Last Sunday I spoke at a church on “Hope.” I Peter 3:15 tells us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” Three things stand out to me, one, we must “sanctify” ourselves which means “to be set apart.” Do we deliberately follow after God in our hearts and our ways? Number two; is there sufficient difference in our lives that people will ask us about our faith? Or are we so much like the “world” that no one notices a difference? And three, because of our relationship with Him, we have a natural hope that the non-Christian doesn’t possess.
During the last days and weeks we have had three youth camps. One camp was on the island of Leyte, the one that was severely hit by last year’s typhoon. The camp went very well with many saved and 13 baptized in water. The second camp was on the island of Palawan. They also experienced many who were saved and 14 who entered into the waters of baptism. The third camp was on our island of Catanduanes. Lorrie and I had the opportunity to speak at this camp where 16 were baptized in water. Through your prayers and the hard work of many Filipino brethren, the camps were again this year a huge success!
This month, Lorrie and Amy were asked to be the speaker’s at a Ladies Fellowship in Cebu. Over 60 ladies attended the daylong meetings. The theme of the day was, “The Proverbs 31 Woman.” Lorrie said, “It was exciting to share with them about being the women God created them to be.“ She was able to encourage them to not be under condemnation, but to seek God so that they could live their destiny. Amy shared several different Biblical examples of women who were used by God in a variety of circumstances. She emphasized that we are all important to God and He is able to use us at each stage of our life.
While on the island of Cebu, they were blessed to participate in an outreach ministry to children in a rural village. Lorrie shared the story of creation and then they participated in the late distribution of Christmas “shoe boxes”. Amy said, “It was incredible to see the joy such simple gifts brought to the children who have so little.”
As an additional bonus, Lorrie went to the plaza one afternoon. While there she was able to share the gospel with two teenage girls and give them tracts in the Filipino language. The next day she met them and asked if they had accepted Jesus as their savior? They both said they did and they desired to learn more. Lorrie introduced them to a Christian lady from our church in Cebu. She immediately conducted an introductory Bible study with them. Praise God these young girls have found hope for the future! Romans 15:13 “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Nels, Lorrie, and Amy