Easter Sunday in the Philippines! Bob is teaching in a small tribal church about an hour and a half away today. I (Judy) was supposed to be with him today but I’m at home, taking an antibiotic for what might be a sinus infection or strep throat…..not sure! But I am doing a bit better today after 3 days of pain and dizziness from my chin to the top of my head!
If you follow my page on Facebook (Judy Degville Ambrosius), you saw the pictures of a large group (70-80) of our young people headed to an INTERTRIBAL FELLOWSHIP in several vehicles, this year held in the area of one of our neighboring tribes! What a special blessing it is to know that not only is there interaction between these folks from different language groups but that their fellowship is based on their UNITY IN CHRIST! There are 5 minority groups involved in these gatherings, held yearly usually over the Easter weekend. Mostly they communicate with each other in the national language of the Philippines called Tagalog. It is ALWAYS a blessing to hear their testimonies when they return from these gatherings – friendships are formed, and we have even had a few marriages result from these young people meeting each other!!
We are coming to the home stretch of our time here in the Philippines for this Feb – May trip! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and for the work that’s been done during these months! With the exception of these past few days, we have really been blessed with good health and stamina for the work we have to do here.
Here’s the CHAPEL as it looks today! Plastering is nearly finished, inside and out…..and the roof purlins are being put in place. Roofing sheets and insulation materials have been ordered and should be delivered this week. After a few days break over Easter for some of our workers, we are back at a full work crew today and hoping for lots of progress this week! We still look at this building (even in its unfinished state) in awe……..grateful that we’re having the privilege of seeing it go up! It’s not just for the staff and students here at CFM – it will be a place for further training as we work with Grace School of Theology to provide more Biblical education for all our Kalanguya elders and teachers, along with other Christian workers in this province who want to further their understanding of and ability to teach the Word in their churches. We’re a long ways from the END REALITY of all of that……but what we see now blesses our hearts!
On March 23rd, we (Bob, Margie Lumawan and Judy) finished the last of the checking of the Old Testament! It was a RED LETTER day on our calendar for sure…..but unfortunately does not mark the end of all that needs to be done yet to have our manuscript ready for the printer! This past week Bob and Margie worked thru the book of James and 1-3 John to make sure some often misunderstood texts had adequate footnotes and cross referencing. Bob is presently reading thru Romans for the same purpose while Margie continues to work on introductions to all OT books, checking all KEY WORDS AND PHRASES for accuracy and sameness, and all the other details that go into making sure a book that has been translated, taught, re-thought and improved upon over the span of 40+ years is as accurate, readable and teachable as we can possibly make it!! The New Testament and a number of individual Old Testament booklets will finally all be brought together into ONE BOOK! Do keep praying for the “translation work” – WE’RE NOT FINISHED YET!
Besides the teaching in other churches on weekends, Bob’s day is often interrupted with conversations like this – Arsenio Espada is teaching Revelation in his village and needs some help understanding the events of the End Times! Not an easy assignment! But Bob loves this kind of mentoring. An understanding of God’s judgment coming upon an unbelieving world did prompt Arsenio to conclude that believers need to get busy getting out the good news of God’s provision of Redemption thru His Son!
We will be flying out of Manila on May 13th, landing in Houston the same day. Pray for a safe flight home and for plans for the summer and fall (not totally set yet). While at home, Bob will continue the work he has been doing here – the final read-through of the New Testament. Pray with us about a possible return to the Philippines later this year to see the completion and DEDICATION of the CHAPEL and to get our translation to the printer! So much to be done – so little time!! Pray that the Lord would show us HIS plan by His provision for funds for the return trip and for good health. All things are in HIS hands……..we’re just thankful to be part of what HE is doing over here in the Philippines among the Kalanguya people!
THANK YOU for being our partners in this ministry for so many years!! The Kalanguya believers also thank you!