The Philippines is a Christian country and 80% of the population is Catholic. The country’s population is 110 million. Evangelicals make up 8%, which would be about 9 million people. The country is made up of over 7000 islands with 176 languages spoken. The most widespread language is Visaia and after it is Tagalog. The Tagalog and Visayan peoples are very different both in language and culture. Tagalog is cultivated with great respect for adults and you must always show respect for the elderly, you can’t get too close and you have to address them with “po,” a kind of “sir” or “madam.” The Visaia people address with just “you” and show affection through kisses and hugs. You can see a father carrying his eldest daughter in his arms, which would be completely unusual for Tagalog. Many emigrants from China and Taiwan come here, but also from Arab countries.
The seminar for English teachers was attended by 25 people. Margarita came with 4 other teachers from her team who work in a Chinese church.
Janice is a school principal and came by plane from Dumagnete. She has a primary school where she teaches 120 children and wants to apply the EFNL for Kids textbook to teach children English.
Three pastors also came who wanted to use this method for evangelism and church growth.
The seminar for the presentation of Timothy School was attended by 35 leaders from various ministries and church pastors.
Jody de la Cruz, who was my student at Haggai, also came. Ave also came, who is from the Precept team and who teaches the 40-minute courses. People were very receptive. Cathy is a pastor in a 1,000-person church and she coordinates the Sunday school ministry. She wants to apply the inductive method there and to start a Timothy School. She says she came because at the conference with Kay she heard from us about Timothy School and often asked the local Precept team when this project would start. Now she is glad that I have come to present and she wants us to start as soon as possible.
At the presentation of the Timothy School they were very active and receptive. They had many questions and a desire to start their school in the country as soon as possible.
On Sunday we visited the largest church in Manila, called Christ’s Commision Fellowship, which has over 80,000 people gathered in a 7-story building that has three more basement levels for parking, in which I looked for a long time for a parking place when I came to the service, because everything was busy.
The church was planted by a pastor with his wife who started a Bible study group 35 years ago with 6 couples gathering in their garage. There has always been a strong emphasis on apprenticeship, and this is done in small groups which when they grow to include 12 people are encouraged to form new groups. Group leaders must continue to go to the group where they started, so they teach others but also learn on their own. The pastor who preached held a Bible study with PowerPoint, very well presented, which lasted more than an hour, but all the people were very active and involved, even though there were thousands of people there. Everything is done in the church excellently. Immediately after the church service, the people remained in the hallway in small groups to study, and in a separate room were those who came for the first time and someone talked with them and arranged where they would go, in which group. At the entrance were several iPads where one could complete an electronic form for enrollment in the Bible study group and then be contacted and directed to the group that would best suit him. They also have a large and beautiful bookstore. Everything is organized at the highest level, excellent.
Let us pray together for the beginning of the Timothy School in the Philippines and that through this school as many workers as possible will be trained from adolescence to take the gospel to the Philippines and the countries of the Pacific Ocean.
Translated by Olya Trikolich