Mission Field: Philippines
Years of Service: 16
Home Church: Fellowship Baptist Church
Missions Agency: Baptist International Missions Inc.
Our Missionary for 17 years
Oct 28, 2016
Wow, what a month. September was busy but this month and November are jam packed with the Cagaut Baptist Church 15th Anniversary on Nov. 12th, our first Youth Rally on Oct. 24, more baptisms in Quinapondan, the new church plant in Tagbacan that kicked off on Oct. 9th and much more. God is blessing tremendously in so many areas.
We have seen 9 clear professions of Faith in Christ in Cagaut and Tagbacan.. Significantly for us is that Pastor Queruela led the Barangay Captain of Brgy. Carapdapan to the Lord just 3 weeks ago. This Brgy. is where we are facing fierce opposition from the local priest and the school teachers. That said about 3 months ago one of the school teachers got saved and has been attending services faithfully. God is working in this little Brgy. of about 500 people in a big way. We are praying about making this a permanent preaching point. Please pray for this Brgy. and for the new converts. They are getting hit hard by the priest and the school officials. Folks here pay a price for their faith. Praise the Lord they are being faithful and standing for the Lord.
Sunday Oct. 9th we held the first regular services for the newly established Tagbacan Baptist Church. Three souls were saved during the service and many neighbors came out to see what was going on. Please pray fervently for this new work. This is the third Baptist church in Salcedo and the priest is furious. No direct attacks in Tagbacan yet but they are coming. This new church is less than 50 meters from the new High School there and we are praying about using the church there as a Student Center during the week to reach more young people.
Cagaut Baptist Church is increasing in attendance, getting back up into the 70’s each Sunday and we are Praising the Lord for it. We had a drop in attendance for a month or two when the Catholics started their services, and feeding program at the same time Sunday morning. We just keep plugging along.
We held our first 1 day Youth Camp/Youth Rally on Oct. 24 and 25th. The Lord was with us in a big way. We planned for 60 to 70 young people and God gave us 104 total young people. The young people responded well to the preaching and teaching and were very enthusiastic. We had 9 young people get saved in personal encounters and had many more raised hands during the preaching. We held the closing service for the camp at the beach in Salcedo and 2 young people demanded to be baptized. They were from Quinapondan Baptist Church (now called Harvest B.C.) and Pastor Mendoza was more than happy to Baptize them. The whole event was successful in it’s goals to bring unsaved young people to the Lord, get them to commit to serving the Lord and we had the baptisms as a bonus. We are planning to do this again during the Christmas break late in December and we are discussing and praying about holding our own local Youth Camp during the summer break. God is so good to us.
On a wonderful note I am happy to let you all know that Matthew is entering Bible College in Guiuan this Nov. 2d. He won’t say so yet but I think God is calling him to serve Him in some capacity. Nearly everything he has been doing this last year has been directed towards serving the Lord. We are excited about this so please pray for him also.
Taking Ellen to Cebu next month to get her all checked out medically and I will see my Doctor there also. Please pray for her. She has been getting very tired, dizzy and nauseous for no apparent reasons the last few months. Thank you all for your prayers and faithful financial support.
Carl, Ellen and Matthew Sparks
Greetings from Samar,
I am in a little travelers hotel in Guiuan, E. Samar. Not a 5 star hotel but it has an air conditioner and a bathroom. That is pretty good around here. Have some more work to finish tomorrow morning and hopefully heading back to Tacloban in the afternoon. I am so tired I cannot sleep and far to excited about all that the Lord is doing here in Samar and Leyte.
We returned to our ministry here about 7 weeks ago and have not quit moving since. I made Ellen stay back and rest this weekend and next weekend I will stay off the road and tend to our little group in Tacloban City. I am determined not to run myself or Ellen into the ground this term. Matthew on the other hand is determined to keep going at 100 MPH. He is 22 so he can do it. He is such an incredible blessing. He is working with Bro. Ruffie Mendoza in the new church plant in Quinapondan. He is going with Pastor Mendoza soul winning, on visitation, on outreaches and he is leading singing for the new church there. He also is assisting in the repair and maintenance of the building there. He is really getting with the program. Can you tell that I am proud of him? We also have 2 of our Mission Corps young people helping with the new church plant.
There is no way to put it all in one letter so I will attempt to summarize events in this letter and then write more on the different parts of the ministry. As of 12 July we now have 3 churches going. Cagaut Baptist Church in Brgy. Cagaut, Salcedo, E. Samar; Fellowship Baptist Church in Brgy. Naparaan, Salcedo, E. Samar; and our new church plant Quinapondan Baptist Church in the town proper of Quinapondan, E. Samar. God is so good to us. Souls are getting saved, we have 3 prospects for Baptism in Quinapondan, and 2 more in Cagaut. The people are growing spiritually and more are getting active in ministry. We have national Pastors in each church and we plan to organize at least one of them this November.
In addition to the 3 churches we have a number of other ministries working alongside of the churches. Here are the biggies.
1. Our Children’s Ministries are doing very well. The Feeding Program for Sunday School kids and kids coming to outreaches is now active in all 3 churches and many of the outreaches. This is reaping a great harvest. 104 plus kids fed this Sunday.
2. The Cagaut Baptist Mission Corps (read Cagaut Children's Home) is down in numbers by a few but all are in church, in school and doing well. We had 3 graduate from school and unfortunately 2 young men and 1 young lady left while we were on furlough.
3. We kicked off our Gospel Ladies prayer and encouragement ministry several weeks ago and we now have 2 women involved in doing this regularly plus a few others as they can. They had there first fruit last week when a young lady in Brgy. Cantamoja got saved. Now they are really excited.
4. We took on a young man to work as a translator for the Publications Ministry and to teach English and music for Samar Independent Baptist Bible School (SIBBS). Should have 3 tracts going into print in the next week or so. We are also reworking our WARAY-WARAY songbook. A number of other projects are in the works and will fill you in as they take shape.
5. SIBBS started classes again 3 weeks ago and in the next few weeks we should be up to 4 or 5 churches participating. We anticipate between 19 to 24 students to be enrolled soon. As of today we have 19 but word about this is spreading. I expect this is going to grow quickly.
Using the video instruction makes the Pastor’s work much easier and the students really seem to like it. Several Pastor’s have already begun translating the lessons into WARAY-WARAY and are excited about using this format to offer free Bible School to all who want to learn.
I am looking for a good video camera and microphone setup now. We are teaching the English language classes now but we are really looking forward to recording these lessons in the dialect.
We can finally bring Bible College to the people at very low to no cost to them. I demonstrated this to our church in Cagaut last Sunday and my people went nuts over this. We started with 4 people wanting to take classes and quickly had 20 folks asking about it. Seven actually signed up with two more undecided.
God is blessing in too many ways to list. Maybe it’s because 2010 – 2014 was so rough that this seems so good but I believe that God was testing us in many ways. No, I don’t think we got everything right but we stuck it out. Now God is blessing the ministry and us in great ways.
Please pray for several needs we have:
1. I am looking for a good video camera and microphone set up to use to record Bible College classes, outreach presentations, Salvation messages etc. in the WARAY-WARAY dialect. IPad’s are great but cannot do everything.
2. A new vehicle for the Ministry. The Toyota Revo we have had for 14 years was wrecked in February of this year in a roll over accident. It is not economical to repair or rebuild.
3. Wisdom and resources for building. One land deal fell apart but we are now working on 2 others. We would really like to build a permanent home for the Bible College and the Ministry. This would also serve as the future site of Quinapondan Baptist Church.
We have some photos and video on our Facebook page (waraybaptist) and while the website is still under construction (word2waray.org) there is a little info there.
You can also look at “Boxes to Forgotten Children, Texas Style” on Facebook.
We also have some video on Dropbox that can be downloaded. Please email me if you would like those links.
This letter is just a general update. We will be breaking down the letters into separate categories soon. Also, we will be posting video and photos to Facebook, our website, the blog and will put larger files on Dropbox. We want you to see, hear and read about what God is doing here.
Thank you all for your prayers and faithful support. Bro. Sparks
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