I apologize for the delinquency in getting this report out. The last four months have been very busy.
In November, Bro. Ed Anderson, myself, and Bro Caesar from Nogales, Mexico, made our annual trip into the interior of Mexico and the Yucatan, visiting and encouraging the congregations. Bro. Ed has issued a more detailed report.
December and January were consumed in making the arrangements for the Philippine trip, and preparing our sermons and power point presentations in several different Philippine dialects. Also, we took 200 lbs. of songbooks, concordances, projector and screen, seeds, and alternative health items with us on the flight.
Here is a quick overview of our annual trip to the Philippines.
Bro. Clint Brooks and his daughter, Sister Jenna, from Durango, Colorado, went with us this year. In additional to contributing to the expenses of the trip, they paid all of their own expenses (flights, food, and hotels).
We changed our method of presentations and traveling this year. Instead of driving long hours to visit many congregations as we had done in previous years, we planned 10 seminar/lectures/ meetings at selected locations and had many of the members in that area travel to the meeting. This gave us more quality time for sermons, presentations, discussions on multiple subjects. As I reported in the last newsletter, here is a summary of our focus in these meetings. We encouraged the leading male members to attend, but realized some would bring their wife or family.
*Encourage the members/evangelists and study with them
*Deepen their spiritual knowledge and increase their lesson preparation and teaching abilities
*Offer them access to concordances and bibles (hardcopies and electronically)
*Verify that the funds sent throughout the year are being spent responsibly
*Express our love and spiritual concern for their labors in the Kingdom
*Last year, we spent time presenting alternative health
treatments for many illnesses and daily health issues they
experience. This has been quite successful in cutting down
the medical requests we receive.
*This year we continued this effort with additional silver generators and materials, as well as other natural medical suggestions. This continues to yield results as they learn to prevent illnesses and treat their health issues.
*We took donated garden seeds for personal gardens
*Additionally, we actively encouraged all the evangelists to find employment and use their evenings, weekends and Sundays for the work of the Lord.
*Due to our uncertain economy and the increasing regulations on sending money out of the U.S., our presentations stressed action on their part to become more self-sufficient.
Bro. Clint, Jenna, and myself departed Albuquerque, NM on Feb 6th. Bro. Ed departed from Tucson.
We went to the Island of Palawan after landing in Manila and spending the night. Unfortunately Bro. Ed’s flight was delayed by bad weather and was 6 hours late landing in Manila, so we meet up with him the next morning. Palawan has had terrorist warnings in previous years, so this was my first trip to this Island. We had 22 members attend plus about 10 younger folks. Bros. Godie Poliocarpio and Daniel Emlamparo from Luzon accompanied us and served as translators. We met in a rented room for 4 hours, spent the night and reconvened in the morning for several hours. I met many brothers and sisters I had not met before.
We flew back to Manila that afternoon, and drove to the Subic Bay Naval area. This kicked off our seminars in Kalakalan, Palayan City and Langka Lawak. We had 15 to 30 members in attendance in each of these meetings. We spoke at several Sunday assemblies and visited several other areas on the Island of Luzon with shorter presentations. One day Bro. Clint and a handful of evangelists helped Bro. Mario Morales of San Marcelino install a well pump on his small farm. The funds for the pump and tank were raised from private donations from the U. S. brothers. This now allows him to have water for his household use and to water his garden. They are most thankful.
After 8 days on the Island of Luzon, we flew to Cebu City on the Island of Cebu. We had 20 to 25 members at each of these locations. Bros. Godie and Daniel accompanied us there. Bro. Chris and Sister Premie Amihay from Panay also met us there. We made presentations at two different places and spent the night, then drove 3 hours to the ferry and crossed over to the east side of the Island of Negros. After speaking in the regular Sunday assembly at Dumaguete, we had more presentations that afternoon. We had about 18 members plus children in attendance.
On Negros we had additional seminars at Kabankalan and Bacolod. Again, members from the surrounding areas traveled to join us. We then drove to the ferry on the west side of Negros and enjoyed a 3-hour ferry ride to the Island of Panay. Unfortunately, a theft got into the van in Bacolod and took Bro. Ed’s briefcase. It contained some of our trip funds, his passport, and hearing aids plus some of the electronic bibles. On Panay we held 2 more seminars plus we spoke Sunday morning before leaving the island.
We flew back to Manila on Feb 25, and Bro. Ed, by the grace and God and in answer to many, many prayers, was able to secure a temporary passport Monday morning and make the 2:30 p.m. flight back to the U.S. with the rest of us.
We want to express our appreciation to all the congregations and brothers that made generous contributions to make this trip possible. We came back with five requests for help on church building repair/expansion and several other requests. There are a total 48 congregations on the islands that we work with. We ask for your prayers and continued support for the evangelists and their work in many parts of the Philippines.
Here is a breakdown of expenses the last four months.
In November, 2016, the following distribution of funds were made: Evangelists support $1860, Bibles, Song books, benches, and chairs $32, Evangelism travel on several islands $1365, Medical expenses $620.
In December, 2016, the following distribution of funds were made: Evangelists support $1860, Songbooks, bibles, chairs $335, Evangelism travel $747, Food and typhoon damage $185, Medical expenses $510, Prepaid expenses for February trip are reported on the February, 2017, breakdown.
In January, 2017, the following distribution of funds were made: Evangelists support $1860, Typhoon Damage $155, Songbooks, bibles, chairs $715, Evangelism travel $553, Food $155, Medical expenses $1370, Funeral expenses $414, Prepaid Expenses for the February trip are reported on the February breakdown.
In February, 2017 the following distribution of funds were made: Evangelists support $1860, Building repair/rent $877, Songbooks, bibles, seminar materials $1694, Evangelism travel $430, Food benevolence $222, Medical expenses and alternate health $3694, Common meals with the members $2537, Feb. flights tickets, van rental, & ground travel expenses $5726, Hotels and seminar room rental $2503.
Below is a list of needs and requests that we have not been able to fund. If you would like to contribute to any of these specifically, please let us know.
Thanks again for all the help and support for the Philippine work
Yours in Christ,
Duane Cogburn, firstname.lastname@example.org