OIC Philippines Coordinator
Region of Service: Philippines
We had our 37th wedding anniversary last February 14 of this year. It has been a roller coaster journey together. Josie, my gentle and quiet wife, witnessed my dark days before our encounter with the truth about Christ and His gospel in 1995. But for more than two decades already, she has been supportive in my difficult and challenging but fulfilling journey in the work of the Lord.
Praise God for our children – Anne married to Herbert; Chris married to Nica with our granddaughter, Niana; and Carl married to Jin. For they all responded well when we proclaimed Jesus to them, admonished them and taught them the discipline of the Lord in their younger days. Now, as we continue to influence them, we are all the more delighted to see each and every one of them and their spouses serving our God in our local church in their respective ministries.
In the Marketplace and Local Churches
For several years, I have been leading a morning Bible study for the employees of the CEO and owner of a local business. She has been a faithful counselee and was very determined to likewise counsel her staff, so a devotional time was set up on Monday mornings before work hours. The time was originally in-person, but went virtual during the pandemic. Currently, the group is going through a series on the three epistles of John using a theme of: “Christ and the Christian in the Workplace.”
Although our local church ordinarily applies integrative Christian counseling principles through preaching and intensive discipleship in our small groups and all ministries, 40 to 50 participants have been involved in a Biblical Counseling training class that I have been leading. In addition to attendees from our church, several students come every Tuesday evening from other local and international churches.
In addition to the Biblical Counseling class, I am leading a Hermeneutics class for devoted trainees who desire to rightly handle the Word as well as grow in competence and skill for helping people change through the sufficiency and power of the Scriptures as it is used by the Holy Spirit to bring life transformation. The group is presently walking through a weekly study from the book of Deuteronomy.
As an ongoing ministry, our church conducts a virtual Sunday class for high-school age young adults. Two of the teachers of this youth group are also faithful attendees of the online Biblical Counseling training class and have coordinated opportunity for me to speak to these young people about the Wonderful Counselor, Jesus Christ.
My beloved senior pastor also leads a small group of men devoted to the Lord and encouraging and sharpening one another. I have helped as a co-leader of this discipleship group, which meets each week on Tuesday mornings.
And, in March 2020, I officially notified my church members that I would be able to start offering personal counseling online. Since then, the Lord has been causing the brethren to send to me and Josie, who helps me counsel women, many who are in need of hope in and help from God.
Along with various ministry involvement in the marketplace, my local church, and with believers from other churches, I have begun making connections with pastors in the Philippines to talk about starting OIC’s Church Leadership Training modules (CLT) in various places.
In Baguio City, I have had the privilege of working with Robert Casas, senior pastor and founder of Guiding Light Christian Church, since March 2022 to arrange a one-day refresher seminary for his leaders. We are hoping to hold this event in late June or early July 2022. Pastor Casas is also chairman of Biblical Soul Care Philippines (BSCP), which was established in 2016 with the support and guidance of OIC’s Director at Large, Dr. Wayne Vanderwier.
The Lord has also opened the door for me to work with one of my devoted students from the Deuteronomy class, pastor Oscar Bautista, regarding coordination of an introductory symposium to the CLT program in July 2022. Pastor Bautista and pastor Luis Seijo are excited to gather pastors from several church organizations, including FBCA and the Philippines Council of Christian Churches (PCCC), for the training to be held in Makati.
The Lord has also showed His sovereign creativity in how He has connected me with senior pastor Dr. Rico Gelit of Greenhills Christian Fellowship (GCF) in Albay, south of Luzon Island. A request was originally sent by their coordinator to OIC’s Director of Operations, Gary Meeks; however, she soon after permanently moved from the Philippines. But God revived the connection though a student from my Biblical Counseling training class who put me in contact with Pastor Gelit. Now he and I are working toward hosting a CLT Module 1 for his fellow church leaders, including approximately 500 other pastors in their region.
In all things, the Lord has been gracious and kind and we are so thankful to Him for answering the prayers of many for opportunities to continue to learn and be trained in caring for people through God’s sufficient Word, the Bible, including through OIC’s biblical counseling training programs.