June 12

Philippine Preaching Trip August 1-29, 2017

Ron & Donna Halbrook
3505 Horse Run Ct.
Shepherdsville, KY 40165-6954


May 24, 2017th Year of Our Lord
Dear brethren,

The next Philippine preaching trip August 1-29 will be number 67 since Jim McDonald first took me in 1995.  I plan to edify saints, preach to the lost, and conduct training classes for preachers.  John saw visions of angels who announced God’s wrath on Rome for idolatry, immorality, and persecuting Christians.  One angel proclaimed “the everlasting gospel” of victory to martyred saints and defeat to their enemies:  “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).  The everlasting gospel still proclaims victory to God’s faithful saints and defeat to all Satan’s forces today!

I will arrive in Manila late on the evening of August 3. Thursday Filipino brethren will meet me to ship boxes of teaching materials ahead to the venues where they will be used.
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June 10

Philippine Report April 5-30, 2017

April 30, 2017th Year of Our Lord

Dear brethren,                               

Thanks to God who keeps opening doors, I have successfully completed my 66th preaching trip to the Philippines April 5-30, after first going with Jim McDonald in 1995.  I am always amazed at the work Filipinos do with such meager resources!  I am just a visitor who hopes to encourage and edify them, but they are the real heroes of faith.  This trip included two vacation Bible study series for young people in an effort to raise up even more workers:  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).  51 lessons were presented toward that end, not counting the ones presented by Filipino brethren.  16 were baptized into Christ.

This trip started with a bang when bad weather diverted my Atlanta flight to South Carolina, resulting in 50 hours of travel, double the usual time.  I even had the bonus of sleeping on the floor at the Atlanta airport with thousands of other stranded people, but all is well that ends well.  I arrived safely in Manila by God’s good providence.  In spite of this one day delay, I made it to Davao City and began work there April 8-12.
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May 25

Pray for Brethren on Mindanao

Dear brethren,

There are many saints who live on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines including the province of Lanao del Norte where this battle is occurring.  Marawi is near Iligan City which I visited on my April trip.  Let us pray for all of the innocent people who are suffering in Marawi and let us pray that God will protect and comfort our brethren in this region.
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May 3

Relief, Joy, and Thanksgiving

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

I hope this note finds all of you well with your family and loved ones.

By God’s grace I had a safe return from the Philippines to my home in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.  My total travel time was about 30 hours.

In recent years I have had a few floaters especially in my left eye (for more information on floaters, see http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/benign-eye-floaters#1).  Floaters are often small fragments, dots, or lines which appear for a time in the field of vision and gradually disappear.  They are called floaters because they are in constant motion.  This comes with the aging process for some people and is not generally dangerous.
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May 2

Early End to Philippine Trip

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

During my last lesson yesterday I had another large floater (substance behind the retina which breaks off or pulls away and appears to float in the field of vision).  These are often harmless but can tear the edge of the retina and do serious damage.  That happened shortly before this trip, but it was corrected by laser surgery.  The doctor said if I had another large one, it is critical to get an examination to see whether the retina was damaged.  Severe damage untreated can result in the loss of sight.  Attempts were made to contact three retina specialists here in the Philippines, but they are all away (Labor Day is a long weekend holiday here extending through Monday).  Dr. Teresa Toreja urged me to end my trip and go home immediately to see a specialist rather than risk losing my sight in my left eye.

I must express regret to Ely Ebuenga who made a full schedule of preaching for me covering Sunday and Monday including a visit to the inmates at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.  Also, I express regret to the brethren needing Bibles.  I was scheduled to visit the Philippine Bible Society on Tuesday to purchase those Bibles to be shipped to various locations.  While I truly regret postponing these plans, I am so very thankful for God’s providence which allowed me to complete all of the other appointments through this month before the floater developed.
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May 1

Philippine Preaching April 24-28, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

Lordy Salunga and the saints at the Southside church of Christ in Angeles City, Pampanga have been preparing for the Vacation Bible School (VBS) classes which started today, Monday, April 24.  Fifty were present for the first day.  The workbooks on How to Study the Bible by Cecil Willis were distributed.  My lessons discussed the need for Bible study, our expectation to understand the Bible, and some improper attitudes and methods of Bible study.  Lordy taught reasons we study the Bible and Jonathan taught the necessity of preparing the heart.

I called on every student to read passages of Scripture – all were attentive and all participated well.  What a great blessing it is for young people to learn to study God’s Word so that it can guide their lives in a way that honors God, brings personal fulfillment, and defeats the devices of Satan which poison and destroy souls.  The Psalmist wisely said, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.  With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Ps. 119:9-11).
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April 23

Philippine Preaching April 20-23, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

Shortly after 5:00 A.M. on Thursday Rody, Tessie, and Junior Gumpad met Jonathan and me at our hotel in Tuguegarao to begin a 12 hour trip to Angeles City (Jerome Forelo was not able to join us as expected).  While traveling we discussed the Lord’s work, viewed the scenery, and napped at times – except for Rody, our driver, who knows how to negotiate Filipino highways like a racedriver! Or a bus driver.  Actually, there is no difference between the two over here.

On a sad note, as we made our way through the Caraballo Mountains in the Province of Nueva Ecija we stopped at the site of a terrible accident.  Tuesday a bus lost control coming down the steep winding highway and plunged through a barrier 100 feet into a deep ravine.  Thirty-four people died and 44 survived, most of whom suffered severe injuries.  We prayed for God to comfort the injured and the grieving families, and that His providence might open doors for them to seek and find the true gospel of Christ.  Such incidents make me so very thankful for all of you who pray for us during these Philippine trips!
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April 20

Philippine Preaching April 17-19, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

On Monday, April 17, I woke up at 2:15 A.M. and joined Jonathan Carino in going to the airport in Cebu City to catch our flight to Manila, where we boarded another plane to Tuguegarao, Cagayan.  Arriving at 11:00 A.M., we rushed to attend the wedding of Robert and Aiza Paet, where I led prayer on their behalf.

After a good lunch with the wedding party, Rody and I went to his vehicle to use a cell phone connection in conducting a 30 minute radio program.  Listeners had requested discussion about how the thief on the cross was saved and why it is wrong to use instrumental music in worship.  The thief lived and died under the Law of Moses.  Hebrews 9:15-17 clearly teaches that the new covenant of Christ did not go into effect until after his death.  The thief never heard the Great Commission which was given after Jesus arose and before he ascended to heaven: “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15-16).
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April 18

Philippine Preaching April 13-16, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

On Thursday, April 13, it was necessary to get up at 4:45 A.M. to catch a plane from Davao City in southern Mindanao to Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental in northern Mindanao.  Cipriano Carpentero and Edgar Samodal met us with a multipurpose cab and a pickup truck to carry our bags and packages of Bible study material I would distribute.

We drove a couple of hours to reach the church meeting at Eslon in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte where Edgar preaches.  Area brethren joined us and the little meeting house was full and overflowing with additional people listening outside, probably a total of 50 or more.  My topic was “Rejoice in the Lord Always” (Phil. 4:4), a lesson of encouragement.
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April 13

Philippine Preaching April 9-12, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

I think I have seen the moon every night since arriving in the Philippines, reminding me of God’s love and of your love and prayers as well.

My first appointments to preach and teach were at the Downtown church of Christ in New Matina, Davao City in southern Mindanao.  Juanito Balbin began this work in the late 1960’s and it has been fruitful and stable through the years.  His sons Dudley, Sonni, and Connie have been assets to the church for many years.  The church has an excellent location except there is nowhere to park.  Juanito has been working to secure another prime location with plenty of room for parking and we hope this will materialize in his lifetime.

On the Lord’s Day, April 9, my time was divided into the Bible class period and the worship hour on the subject “Parents, Hold Fast!” (Eph. 6:1-4).  Our attendance was 92.  Few Filipino churches are able to conduct an evening service, but this church has done so for many years because some members can attend only in the morning and some only in the evening.  At the evening service I spoke on “Make Something of Your Life: Serve God” (Eccl. 12:13-14) because many young people were arriving for the week’s vacation Bible school.  90 souls were present.
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