Report from Anna Marie Parrott:
How Great Thou Art! Who cannot sing His praises after being in His Presence. And who cannot sing His praises after being with fellow believers in the CMMP churches of the Philippines. Every time I go, I am so blessed by His Presence there, and by the sweetness of our Philippine brother and sisters.
We dedicated a new church building, the funds for which was donated by a faithful CMM partner in Roanoke, VA. Bacsil now has a wonderful permanent church building for its thriving congregation. It has the most beautiful mural, painted in back of the podium, showing God’s marvelous creation of mountains and waterfalls, with the words: ‘How Great Thou Art!’ painted above them. I am overwhelmed at His faithfulness. It took a great deal of effort to see this church completed because of the many legal challenges we had as a result of the land donor’s premature death. This was a work of great cooperation between believers in two nations. Where there was once only a simple rented wooden hut, there is now a beautiful strong concrete church with lovely paintings and landscaping.
The Bacsil church has a growing congregation. We were delighted to see so many young people involved in the church dedication; there were youth drama skits, choir singing, and tambourine dancing, all done in honor of the King. Truly this is a time of celebration for the pastors in the Philippines and CMM supporters here in the USA.
I was so touched by one of the prayer vehicles the Lord used in putting the Filipino churches up. We actually have 27 churches in the Philippines, but only 6 have permanent buildings. There is a waiting list for those who need a permanent structure. While waiting for their turn to have a church building, the church at Mariquet was praying very hard for the Bacsil church to be built. Mariquet will now be the next church to receive any funds raised. Piddig, who will be after Mariquet, is now praying for the funds to come in for Mariquet. Each church, instead of praying for themselves, is praying for the church ahead of them!
Mariquet is also a thriving congregation, but many members are part of the Filipino rural poor. They often have only food, which they grow themselves, to offer the church as tithe. Rice will feed a pastor, but will not build a church. They look to us, their more affluent brothers and sisters in the Lord, to build what they can’t. The Mariquet church now meets in an abandoned building, which is almost completely eaten by termites. The white chunks on the podium are where termites have eaten into the painted wood.
CMMP owns the land for the church, paid for from the general fund. The Church of the Holy Spirit has generously donated $3,000 towards the church building. We just need $3,000 more for a permanent structure, complete with a parsonage, to be built. It would only take 30 donors, giving $100 each, to build this church. Your reward in heaven would be great, for this church is reaching out and bringing new souls into the kingdom every week. Please pray and kindly consider helping to build the Mariquet church. It is so urgently needed. How can we sit in our cozy warm churches and let our dear fellow believers in the Philippines meet in a building that would be condemned if it were in the USA?
I have been visiting the Philippines for four years now as the Phillipines Field Director. My job is discipleship, training, and counseling to those laboring in the fields, and reporting what’s happening to you, our CMM supporters. Often I am asked how I can go to such a dangerous place, because many people see the reports of missionaries being killed or tortured there by Muslim extremists. But what would happen to the work of the Lord without our support? In Laoag, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is flourishing, yet there are many who are still unreached. The Gospel here is like a beautiful flower blossoming and pushing back the darkness. It reaches out to the lost with hope and I am so thankful to be a small part of that. The Gospel has found good soil in the Philippines for the people are hungry for the Word of God. Won’t you consider planting a seed with me and watching it grow? Wouldn’t you like to be a part of pushing back the terrorism that threatens to engulf this country? Be a light in the dark! Invest in the Philippines with your donations and your prayers!~ Rev. Anna Marie Parrott