Explosion of Growth in the Philippines!
“Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you…..” Gen. 12:1
In 2012, when my family and I returned from the mission field of the Philippines, God spoke to me with the words, ‘when you leave, there will be an explosion here’. I took that to mean an explosion of growth in the ministry and not a literal one – And God was true to His word.
Over the 8 years that we were in Cebu, we had seen dozens of people come to Jesus and, after working alongside the indigenous missionaries for a while, we felt God leading us to plant a church and out of this, Portland Christian Center was born. PCC, as it is known, is situated in the Danao mountain region of Cebu and has become the ‘mother center’ where many have been trained equipped and released into ministry.
Last November (2016), my wife and I, my daughter Georgina and Russ Kline, who has regularly been ministering at ECC since 1993, returned to Cebu to witness this explosion in growth. The following are some of the highlights...
Global Ekklesia Danao Church
Global Ekklesia Danao (GED) is a city church that was planted in April 2013, when we returned to the Philippines with a short-term mission team and held an outreach in the city of Danao. GED is now thriving and will soon have its own full-time pastor as, up until now, our team have been overseeing it.
Roy and Pilar where amongst some of our first converts back in 2015 – now they have been trained and become ministers in training. Please pray for them and their young family as they embark upon pastoring the GED church.
Church Plant in Daan Bantayan
Following the devastation of typhoon Haiyan in 2013, our team was assigned to reach out to five areas in northern Cebu – one of which was Daan Bantayan. Through acts of kindness and handing out emergency packs in the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, relationships started to be formed and a fellowship has now been planted. This will become a recognized church plant in the not-too-distant-future.
Gifts of Resources
In September 2016, ECC’s facilities manager, Adam Wiecki, initiated a project designed to bless the children in the 5 Elim churches in Cebu and Leyte – the contents of which were donated by members of ECC. A large 1m3 box containing teaching materials, stationary, new clothes and games arrived a few days after the commencement of our mission. Some of the team members as well as Russ Kline, helped unpack and sort the
contents. Pastor Jen remarked, “Thank you so much ECC! You have blessed the children in 5 churches by your generosity”.
Outreach in the Danao region
We now have 9 small group outreaches based in villages and towns in the Danao region. These will one day become churches in their own right. As part of our ongoing church planting strategy, we see the prophetic playing a major part in this process.
Russ Kline, who travels internationally in prophetic/apostolic ministry, held three nights of teaching on prophetic. Each night through heavy rain, floods and power-cuts, the people came out to learn how the Lord can use His people in the area of the prophetic.
Explosion of the Holy Spirit!
On the last day of his visit, Russ ministered at the main church in Portland on the topic of the ‘outpouring of the Holy Spirit’. After his message, there was a chance for people to be ministered to – but what was truly amazing was that we all had an ‘upper-room’ experience. As everyone called out to the Lord, the Holy Spirit descended upon the whole church and all were baptized / filled with the Holy Spirit. A 94 year old man and his granddaughter also came to know Jesus as Lord at the same meeting.
Explosion reaching beyond the Philippines
The two people pictured here between Cora and Georgina, (Divina and Francis), have both successfully completed the Child Sponsorship Program (CSP). This is a program that has been in existence since 2001. Numerous children have graduated secondary school and college and entered into full-time work. They have both been involved in the ministry for many years and are able to teach and raise up leaders.
As part of the growth ‘explosion’, God is now moving people beyond the Philippines with their jobs. Divina has found work in Japan and Francis will be working on a ship which will be sailing to various countries - these two will truly be our first ‘overseas missionaries’ as they take Jesus with them.
New Building for Borgos Christian Center
In May 2015 we planted our first church in a town called Padre Borgos, which is situated in Southern Letye. Borgos Christian Center (BCC) is pastored by Evan Gilles and his wife Onie – they are also part of our team in Cebu.
In April 2016, the ECC mission team helped to clear a portion of land that has been loaned out to BCC, and started building a temporary place of worship funded both by Elim International Missions and ECC.
In November last year the building was half-built – however the church held their first service on Christmas Day in their new premises.
Please pray that BCC will one day have a permanent building so that they can continue to train, equip and send out church planters throughout Leyte.
The BCC team also reaching out to one of the areas devastated by typhoon Haiyan, called Dulag. Through the support of Elim Relief Association, we helped to build and repair over 50 homes in this area – the vision of BCC is to see a church planted here also.
There are many other areas of the ministry that are experiencing an explosion of growth including youth; children; evangelistic outreach and discipleship, but the main focus is always to make Jesus known in all that we do.
If you would like to know more about this work contact Mark King at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article has been adapted from an original which can be found at: http://www.ecc.org.uk/publishing/grapevine84/grapevine84.html