There were eight of us that responded to the call to come to the Philippines from various parts of the world for this February’s annual conference, which for some of the team from America (the Davis’s and Brother Herrig) included a total of 12 days of stay. For Brother Kluson from Czech Republic and the Nwauche’s of Nigeria (actually traveling from London) it was several days shorter. It is the usual two day travel to Butuan City which includes an overnight stay in Manila; and the five of us Americans arrived at the Karaga hotel on Thursday, February 21 a day before the conference is to begin. The 13 hour time change (ahead of Eastern Standard Time) seemed unusually hard this time; I believe it took most of us a full 10 days to really adjust, maybe even more.
But the reward for the minor hardship was a very good weekend conference. The word was very rich and it seemed that the theme was choosing the new: the new covenant, the new priesthood, the new sacrifice and the new house. There was a fairly consistent attendance of about 150 people (nearly the capacity of the room) of which about 30% were children. Seeing the unexpected need, we decided to give a children’s teaching presentation for both the morning and afternoon meetings. It would seem that most of our attendees this time were the parents with their children from the Kingdom Message School. We were also able to teach the children a few new songs. As a team, we gathered two and sometimes three times a day for prayer and seeking the Lord’s direction for the entire duration of the team’s stay. We were able to see a goodly response to the word as many of the mothers responded to the invitation to give their hearts and lives to Christ.
Immediately after the conference, on Monday and Tuesday the 25th and 26th we traveled by Merlinda’s van, a little over one hour’s drive south to the Bible school, which is run by Brother Edmar and Sister Medlyn. Bro. Martin first shared and was followed by Bro. Chijioke. The word was very strong and very direct, exposing much of the corruption of the modern church systems and their educational outreaches. It created an initial explosion as the reality of the word actually sunk in. But in the following days we heard good reports of the entire group seeking the Lord’s order in prayer, fasting and repentance with weeping. We believe the fruit is genuine as we could see definite changes in the followup visits we have made since the team has left.
And immediately following the two days at the Bible school, when only the American brethren remained in Butuan, the focus for the remaining 5 days is given to the Kingdom Message (children’s) School. The Davis’s and Brother George invested very intensely of their time, examining and analyzing the school building, staff, its operation and its finances. The weekend also included a fellowship meeting (with thanksgiving meal) at Bro. Lito’s fellowship on Saturday and a meeting with Bro. Allan’s group that meets in the school yard and is made up mostly of school staff, parents and their children. We are quite delighted to see the elders functioning in the place of their ministry calling, and especially to see Bro. Allan now among them.
On Monday, March 4 we escorted the remaining three Americans to the little Butuan airport to begin their return journey to the Midwest. After returning to the hotel, Rita and I went on a neighborhood shopping walk, to purchase a few things needed for the school and the Bible school. And of course that included a few things for us too, since we plan to be staying here for an additional six weeks. We have decided to remain in the hotel and have settled into a room that has an actual window and is a little larger than the average so we can have meetings in our room when necessary. So for now, this will conclude the report of the visit by the ministry team. We will send other updates as our stay here continues.
Again we wish to thank the many unseen brethren from around the world for your much support in fasting and prayers that were invested in behalf of this visit. We were able to see the breaking down of spiritual strongholds made possible only by the mighty hand of God and I believe, surely in response to the prayers of the many unseen saints. Please continue your prayer support for Rita and me as we remain here for followup in the everyday lives of these brethren and as we continue to sow the seed of the word into their lives. We intend to give special attention to the church leadership, the elders who labor here.
God bless you each and every one,
Mark and Rita Jantzi