Philippines Report - September, 2014

It seems appropriate that I prepare a periodic report on the Lord’s work that we are involved with in the Philippines.
We have been working in the Philippines for approximately 20 years. Brother Harry Cobb was involved early on as well as Brother Bill Yarbrough. I believe the Church of Christ has been in the Philippines for at least 100 years; there are many different Church of Christ groups as well as many Christian denominations. In some areas there is strong Catholic Church influence and in other areas strong Muslim influence.

We have sought to find brethren who are like minded as we are and brethren who were teachable. We currently work with 40 to 50 different congregations and financially assist 20 Brethren. Most of the assistance merely pays for travel expenses as evangelists. We ask them to find other employment to support themselves and their family. The monthly support ranges from $25 to $450, with an average support of $125 per month. For some individuals, we send their assistance quarterly and for others monthly. If it were all sent monthly, the amount we would send would be $2495. Let me just quickly say that we are struggling to meet this evangelistic need and could use additional help in this area. We get requests from other individuals who would like regular monthly assistance in their evangelism but we have to turn them down.

Most of the brethren we work with there are poor. Maybe not as poor as the people in Africa, but still poor in that they struggle to make ends meet. The population of the Philippines has nearly doubled in the last 30 years so there are too many people and not enough work. Jobs usually don’t pay well because the demand for jobs is so great that people are grateful just to have a job and they will work for low pay. Some of the people farm and some live in the city; some are “natives” that are hunter/gatherers.

Because the brethren are poor and struggling to make ends meet, they are often in need of financial help. Historically we have helped the brethren with things such as medical expenses, hospital bills, funeral expenses, food (when they have damaging typhoons, droughts or earthquakes), house repair and church building repair due to damage from typhoons or earthquakes, church building construction, evangelistic trips, song books, and Bibles. They try to come up with the money first, but if they can’t, they send us emails asking for help. Brother Harry Cobb, Brother Duane Cogburn and I consider their requests since we have some knowledge of the people and the need. It is a challenging task to analyze the requests that we receive and determine how we should help.

It is not feasible to visit the brethren in the Philippines frequently. The distance and cost is great. Brother Duane Cogburn and I made the last trip in February of this year. If God wills, we will go again this coming February. I believe it is important to see them at least once a year and keep in contact with them throughout the year. The Encouragement emails I send out were originally intended to help keep in contact with some of the brethren.

For the month of August, $400 was sent for anti-rabbis shots due to a dog bite, $790 for hospital expenses for three different individuals, $35 for Bibles, and $500 for an evangelist to make a trip to hold a lecture in a distant city.
Currently we are considering requests for additional medical expenses and construction of two church buildings.
On the positive side, we also get frequent reports of baptisms in various locations. Attached below is a picture of two evangelists with three that were baptized in August in Subic Bay.

Please pray for the work in the Philippines.

In His Service,
Brother Ed Anderson
Sierra Vista, Az