Dear Member Churches,
Mercy and peace and love be multiplied to you in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to chair the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Luzon Convention for this year until the next. Strengthened by God ‘s love and your confidence in me, my priority is to continue the efforts for unity and missions.
Please be informed that our Global Missions Division is doing well under the directorship of Pastor Rey Navarro. We sent last month, with the help of other partners, a missionary to Japan in the person of Pastor Rhandy Ariola. God willing, his wife, Che, and their three (3) children [out of five (5)] will soon join him. The Ariolas is the second family that our Convention sent to Japan. The first one was the Albaniels (Pastor Rony, Aliw, and their children). Japan is one of the most difficult countries to reach out and is a costly mission endeavor for our Convention, but we’ve done all we can to assist Pastor Rhandy. Prior to this, Eko Karyanto and his family went back to Indonesia after many years of “vacation” in the Philippines.
We have one missionary who earned his master’s degree in Muslim language and culture. This is a big boost in our work in a Muslim country. Also, we have one missionary in China whose work among children is accredited by the local government. To date we have 17 missionaries in the field who intentionally share the Word of God through different platforms. Sis. Chit Panizales visited some of them to encourage and personally pray for them. She’s also in-charge of our ministry to OFWs and their families.
Then and now, our Convention is committed to lead the churches with a fundamental commitment: MISSIONS. Thus our Home Missions Division (HMD), headed by Pastor Nap Sergio, is mobilizing churches and associations to do church planting through the Cooperative Missions Program. We are currently supporting 17 church planters, and six (6) of them were visited by Sis. Vangie Biala, an HMD member.
In regard to our social responsibility, Pastor Lino Caronongan reported that the proposed project of our Social Concern Department on calamity aid assistance for the victims of Typhoons Karen and Lawin, which hit the country last October 2016, was approved by our sponsor, the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation. This is to augment our regular contribution, 5% of which goes to our calamity relief and rehabilitation fund. With the initial release of US$24,000 last March 2017 and our churches’ contribution allocation of about P22,000, we were able to assist in the repair of five (5) church buildings and two hundred ninety-three (293) shelters scattered over Aurora, Isabela, and Cagayan. Recently, we received the 2nd and final fund release of about US$15,000 for the repair assistance of one hundred fifty-nine (159) shelters in Isabela and Aurora.
We hope to continue to send and strategically deploy increasing number of missionaries/church planting workers. And, we pray to be proactive in dealing with disasters; that is, being able to raise funds for our needs as well as to assist other countries who may also be in need. Thus we encourage you to please continue to send your contributions.
Given this opportunity, allow me to update you about our Baptist Camp property. As you may know, a swap deal has been offered and thus presented before the Convention last November 2016, before the start of my tenure. Such offer has not been approved then and up to the present. We have made progress in negotiations, but have not achieved a conclusion to date. Rest assured that utmost attention is dedicated hereto, and detailed report will be made this November at the annual assembly. Relative to this concern, your prayers would be most indispensable. Let us be one in praying for God’s continuous favor and direction for our Convention, and wisdom and discernment for our BOT members. The conclusion may be in sight, but we seek not to let complacency begets our failure. As our dependence and trust in God increases, the success of this undertaking is at hand.
I thank you all for your prayers and support. To the Lord our God, I give all the glory!
Rev. DOMS Q. PACOLOR