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July 20
Philippines Brief
True Jesus Church in Philippines
 
Introduction
Our churches in the Philippines are located in three main regions, namely Manila in Luzon Island, Mansilingan in Negros Occidental and Pagadian in Mindanao Island. All her members are of Filipino descent and were formerly members of other Christian denominations. They belong to the lower income group and live in poverty; only a handful has received education at institutions of higher learning but most of them understand a little English.
 
The First Seed
The church in the Philippines was started through a young pastor’s accidental brush with the International Assembly (IA)’s publication, the “Words of Life” Vol. 1 & 2 sent to the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) headquarters in Manila.
 
The pastor from Mansilingan, Bacolod City in the Central Philippines, while having his theological training at the UPC headquarters in Manila, stumbled upon a dust-covered parcel in a corner of the library. He opened the parcel and found “Words of Life” pamphlets published by the International Assembly (IA) of the True Jesus Church. After reading and finding Biblical truth in them, he began to distribute the pamphlets to his family and church members as well as fellow ministers of the UPC.
 
A group of them later made contact with the English Literature Evangelical Center in Singapore where the pamphlets were published. They requested for missionaries to be sent to Philippines. The IA responded to their request and in June 1983, sent Dn. John Chin and Pr. Simon Chin to visit them. Their visit marked the beginning of the True Jesus Church in Philippines. In Mansilingan, Bacolod City on 26 June 1983, 26 souls were baptized into the Lord.
 
Faith of Members
The faith of most of the members in the Philippines is firm. They were baptized into the True Jesus Church not just by listening to what we preached. They did some research and made sure that the doctrines that the True Jesus Church preached and interpreted were in accordance to the teachings of the Bible, especially those on prophecies about the emergence of the True Church in the last days. However, as is happening in other areas, there are still members being lured away from the True Church.
 
Financial Status
The churches in the Philippines are very dependent on the Philippines Mission Committee (PMC) and the IA financially due to poverty of the members. Bad governance of the country by corrupt and dictatorial leaders caused the impoverishment during the Marcos regime, which lasted for more than 2 decades. The economy of the country is not much better today despite four changes in government after the Marcos regime. Other problems plagued the country. Civil war broke out in the south in the 70’s between government troops and Islamic separatists fighting for an independent state in the south. This was followed by kidnappings and abductions of tourists from neighboring countries, leading to ransom demands amounting to millions of dollars. All these contributed to the political instability of the country and resulted in zero new foreign investment. The unemployment rate turned from bad to worse. Our members in the Philippines are also affected.
 
Areas of Work Penetration
Missionary work extended to the following areas in the Philippines:
Northern Region
1. Manila 2. Lao Ang 3. Palapag
 
Central Region
1. Mansilingan 2. Candonggon 3. Bacolod City 4. Bago 5. Murcia
 
Southern Region
1. Pagadian City 2. Maculay 3. Tabina 4. Laperian 5. Lanao 6. Lingatan 7. Bayog 8. Batungan 9. Tipalay 10. Aurora 11. Sanmegual 12. Salumbuyan 13. Ipil 14. Santa Babara
 
Areas of Need and Concern
Although the PMC has conducted 3 RE Teachers’ Training Course over the years and 51 RE teachers has been trained, RE in the Philippines needs further improvement. The PMC has put in place several training programs for the next 4 years to remedy the situation of a shortage/lack of music teachers and pasturing ministers. A working committee has recently been formed to look into the needs of the various ministries so that the training programs can effectively address these needs.
 
For these training programs to succeed, the PMC needs the prayers and financial support from churches outside of the Philippines and Sabah.
 
In terms of acceptance and practice of the truth among members, there is much room for improvement. Although our brethren have been taught time and again to offer tithes by visiting missionaries, some of them still have not done so due to poverty and lack of faith.
 
There is division in some of the churches due to jealousy among the workers. All these are human weaknesses, which we hope will be overcome through proper guidance and inculcation by visiting missionaries.
 
Political instability is another setback in the development and training programs of the PMC. This setback hits the hardest in the southern region where Muslim separatists – the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has been fighting for an independent state in the south since the 70’s. Following a successful peace negotiation between the MNLF and the Philippines Government in the 90’s, the south was granted the status of autonomy. However those in the MNLF who did not take to the concept of self-autonomy continued in their struggle for an independent state under a separate group called the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The situation today is not much improved with abductions and executions of Christians and fighting still going on. May the Lord remove all these obstacles and provide us with a peaceful environment to build up the faith of His people.
 
God’s Special Blessings
A local member’s account of her new found faith.
 
“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain” – Php 1:21
 
In the name of the Lord Jesus I testify.
 
I praise and glorify God for guiding us to the True Church. In October 1990, my husband Fausto Gacumo happened to meet a missionary of the True Jesus Church at the airport. On retrospect, it seemed the arrangement of God, that He can shower His salvation grace on us here in Manila.
 
The Lord knows the heart of every person. It was at that time that we left the U.P.C. to establish the Glorious Church comprising of a few families. While attempting an in-depth study of the Bible, we came across the topic about the Sabbath. We agreed to fast and pray about it. The Lord was gracious to us. He enlightened us on the need to restore the Sabbath according to the teaching of the Scripture. However, we could not decide at that moment whether to observe Sabbath worship as we had been observing Sunday Worship all along.
 
It was perfect timing then that we met with the missionary of the True Jesus Church who introduced is to the truth regarding the Sabbath and other important Biblical doctrines. He also told us that the True Jesus Church teaches the perfect Biblical truth. My husband, children and I, decided without hesitation to receive the one true baptism together with my fellow Christians from the Glorious Church. There were altogether 43 souls baptized. Thus began the True Jesus Church here in Manila.
 
It was truly a great blessing for my family and I to be in the True Jesus Church. At first, all of us in church experienced great joy. However as time passed, disunity among members caused many problems in church, and these problems affected all of us. Those without a sound understanding of the truth left the church. These included former workers who had been assigned by the missionaries to tend the flock here in Manila. They did not have the heart and the right motive in serving the Lord. In spite of these unpleasant episodes, my husband, our children and I stood firm in the truth and relied on the Lord to strengthen us and to keep us in the True Church.
 
As time went by, the trials in the Church continued. All of us went through severe difficulties. In my case, my husband died suddenly. His untimely departure due to heart attack was caused by unnoticed diabetes. I was left with the responsibility of taking care of our children single-handedly. It was indeed the greatest trial on the faith of my family. With the sole breadwinner of the family gone, we could only rely on God. Although this tragedy came upon me, I never at any time blame God for it because I know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. My husband was only 46 years old at his time of passing. Although his death brought sorrow to me, it also gave me a deeper understanding of the hope that is set before us. When he was still at the hospital and about to die, some patients saw two Angels take my husband away. They told my eldest son Reggie about it. Reggie was at that moment taking care of his father while I went home to attend the evening service in church. By this testimony, I was strengthened in my faith. (I then understood that the death of the saints is really precious in the eyes of God.)
 
From then on, life was very tough for us, but we relied on God. By God’s merciful kindness, we trodded slowly on the road to recovery. Today, the Lord showers His blessings on my family. I am thankful to God that my children, all three of them now working abroad, still remain faithful to the teachings of the True Jesus Church. May this testimony glorify the name of our Lord Jesus and may His Holy Spirit guide us continuously until He comes again. Amen.
 
Sis. Angela F. Gacumo
Sta. Mesa, Manila, Philippines
 
 
A Personal Testimony of Bro. Ernesto Torres
Hallelujah in the name of the Lord Jesus I bear testimony of how I was converted to the True Jesus Church.
 
I came to know about the True Jesus Church just after I graduated from Bible College. I remember the day I was about to go home. I went into the United Pentecostal Church (UPC) storehouse to take some tracts to start the Lord’s work in my hometown. I entered the storehouse and saw in a dark corner, several untouched cartons of tracts. I took them home. After reading and finding Biblical truth in them, I wrote to Dn. John Chin of the True Jesus Church in Singapore. I also gave a number of tracts to members of the church where I was pasturing for distribution.
 
When the two missionaries (Dn. John Chin and Pr. Simon Chin) visited our place, we had many discussions regarding the truth in the True Jesus Church. When they left, I asked the Lord Jesus Christ for a sign to show that the True Jesus Church has the whole truth. At that time, I confided with my mother-in-law Sis. Edilia Solis about this matter. It was then that she happily told me that she too, had asked for a sign – a sign of Fire from God. She continued to tell me that one night, after she prayed, she came out of the house, looked up and saw a Fire in the sky. That happened to her three times. She cried as she told me that it was not a star but a Fire, red in color falling from heaven. I was touched by her testimony, but I said to myself, I have to wait for mine.
 
One day, I was sitting under a tree, thinking deeply. I was trying to recall some Bible verses on baptism and praying about a doubt that I had. Suddenly, a miracle happened to me. It was like a light that I could not exactly figure out. It shone on me and took away my doubt in my mind. It seemed that the darkness in my mind was lifted. The doctrine on infant baptism, which I could not at first accept, suddenly became very clear to me. I could then accept it with my mind and heart. Since that incident, each time I read the Bible, that former opinion to oppose and the refusal to believe and accept were gone. Today I believe that infants must be baptized in order to be saved.
 
A second miracle happened to me while I was on my way to attend Sabbath service one day. I rode to the prayer house on a jeepney. That day, the rain was falling so heavily that you could see big drops of rain. From the place where the jeeney stopped, there was a walking distance of about 250 meters to the prayer house. I started running to avoid getting drenched. However, after running half the distance to the prayer house, I notice that the rain did not fall on me. I stopped for a while and saw the rain falling in front of me but not on the spot where I stood. I then began to walk toward the prayer house. All out brothers and sister were amazed. They looked at me and asked me why I did not get wet. I then told them what the Lord had done. Since then, I know and believe that God has answered my prayer. He truly gave me a sign for me to believe that the whole truth is in the True Jesus Church.
 
I was later baptized and received the Holy Spirit. Now I know and am confident that this is the end of my search for the whole truth. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for answering my prayer and giving me a sign. I have found the whole truth of my salvation. Glory be given to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!!
 
Bro. Ernesto Torres
Mansilingan, Bacolod City, Philippines
 
 
Our Hope and Prayer
Although the PMC is managed by Sabah GA, Sabah alone cannot provide full financial aid to meet the needs of the PMC. Sabah GA has limited financial resources. Annual contributions from its branch churches, two-thirds of which are situated in the remote rural areas of East Malaysia, are negligible. Thus, the Sabah GA has to turn to the urban churches to make ends meet. We earnestly hope that members from abroad with the financial means can contribute generously to the Philippines Mission Fund. We appreciate your offerings regardless of any amount. May the Lord remember your love.

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