The Expositor's Academy and Soli Deo Gloria in Davao
Their Pastor, Jurem Ramos, is a faithful expositor whom the Lord has used to impact the country through a radio ministry. They have recognized the responsibility that comes with that privilege and are interested in partnering with The Expositor's Academy (TEA) to help maximize their impact for the kingdom.
The Lord has just opened up a larger facility for them that has several classrooms and they have plans to use it to expand the training of their members and others. We are looking into the possibility of partnering with them in this endeavor and having SDGC be the home of TEA in the south of the country.
Starting last August, the elders and I agreed to meet every few weeks to study 1 Timothy and to discuss what a biblical ministry. Last Thursday, I flew into Davao to be with the elders during the day and then to teach a Survey of the Book of Acts in the evening to members of the church. Again, I was blessed and overwhelmed by their kindness. They have a high view of Scripture and a serious commitment to an expository ministry, including preaching, leadership, discipleship and membership that is refreshing and exciting. I can't wait to see what the Lord will do through this church and TEA's partnership with them.
|Mentoring Time with Elders and Ministers at Soli Deo Gloria|
From August 23 to Sept. 10, my fellow GMI missionary Vincent Greene came to the Philippines to do some scouting in anticipation of his arrival with his wife and their five children in January 2014. Jessica did the hard part, she took care of all of us. All I had to do was drive Vincent around to about six cities to help him get a feel for what housing in the Philippines would look like and cost. We looked at areas that we believe would be key for Vincent and Kim to learn Tagalog, while at the same time would be close enough that we could cultivate team unity, find them a good church that would minister to their kids as well and could potentially be a good location for future ministry.
We had the opportunity to meet with a Tagalog language teacher named Emil, who has been teaching missionaries for about 17 years. He is a believer who is sensitive to the needs of language learners who are specifically learning Tagalog to serve in Christian ministry.
During his stay, Vincent was also able to join me for a visit with SDGC, a church service at the church plant we are involved with (Christ's Commission Fellowship in Paranaque), our weekly discipleship group meeting there, and my on going classes at Church of the Triumphant Christ. He also preached one service at Pastor Erwin's Church, Tagumpay (meaninig "Victory) Baptist Church.
The Arrival of the Rest of the Team
Lord willing, Chad, Cara Mia and Titus Dexter (also GMI missionaries) will be moving here to join our team in the next month. Chad is currently working on ordination at Grace Community Church and finalizing their support raising on the East coast before returning to California.
The Greenes are fully supported and plan to arrive this January. The Lucianos (our third GMI family) are between 70-80% and pray to move here sometime shortly after the Shepherd's Conference in March of 2014.
As each family arrives, we will be busy helping them settle in as they look for vehicles, places to live and getting set up. They will need to do basic things (which are not quite as easy as we're used to in the U.S.) like setting up bank accounts, paying bills, grocery shopping, etc. They may have some immigration issues as well, depending on what they can or can't get done before they arrive.
- In early November, we are hoping to complete our New Testament Survey course with our men in Boracay, however, the church that we meet in there is facing eviction and we may have to move the class to Iloilo (one island south).
- We are planning the graduation of our second batch of students in late November or early December. These students have been studying with us for the past 3-4 years.
- In January, we plan to start a new batch of students at Church of the Triumphant Christ.
Support and Furlough
Lastly, our support has been shrinking to critical levels over the last year so we plan to return to the U.S. next June. The timing of this would work out well, as our second son, Christian, would be graduating from high school and starting college at that time. We can all go back together and get him checked in just before we attend our GMI missions conference in July. During our furlough, we will be focusing on raising up more prayer partners and the support that we are lacking. Our stay could be as short as six month, but will likely be a year.
It will be tight financially to stay on the field until June of next year, but we pray that the Lord will provide us enough support to stay till then. That way, we can be here to help the rest of the team get settled in and our kids can finish the school year. We may have to make some adjustments to stay, but we are optimistic that we will be able to do so. If the Lord puts it on your heart to help us by joining our support team or to give a special gift to keeps us going, please let us know. You can also make a donation directly on the web: http://www.gracechurch.org/ministries/outreach/international/missionary/?id=110&tab=support
- Pleases pray for the Lord's guidance with SDGC as we look at growing our relationship with them.
- Pray for the families who are still raising support to join us. Ask the Lord to provide for their needs, help them to get here safely and set up smoothly.
- Pray for our upcoming ministry plans, including ongoing classes, modules, graduation and enrollment of new students for January 2014.
- Pray that the Lord would provide for all of our support needs, including now through June of 2014 and during our support raising time while we are on furlough.
Sean and Jessica Ransom