Wed

23

Sep

2015

Rick & Becky Martin SEPT.-OCT. 2015 Prayer letter

Anniversary service of Pastor Ajito's church
Anniversary service of Pastor Ajito's church
Dear Friends,
 
In previous prayer letters we have written about some of the graduates of Iloilo Baptist College who have started Bible colleges and who have a vision to train young men to start churches.  Each has his own story.  Here is the story of Ernelito Ajito in his own words.  He received Christ as his Savior at Iloilo Baptist Church in July of 1978, not long after IBC was started.
“In my second grade, our mother required us to attend mass on Sunday, perhaps through the influence of my grandmother, a devoted Catholic.  I had to attend the processions (parade) with the images, especially during Holy Week, and especially Good Friday.  From 1974-76, I was an altar boy in the Catholic Church.  I did whatever the priest did.  I had the mass memorized; the order and the words that the priest used is repeated thousands of times.  I knew the brand of cigarette the priest used because as I stood beside him every mass, I could smell his breath!  If he was drunk from the night before, I knew it!
“In my 6th grade, Saint Vincent Ferrer Seminary (school for priests) presented to our class a priesthood vocation.  They distributed brochures and forms.  I told my parents about it.  My grandmother was so excited.  Maybe she was thinking, ‘At last I have a priest for a grandson!’
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Tue

21

Jul

2015

Rick & Becky's JULY-AUGUST 2015 Prayer letter

Some of the pastors who have Bible Colleges; Shem Barena & Leomar Villacampa are 5th & 6th from right
Some of the pastors who have Bible Colleges; Shem Barena & Leomar Villacampa are 5th & 6th from right
Dear Friends,
 
In this report we want to share the stories of two pastors who God is using to train pastors. 
Shem Barena was saved at the age of 12, and surrendered his life to God that same day.  Several years later a student of Iloilo Baptist College named Rex Galfo (now a missionary in Indonesia), visited the Barena home and told Shem about Iloilo Baptist College and the things he could accomplish for God there.  An intense desire to serve God grew in Shem’s heart and he came to Bible school.  He told us he immediately noticed the church carried a burden for the lost—not only in Iloilo City—but also for the world.  He loved the motto, “The church with a heart for everyone,” so he got involved with the different ministries.  He was active in the school ministry, prison ministry, extension Bible classes on Saturdays, held for children in the slums, and he had a jeepney route to bring people to church.  He said he really benefitted from being involved in those ministries because when he started his own church, he also started those same ministries.

Shem went through some tough times financially.  He worked hard and sacrificed much.  He drove a tri-sikad (bike with side card used as a taxi) during times between his classes and ministries.
Brother Shem was well prepared when he graduated in 1994 because of the struggles he endured in Bible College.  He started Grace Baptist Church in Tabu Ilog, Negros, and it grew rapidly.  Like many graduates, Brother Shem started his church under some trees.  
 
About two years after starting his church Brother Barena became very ill.  His doctor thought his kidneys were failing.  It got so bad that everyone thought he would die.  Brother Barena thought so too.  We waited for news of his death but God had other plans.  Some believe Brother Barena’s doctor simply made a wrong diagnoses.  We believe however, that God answered prayer and healed him!  Brother Barena says he has learned that trials make you stronger.  He started a Bible Institute to train several married men for the ministry.  After three years his first graduate, Jerry Filizardo, started a church!  By God’s grace, within a few years, Brother Barena and his men started five churches on Negros Island.  Pastor Jerry also started a Bible Institute.  In 2001 Brother Filizardo was thrilled as he had his first graduation with two graduates going into the ministry.  
 
In 2005 Brother Barena started a full time Bible school for young people.  The Lord has blessed the school.  His goal is to see these young people go out and start churches like the married men in his Bible Institute.  It was a blessing this past March to have Brother Barena as our speaker at the 34th Commencement exercises of Iloilo Baptist College.
Children brought to Pastor Villacampa's church by Bible College students
Children brought to Pastor Villacampa's church by Bible College students
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Mon

23

Mar

2015

Rick & Becky's March-April 2015 letter

Winning a soul in the hospital
Winning a soul in the hospital

Dear Friends,

 

Recently a pastor asked me what I was most excited about regarding what the Lord is doing here.  I told him it was so encouraging to see what God is doing through the Bible Colleges started by the graduates of Iloilo Baptist College in the Philippines.  In this prayer letter we want to share with you about one of the graduates who has a Bible School and I want to emphasize the practical ministry work of his Bible students.

Crisanto Arsaga graduated from IBC and started a church in Bacolod City on the neighboring island of Negros.  He is quiet but friendly and for years I didn’t hear much about how God was using his life.  Some of our staff members would tell me that God was using him to train the married men in his church to go out and start churches.  About a year ago I visited his church and on the wall of the church I saw a picture of all the churches started by the men trained in his church.  There were more than 20 of them!  Several of them were in the area of Negros Oriental where there are few churches.  He is humble, unassuming, and really loves the Lord and His work.

When Brother Arsaga started his Bible college seven students enrolled.  He had no place to house them so he had them stay in his home the first year.  This meant feeding them most of the time as well.  His church is located in a very poor part of Bacolod and his church is really out of the way.  His wife, who is a schoolteacher, took out a loan to buy a small lot so they could eventually build a dorm for the students.

Another thing I like about Brother Arsaga is the different outreach ministries he has for his church and also for the Bible college students.  He has neighborhood Bible Classes for children, Home Bible Studies, a Hospital Ministry, School Ministry, Police Ministry, and a Feeding Program.  This is in addition to tract distribution, soul winning, etc.  Here are some testimonies from his students:

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Mon

26

Jan

2015

Rick & Becky's Jan.-Feb. 2015 Prayer Letter

Students of Pastor Marlon Ticar
Students of Pastor Marlon Ticar

Dear Friends,

 

We wanted to continue from our last prayer letter in sharing more about Bible colleges started by the graduates of IBC.  Marlon Ticar has been a faithful pastor in Bacolod City for many years.  Here is his testimony:

 

We named our Bible school “God’s Word Bible Baptist College.”  We had no classrooms, no dorms, and no teachers.  We had to conduct our classes when students were available because they were staying with their parents and our culture demands that children are obliged to help their parents as much as possible.  This routine went on for several months until one day, Pastor Rick Martin told me that someone is buying us a lot and will build a dorm for our students!  We were overjoyed!  Some of our church members and students helped with the construction.  We now have the dorm and two volunteer teachers to the glory of God.

Sometimes it is hard to find and recruit young people to enroll in Bible School.  They are too focused in studying in secular schools and finding jobs.  I look for students who are saved and have a burden to serve God and a love for lost souls.  Also, they must have a desire to serve God and must not be easily discouraged when trials and tests come.  Lastly I look for a willing spirit.  Are they willing accept tasks given?  Are they willing to accept rebuke in order to improve their Christian character?  My vision here in Negros and especially in Bacolod City is that the students someday will have their own institutes to start their own soul-winning churches.  Souls are precious and our Bible students are good soul winners.  Our church members are united because we have a “SWAT” program-Soul Winning Action Team that goes out every Sunday afternoon house-to-house to win the lost to Jesus Christ. 

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