March 1, 1997 Issue

by Don L. King  

On January 2, Brother Bennie Cryer and I made a trip to the Philippines to help and encourage the brethren. Bennie had made a number of trips with me in previous years and I looked forward to being with him again in this work. It was indeed a good trip in every sense of the term. We enjoyed being together but, more importantly, the work was profitable for the Cause of Christ. According to Brother Danao's count there were thirty-five precious souls baptized into Christ. I wish I could baptize that many a year in the United States! However, to see those results in only three weeks was truly wonderful. We also enjoyed meeting a preacher who has for many years worshipped in error. His honesty was such that when he had realized he was wrong, he gave up the innovations. We had asked that we meet with him for study which we were happy to do. He had a few questions about the Bible classes, etc. which we discussed with him, and he immediately made a confession of his sins and prayer was made in his behalf. As we understood it, he had been contacted by the Filipino brethren in Hawaii whom he had known before they left the Philippines and moved to Hawaii. They had made a trip back to the Philippines so that they could visit him and expose him to the Bible way of worship. He was helped to see the truth by their efforts and his own diligent Bible study for several months. Brethren, imagine what could be done if we had more who were willing to pay for an expensive plane ticket out of their own pockets in order to teach the truth to an honest man! Those Hawaii brethren, who are newly converted themselves, did just that. God be thanked for such brethren. By the way, they aren't wealthy, they just love the truth. They want to see as many as possible be saved before it's too late. As a result of their selfless labors, a door may have been opened to many more who are also honest and obedient.

The work is showing maturity, as we see it. The congregation in Roas (where Brother Danao began the Philippine work in 1981) now has elders and deacons and extends financial help to native preachers as they are able. Native brethren are very poor and poverty hinders them at times. However, they have managed with very little help from us, to build their own meeting houses in many places. Two notable exceptions are going to be the large cities of Baguio and Manila. In both of these areas they will need financial help from the U.S.A. to even buy a lot, let alone be able to build.

There are a number of radio programs which have proven very effective. Also, Brother Danao is going to investigate the possibility of a television program this year. There are more than twenty native preachers who receive support from American brethren; and by and large, they have done an outstanding work. The brethren take care of their own problems. If scriptural discipline is called for, as it recently was, it is taken care of by the local congregations. Likely, the brethren will need our visits for a long time. Just as we are built up by gospel meetings in America held by visiting preachers, so they are also. It was a pleasure to work with Brother Danao and Bennie Cryer. Our heartfelt thanks to the Stockton and Fremont, CA congregations for sending us this year.

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