Serving the Least

Don and Char Epp serve in the Philippines among a least reached people group, numbering only 1500. These are not only numbers, but people with names, families, friends, people with goals and dreams. Planting the Gospel in this generation of Agta people means hope for generations to follow.

This year has been one of celebrations. Their silver wedding anniversary and a big birthday for Char. They thank the Lord for the years of ministry together. God has given them such an amazing opportunity to minister together as a family, with their children Thea, Koi and Zane.

Zane is their last child to graduate, which means Char also graduated from the role of home school teacher. The graduation party they had as a family was a special time, not only to commemorate Zane and all his hard work, but celebrating all the years Char dedicated to schooling the kids.

God is moving in family groups among the Agta people. Don and Char share that, “Nothing is quite like sitting with a group of Agta that walk from their huts to meet under our house to worship the Lord in spirit and truth. The shift from a traditional life of ancestral worship and manipulation, to understanding the Biblical world view and worshiping Jesus…” Don and Char find it incredible that they could be a part.

Four Agta people have expressed interest in being baptised. (It has been rainy season so no baptism has taken place yet due to fast flowing cold waters but will be in the near future.) The encouraging stories of people and their households believing in the Bible seems to be the way the Lord moves in this location. The Lord continues to move in individuals that influence their families. There is great excitement to see more Agta people reaching their own extended families in villages spread along the coast.

Resources are in the hands of the Agta people, to continue studying God’s Word. First Thessalonians and more teaching on seeing Jesus through the Old Testament.

After some weighty decisions, Don and Char are back in Canada a month earlier than expected.  The Philippine hot season has started early. While Char enjoys the heat, Don is becoming more and more sensitive to the heat and his body is starting to react more aggressively to it. Just a few weeks ago heat warnings were issued in their area. In their jungle home, there is really no way to escape the heat, they don’t even have refrigeration to cool down with a cold drink.  Therefore, they decided that it would be safer for them to just return to Canada earlier and wait out the heat with plans to return in September.

Being back in Canada does not mean a change in their focus of working with the Agta people. Don has some big jobs ahead of him.  They are hoping to print the lessons they have been editing into book form, then record them to put onto a solar MP3 listening device. There is also more lesson curriculum that Don hopes to work on for the Agta people to use, with the next lessons being from the books of Philippians and Colossians.

During their time in Canada, they also look forward to connecting with family, friends and churches and share what the Lord is doing in person.