“…Not by force or strength, but by My Spirit…” Zec 4:6

David and Vanessa Maynard thank God for the opportunity to finally return to the village in the Philippines in February and find the Isnag believers banding together in new ways.

The believers that went through the teaching seminar back in October, now regularly meet together to study the upcoming book that they will teach through in church. This is a great opportunity to choose which man will teach the next lesson and discuss how that passage could connect to the audience.

They also started giving a love gift of money to express gratitude to those teachers who give up hours in their fields to work on their Bible lessons.

The Isnag believers decided how they wanted to meet together and what kind teaching they would do next.

For years, David and Vanessa have wanted to work more in the background as the maturing believers take on leadership roles. They join them each week and the believers lead. They thank God that His Spirit creates desires within the believers to blaze new trails together.

When the believers read Galatians they immediately related to what Paul wrote about people trying to make them slaves to the law. They have been able to stand against false teaching from others coming into the area. One believer stated in response to erroneous teaching, “You are telling us that we need to just do our best to follow God’s laws. I cannot do that because; I don’t have that power in me. I could never live in a way that is pleasing to Him without depending on God’s Spirit living in me.” Apparently, the sect was not prepared with how to respond to that comment.

One man works with David each afternoon as they create a study guide for Galatians. They pass each new section out to the believers to read during the week so they can think about what they are reading in new ways. They write short stories, metaphors, or make illustrations that help the believers digest the new material they study.

In a culture that highly values a strong community spirit and oneness, God’s words about His plans for the Body of Christ deeply impact the believers.

Vanessa and her Isnag helper finished their comprehension checking for the translation of Hebrews and James. After reading through 1 Peter, she asked, “What happened to all my ancestors who never heard these words?” Vanessa did not answer but let her process her own question. After pondering, she answered, “Yes, I know now…. because they didn’t believe, they weren’t saved.”

One of the men, who is a really good teacher, is still nervous and not used to being up front. Please pray for him this week as he decides how to help his audience engage with the passage.

Pray that:

  1. The Isnag church continues to discover its identity as the body of Christ
  2. The men in the church to grow in confidence as they speak in front of others
  3. More are able to attend the teaching seminar

Praise God for the wonderful ways that He is transforming this community.