In the last few weeks since our last ministry update, we have experienced quite the extreme of high’s and low’s. On the low side, well much of the last month has probably been one of our toughest since being here with a lot of that due to medical issues. The big challenge was that Kaelyn got the measles. There has been a measles epidemic here in Manila this year and we can say we were a part of it. It was not fun, but Kaelyn was a champ. Everybody took their turn with significant illnesses. Our family was tested greatly in this season. We had a stretch where we had to visit the medical clinic 6 out of 8 days with 4 different patients. We’re still regrouping, but doing much better.
The big high’s have been hosting both of our parents here and being able to spend time with them and show them a bit of our world here (see the pic above to see Christine’s parents getting the “tricycle ride” experience!). Christine’s parents were here to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s with us. New Year Eve was an incredible experience here – a total fireworks free for all! A memorable holiday season to be sure. We’re very thankful our kids have two sets of grandparents that love them and us enough to visit us around the world!
We’re 3 weeks in to the Spring Semester already. I (Brian) am teaching Strategic Planning & Management this semester andChristine and I are actually both teaching together in a course on Christian marriage this semester, which is a great opportunity and experience thus far. Please pray for us and students as well this semester!
One of the fun things about IGSL is that there is always ministry happening. We’re excited to highlight more of these, buthere’s a couple from the last few weeks that reflect the heart of our students and school.
Christmas Outreach to Nepalese in Manila!
All students here must serve on a team that is pioneering a movement of evangelism and discipleship (called Target Area Ministry – TAM). They must spend at least 6 hours per week in direct field ministry. Some teams are on university campuses, some are at the Philippines Military Academy, some are at high schools, and some are church planting. But many of our international students are doing ministry on Universities in Manila reaching international students especially (after all – they are international students too!).
Through these “TAM’s”, many of our Nepalese students got connected with a network of Nepalese graduate students in med school here in Manila. The connection led to an exchange of sorts, starting on the soccer field. First, IGSL students visited them at a local campus to play soccer. Then, the IGSL Nepalese community invited them all to come play soccer at IGSL’s campus on Christmas day and then invited them to join them at their Nepalese Christmas celebration on campus.
The cool thing – every single one of the 25 -30 Nepalese medical students in Manila that came to IGSL on Christmas was Hindu and through the relationships they’ve build with IGSL’s Nepalese they were able to hear a clear and contextualized presentation of the real meaning of Christmas and the Gospel.None of them have come to Christ yet, but they have formed genuine relationships that continue to develop and of course – the soccer games still are happening every few weeks! Please pray for the Nepalese’s outreach efforts to their fellow countrymen here in Manila!
Yolanda Ministry Efforts!
Our efforts as a school in Leyte doing Yolanda relief and ministry is continuing in amazing ways. We sent another team of faculty (and their famlies) a couple of weeks ago to Mayorga where I went last month. The most recent trip involved more partnership building with the local officials, my friend Neil doing evangelism training for many of the military battalion that has been hosting us there (pic below), several outreaches among youth in Mayorga where many came to Christ, and the resourcing of further materials for the rebuilding of homes.
Through IGSL’s efforts, a church has actually been planted at the Military Camp for the surrounding community. They have met for 3 weeks running now and the services are already several hundred people strong! The next team we sent goes the first week of February. Please keep praying for Leyte and the areas impacted by Yolanda. God continues to be working there amidst the rebuilding efforts! You can also be praying for Mindanao and the southern Philippines which has been impacted by significant flooding.
Thank you for your prayers! It’s been the hardest month for us thus far as a family and most of us individually as well, but we’re so thankful for what we’re able to experience and contribute to here at IGSL this year. God Bless!