November 14

Help A Neighbor, Inc.

3505 Horse Run Ct.

Shepherdsville, KY 40165

(halbrook@twc.com / 502-955-1748)

November 5, 2014th Year of Our Lord

 

Dear brethren and friends,

 

By the good grace and providence of God, 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 exclusively 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. Church donations are not accepted because we do not function as an ecclesiastical organization in any sense.

 

A year ago this month I was gathering information to make an annual report about the work of H.A.N., but my efforts were interrupted by typhoon Haiyon or Yolanda (Philippine name). The worst typhoon in recorded history struck the central Visayan Islands, especially Leyte, killing over 6,000 people and sweeping away homes, animals, belongings, and everything else in sight! In addition to regular work and Philippine trips, since last November until now I have been relaying benevolence to many brethren who are victims of this terrible devastation. I hope to write a final report on that relief effort soon. That is the primary reason this H.A.N. report has been delayed until now.

 

This report covers 19 months: November 2012 through June 2014. The Philippine work remains our main focus although several efforts have been made to extend help to people in other nations. Our purpose is always to help those who demonstrate their willingness to help themselves. During this time period donations amounted to $273,632.00. Dozens of Christians have donated modest sums combined with occasional large donations, thus extending aid to hundreds of brethren in need.

 

Thanks to this generous giving, some 30 church buildings were repaired or constructed, or in some cases payments made on lots. This includes 16 sites on the island of Luzon, 10 on Mindanao, and others on Negros, Cebu, and Palawan. Property was purchased and a church building completed in Bangalore, Karnataka State in southern India, a city of four and a half million souls. Bobby Holmes of Duncanville, TX was the driving force in this effort. A total of $40,250 was used for church buildings.

 

On 28 separate occasions benevolence was sent for brethren suffering all sorts of injuries, health issues, and medical problems. Some were given as little as $100. I have witnessed brethren who needed the simplest medicines such as aspirin and others suffering from goiters the size of two large grapefruits which could be remedied with inexpensive medicines. A Filipino preacher’s wife needed emergency surgery which took a whole day, resulting in bills of about $10,000. Over half that amount was provided through H.A.N. Dr. Teresa Toreja has a small clinic in Navotas, Metro Manila where she serves the needs of very poor saints and other citizens. $5,200 was provided to her to help in some of the most serious cases of our brethren. All in all, $22,584 went to medical emergencies and needs.

 

In over 50 cases brethren struggling with all sorts of personal and families problems were given aid. Damaged homes were repaired. Motorcycles and other vehicles desperately needed repairs or registration renewal. There are times Filipino brethren can eat only twice a day and children are crying for hunger. The needs are so vast and so varied it is mind numbing. Filipino saints often lack the most basic things we take for granted. In about a dozen cases limited help was extended to aid brethren serving the needs of saints in India, Moldova, Ecuador, Peru, Zimbabwe, and Canada. In a few cases benevolence was provided to saints in the U.S. facing dire circumstances. The amount used for all these various needs is $105,650.

 

Special emergencies involving mostly typhoons are addressed whenever possible. Help with such emergencies as burial expenses for poor saints is also included. Super-typhoon Yolanda struck with horrific force on November 8, 2013, the strongest typhoon or hurricane on record with sustained winds of 195-199 mph and gusts up to 235 mph. The storm was 300 miles wide and created cloud cover over nearly the whole Philippine nation. It was equal to category 5 hurricanes Camille (1969) and Katrina (2005) which hit the U.S., only worse. The final death toll will never be known because so many bodies were swept out to sea. The central islands in the Visayan Sea were hardest hit. Brethren on Leyte, Panay, Bohol, Cebu, Negros, Oriental Mindoro, and even northern Palawan to the west were hit hard. The means of livelihood such as farm animals and coconut trees were destroyed. Since our brethren are among the poorest people in the Philippines, they have suffered greatly.

 

Funds sent for special emergencies amounted to $33,578.73.

 

Funds used for my travel and related expenses on preaching trips to the Philippines, New Zealand, and Australia during these 19 months added up to $27,571.75.

 

Bibles and Bible study literature distributed on my trips or shipped to various places amounted to $21,097.40.

 

Miscellaneous expenses during this time period were $15,429.23. About 4/5th of this amount is the cost of wire fees and of shipping huge boxes filled with songbooks, Bibles, study materials, food, clothing, and personal items. As brethren have learned I can ship door-to-door a box of 60-90 songbooks for about $125, they have sent me hundreds of used songbooks which I continue to ship to the Philippines.

 

The remaining balance in the H.A.N. fund in June of 2014 was $7,470.89. This balance did not gather dust but was soon utilized. (At the present time, the bank balance is pretty well busted to 0, but the last couple of months are not covered here and I will report on all that later.)

 

God willing, I will make my 56th trip to the Philippines and my 6th trip to New Zealand December 1-19. We have a unique opportunity because a church has provided basic expenses for this trip (but not through H.A.N.). Additional donations can be applied to many needs and here are a few targets:

 

(1) FILIPINO BIBLES. Let’s focus on purchasing Bibles in Filipino dialects. Bibles, songbooks, and study materials were swept away by Yolanda and other typhoons this past year. I will visit the Philippine Bible Society in Manila where Bibles can be purchased at a discount and shipped directly to the brethren. $10,000 would purchase well over 1,000 Bibles without supplying the full need, not to mention tools like Bible dictionaries and other study materials.

 

(2) SHIP SUPPLIES. Shipping companies load cargo ships with truck-size containers, including door-to-door deliveries of special boxes which ship for about $125 regardless of weight. I have shipped well over 100 boxes filled with Bibles, songbooks, study materials (much donated by Guardian of Truth Foundation), clothes, food, and other needs. I would like to ship 20 or more of these boxes soon.

 

(3) COMMUNION WARE. For years Filipino brethren have been pleading for communion ware especially trays to serve the grape juice. They also need the plastic cups. These appeals get pushed way down the list and now is our chance to make at least some effort to meet this need. Perhaps I can purchase some manufactured trays but also an elder here is going to provide homemade trays which can be shipped.

 

(4) VEHICLE FOR WILLIE PASTOR. After four years and eight months of incarceration, Willie Pastor was released from Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila on October 15. Over 500 inmates were baptized and three new churches organized during his stay. Upon returning to his home in the Quirino Province on Luzon, he is making plans to preach, to establish a new congregation, and to teach in the prison. His old dilapidated vehicle is dead. Rather than sinking money into this black hole for repairs, I want to raise funds to get him a used van which can be used in his preaching work. A used model dating 1995-2000 costs $5,000-$6,000 but I hope to raise $10,000 to get a model not quite so old.

 

Many other needs such as church buildings, medical treatments, and vehicle repairs continue.

 

H.A.N. is a labor of love. No one takes compensation for this service. Every penny donated goes to needs we have identified in some way as reflected in this report. Thank you to all who make it possible. Visit www.HelpANeighbor.net to learn more (thanks to Thomas and Jacob Keese).

 

Truly, “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35)!

 

In Christian love,

Ron Halbrook

(halbrook@twc.com)

 

To see good Bible study material, go to:

www.HebronChurchOfChrist.com

www.biblework.com

www.truthmagazine.com

www.CEIbooks.com

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November 6

Philippine & New Zealand preaching trip Dec. 1-19, 2014

October 31, 2014th Year of Our Lord

 

Dear brethren,

 

God opened a door for me to preach in the Philippines first with Jim McDonald in 1995, and now my 56th trip is planned for December 1-19 by His marvelous grace.  Paul urged Christians at Corinth to meet challenges both from within and without the church: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). My trip will echo this stirring call in the Philippines and New Zealand.

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November 6

Good news: Willie Pastor & Mag-abo family

October 28, 2014th Year of Our Lord

 

Dear brethren,

 

This report is filled with good, happy, encouraging, uplifting news from the Philippines!

 

Willie Pastor released from prison

 

Finally, after wading through much bureaucratic red tape, on October 15 Willie and Kathy Pastor completed all the necessary steps for Willie to be released from prison.  After his release at 2:50 P.M., he sent me an email message later that evening which said in part, “I am so happy and thankful that after 4 years 2 months and 23 days in prison I was released and able to see the freedom land again” (this was the time served in the national Bilibid Prison, not counting the time spent in the provincial jail).
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September 1

Halbrook Philippine Trip July 29-Aug. 28, 2014 Completed

August 30, 2014th Year of Our Lord

HALBROOK REPORT: 55rd PHILIPPINE TRIP

July 29-August 28, 2014 

 

Dear brethren,

 

A merciful God permitted me to join Jim McDonald in the Philippines in 1995 and has guided me safely through my 55th trip July 29-August 28, 2014.  Christ told Peter after guiding him to a great catch of fish, “From henceforth thou shalt catch men” (Lk. 5:10).  “Disciples are fishers, human souls are fish, the world is the sea, the gospel is the net, and eternal life is the shore whither the catch is drawn” (McGarvey, Fourfold Gospel, p. 162).  With 74 lessonspresented, 67 answered the gospel call.

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August 29

Ron home from Philippines Aug. 28

August 28, 2014th Year of Our Lord 

Dear family, brethren, and friends, 

Greetings from my home in Shepherdsville, KY.  It is 10:00 P.M. here and I am thankful to report my return trip from Manila was safe by God’s grace and the prayers of His saints.  It was a privilege and a joy to work with our Filipino brethren for the past month.  I thank God for the love, encouragement, and assistance of many Filipinos when I am in their land.  My faith, hope, and love always grows when I observe their efforts to serve the Lord in spite of many trials.  We do our best together to plant and to water, and God gives the increase according to His will (1 Cor.  3:6). 
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August 28

Halbrook Philippine Report August 21-27, 2014

August 27, 2014th Year of Our Lord

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

This report is being written as I begin the last seven days of this trip. Rosalito Nardo helped invite a number of his contacts among liberal institutional preachers for two days of study on these issues August 21-22. Plans were made to gather 50 men in a hotel function room in General Santos City, but over 120 people showed up the first day. Forty are from the liberals. Newly baptized denominational “pastors” as well as prospects heard about it and wanted to hear the lessons, including an American from St. Louis, MO who works over here and does some preaching among denominations and independent groups. He has been in the Philippines for seven years and was befriended by Filipino brethren who invited him to attend.

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August 21

Halbrook Philippine Report August 18-20, 2014

August 20, 2014th Year of Our Lord

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

The schedule for Monday, August 18, brought us to a congregaton in Lanton, General Santos City for an all-day gospel meeting with Jerry Julom. About 40 attended as I presented lessons on “God Created All Things,” “The Purpose of Our Lives,” “The Gospel Makes Us Right With God,” and “Marriage: God’s Gift to Man & Woman.” After Paul Nario was baptized yesterday, he immediately started teaching his children who are in the ir late teens and early 20’s. Two of them joined our meeting today and they responded to the gospel call! Heaven rejoices again!

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August 18

Halbrook Philippine Report August 17, 2014 (Lord’s Day)

August 17,
2014th Year of Our Lord

Dear
family, brethren, and friends,

On the
Lord’s Day Jack Jaco and I were blessed to worship with the saints of the Lanton
church of Christ in General Santos City where Jolly Julom has been
preaching for many years. My first sermon was “The Patience of God”
followed by “When Saints Assemble Christ Is With Us.” About 40
attended.

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August 16

Halbrook Philippine Report August 11-15, 2014

August 15, 2014th Year of Our Lord

Dear family, brethren, and friends,

Thanks to your prayers and God’s good
providence, the trip continues to go well here in the Philippines. I am writing
this report from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur. On August 11 (Monday)
Jonathan Carino, Jack Jaco, and I flew from Cebu City to Pagadian
City. Rody Gumpad had arrived earlier in the day, and as a bonus Tessie
is with him. This week will be devoted to teaching classes on The Home and
Family Life at the Bogo church of Christ here in Pagadian City. Ramon Carino
has preached for these saints for many years but this is their new
location.

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