Wallace H. Little
The following is a brief of the information received from faithful Filipino preachers during the June - September, 1971 period.
Mindanao: Quirino Alipan-twelve in Zamboanga del sur; Luminvi C. Celzo -- twelve in Sultan Sa Barungis; Linghanan Sendil -- eight In Mamarang and five from one family in Mayo Buug, and In a later letter, three in a two day meeting at Buayan Kabasalan and one In Buug; Rufo Samodal-five in Sagucan where Camilo Lagnason preaches and also anticipating several in Margosatubig where he labors; Rod Diegobelatedly tells of seven In Makilala, Cotabato earlier this year and also in August he taught and baptized one preacher from the Christian and Missionary Alliance and another from a Pentecostal group besides six others In a meeting in Saguing; Limoran Ungaya-eight from one family in Deplo after a series of extended studies and he has been invited to teach another family there also (shades of Lydial); Romeo S. Quesada-twelve in Ipil, and summarizing the work in that area for June and July writes, ". . . nine in one gospel meeting, three in another, four each in two more and ten in still another, all in different places with different preachers."
Luzon: Gregorio Cruz -- several in that area of Manila where he preaches as the first fruits of an intensive visitation campaign; Julian C. Felix -- one baptized and one restored in Tarlac.
Note: One of the conversions was a Roman Catholic man who worked for the government. That nation is about 83 per cent Roman Catholic and the government close to 100 per cent so. Leaving that group takes considerable courage. One doing so not only subjects himself to considerable social and family pressure, but also stands a good chance of losing his job.
Carlos Azcarraga in Manila told of converting an entire liberal church in Rizal to the truth as a direct result of the work of Connie Adams and J. T. Smith on their recent trip there. The details of the follow-up by Azcarraga and Tibayan read like a fast-action "Whodunit" complete with excitement and intrigue provided by the so-called American "missionaries" trying to "salvage their church from the 'anti's'.1' Interestingly enough, many US brethren, Including some conservative preachers, seem to prefer the "soft-shoe" approach so no one becomes irritated or angry. Those with this preference need to visit the PI and listen to men of God call a "spade a spade," naming both the sin and the sinner. Alipan Quirino wrote 'hat after Adams and Smith returned to the US, the liberals moved back in, hoping to undo what had been accomplished. These encouraged splitting of churches to achieve their desires. ("Oh, but the antis are the church-splitters" or so we have been accused!) He also mentioned trying to become self-supporting by planting rubber trees for his "tent-making," but it will be several years before his independence is established. Sendil is training two young, single men. They are both hampered by the need to hold secular jobs. He said both could be supported for about $50.00 each, and would be very useful there, as "the fields are white unto harvest." There are still many faithful and capable men in that nation needing support.
Rod Diego expressed his heart-felt gratitude to those good folks who helped him with the burial expenses for his child. Several assisted. He said the money left over was used to hold a gospel meeting which resulted in the baptisms already mentioned. Also, he had a debate with one from the Jehovah's Witnesses sect. In the Philippines some are still willing to defend their beliefs publicly. Several new churches have been established on Mindanao and at least one on Luzon. Below is an interesting extract from a letter by Julian C. Felix who preaches in Tarlac, not too far from the "home offices" of the Philippine Bible College. ". . . Efforts of PBC men to destroy reputations of conservatives in Bilia failed when Bryan (Ray Bryan, American "missionary" at the PBC-whl) and others could give no Bible for their charges, under questioning by Christians. Bro. Blen challenged them to a debate then and there. Their answer was to refuse to allow him to use their PA system" David Gamit in Nueva Ecija wrote some had moved away but he was encouraged by the restoration of two wayward saints with whom he had been studying.
Wilfredo Samodal wrote of the church in Lanao del norte on Mindanao being virtually destroyed and brethren scattered due to attacks of war-like Muslims. He was forced to move to insure the safety of his family and fears for the lives of saints remaining in the area of fighting.
Want and privation still exist. This is especially true in some hard-hit places on Mindanao where a series of natural disasters ruined crops. This shortage, plus uncontrolled inflation, has priced food so high many including Christians are suffering hunger. Virgilio Villanueva wrote on several occasions telling of this in his area. He has used some of his little support to do what he could, but much more is needed. Brethren, have you ever watched your children go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep? Christians there are seeing this right now.
James P. Needham and Dudly R. Spears are committed to visiting the PI in 1972, to preach and teach among faithful brethren there. These are two very capable and fine men, and much good in the service of the Lord will be accomplished. If you can have part in the support of their trip, I strongly recommend you contact them.
Due to the constant urging of brethren there during the last three years for me to return for a visit to teach and encourage, I have written fifty men there whose opinions I value and whose judgments have proven sound. I asked them to speak frankly, and advise me whether they believed such a trip by me would be worthwhile in terms of potential good when measured by the cost and by what might be accomplished by some other individual. I have received twenty-two responses, all favorable. If the collective judgment continues thus, I will plan to go in the spring of 1973, with the prayer that by then the church here in Marshall will have grown enough numerically to be able to function effectively in my absence.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVI: 2, pp. 6-7