I have noted to our supporters that we have been involved, at least loosely, with two churchplants recently. We are joining with one churchplant that has met for three weeks now. In its third week had close to 40 attendees. That is a pretty nice initial growth. Additionally, Bob gave the dedication/commissioning prayer for another churchplant that is being led by one of his students. This is only their second formal service. Our involvement there is likely to be less direct.
Interestingly, during the last few days we discovered that we were involved indirectly with two other churchplants.
- Back over 10 years ago, when we were involved in a medical mission organization that we helped found (Dakilang Pag-Ibig DIADEM Ministries). We went to Kalinga Province for a multi-site mission. On this one, Bob stayed home, but Celia joined. The mission trip was a bit messed up. The team showed up at one community and was told they were expecting the medical mission tomorrow. Then the next day they went to a new location and were told that they were expecting them yesterday. Regardless, the hope was that people would be helped, and that a local minister in the area would be able to leverage the work towards planting a church. For some reason, we became disconnected with the local ministry partner and so did not know how things went. Usually, we assume that when we do not hear anything, nothing happened. In this case we were surprised to learn from one of our trainees, that partly as a result of the medical mission, there has been an active church now for a decade in Pangol, Kalinga.
- Back in 2006, we also had a medical mission in Salinas, Nueva. A bible study group was there, but no church. We had a medical mission there. In this one Celia stayed home and Bob and Joel went. They went also with some members of our home church, Spring Hill Baptist Church. It was a great trip, but we also knew that the churchplanter had to relocate not too long after the trip, so we had assumed (often a bad thing to assume) that nothing happened. But we were wrong. Talking to a ministry partner, he let us know that not only is there now an active church there from the medical mission, but he visits that church on occasion. It is great to have surprises that this.