Retired accountant, faithful church member, and passionate lay missionary Tony Sendaydiego recognized the connection between Communities of Hope and his burden to take the Gospel to the Philippines to his fellow countrymen. Tony serves as the missions coordinator for Parkway Baptist Church in Moseley, VA and has developed a partnership between Parkway and partner churches in the United States and the Philippines. This coalition of churches known as Gospel for the Philippines is being equipped to take the Gospel to cities, towns, and villages through Communities of Hope by using the Bible storying track, The Hope. This process is already bearing fruit. Here is a nine-month summary from Tony of how God is at work:
Last April during Parkway’s mission project in the Philippines, I brought five sets of the Communities of Hope materials, together with CD-ROMs and five videos of The Hope in Tagalog. I gave two sets to our Gospel for the Philippines Team and three to the Aurora Southern Baptist churches through Pastor Jerry Dayot. I would like to share with you the exciting news concerning The Hope initiative in the Philippines.
Pastor Jerry Dayot is the pastor of Aurora Southern Baptist Church (ASBC) in the town of Maria Aurora in Aurora province. (Maria Aurora is a coastal town in the middle of Aurora province. The other Southern Baptist churches call ASBC the mother church.) Jerry is also the leader/mentor for the other SBC pastors. He told me that he gave copies of The Hope materials to the following:
- Pastor Roger Dacquel, Dilasag Southern Baptist Church in Dilasag (Dilasag is the northernmost town of Aurora province)
- Pastor Edwin Amansec, Dicabasan Southern Baptist Church in Dilasag
- Pastor Mike Anselmo, Cabituculan Southern Baptist Church in Baler (Baler is the capital of the province)
- Pastor Chris Abalos, Sto. Cristo Southern Baptist Church in Maria Aurora
Pastor Jerry said that the four pastors are almost done with their review of the topics covered by the printed materials. [They will] determine ways to use them for Bible studies in their respective target areas.
ASBC started using The Hope materials in April in its outreach in the town of Puangi. Puangi is one of the venues where the Parkway team had VBS this year. They now have three on-going Bible studies led by committed lay leaders. Jerry said that attendance is growing, averaging 10 per group. The only challenge they have is the lack of DVD players and TVs, so they could not show the 12-part videos to the students. The group leaders use a laptop to review the content and summarize it to the group. ASBC is praying for a church planter to start a church in Puangi.
Cora de Jesus, one of our Gospel team members and the worship leader at Herald of Hope Baptist Church, uses The Hope study materials. HoHBC is our partner in the church planting ministry in the Philippines. [Cora] reports that she started with children in the class, but now parents and adults are also attending the Bible study.
I have asked Pastor Rene Vitan, pastor of HoHBC and chairman of our Gospel team, to look into arranging for the translation of the materials into Tagalog.
Ways You Could Be Involved
Perhaps the obvious way to be involved is to pray. Have a group at your church pray for these cities and villages to be spiritually transformed by the Gospel. If you would like to receive updates on this ministry in the Philippines, contact Tony Sendaydiego at firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 739-7231.
Second, you can go. A group from your church could be a part of Gospel for the Philippines. For information about this opportunity, contact Tony.
You can also use Communities of Hope in your home area to start evangelistic small groups or use it to take the Gospel to a people or community that God lays on your heart. Pray for where and to whom that should be. Be courageous—God is with you! (Joshua 1:9)
This article first appeared in the February/March/April 2013 edition of the Proclaimer (Volume 15, No. 1).