May 27, 2014
Dear Praying Friends,
We always start our letter that way. It’s a blessing to know that we really do have “praying friends”. Two months have passed since we wrote our last update, and being that it’s summertime here, we have been busy with many activities and events. Here’s a breakdown of what has been going on in our family and at Iloilo Baptist Church & College:
In April, T.J. finished his second-grade school year and received a trophy for his effort and excellent grades. Our church choir and orchestra performed a wonderful Easter musical and drama, where many people were saved as a result. We also had our 26th Annual Youth Conference and had the privilege to host Pastor Joel Byram and some of the members of Open Door Baptist Church in Washington. We also had several youth camps throughout our region, and many surrendered their lives to full-time Christian service. Our staff and students have been working hard to recruit more students for our Bible college.
During the month of May, Brandie overheard T.J. witnessing to Ava. It was a sweet moment, and we are thankful that TJ is starting to understand the importance of sharing the Gospel. We explained to him that Ava doesn’t quite understand everything yet, but he insisted that she needs to go up to Heaven with Jesus and Papa (Brandie’s dad)!
We received word that one of our missionaries in Uganda, Bro. Josue Satnuero, needed to have emergency surgery on his appendix. He is doing well now, and we thank God for those who knew about it and prayed for him. That same week, one of our young Bible students suddenly passed away. Neil Sabando (pictured above) was just 19 years old but went to Heaven with an outstanding Christian testimony. He was a great soul winner and brought people to church every service. Please keep his family and friends in your prayers.
T.J. participated in Vacation Bible School and had a great time. He won a ribbon for “Most Neat & Clean.” Ironically, he had fallen in some mud, not once, but twice that week! Ava joined in the fun on the last day and even got up on stage to sing with the other two- and three- year-olds.
On May 18, Brandie spoke at her monthly Ladies’ Fellowship. We also had a Filipino Missionary to Cambodia in our morning services, Pastor Tom Lemmons was here for the weekend, along with his son, Dylan, from Lighthouse Baptist Church in Montana.
Last Sunday, May 25, we held our annual WWII Veterans/ Armed Forces of the Philippines Appreciation Day. We honored the life of a young soldier who died last year. His parents attended, and we presented them with a plaque. His father has also been in the military for 27 years. It was a special day, as the number of WWII veterans who are able to attend gets smaller with each passing year.
Well, I told you we’ve had a busy summer! Our school year will begin in just a few short days. We appreciate your sacrificial support and prayers for the ministry here in Iloilo. God has been and continues to be so good to us! Many pictures of the events I mentioned in this letter can be found on my wife’s Facebook page, but we’ve included some here as well.
PRAISE: We are excited that after almost 10 years on the mission field, Brandie’s mom, Lisa Lee, will be visiting us here in Iloilo in mid-June for 2 weeks. This really is a dream come true for my wife. Pray for her safe trip, as she has never travelled overseas.
Ricky & Brandie Martin with T.J. & Ava