Will and Yvonne Mayo from Door of Hope Church in Alaska visited us recently and were kind enough to share some of their photos.
While on the island of Catanduanes, I spoke at a memorial for a friend of ours. She used to come to our house as a teenager and visit with our family. She was someone that was easy to love. She died suddenly of a liver illness at the age of 35.
As the years quickly pass, I am reminded that in a comparatively short time I too will walk through that unfamiliar door of eternity. Many of the things that are so important to me now will become of no value then. Recently, God has been challenging me to value the things that He values more than the things of our temporal world.
What does God value? It really is quite obvious when we stop and look at the Bible. In Genesis, He says he created us in His image, in His likeness. We are created different from the animals and the rest of His creation. He valued us so much that He sent His son to die for us. We are told in John 13:34, the two greatest commandments are to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as He loved us. A multitude of scriptures point to the fact that He values people more than anything else.
We are instructed in Matthew 28:19, to go into all the world and make disciples. Yet surveys tell us that most Christians seldom share their faith with others. Perhaps one reason we do not share is we don’t value people like He does.
The other day, I walked onto the beach in front of the school I saw a man standing looking out over the water. Normally I would have said “Hi” and walked on by. But the thought struck me, “The Lord values him and I should too.” I stopped and asked him questions of his life. He was a former business executive who became disillusioned with riches and was now seeking to find “peace in himself.” I had the privilege of sharing some eternal values.
We have been blessed this year with different guests. My sister and her husband Bob visited us from Anchorage. Rene has been here before but this was Bob’s first time in Asia. Our friend Jack Benson is traveling and ministering with Pastor Homer in Palawan this month. Currently Trudi McCarthy, a nurse from Ireland is with us. Trudi’s zeal for the Lord has been obvious, as she has shared some of her nursing skills with the Bible school students.
In closing, we thank you for valuing us enough to send us to the nations. We want you to know we genuinely value you.
Nels and Lorrie
Last month, both Lorrie and I spoke at our annual pastor’s conference in Catanduanes. As we anticipated the Lord moved, people were healed and many expressed that they were encouraged. At the beginning of one service I felt to give an exhortation from Joshua on “Be Encouraged”. It was spontaneous, without the normal prayer and effort of a message. At the end of the conference, that almost informal word was one of the most talked about messages of the conference. I chuckle because God often bypasses our best efforts and uses the “spontaneous” things to touch lives.
After the conference, Lorrie and I returned to Manila via the “scenic route.” That is we took the bus, leaving Virac around noon and arriving at our home at five the following morning. Every time we take the bus we are reminded why the plane is really NOT as expensive as we thought.
As I speak, Lorrie is in the Philippines enjoying the fellowship and work with our Filipino friends while I am back in North Dakota. She is substitute teaching at the Christian school in Manila, teaching a class at Ding and Mona’s school, and meeting with different friends. This Thanksgiving, she is planning a large gathering at our house for some of the pastor’s and workers.
Our family is scattered in four different countries and four different States, Lorrie is in the Philippines, Heather and Noel are in Ireland and Jeremy is in Sweden and the rest of the kids are in North Dakota, Alaska, North Carolina and New York. We wish we could be together as a family but it has been a blessing for us to travel to many different places with our children over the years and experience other cultures and represent Christ.
We are pleased to report we have just purchased the land near Manila for the medical clinic. Alina, our missionary friend and co-worker, has been operating the clinic for the last few years in a rented facility on a very dusty street. This location will be much safer and more suitable for the needs of her ministry. It has a basketball court right across the street from the land which will be a perfect area to do outreaches to the young people and community.
It is our sincere desire that you are doing well and being thankful, not only on this Thanksgiving Day season but as you continue on your life’s journey.
With thankful hearts,
Nels and Lorrie
Lorrie and I are blessed to be able to see the results of your giving and prayers first hand. I want to
share with you the testimony of one of this year’s extension class graduates.
Jo is a beautiful young Filipina woman who recently married another one of our extension class
graduates. She is a nurse and he is a public school teacher in the city. This is a portion of her story:
Jo was born into a family who strongly believed in a cult religion. In the religion, the leader taught that
she was the mediator for Jesus Christ. She would go directly to God and then convey the word to the
people. She taught that the bible was incorrectly translated and therefore not useable.
One day a relative from Switzerland invited Jo to attend a Christian prayer meeting. She said as he
was praying she felt a presence come over her and she began to cry. She cried so much she looked down
and saw her blouse was wet. She then felt someone place his hand on her back to comfort her, but she
turned and there was no one near! She came to believe it must have been an angel.
The Lord continued to reveal himself to her until one day someone presented the gospel of Christ and
she experienced a personal salvation. She quickly became an enthusiastic Christian desiring to learn
more and to share her faith with others.
Jo’s decision to follow Christ has been very difficult. Her family rejected her. When she decided to marry
they refused to even attend the wedding. For the Filipino, family is very important as well as having the
parent’s approval. She says, “The body of Christ is now my family,” but she hopes to someday be
instrumental in seeing her whole family come to Christ.
In Acts 8, the Ethiopian was reading Isaiah, and God sent Philip to share the gospel with him. In Acts
10, we are told Cornelius was “a devout man and one who feared God.” God sent Peter to him to preach
salvation. Like the Ethiopian and Cornelius, Jo desired the true God and He reached out to her. Praise
God He still is faithful to reach out to those who are seeking Him.
Please pray for the April and May youth camps in the Philippines. Many are touched for Christ during
these camps each year.
Please also pray for an increase in finances to meet the many opportunities.
We love and appreciate you,
Nels and Lorrie