necessary sensitivity in giving answers.

Your prayers for the work the Lord has sent me here to do with the DMI team mean very much to us! Please keep it up!




Mar 02, 2012

Dear friends in Christ,

things are starting to wind down here. Today some of us were able to get into town for a bit of shopping and checking out the local Christian book store.

In the evening I was picked up to go to a follow up of an extended family we witnessed to on Monday evening. What a joy! It may seem very simple and rudimentary to us, but taking those first steps of finding passages in the Bible is so important.

The beautiful thing is that there were newcomers and another occasion to share the Gospel, invite them to faith in Jesus and bring them to the next follow up session the following week!

We also prayed for Vivian, who has gall bladder problems and likely gall stones. Your prayers for her healing are much appreciated!

Saying 'good byes' is also getting to be a bit emotional. Yesterday from Pastor Dimas, his wife Lety, Noy and Vic. Today from the wonderful family that we followed up with, Pastor Roy and Rex, the tricycle driver. It's almost midnight, and we're still hanging out at the reception - the only place we can do emails because WiFi doesn't reach to the rooms. Tomorrow morning we're planning to leave by 7pm to go on an outing to see whale sharks - let's see how that goes!

In the afternoon we have a large celebration service...

I'll make it short today and hope to sleep in fast gear!

Blessings to all of you from our Lord Jesus Christ,



Mar 03, 2012

Dear Immanuel Family,

our service here in the Philippines has come to an end, and I can't wait to be back home with all of you again next week!

The climax of the day and of the 2 weeks was our celebration service on Saturday afternoon which began at 2pm and finished a 5:15pm without being long in the least bit! Worship singing takes a longer time here, generally 30-60 minutes, and the services I was at were never over in less than 2 hours. This afternoon there were many testimonies about what happened during these past 2 weeks. The grand total of those who accepted Christ into their lives was 1,170! That means that the churches have a lot of follow-ups to do, but it also means that individuals were willing to go out and witness for Jesus, inviting unbelievers to faith in Him!

During the message, we were challenged to be faithful. Every believer is a disciple and every disciple is a fisher of men. Matthew 13:44f tells us that the Kingdom of Heaven is more precious than anything else we could ever have. We need to pay the price of sacrificing our own desires to serving Christ right down to the smallest decisions we make!

Seeing unbelievers joyfully accept Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and helping them grow through follow-up and discipleship is exhilarating! I hope that you will all be blessed by similar experiences as you allow the Almighty God to give you boldness to speak out for Him!

May Jesus be the focus of our life and worship, especially as you share the Lord's Supper together!

Worshipping with you in spirit,



Mar 05, 2012

Dear Immanuel family,

here I am, just a short while before taking a taxi to the airport, with a few minutes on the computer.

Some of the thoughts racing through my head and heart are repentance, both individual and corporate; putting Jesus first - unconditionally; maturing and multiplying; becoming equipped to share the Gospel and lead others to accept Jesus into their heart; discipleship and follow-up; encouraging everyone to be part of a small group Bible Study; being open to going on Missions Trips; praying about what the Lord wants us to do at Immanuel; being willing to do anything and everything the Lord wants us to do!

True learning is hearing, doing and... teaching!

May the Holy Spirit ignite the passion we need at Immanuel! There's work to be done - let's pray and then go out and do it!