Trek Update From The Philippines
by Braden Driedger
March 3rd, 2016
Hello friends and family!
I am excited to be writing you all again and updating you on what God has been doing through me here in the Philippines. Since my last newsletter so much has happened that I don’t know where to start. Thus I will try and update you on the most significant things we did.
During the month of February we did significantly less manual labour than we had done in the months of December and January. As a result of this, we began holding many more Bible studies with church members and anyone who was interested. The topics of these Bible studies have centered around basic Christian principles such as Salvation, Assurance and Lordship. I can tell that the people with whom we have these Bible studies have really appreciated our teaching. They have such soft hearts and are always eager to learn more about the Bible. We had the privilege of holding one of these Bible studies with our TREK leaders when they traveled here from Canada at the beginning of February. We were so happy that they were able to meet the people we have been helping here. While our leaders were here we also attended a Mennonite Brethren Pastors conference entitled “The Ministry of Reconciliation”. It was very refreshing and refilling to be taught for a change as opposed to be teaching others.
The other major thing that we did during this past month was the DMI campaign in Laoag, which is one of the most northern cities in the Philippines. Along with Arthur Loewen and a few other fellow Canadians, my team and I spent a week there sharing the Gospel door to door and also in schools. It was a challenging week but it was so rewarding to see people come to know Christ for the first time. At one particular school, a week ago today, I gave the Gospel presentation and my testimony three times. My teammate Jessica was also there and she spoke to other classrooms as well. All in all there were over 100 students who accepted Christ that day! It was so amazing to witness that and be used by God in such an extraordinary way. We are praying that the seeds that were planted in their hearts will be planted in good soil and that the pastors with whom we worked will be following them up adequately.
What God has taught me:
God has taught me so much about His Holy Spirit and the manners in which He indwells in the lives of believers. I was filled with such boldness and conviction when I shared the Gospel during DMI. I know that this is something I could not have done without the Holy Spirit’s help since I am not much of a public speaker and can get stressed around a lot of people. I have also learned more and more to trust in Him and rely on Him. I often feel inadequate and can sometimes use my personality and my preferences as an excuse for my frustrations. However, I have learned that no matter what the situation is, my strength should be found in the Lord alone and I should trust that He can work through me no matter what. As it says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me”.
- Please pray that I would continue to grow into the person that Christ desires me to be. Specifically, please pray that I would be more patient and that I would have more boldness. Also that the Lord would strengthen me and help me to spend my time well here in the Philippines until our departure.
- Please pray for our ministry. That the people with whom we have Bible studies would grow in their faith and that the Holy Spirit would speak through us. Also that we would find opportunities to share the Gospel with people.
- Please pray for my relationship with my teammates and the Pastor’s family with whom I am living. That we would be encouraging and uplifting with one another.
Thank you all so very much for supporting me and loving me. I look forward to the day when I can tell you in person what God has accomplished through me and my team. Please continue to pray for me, your prayers are effective and God has been working so much through my team here.