We made our annual trip to minister in Loo, Bugias, to Happy Family Church and to the surrounding community. Our students and staff reached out through drama, personal testimonies of changed lives in Jesus Christ, film showings, house-to-house evangelism, and fellowship. On Saturday, we held a gathering at Loo National High School, and 800 students arrived to hear about the greatest Christmas gift they could ever receive—Jesus, as their Lord and Savior. They were each given a gospel-inspired booklet entitled, “Book of Hope” and challenged to follow Jesus, as the way to our Father God.
Not only did our students and staff proclaim the gospel message, but also Happy Family reached out to the community through a free medical mission. Three doctors from Manila and two nurses and six people from our home church, Hosanna Christian Family, joined Happy Family to attend to the physical needs of the community. 180 patients were seen and given small gifts and basic medicine to help them.
We praise the Lord God for the seeds planted, the decisions made to follow Jesus Christ and the opportunity to proclaim that Jesus Christ was born as a helpless baby in a manger, died on a cruel cross for the sins of mankind and rose victorious from the grave, as conqueror of death and keeper of life. Merry Christmas!
Bible school students and staff partnered with their church family at Hosanna Family Christian Assembly to package relief goods for the victims of typhoon Haiyan in the Visayas region of the Philippines.
They assembled bags of clothes, food and medical supplies for the medical mission team to bring along on their journey to the stricken area. One doctor and nurse from the church went with a team to assist in giving relief in any way possible.
While the elementary and middle schools were on lunch break, our students spent time sharing Jesus with them. We had the opportunity to speak to many students, and about 45 students accepted Jesus as their savior, inquiring more about the Christian life. Our goal is to follow up with the students throughout the school year. Praise God for his indescribable gift through Jesus Christ!
At the beginning of September, Happy Family conducted a Children's Seminar Workshop with the help from one of our partner churches in Manila. Our volunteers have been working in children's ministry for seven years and wanted to share their experiences and knowledge with our Bible students. Two alumni (Batch 20 and Batch 21) from Happy Family, who attend this church in Manila, led the group in instructing our current students.
Our students learned to be active and creative in their gospel presentations. To practice what they learned, we invited local children to participate in a kids fun day. About 49 children came last Saturday. We will continue to minister to these children throughout the coming months on Saturday morning.
For one week, a group from Happy Family (staff and alumni) visited Abian, Nueva Vizcaya, to minister to the young people of the area. With nearly 100 attendees, the Happy Family team touched many lives for the Gospel. Not only did the children participate in games and Bible lessons, but also their parents heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Seven parents accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. What a blessing!
Once VBS was completed, we started our weekly children’s ministry at the Happy Family Bible Training Center, which will continue throughout the school year. This program will give Happy Family an opportunity to reach out to its local community and shine a light to the children and their parents in the neighborhood. Last year, the children’s ministry was only three months long, but this year, we have decided to extend the timeline and hopefully reach more children and families. Even some local churches have supported the ministry with gifts and supplies for the kids. We are thrilled with what God is doing in and through us, and we appreciate your prayers for sustained impact and growth.
Immediately following the graduation ceremony, we left on a three-day mission trip to Abian to minister to the young people, to have film showings and to edify the local church community. The trip was an excellent and memorable way for the recent graduates to put their faith into action to serve a community different than their own. We showed two films about Jesus' life and salvation through Jesus Christ, engaging both the young and adult populations. We even prayed the rain away on our second night of film showings. The rain threatened to shut us down, but in faith, we prayed that the skies would clear, and indeed, the stars came and shined brilliantly until the end of our event. God is good! On Saturday, we went door-to-door to reach out to people for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people prayed to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We were blessed to see open hearts receptive to the Gospel.
Sunday was reserved for fellowship with the local body of Christ. We worshipped together and considered the importance of putting Jesus first everyday, eating his flesh and drinking his blood (John 6:53), because man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4). Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:48) and the very Word of God that became flesh for us. How important it is for the body of Christ to spur one another one toward love and good works (Hebrews 10:24)! The 2012-2013 year was one of many changes and adjustments, but through each moment, God revealed his faithfulness to bring to completion that which he has begun. We look forward to the upcoming year and are praying for many more students to come and learn what God has planned for their lives.
Another year has gone by and 14 more students have graduated from Happy Family Bible Training Center. We are so pleased that this year's batch is named "The World Changers," for we believe they will go forth and change their world, beginning in their home towns. At the graduation ceremony, we welcomed parents, pastors and sponsors of the students, as well as alumni from nearly every batch. What a blessing to congregate together to witness God moving in the lives of our graduates.
Pastor Lausa, from Hosanna Family Christian Assembly, spoke with the power of the Holy Ghost when he said that we need to be inspired daily in the presence of God. Kelsey Staudacher, the ambassador and representative of Daniel and Menorah McCarty in their absence, shared her heart to the students about the importance of surrender and sacrifice, reflecting on how these two elements are key ingredients to being people who change the world, as Paul and other apostles of Jesus did; their lives are still our examples today. Graduation was an opportunity for everyone to commission these precious students, giving them encouragement and strength, as they proceed to their next level of service to Jesus.
This year CTTR celebrated its 25th Anniversary! 25 years the Holy Ghost has been pouring out joy and revelation in Baguio during this anointed conference. We welcomed Pastors Mark and Trina Hankins and Pastor Terry, as well as our beloved Bible school directors, Daniel and Menorah McCarty, to minister God’s Word to the more than 400 delegates present during the morning sessions and more than 700 delegates present at the evening sessions—our Holy Ghost parties.
The loaded messages and powerful manifestations of the Holy Spirit lit up Benitez Hall throughout the four-day conference. Our speakers conveyed themes of joy in the Holy Spirit, biblical sowing and reaping of finances, redemptive victory and practical ways of living on and leaving this earth. People came hungry and left changed for the glory of God our Father in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to thank all of our speakers, our alumni helpers, our Bible school staff, our current Bible students and our guests for making this year’s CTTR one of the best! We look forward to seeing another great move of the Holy Spirit in 2015, for the next Come to the River.
Remember the Glory of God will be seen in 2013! Go forward: there is much land, yet to be possessed!
1,000 GIFTS EVANGELISM
From Loo, Bugias, to the surrounding communities of Kayapas, Central Bugias and Abataan, students and staff went out to proclaim the good news of the Gospel with a simple illustration: a wrapped gift, as Jesus is God’s gift to mankind. By handing out gifts, we were able to minister to children and youth, which gave us an open door to talk to adults as well. Many people prayed to God, asking for Jesus to come into their lives, and still others prayed for a renewed heart of commitment to God through his Son, Jesus Christ. Glory to God for the seeds that were planted and watered! Please continue to pray that these seeds will take root and grow mighty for the Kingdom of our Lord God.
SATURDAY MEDICAL MISSION
All day on Saturday, several students and staff members, along with our guests from the Hosanna Family Christian Assembly—our doctor, one of our nurses, keeper of the pharmacy and one of our counselors—ministered to the members of the Happy Family Church and their friends and family members.
We chose to keep the medical mission to a select crowd of people because our medical staff was limited; but the outcome was joyous. Our two nurses assisted our doctor by preparing the patients for their medical check-up with the doctor, taking vital signs, and by performing an ECG with the machine we rented for the mission.
All patients passed through the counseling area before the medical check-up. Many received Christ as their Lord and Savior and others were challenged to have a deeper relationship with God. After the medical check-up, a visit to the pharmacy was necessary, where medicine and vitamins were distributed at no charge.
Finally, each patient (or one from each family) was able to go to the clothing grab and take second-hand clothing for free. From start to finish, everyone was blessed by the clinic and grateful to Happy Family for its efforts.
ADULT, YOUTH AND CHILDREN FELLOWSHIPS
Immediately following our arrival to Loo on Thursday afternoon, we participated in the youth fellowship night. Our praise & worship team led the group of 100 young people in singing songs of thanksgiving and love to God. One of our teachers, Kelsey, challenged the young people to put their faith in Jesus into action, and about 20 young people stood up and rededicated their lives to Jesus. After the fellowship, we raffled off 100 gifts to attendees.
Once the Sunday service was over, we welcomed the adults (mothers & fathers) of the church and their friends for an adult fellowship, complete with presents, coffee and sweet rolls. This was the first time that we organized a fellowship for the adults of the congregation, and the more than 20 attendees were greatly encouraged and blessed.
While the adult fellowship was going on upstairs, the more than 60 children were downstairs laughing and singing along with the activities our Bible students planned for the afternoon. We had gifts, prizes and lots of candy and snacks to pass out to the excited bunch of kids. We talked about the real meaning of Christmas and led the children in a Christmas prayer of thanksgiving, giving God the glory and honor through Jesus Christ.
A SPECIAL THANKS
We would like to thank you all for your financial contributions and your prayers for this mission trip. Your funds helped make this trip a great success for the Kingdom of God. We believe that each seed that was planted and watered will grow to completion and will be fruitful. Our faith was edified and built up, and we saw God’s hand bless the whole trip. Thank you for your partnership.
This month began with a first-time-ever-at-the-Bible-school event: one of our students, Lyka Albarico Tocmo, celebrated her 18th birthday---a debut ceremony, in which the happy families of the Bible training center, Hosanna Christian and Lyka's own father and brother came together to speak blessing and encouragement over her life.
Throughout the month, HFBTC welcomed neighborhood kids to the school every Saturday to share stories from the Bible, songs and the message of God's love in Jesus Christ. Each week our students alternated teaching and planning activities for the kids. A lot of the neighborhood kids know Happy Family and even come during the week to play basketball and enjoy the company of the students.
Classroom Update: Students finished the Life of Christ and a study on worship, as well as studies on evangelism, hermeneutics and homiletics, the blood covenant and grace and faith. Continuing each Wednesday, our students reach out to the community in Pacdal and at Baguio General Hospital. To God be the glory for the mighty things he is doing in the lives of everyone at HFBTC!