December 14

Halbrook in Philippines & New Zealand December 8–11, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

I spent part of Friday preparing to teach the next lesson and also catching up on some email.  Abner took off work in the mid-afternoon so we could hike five miles up and around the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean which took an hour and a half.  The footpath winds through heavy bush areas, and up and down steep steps, to Kohi Point for a panoramic view of the ocean’s blue-green waters and Whale Island in the distance.  The tui birds make the bush area sound like a jungle with its “complicated mix of tuneful notes interspersed with coughs, grunts, and wheezes” (http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/tui  – see the beautiful birds at that site,  & then hear the sounds at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk02PJBUODE).  It makes you wonder if a python will appear around the next bend, but fortunately there are no snakes in New Zealand.

We returned home, cleaned up, and by 6:30 P.M. arrived at the home of Joseph and Fe Gariando.  These faithful saints were our hosts as 11 people studied about “New Beginnings in Christ” (Ps. 118:18-20).  There were good questions and discussion about the meaning of “the kingdom of God,” when it was established, instrumental music in worship, and when we need to be baptized or even re-baptized.  Our study lasted from 7:30-9:30.  Later a young lady raised Catholic who admitted she knew nothing about the Bible said she was learning a lot from attending sessions like this.  The seed of God’s kingdom is being planted in Whakatane!
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December 12

Halbrook in Philippines & New Zealand December 6-7, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

After teaching the last session in Auckland Tuesday night, I worked until 2:00 A.M. Wednesday preparing everything to start the second segment of work planned for New Zealand.  Ronnie Salunga drove me to the airport at 6:00 A.M. to fly to Whakatane in the Eastern Bay of Plenty region on a regional prop-jet.  Abner and Lani Salanguit have been laboring diligently for the past few years to establish a congregation here.  It was a joy to meet Abner at the airport.  This is my fourth visit to the area since December 2011 and Abner and Lani are very gracious hosts whom I have learned to love.

During my visit here in December 2016, I preached a two-part sermon on “Two Attitudes Toward God’s Word: Conservative and Liberal” (Jer. 6:16).  After the sermon Abner announced we should embrace a conservative not a liberal attitude toward the authority of Scripture in all things.  After I left he made concentrated studies on institutionalism and on the International Churches of Christ because of his past connections with these movements.  He shared what he learned with the brethren here.  Consequently, a few months ago the whole congregation decided to cut all ties with such apostate movements and to be a fully independent and autonomous church directly under the authority of Christ exactly like the churches found in the New Testament.
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December 12

Halbrook in Philippines & New Zealand, November 28 – December 5, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

My 68th trip to the Philippines (8th trip to New Zealand) is now well underway.  By God’s grace the flights from Louisville to Atlanta to Tokyo to Manila were safe and uneventful on Tuesday (Wednesday by Filipino time).  Our plane landed in Manila about 9:30 P.M. making my total travel time a little more than 25 hours.  I had checked into my room and gone to the exercise room by 10:30 to give my stamina a boost for the next day.

Thursday morning I woke up at 7:00 A.M. and went immediately to exercise again for about 30 minutes before going to breakfast.  Today was spent making some preparations for my New Zealand trip and for the appointments to preach in Metro Manila when I return.  Everything was on track to be a busy but good day until I opened the six boxes of Bibles and study materials which came with me on the plane.  I was prepared to segregate the packages according to the labels we put on them at home to indicate which materials would be distributed in what places.  But, lo and behold, people working the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) had opened all the packages in three boxes, stripped away the plastic wrappers and labels and dropped them like trash in the bottom of the boxes, then dumped the books helter-skelter back into the boxes.
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December 3

Ron’s Itinerary in Philippines & New Zealand November 28-December 19, 2017

Dear family & loved ones, Please keep me in your prayers as I also pray for you each day.

PHILIPPINE TRIP  ITINERARY NOV. 28- DEC. 19, 2017

Nov 28-29 (Tues-Wed) Leave L’ville 7:05AM  on DL #2171, arrive Atlanta 8:45 AM;
leave Atlanta 11:15 AM on DL #295, arrive Narita, Tokyo, Japan 3:45 PM Nov 29 (Wed)                                                                                                                   
leave Narita, Tokyo, Japan 5:25 PM on DL #181, arrive Manila 9:40 PM

Nov 30 (Thur) Organize boxes of books for upcoming Philippine venues, rest, & fly to N.Z.
Leave Manila 11:15 PM on PAL PR0218, arrive Cairns, Australia 7:30 AM Dec 1 (Fri)
Dec 1 (Fri) Leave Cairns 8:30 AM on PAL PR0218, arrive Auckland, New Zealand 4:30 PM
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November 27

Help A Neighbor Annual Report November 1, 2016-November 1, 2017

November 1, 2017th Year of Our Lord

Dear brethren and friends,

Help A Neighbor began in July of 2007 to provide for others what they cannot provide for themselves in the spirit of Matthew 22:39:
Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Help A Neighbor (H.A.N.) exists for humanitarian and charitable purposes
as defined by section 501 (C) 3 of the IRS Code.  All donations are legally tax deductible.  This is simply a legal means
for individuals to extend aid to individuals.  No church donations are accepted – H.A.N. is not an ecclesiastical organization.

This annual report covering November 1, 2016-November 1, 2017 is made in the interest of integrity and transparency.
Our main focus is helping Christians in the Philippine Islands, but occasional help is extended to Christians in other parts of the world
including the U.S.  Our aim is to help people who demonstrate their willingness to help themselves.  During this time period
donations amounted to
$283,710.00.  Most donations are modest amounts with occasional larger gifts.
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October 25

December Preaching: Philippines, New Zealand

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

PLEASE SHARE THIS LETTER ON GOSPEL PREACHING IN THE PHILIPPINES!

October 13, 2017th Year of Our Lord
                                                            
Dear brethren,

November 28-December 19 will make my 68th preaching trip to the Philippines and my 8th trip to New Zealand.  I am ever thankful for Jim McDonald starting me in this work in 1995. First principles of the gospel will be emphasized with confidence they will bear fruit to the salvation of souls and the glory of God.  Paul thanked God for the faith and love of the saints at Colosse “that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth” (Col. 1:3-6, NIV).  Yes, the gospel bears fruit “all over the world” including the Philippines and New Zealand!

After flying from Louisville, KY to Manila in the Philippines November 28-29, I will ship six boxes loaded with Bibles, study materials, and a few personal items like eye glasses.  Filipino brethren will meet me and help to re-pack these materials for shipment to various places in the Philippines.
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October 17

Philippine Report August 1-29, 2017

September 2, 2017th Year of Our Lord
HALBROOK REPORT: 67th PHILIPPINE TRIP AUGUST 1-29, 2017

Dear brethren,                               

A merciful God brought me to the Philippines in 1995 with Jim McDonald and my 67th trip, August 1-29, has now been completed by His grace.  God proclaimed to John His wrath on the evil Roman Empire for its idolatry and persecution of saints.   “The everlasting gospel” brings 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 for them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6).  The everlasting gospel still proclaims divine judgment on Satan’s servants and final victory to faithful saints.   On 59 occasions I proclaimed this same gospel, not counting lessons taught by Filipino brethren.  Sixteen precious souls submitted to Christ in baptism for the remission of sins.

On August 3 Filipino brethren met me in Manila to help repack boxes and ship them ahead to the places I planned to teach. Thursday a plane took me to Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental where I met Jack Jaco.  Saturday we traveled into the mountains to preach at Baslay, Dauin, Negros Oriental with Macario Magabo.  Pablo Quimada translated my lessons on “Jesus Came to Seek and Save the Lost” and “How Sinners Receive Salvation.”  Four were baptized.  Sunday we worshiped with the saints at Siaton where Pablo Quimada labors.  About 50 attended both places and another three submitted to Christ at Siaton.
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September 4

Home from Philippines, Ask for Prayers

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

By the wonderful providence of God my 67th preaching trip to the Philippines has been successfully completed.  There were 16 souls baptized into Christ and two week-long classes conducted with the help of Jack Jaco and Jonathan Carino.  God blessed my travel during the past month with safety.  It is always an enriching experience to work with Filipino saints.  While I am trying to help them by teaching God’s Word, their faith, hope, and love strengthen and edify me.  I will send out a final report soon.

I fought an ear infection for three weeks and could not defeat it in spite of seeing two doctors and taking several medicines.  The day before I left Manila Dr. Teresa Toreja was able to drain a sore inside the ear and to see spots of infection on my eardrum.  She urged me to see a specialist as soon as reaching home.  While changing planes en route home on Tuesday in Atlanta, I called ahead and was given an appointment for early Wednesday in Lexington.  Knowing there can be road work and traffic problems traveling from Louisville to Lexington, I decided to travel to Lexington Tuesday night after the plane landed and to stay in a motel near the medical complex.  Dr. Matthew Bush graciously saw me though he does medical research rather than seeing patients on Wednesdays.  He took a culture to determine exactly what kind of infection I have, then he packed my ear with some kind of medical cream, and he prescribed another antibiotic.  He wants me to return next week, but he is confident this infection can be killed.
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September 2

Halbrook Philippine Preaching August 20-29, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

At long last I am finally able to send an updated report.  I have been caught in a whirlwind of activity which barely allowed me to preach and teach the scheduled lessons without a moment to write anything.  When the last report ended I was still on Cebu Island and will pick up the story there.

The Lord’s Day, August 20, we drove about an hour to Sitio Katanoy Liloan in Cebu City to worship with Roy Matta and the saints there.  Our attendance was 125 and the church building was filled with young people in their teens and older along with more mature brethren.  My subjects were “Young People, Read the Bible” and “Jesus Came to Seek and Save the Lost.”  When a congregation survives another year, Filipinos often include songs and prayers of thanksgiving in the service, and I was asked to lead such a prayer.
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August 26

Philippine Preaching August 13-19, 2017

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

The Lord’s Day, August 13, was a beautiful day for the saints to assemble and worship our great God.  We drove an hour from Bacolod City to Victorias City where Jack Jaco preaches.  About 80 souls gather and I preached “God Made Us Male and Female” (Gen. 1:27), dealing with gender identity and roles.  Next, we studied “Why Saints Assemble,” a verse by verse study of Hebrews 10.

In the afternoon we drove over a hour to reach the church in a rural area at Kawayan, Taloc, Bago City where Shem Tagapan preaches.  I was glad to see these saints again and to know they are steadfastly serving the Lord.  About 35 were gathered and I presented the lesson “Jesus Came to Seek and Save the Lost” (Lk. 19:10).  Shem is sound and steady in his work.
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