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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April 8

Philippine Preaching April 5-8, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

The excitement started right away when my early morning Wednesday flight to Atlanta was diverted to Greenville, S.C. because of severe storms and tornadoes moving through the Southeast.  I had skipped breakfast thinking there would be plenty of time in Atlanta, then stayed near the gate in Greenville as Delta kept changing the status of the flight from “on” to “off.”  Finally about 3:00 P.M. we flew to Atlanta where thousands of people were stranded by cancelled flights.  It took 2-3 hours for me to re-book new flights. I finally had a soup-and-salad supper, the only meal of the day, then waited to catch an 11:00 P.M. plane with a new convoluted schedule.  It would take me to Detroit to spend the night in the airport before making connections which included a Japanese airline en route to the Philippines.

Alas, that Atlanta flight was cancelled too and I stood in line again two hours to get a new schedule for the next day.  At 1:30 A.M. I crawled under a row of seats in a waiting area, put my head on my little blue travel pillow, and covered up with a light jacket to sleep 5 ½ hours.  Thursday morning I ate breakfast and worked a few hours before boarding my new Delta flights to Japan and on to Manila about noon.
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April 7

Ron’s Itinerary April 5-May 3, 2017

Dear Family, Brethren, & Friends,

Please pray for my safety and success in this upcoming trip.  God bless you all.

In Christian love, Ron Halbrook

PHILIPPINE TRIP ITINERARY APRIL 5-MAY3, 2017

Apr 5-6 (Wed-Thur) Leave Wed. Louisville 7:00 AM arrive Thur. Manila 8:55 PM
Apr 7 (Fri) Ship books, rest, & prepare to teach

Apr 8 (Sat) Leave Manila 2:00 PM, arrive Davao 4:00PM
Apr 9 (Sun) Preach at New Matina, Davao with Juanito Balbin
Apr 10-12 (Mon-Wed) VBS classes at New Matina, Davao with Balbins
Teachers Ron Halbrook, Lordy Salunga, Jerry Moral, & Archie Alarcon
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March 21

Philippine Preaching April 5-May 3, 2017

PLEASE SHARE THIS LETTER ON GOSPEL PREACHING IN THE PHILIPPINES!
March 18, 2017th Year of Our Lord
                              
Dear brethren,

April 5-May 3 is set for my 66th preaching trip to the Philippines after Jim McDonald first introduced me to this work in 1995.  I keep returning because there is a great harvest of precious souls seeking God and salvation.  As many are baptized into Christ, they need follow-up teaching and edification.  In all of this work many Filipino brethren are heroes of faith and it is a privilege to work at their sides.  They do not need foreigners like me to take over or control the work they are doing, but we can encourage them, equip them, and hold up their hands in the good work they are doing.  That is the purpose of this trip.  After 12 souls were baptized into Christ at Ephesus, Paul reminded them they had been saved by grace through faith to become diligent workers in the kingdom of God:  “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Acts 19:5; Eph. 2:10).

My schedule calls for me to arrive in Manila late on the evening of April 6.  The next day Filipino brethren will meet me to make arrangements to ship boxes of teaching materials ahead to the venues where I will distribute and use them. I will visit a money changer and make other preparations for the scheduled work.
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March 20

Philippine Report February 16-March 7, 2017

March 7, 2017th Year of Our Lord
HALBROOK REPORT: 65th PHILIPPINE TRIP February 16-March 7, 2017

Dear brethren,                               

God’s good providence blessed my 65th preaching trip to the Philippines with safety and success, after the first one with Jim McDonald in 1995. This trip concentrated on edifying and encouraging brethren in the provinces on Luzon still trying to recover from the typhoon devastation last October.  Benevolence sent earlier was greatly needed, but so is spiritual food.  Jesus reminded Satan, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).  If we have managed to lift the hearts and strengthen the faith of the saints, our time, efforts, and money have been well spent.

I brought many topics but immediately saw “Take Job as an Example” (Ja. 5:10-11) and “Rejoice in the Lord Always” (Phil. 4:4) were striking the right chord. For the first time in my life I preached the same sermons over and over.  I had asked Rody Gumpad to help me with schedule and travel logistics and we coordinated our preaching.  After my lessons, he summarized the main points in the dialect with some first principles, followed by an invitation.  I preached 34 times and 44 precious souls submitted to Christ in baptism.  I now appreciate Job more than ever before.  Like Job, the agony of the saints is prolonged as they wait for new crops to grow.
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March 10

Home by God’s Mercies Tuesday PM

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

I left my hotel in Manila at 7:30 AM Tuesday and by the mercies of God arrived at my home in Shepherdsville, KY Tuesday at 10:45 PM (Wednesday 11:45 AM in the Philippines).  This 27 hours of travel included a few bumpy segments when the pilot required everyone to be sure our seat belts were fastened, and there were a couple of delays along the way, but God blessed us with safe travel and it is good to be home again.

It was an uplifting experience for my faith, hope, and love as I worked with Filipino saints on this 65th trip, as it always is.  The faith and resilience of these saints was evident as we traveled and preached in provinces still struggling to recover from super-typhoon Lawin last October.  I hope the hearts of our brethren were uplifted as we studied “Take Job for an Example” and “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”   It was a joy to work with Rody and Tessie Gumpad — I had asked him to help with travel logistics and to be my guide in reaching as many brethren affected by the typhoon as possible.  It was a joy to work with so many brethren in the provinces who are pressing forward by faith in God.
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March 9

Philippine Preaching March 2-6, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

From San Fernando City in La Union on Thursday we drove to Caba where Carlos Domingo has preached for many years.  About 60-70 attended including brethren from surrounding areas to hear the sermon “Take Job as an Example.”  Rody did his typically excellent summary in Ilocano.  It was good to see Denver Domingo who attended our preacher training class in Tuguegarao years ago – he is faithfully preaching while supporting himself.

The Caba church started work on a large church building to accommodate gospel meetings and Bible lectureships way back in 2004 but have been paralyzed by the lack of funds to finish the construction. The building is closed in and has a roof so that they can use it but no windows, no ceiling, and many other unfinished features.  The ladies especially wish the children’s classroom could be completed and put to use.  In spite of these problems, the brethren press on and do the best they can.
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