By Victorio R. Tibayan
It is with great exuberance that I write this short article to express the overwhelming gratitude in the Lord of the Filipino saints and churches for the yearly preaching and teaching visits made by our faithful American preachers, to the Philippines. These trips across borders attest to. the magnitude of their zeal for the glory of God and the expansion of the borders of His kingdom. Under a most exacting and perverse condition, they freely gave themselves to share with us their wonderful knowledge of the word of God; meanwhile, adorning the doctrine of Christ through their Christian deportment among us. Our appreciation for these things becomes exceedingly great as we consider that they went through their spiritual mission, having left behind other responsibilities, constrained by their love for the souls of men wherever they may be.
Each time a pair or a group came to visit with us, reports about their accomplishments and the situation obtaining here were promptly published. The brethren are encouraged and God is blessed. Faithful churches and dedicated Christians there with whom we have fellowship and who shared of their means to send these worthy preachers of the gospel, even at enormous sacrifices, are fully encouraged to do more good for the sake of Christ. In this context, I would like to express to each of them (to whom I am not in a position now to write in particular) the heartfelt thanks of the Filipino Christians in the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
As a reminder, the following were those who came to the Philippines for the above-mentioned purposes since 1970:
1970-Roy E. Cogdill and Cecil Willis
1971-Connie W. Adams and J.T. Smith
1972-Dudley Ross Spears and James P. Needham
1973-Wallace H. Little, Frank D. Butler and Jady Copeland
1974-Earl E. Robertson and Larry Ray Hafley
To each of these good people, this article is made to show our deep appreciation for all the good things they did for us. Not only were we edified and sinners converted to Christ but their efforts also brought us nearer and dearer to the hearts of the American faithful saints, which paved the way for more closer contacts and fellowship among us, according to the pattern set by God. Witnesses to these are the numerous and spontaneous succors afforded to us during times of distresses and emergencies (Acts 11:27-30; Rom. 15:25, 26; 2 Cor. 8,9). But best of all, is the enthusiastic desire created in the hearts of Christians there to have scriptural fellowship with’ us in the propagation and defense of “the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (Phil. 1:5; 4:15, 16: Jude 3).
Rest assured that these communications of love for us, performed in self-sacrifices, are not in vain. Before the starting visit of brethren Cogdill and Willis, there were only a handful of churches here, at least on Luzon. There were three or four struggling preachers here in the Manila Area and who had only a vague idea of the first principles concerning the unchangeable pattern of God in the work of the church and the duties of individual Christians. Thanks be to them and through our correspondence with many of the saints there, plus the numerous books and reading materials . . . we were made firmer to the extent that we are able to wield the “sword of the spirit” against foes and erring brethren alike with grace and power. Churches have been established in many regions and we are able to edify them more in the Lord.
But as we are guided towards the heavenly horizon, we, more than ever, still need (as the church in Antioch and other primitive churches needed) similar visits from worthy and capable preachers from there. Since early last year, brethren here have corresponded with a number of American gospel preachers for the purpose of arriving at a consensus as to who may be available for the coming years and who we thought would best serve the cause of Christ here in the Philippines. At the same time, we have made provisions and scrupulous plans for these. And the following schedule of visits have come to the fore:
1975-Cecil Willis and Connie W. Adams
1976-Frank D. Butler, Ron Mosby and Bill Battles
1977-Wallace H. Little, Jady Copeland and Paul J. Casebolt
1978-Earl E. Robertson and Larry Ray Hafley
Most of them have been assured, even now, of support by churches and individuals for this schedule of visits to the Philippines. At least, one of them was assured by one congregation of sound believers for all his expenses, but, he wrote that AI may not allow them to furnish all of it, as others may desire to communicate with me also, but it is good to know that brethren are so willing.” May I add to this thought that surely the Father is exalted to see His children walking hand-in-hand according to His divine will.
Truth Magazine, XVIII:46, p. 8
September 26, 1974