In 2017 after reaching proficiency in the Agutaynen language and many months of language study and cultural exposure Phil was cleared to teach! What a highlight. They are so thankful for God’s enabling, knowing that it could have taken many more years, as it did for others learning the Agutaynen language. All the glory to our gracious Lord!
Vina can hardly believe that ten years of home-schooling have come to a close for Valerie-Anne, as she passed her SATs and graduated from high school. Home-schooling was one of Vina’s biggest fears, but God has taken her fear and turned it into a blessing.
Phil began translation of the “Creation to Christ” lessons so that they can soon begin teaching. This is a milestone that every NTM missionary looks forward to achieving. Finally, the truth of scripture will be translated into chronological lessons teaching God’s Word correctly for the first time in their heart language. It is a much bigger and time consuming task than they thought. They need to make sure to correctly explain Biblical concepts and truth in a way that penetrates through their world view, and is perceived as God intended. This is work that they cannot do alone, and they rely on language helpers to work through the lessons with them. This is a continuous struggle for Phil and Vina, as there have been many delays because of the lack of Agutaynen language helpers being able to help. Phil and Vina are patiently trusting the Lord for His perfect timing.
The Manila Bible-study group continues to be blessed with the growth in the lives of the members of this small group of faithful brothers and sisters. Lord willing they will soon be baptising three members of the group! This year the group arranged a big Christian conference where 500 people attended. There were medical outreaches and a children’s ministry. God has truly blessed Phil and Vina in being a part of what He is doing in this group. Recently one of the members visited them on the island. They were encouraged to see his growth in the Lord, and his desire to serve.
Every year Phil and Vina help with medical issues as far as they can, and 2017 was no exception. There are too many cases to mention each separately, but from burn victims, to UTIs, tooth extractions to dengue treatment, the Lord has provided for them to help many. They saw many die last year too and their hearts are burdened for lost souls, but they praise God for those who they can help. Phil and Vina decided long ago to never turn anyone with a real need away but to trust God to provide. He has not disappointed them. They praise God for His provision!
The school building will very soon have the addition of a classroom so that they will no longer need to share with two grades. Phil and Vina are in awe at God’s provision through brothers and sisters back home. This project benefits so many, and they count themselves privileged to be in the frontline seeing it come up before their eyes.
Phil and Vina wish they could count the landing strip as one of the completed projects for 2017, but unfortunately, work on it is has been at a standstill. Plans are to hopefully finish the strip in the first half of 2018.