Dear Brethren in Christ,
May God’s presence and love abound in your lives as you receive this letter. Join us again in thanking the Lord for His manifold graces poured down on all of us, His children, as He promises in Deuteronomy 28:1-3, that as we obey Him, He will overtake us with blessings- spiritual, emotional, physical and material, so that we can be the persons He designed us to be.
We would like to share with you some major ministry developments/events that took place the past three months. Here are some highlights.
Last week of September, we (some ministry leaders from Cagayan de Oro) visited a Tiboli community (an Indigenous People’s group) in South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao. We had a short fellowship/meeting with some Tiboli leaders and discussed some of their needs and how Arise Christian Ministries (ACMI) could help them. They expressed their need for support on how to follow up their tribal members, equip them in the word and strengthen them since many cults and false teachers are around and have swayed many of their fellow leaders. We commissioned some of our leaders to follow them up regularly. After the brief visit to the Tiboli brethren, our team travelled to General Santos City and also had a short fellowship with the brethren there.
Third week of October, a Leadership Development Program (LDP), a regular leader’s training being carried out by ACMI was conducted in San Francisco, Agusan del Sur. Ministry leaders from Surigao, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Butuan City, attended the training. The leaders from Region 4 (or the ministry areas and outreaches in the Southern part/towns of North Cotabato) had their LDP during the second weekend of October. Very recently, about two weeks ago, the brethren from Bukidnon, Lanao del Sur and the Northern Towns of North Cotabato also had their Leadership Development Program (LDP) in Kilikili, Lanao del Sur. Around 75 leaders attended.
As the month of October ended, a mission summit was conducted at the ministry center in Cagayan de Oro City. The objective of this summit was to get/hear some reports/experiences of the brethren in the mission field (delegates were participants to the missions training previously conducted). All the delegates/participants were blessed to hear life and near death experiences the brethren went thru as they fulfilled the mandate the Lord commanded them to engage in. After three days of messages and few words of encouragements from ACMI’s leaders, the delegates went back to their respective areas/mission fields encouraged and fully charged to continue the work the Good Lord had called them. Delegates from each of the four regions identified at least one unreached people group in their region to pray, reach out and follow up. At present the ministry has a work with Higaonons, Tibolis and Manobos. The summit was facilitated by Bro./ Dr. Franco Teves, who himself was a missionary to China.
Last weekend, Nov. 18, the ministry conducted a free medical-dental mission at Carmen, Agusan del Norte. It is a collaboration of local sponsors and ACMI. There were 670 people served, including children. The Gospel was shared to the patients before they were attended to by the doctors and dentists. By the grace of God five medical doctors, two dentists and many volunteers helped to make the mission successful. Brethren from Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, Nasipit and other civic organizations worked together during the conduct of the free clinic. Meanwhile, some brethren went house to house and shared the Gospel to the people who did not go to the free medical clinic. Many of these who were witnessed to accepted the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior. To God be the Glory. Hopefully a local fellowship will be established as a result of the free medical clinic.
This December, some of our leaders will be travelling around to visit and encourage our brethren in various ministry areas and outreaches, and also share some material gifts to the poor.
For all these things, we give God the glory for the works He has done in our midst. Thank you for your co-laborship in the Gospel. Attached are some pictures taken during the conduct of the above activities.
Rejoicing in His faithfulness,
Pastor BERNARDO A. MENDOZA
Dra. Tauli looking after a patient
Kuya Franco Teves giving a message during the Mission Summit
Dear Brethren in Christ,
Christian greetings! May this letter find you experiencing His peace, joy, and love as you walk with Him.
We are confident that you are praying for Mindanao, especially Marawi City, which is presently undergoing difficult times. Marawi City is now in disarray. But we believe the best is yet to come. There are verses in the book of Isaiah which many Christians (including my wife -Babes) claimed while they were studying in Mindanao State University (MSU), many years ago. The promises of God to Israel in Isaiah 2:3 which says, “Many peoples will come and say, Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths. The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem”, were claimed by Christians for MSU (a university located on the mountains of Marawi City). God fulfilled (and continue to fulfill) these promises. For ACMI, many of the ministry leaders are graduates from MSU, Marawi City. Also, many Christian groups/churches were also founded at MSU. Those students and faculty members who heard and responded to the Gospel, who are now residing in various places in the Philippines and around the world, are being used by God for His kingdom and glory. We believe, MSU and Marawi City will be rebuilt again, not just physically but spiritually according to God’s sovereign purpose.
The Lord is indeed our leader and guide as we fulfill His plans and directions for the ministry. As we celebrate the ministry’s 18th founding anniversary, allow us to share some of the many blessings the Lord had showered upon ACMI. Right before our eyes, the Lord God fulfilled His promises in Isaiah 60:5, which say, “Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come”. The Lord gave us people who are serious in loving and serving the Lord as our co-laborers, through the years. He also touched the hearts of brethren from other Christian organizations and churches (locally and abroad) by committing to pray for ACMI. They also shared their financial resources to address the material needs of the poor brethren the ACMI had reached out for the Gospel. Praise the Lord, many of our community outreaches (farmers, fishermen, laborers and tribal folks), were extended financial help for their livelihood needs. Four local fellowships/outreaches were able to avail of financial help to finance the construction of their church buildings and training centers. Some deserving but poor students are being considered for educational scholarships. God willing, as the Lord blesses the work of their hands, blessings will be extended to many more recipients in the future.
Meanwhile, here are some highlights on the 18th founding anniversary celebrations conducted by the various ministry areas last June, 2017 (although many anniversary celebrations will still be conducted these months of July and August). Celebrations were festive and of course there were feasting by the brethren, the most common way of thanking the Lord’s faithfulness the past eighteen years. Aside from the usual cheerful and happy celebrations, the other activities conducted were; national witnessing, youth leaders’ camp (Commitment Conference), Bukidnon general youth conference and Regional Leadership Development Programs (LDP). By God’s grace all these activities were conducted successfully. Attached are some pictures taken during the conduct of the said activities. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
Pastor BERNARDO and Sis. FELINA MENDOZA
witnessing in Cebu City
Youth Leaders' Camp
community witnessing at Carmen, Agusan del Norte
witnessing in the classroom at Cagayan de Oro College PHINMA
Dear Brethren in Christ:
Peace, hope and love from Christ be yours in abundance as you receive this letter.
The Lord has always been gracious in dealing with all His children. We would like to share what God had done in our midst very recently.
Last Holy week (April 13-15, 2017), more than 100 key leaders from various ministry areas, including Negros and Cebu (Visayas) trooped to Cagayan de Oro for the regular/annual ACMI umbrella meeting, fellowship and retreat. During the meeting, ministry happenings were reported by the regional coordinators. They reported that more and more people came to know the Lord Jesus, as the brethren embarked more witnessing activities. New ministry areas were opened where families and community members meet regularly for Bible Studies and fellowships. God also continuously raised up laborers to be spiritual parents to new born Christians. In spite of peace and order problems in some areas of Mindanao, the Lord protected our workers as they regularly traveled to ministry outreaches for follow up. We give God the glory for the guidance and work of the Holy Spirit in convicting non-believers to come to Christ’s light. Before the meeting started, half day was spent at the beach where family members enjoyed the sea, the food and the fellowship.
Simultaneous with the umbrella meeting, on Good Friday (April 14) the brethren in UAE conducted a witnessing spree in the parks of Abu Dhabi. They happily and thankfully reported that 26 people (all Filipino OFW’s) accepted the Lord Jesus as Lord and Savior. Two weeks before this activity, skills training on how to witness and a Day-in-prayer were conducted to prepare their hearts and asked for blessings from Our Lord Jesus. Praise the Lord for this harvest.
Before the month of April ended, a Kid’s teachers training was conducted here at the ACMI headquarters in Cagayan de Oro. Representatives from the various ministry areas (26 kids teachers) attended the training. Sisters Ampie Otero and Terry Bolo facilitated the said training.
Meanwhile, twenty seven young people from Jaguimitan and Malahone attended the ACMI-Pagao Summer Camp held this 4th and 5th day of May 2017 at Mansand Beach Resort in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. Comprising of local scholars from said ministry areas, plus other prospects who would like to be considered in the scholarship program, the Summer Camp became a venue for the attendees to either learn or be refreshed about the gospel. They likewise learned about the message of "The Vine and the Branches," which was shared by Sister Nena Araza – who is in-charge of the scholarship program. Brother Joey Dauz likewise shared with them the historical background on the said scholarship program.
This year, some of the major ministry activities which were discussed during the umbrella meeting are: a mission summit, a youth leaders’ conference/camp, and a national witnessing activity. The mission summit will be conducted on October, while the youth camp and national witnessing will be conducted on June 10-12 and June 25, respectively. We covet your prayers for these planned ministry activities. Attached are some pictures taken during the conduct of the above-mentioned activities. Blessings!
Pastor Bernardo A. Mendoza, ACMI
Dear Brethren in Christ,
May God’s peace, joy and love be yours in abundance as you read this letter.
Join us in thanking the Lord for His provision, protection and enabling as the ministry conducted a free medical mission in Lantungan, Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur last January 21, 2017. Eight medical doctors, several nurses, nursing students,and volunteers (most them from the Iligan ministry) joined the event. Brethren who were assigned to share the Gospel went earlier so that when the doctors arrived, the patients were at once given attention. Medicines were given free. The Lantungan Elementary School officials (especially the principal who is also a believer of the Lord Jesus) generously offered their rooms, covered court and other facilities. They also offered free lunch to the team. There were 222 patients who heard the Gospel and were attended to by the doctors. While the activity was being conducted, the Lord graciously cleared the sky of clouds and rain until the medical mission was finished. After everybody (working staff and the people) had left and gone home, the rain fell, as if the Lord was saying, “Well done good and faithful servants”. The growing ministry in the area will be tasked to follow up those who received Christ and are willing to grow spiritually.
The following week, January 29, the ACM brethren from Suares, Iligan city, incollaboration with friends who shared financial resources, conducted a feeding activity inside a military camp. Around 150 people came, including few parents. The brethren shared the Gospel and many prayed to receive Christ in their hearts.
Our brethren in the United Arab Emirates are strengthening their skills in evangelism so that sooner they can reach as many people whom God will bring tothem. Still in UAE, particularly Alain, several Christians expressed their desire to be followed-up. Let’s pray for more workers in the harvest. Let us continue to allow God, through the Holy Spirit to fill us, build us up and use our gifts for others.
“Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it.”
Ptr. Bernardo and Sis. Felina Mendoza