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									                                                                                                                     January 2004

                         “The Word of God Grew And Multiplied”
   As I was out witnessing and sharing Gospel tracts this              for some of the new converts and soon I expect that we will
past month I entered a nearby village which I had yet to               have our first seven baptized members! Right now we’re
journey into. The village has no name and is small in size             trying to find a good place to have the baptisms; there are
(one could probably walk through all the streets in a matter           some rivers and springs nearby, but most of them appear to
of hours), but rather thick in population. As I walked                 be polluted with
through this particular village and spoke to the people I was          trash and animal
surprised to find that no ministry was taking place among              waste and I fear it
them. In fact, the only religion I found among the people,             could          cause
other than many of the common superstitious beliefs                    physical illness.
                                                 Filipinos cling       For the time being
                                                 to, was an idol-      we are meeting in
                                                 worshiping            an empty house
                                                 catholic church.      that     we      are
                                                 I began to visit      renting for about
                                                 the village more      $10 US per month.
                                                 frequently      in    The        building
                                                 my extra time         itself is nothing               Sunday School Students
                                                 after language        lavish, not even having electricity, but I’ve taught the people
                                                 studies to pass       that God certainly isn’t impressed by buildings constructed
                                                 out         Gospel    by feeble, sinful men, but rather by the hearts of those that
                                                 tracts and it         are totally sold-out to sacrificing their lives unto Him.
                                                 wasn’t        long       There are about 30 people coming for the Sunday morning
     Local Villagers Receiving Gospel Tracts     before some of        worship service and we’ve even started a Sunday school class
the people were gladly turning to the grace of Jesus Christ.           for the youth where there are currently about 20 youth
   I talked to some other missionary friends about the                 coming to hear Bible stories, memorize versus, and learn
village and I was disheartened to learn that such areas are            Bible songs. There are also about 20 people coming to a
often unreached because of the threats of various terrorist            weekly Bible study being held on Saturday evenings. We
groups located in their midst. And I found out this past                                                               can’t fit many
month that this particular village is certainly not an                                                                 more people into
exception when a married couple from the village were shot                                                             the       current
dead in the middle of the day by a member from one such                                                                building     and
group. The police in such areas can’t do much in such                                                                  there are even
situations as they are usually too small in size and even                                                              some looking in
many of them have ties with the terrorists. The ultimate                                                               through       the
atrocity, however, is that the people living in such a place                                                           windows during
aren’t being reached with the Good News of Jesus Christ.                                                               Sunday morning.
After some of the people                                                                                               The excitement
in this village responded                                                                                              among         the
to the Gospel I knew the                                                                                               people here is
Lord would want to see a                                                           Sunday Morning Worship              very   powerful!
Church among them and                                                 It’s a wonderful blessing to see the Word of God grow and
so I’ve started! Lord                                                 multiply among them! The people are even very excited about
willing, we will even be                                              witnessing and handing out Gospel tracts; they are always
having our first baptism                                              asking for more to give away! Even the youth are sharing them
service     towards       the                                         with their friends and classmates at school. During this month
beginning of February                  Current Meeting Place          alone we have given out nearly 3,000 Gospel tracts.

  Highland Baptist Church, Gainesville, Florida (352) 373-2138 - -
We have even begun collecting our offerings in order to one day purchase land to build a larger building on and the great
thing is that the people started doing this before I even mentioned it to them! Some of the youth even spent their
allowance to purchase plants to decorate the inside of the building and some have already put together a bulletin board to
post pictures of the people on. The Spirit of unity among the people is wonderful! One man even made a pulpit for me to
                                                    use and a little table to set the offering box on, again, apart from me even
                                                    mentioning it! Before the Saturday evening Bible study there are several
                                                    people coming to clean the building area where we are currently assembling
                                                    and even practicing music with the youth. As a result God is really blessing
                                                    us. He has even given us two very talented young men who have stepped out
                                                    to help lead music; one with a guitar and the other with his voice. The
                                                    children are even regularly learning songs to sing to the congregation and
                                                    their zeal is a great blessing! I’ve left it up to the people as to what they might
                                                    name their Church and so far nothing is official, but it sounds like most of the
                                                    people are talking about “New Life Baptist Church” – or in the Tagalog
                                                    language, “Bago Buhay Bautista Kapilya”.
    J.P., Our Guitarist, and Myself Practicing         I want to ask you to pray hard for the condition of the families among the
new converts. Walking with Christ means carrying a cross and sometimes it gets heavy. Some of the new Christians have
already experienced abandonment by family members and some are turning down the opportunity to be baptized
because doing so will also mean certain loss of financial support from their family. I’ve assured these new believers that
the Church will make sure that their needs are met and I ask you to pray that they will be bold in following the Lord no
matter what it might cost them. Please pray also for physical safety because it’s not
difficult for people to raise up violence when there is no active law enforcement; there’s
no such thing as picking up a phone to call 911 in these areas. Pray especially that those
family members who are upset will see God’s grace for themselves and be saved.
   Please pray for myself also as it has been very challenging for me to balance my time
between language studies and Pastoring this new Church. I have felt quite overwhelmed
                                              at times, but I know God has not given me more
                                              than I can handle. I considered possibly cutting
                                              down my language studies to a part-time schedule,
                                              but after praying about it God convicted me against
                                              this. It’s important for me to strive towards
                                              becoming as fluent as I can be, and as quickly as
                                              possible, because clarity is absolutely crucial when
                                              it comes to preaching the truths of God’s Word. I
                                              have learned many of the basics quickly, but the Youth Cleaning Outside the Church
                                              deeper I get into the language the more complicated it becomes. Pray also that as I
                                              preach the truths of the Word that the people will clearly understand and purge
   Filipino Building a Bamboo Church Fence    themselves of the many superstitious beliefs they have held to for their entire lives.
   I also ask for your prayers for wisdom in breaking through cultural barriers. The Filipinos are typically very warm and
friendly people, but there are many who are very skeptical about my motives and the more I lean about their history the
more I understand their reasoning. Foreigners in the past haven’t generally come to the Philippines with friendly
intentions, but God has already been showing me unique and different ways of proving my love for them. For example,
when I met a young neighborhood boy and saw that he had his hair shaved like mine I offered to cut his hair for no cost.
He gladly accepted and I began to cut his hair almost every week. One day his father asked him how he was getting his
hair cut and when the boy told him that I was doing it for free he was shocked. The father personally told me that he was
very suspicious about me at first, but after seeing me playing with the children from the village and knowing that I was
cutting his son’s hair for free he was convinced that God was with me. This man hasn’t yet come to Christ, but the
doorway is now open and he always welcomes my conversations with him. Please pray that God will use me to reach
these millions of lost Filipinos who need to hear the Gospel. Thanks and God bless! Yours In Christ, Jeremy Ferguson

 Highland Baptist Church, Gainesville, Florida (352) 373-2138 - -

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