NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2023
Greetings from Asia
During the month of July schools in the Philippines finish for the summer, and this year for the first time we organised a celebration for pupils from the Turawa tribe in Capacunga. Beforehand Pastor Celsa, who works amongst the tribe, arranged to wash the students because these tribes people do not wash themselves. She purchased new clothes and sandals for them too, because they normally don't have footwear, and she wanted them to look smart for the celebration. It was very special for them to have new clothes because their habit is to simply wear the same clothes until they wear out, not even washing them. Each school graduate wears a special gown and hat on top of their clothes so it was important for them to be clean and presentable. The pastor has been running weekly bible studies for the tribe and each person who completed these was given a medal.
As I write, the Philippines is being battered by typhoons which frequently cause serious flooding and terrible disruption. But Nathan has just left Norway on his way to try and reach Mindoro Island via Manila, a two day journey. So please pray for the Philippines and for Nathan as he takes this arduous route, especially with planes and ferries not currently operating to Mindoro.
An elderly person being carried through flooded waters
A baby being caried to safety from the floods
On a more positive note, it is always encouraging for me to meet people whom the Lord is using powerfully to bring the gospel to very remote areas which other people avoid. Dr Lois Nell Joy Tica is one such person and I met her in the medical mission that Hosea mounted last spring. She takes a team to remote and dangerous areas where no one has previously preached the gospel. Her team carried out a mission in the mountainous areas on Mindanao island where no aid had previously reached. It is a Muslim island and there is ongoing warfare between the military and terrorists from the NPA, who control the area and even ISIS terrorists who have infiltrated there.
Security for the mission team was provided by both the police and the military but of course this is no guarantee against surprise terrorist attacks. One of the many issues on Mindanao is witchcraft, with the sick being brought to shamans for healing. People living in these remote areas are easy targets for both terrorist influence and witchcraft, both of which bring even more misery to the region. This drowning world needs more people like Dr Joy Tica to bring God's saving grace. She works for an organisation called the Health Education Medical Ministry.
As I have reported earlier, Mindoro Island is also a place where NPA terrorists rule some of the remote regions. Sadly there has been a recent resurgence of terrorist activity as young men have been recruited to the NPA, in spite of an earlier lull. These new recruits are often drawn from the remote areas and that is why our work is focused in these places, encompassing humanitarian and educational aid and gospel outreach, with the active cooperation of police and military security. We are constantly in combat with the forces of darkness. I am full of gratitude to those military leaders who recognize the life-changing power of the gospel. It is also very encouraging that state school leaders appreciate the importance of spiritual help and Hosea has been invited into many such schools.
A typhoon struck the island
A persons house is flooded
When I reflect upon our work I am in awe of what God has done, the favour He has shown to Hosea ministry and how he has raised up local people with such commitment whether on the mission field or elsewhere. And also you, our faithful supporters and intercessors, are a vital part of that team -- the work could not go forward without you, my dear friends.