April 15, 2012
Dear Praying Friends,
Three weeks ago TJ fell and hit his head on the pavement while playing with some friends. Thirty minutes later he began vomiting all over our living room, so we thought it prudent to take him to the hospital where we spent the night, an unforgettable experience. A neurologist ordered x-rays and a CT scan. There wasn’t any serious damage, although we were told that should he have seizures later on, the fall could be behind it. TJ took it easy for a week, and we are now back to roughhousing. Below is a picture of him giving his grandpa a check-up with his doctor toys that he said he needed when he was discharged.
Iloilo Baptist College had its 31st graduation last month. We’ll miss those who finished college but are glad to see them start new churches or serve in other ministries. The church and college staff have been busy recruiting since graduation, through Youth Conference, and will continue to do so until classes start again in June. I went to places where I wondered if I was the first foreigner to ever be there. Pictured above are some of the young people who’ve enrolled in recent weeks. They are products of your faithful support, and we ask for your prayers for them, as they will likely face hardships over the next four years.
Our ministry family lost two servants just a few days apart last month:
Nilo Bayan graduated from our college in 1995 and started a church in Mindanao, where he reached many people. He died of liver failure, leaving behind a wife and two sons. He was forty years old.
Joebert Macna sang in the choir on Graduation Night, witnessed to a visitor, and then went to a friend’s reception where he posed for this picture. He collapsed a few minutes later and was taken to a hospital and declared dead on arrival. He had drowned in his own blood. We learned he had a history of tuberculosis before he came to Bible college. A doctor had told Joebert’s father that he wouldn’t live long, but Joebert replied that he would survive because he wanted to go to Bible college. Joebert joined us at IBC for three years before he was taken at twenty-two. He wanted to pastor. Joebert came from a broken family; his mother left when he was fifteen, leaving his father to raise eight children alone. We presented Joebert’s father with an honorary diploma from the college because Joebert Macna wanted to be a pastor.
We heard some amazing testimonies about Joebert at the memorial service (pictures below), and many students gathered around his casket to pray and make decisions.
Thank you for your prayers for the Bayan and Macna families and for your support of the ministry here.
Ricky Martin with Brandie, T.J., & Ava